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Re: DINOSAUR digest 3485




--- dinosaur@usc.edu wrote:

>   1) Re: Seven Rules for Making a Science
> Documentary

> 1) science sells [= attracts science-predisposed
> viewers, call that  
> set S].  S is a subset of V.  That is, some members
> of V are not  
> really members of S, but landed on a given channel
> and think Nigel is  
> fun to watch.  

Magically, WWD with no humans at all was more popular
than it's sequels where human actor "really" "met" 
dinosaurs.

Just as magically, BBC's David Attenborough, white
hair and no inclination to wave hands at all,
continues to be top wildlife presenter.

> 3) sex sells.  That's always there in show biz. 
> Just think about  
> "derring do", of wrestling crocodiles, and pith
> helmets, and safari  
> jackets, and of course, some people find
> intelligent, witty people  
> attractive.  But it might really be just the safari
> jackets.

I thought that dinosaur programmes are typically
watched by young males. Is TV really putting the right
kind of presenters there?

> So science  
> is introduced, but in moderation.

You are very over-optimistic. I noticed many popular
science programmes with no science at all. 

Some are "reverse science teaching". They pretend to
teach science, but in fact are cheap entertainment.
This guy who wrestles crocodiles is an example - he
talks about "studying" crocodiles, but we learn
nothing except that "crocodile is very dangerous beast
and has XXX pressure in its jaws". 

The more screen failures I see, the more I am
convinced  that Joe Public is less stupid than TV
makers believe. 

There is old theatre saying, older than TV: child and
animal will always steal your show. Translated to TV
programmes it means: wildlife and dinosaurs always
sell well and pushing lots of poor entertainment
cliches can only harm it.
 
*****

>   Balance issues? Woodpeckers and squirrels (the
> latter more than the former,
> actually) are the only animals I know of, aside from
> arthropods, that typically
> crawl around head-down on vertical clines.

Just to correct: woodpeckers cannot crawl head-down on
tree trunk. This is work of nuthatches Sittidae
(passerines).

Jerzy


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