The nature of energy : pluralism practices applied to non-fiction filmmaking

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


Traditional scientific methods have depended on a linear system of thought, supposing that one singularly accurate (and therefore correct) explanation exists for any given phenomena, and that the explanation can be arrived at through a prescribed methodical breakdown of its elements involving observation, experimentation and repeatability that dates back to the 17th Century. Regardless of how well an actant works to broaden his or her sources and remain objective, any single point of view is necessarily limited to just that. However many peers sign on to a given perspective, they cannot erase the validity of any other functional perspective. Creative workers in all disciplines, from scientific researchers to authors of literature and narrative filmmakers, have increasingly begun to account for multiple different perspectives in order to create a larger understanding of our world. Successful alternatives to linear thinking have been found that often prove more effective in solving problems and answering important questions. Non-fiction filmmaking about science has typically mirrored science's traditional process, linearly presenting facts based on other facts through the authority of individual experts. Science filmmaking generally has yet to embrace the comprehensive power available through the inclusion of multiple perspectives. Pluralism, the view that multiple methodologies or perspectives are necessary to fully describe the world, is being successfully applied to all areas of study as part of a massive cultural shift toward lateral, big-picture thinking. Non-fiction filmmakers can more effectively communicate big-picture understanding by incorporating multiple different perspectives in their storytelling styles.


The nature of energy is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.



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