Finding new representations in science and natural history film through a deconstruction of televised weather forecasting

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Montana State University - Bozeman, College of Arts & Architecture


Broadcast television networks limit their representation of the weather by embedding weather forecasting with ideologies of science, capitalism, and patriarchy, thereby creating a dispassionate monolithic regime as the totalizing representation of weather in popular media. This is not to say that TV weather forecasting is not useful, but that it is a narrowly focused scientific representation of nature, and as such denies experiences of the weather beyond utilitarian prediction. Non-fiction film employs a set of representational tools that, when applied to the weather, can deconstruct the mainstream representation of the weather and create alternative representations that reconnect viewers with their personal experiences of the weather. Non-fiction film allows filmmakers the freedom to directly author messages and choose systems of signs that deconstruct the mainstream broadcast of the weather. It can restore an assumption of afilmic representation and allow viewers the ability to interpret the weather in their own contexts. These ideas led to the production of my own film, Weatherscape, which simultaneously re-contextualizes the weather to encourage the viewer to create his or her own weather experience and critiques the TV weather representation. Deconstruction through non-fiction film proves to be a robust tool for creating representations that rethink our portrayal of nature.


Weatherscape is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.



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