blog

Random thoughts on filmmaking, life and science. Subscribe via email.

Science vs. Cinema The Journey (2 more days)

I found this new show online which tackles the science in cinema. I really want to like this show but I'm conflicted. I want to like it because I believe in science education. I want Americans to be more scientific because my hope is that then we'd have a more perfect democracy.  Democracy itself if a scientific experiment with each law serving as a hypothesis meant to be tested and corrected if proven false. So it's my belief that our children should know science to understand democracy and to be able to know when they are being hoodwinked by quak science. Quak science is everywhere and it's very easy to spot... basically whenever someone uses science to justify an observation that has nothing to do with science... that's quackery.  I can rant on and on but what most don't understand about scientists is that they are experts in ignorance. Unscientific America's misconception about science is that it's absolute. Science is not absolute. It's about testing and retesting until you can describe something that is true under a certain set of conditions. It's about being comfortable with not knowing until you can develop a test in hopes to someday learn what you don't know. Ok I''m off my soapbox.

Aside from entertainment, cinema is concerned with moving our emotions through a plot. Films shouldn't be expected to hold up to scientific rigor because that would just kill the audiences attention and make the film suck. After all film is meant to be magical, allegorical and emotional and aside from illegal drugs, science has only scratched the surface in this arena.... despite what the quaks claim. On the other hand as America becomes more scientifically literate we will naturally demand better science in cinema. Especially where science plays a role in the film. I believe shows like this promote a more scientific America so I'm on board for this reason alone. But I doubt I'll watch this show because I don't expect to get my science from cinema, though I do support real science in film.  As filmmakers we just need to step up to the plate and figure out a non boring way to include it in our films without loosing the magic. In film school we're taught that if dogs are going to fly then they must fly early.... like in the first 5 min of the film. If you don't do this then the audience will assume that dogs behave like they do in the real world... and if you fly a dog an hour into the movie then you'll loose your audience. In other words.. the world of the film must be established right away. So if you're going to violate science do it early. And if you're going to do it late tie it to something metaphysical and allegorical that you've set up early....

There's a good amount of science in my film with it being about aviation and even a small violation related to the philosophy of the film that I set up early. I can't give the film away so I won't discuss it now but I forgive myself and hope the audience will as well ;-) Teaser trailer launches tomorrow!

All of this science talk reminds me Feynman.