February 5, 2013 | 1
What responsibilities do filmmakers have in terms of scientific accuracy? Usually, I argue that filmmakers are storytellers first, and while scientific accuracy (or plausibility) can often support a narrative, the first responsibility of the filmmaker is to weave a captivating tale. But what happens when the film (or TV series) in question is overtly scientific in nature?
It might be a straightforward nature documentary like BBC’s Planet Earth or National Geographic’s Great Migrations, or it could be a docu-drama – a narrative derived from clever editing of thousands of hours of footage of wild animals paired with heart-tugging voiceovers – like March of the Penguins or Disney’s Chimpanzee.
In these cases, filmmakers might have a higher obligation to get the science right, which poses a unique science communication challenge.
Yesterday, Cristina Russo wrote a post about some of these issues at the PLoS Blog Sci-Ed, which sparked a twitter conversation, which I’ve compiled into a storify. Add your own thoughts in the comments below, on twitter or on Google+.