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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 ease.

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 scientific research.

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 watch?

Christian Darkin

----- Original Message ----- From: "dale mcinnes" <wdm1949@hotmail.com>
To: <ddkrentz@charter.net>; "DML" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 12:53 AM
Subject: RE: Media Giving Back to Science

Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 14:04:55 -0800
From: ddkrentz@charter.net
To: dinosaur@usc.edu
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 .. thinking 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 ??