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Wild and Wasted: Nature in Film and TV

The gaze of the camera lens is one of the most powerful and ubiquitous ways that we experience nature. It is a medium filled with potential for insight, empathy, and conservation; it is also fraught with misrepresentation and exploitation. For the first half of class, we will examine and critique nature in film and TV through three genres: Wildlife and Slow Film, Documentary, and Big Hollywood. Through these units we will gather a sense of how media both supports and masks ecological realities, how indigenous others are represented by colonizing explorers, how nature is depicted variously as resource, wilderness, and acculturated playground, and the differences in focus and effect between niche-market and popular films. The second half of class will be the filmmaking portion. In groups of 4-5, students will collaborate to produce a short film, either narrative or documentary, that may have a thematic focus such as food, habitat, transportation, or waste. Groups will draft and revise a short screenplay, and set up the locations, interviews, and any other simple elements of production they might need. Each group will then produce and finish a short film of ~5 minutes in length and present it to the class. Exceptional work may merit additional support to enter the film into festivals.

Sister Courses: HONR218A, HONR218B, HONR218C, HONR218D, HONR218E, HONR218F, HONR218G, HONR218I, HONR218J, HONR218K, HONR218L, HONR218M, HONR218N, HONR218P, HONR218Q, HONR218R, HONR218T, HONR218V, HONR218W, HONR218X, HONR218Y, HONR218Z

Past Semesters

5 reviews
Average rating: 4.80

13 reviews
Average rating: 3.77

Average GPA: 3.81 between 22 students

"W"s are considered to be 0.0 quality points. "Other" grades are not factored into the average GPA calculation.