Ocean conservation films: connecting the viewer
Lanier, Sarah Elizabeth
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Documentaries about ocean conservation have relied on the model of conventional environmental science documentaries with their use of expository film techniques. Ocean conservation films of this kind follow traditions of objectivity, authority, pressure for change, and placing the audience in the uncomfortable role of acting as an antagonist to aquatic life. By examining a new model for ocean conservation films in which audiences feel connected to the ocean instead of alienated from it, we can create more profound stories as well as emotional connections with the viewer. My film, 'The Crab Man of Kodiak' (2020), utilizes a localized portrait film format to engage the viewer in a discourse about ocean conservation without vilifying them, creating a balance between advocacy, science, and emotion.
The Crab Man of Kodiak is a film that is part of the student's thesis project.