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Re: Media Giving Back to Science
it's a good question - "film people" do operate in a free enterprise system
to some extent (although public service broadcasting does exist over here).
However, people don't get into making documentaries by accident or with
It's a hard job which requires as much dedication as science and as much
care over where each pound of the budget is spent.
It's easy to think that when a documentary crew turns up with a helicopter
to film one shot of a mountainside that they're rolling in money. The truth
is that they've had to argue that helicopter as an essential part of telling
the story, balancing their desire to get the facts across with their need to
keep the viewers away from the remote, and against a hundred other pressures
from executives, advertising, and other storytelling and logistical puzzles
that you're about as aware of as they are of the differences between one
type of ceratopsian and another.
I went to a museum recently, where the star of the show was a full sized
opthalmasaurus reconstruction. It was donated from Walking With Dinosaurs.
I'm pretty sure the same thing goes on for lots of TV productions and the
money raised goes into research.
On a wider scale, in my field, FX, there are lots of techniques developed
for film (in terms of 3d modeling, scanning and animation) which end up in
I'll agree that scientific documentaries tend to overstate how investigative
they are (i.e. they tend to claim they're promoting discovery or arguement
when actually most of it is already known). However, you can't entirely
dismiss the positive value they have.
Most people here talk about documentaries they've seen only in terms of what
they got right or wrong, but can you really say that's the only reason you
----- Original Message -----
From: "dale mcinnes" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: <email@example.com>; "DML" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 12:53 AM
Subject: RE: Media Giving Back to Science
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 14:04:55 -0800
Subject: Media Giving Back to Science
Are there any successful or even lucrative instances of Paleontology
being funded by a media project? So many films and docs use all your hard
work, often with little- if any- compensation. How can they give
something back to science and have both parties benefit mutually?
They don't .. because they believe that palaeontology is sufficiently
financed by Gov't. Look at those $100 million institutes. We're on the
gov't dole ... so we obviously have no funding worries. When was the last
time you wrote out a $3000. cheque and gave it to a homeless person ..
that it would change their life ?? No. Because we think of the mental
state they're in. We toss 2 quarters into their tin cup .. not to worry ..
the gov't will take care of them. These film people operate in the free
enterprise system. How do you think their going to look at us ?? Does this
answer your question ??