Abstract: Communicating Environmental Science with Documentary Film

Dr. Dorothy Ibes (ENSP) and Professor Tanya Stadelmann (FMST) are producing a feature length documentary about the emerging story of ecotherapy (healing with nature) for their Reveley Interdisciplinary Fellows course: Communicating Environmental Science with Documentary Film. They are working in conjunction with the Parks Research Lab (PRL) to create the documentary. PRL initiatives aim to increase understanding of the contribution of greenspace to public health and well-being and encourage more nature contact, with a focus on the William and Mary campus the community of the Greater Williamsburg Area. Last April Ibes and Stadelmann screened a 8 minute trailer for Provost Halleran, Vice-Provost Grover and Annie Davis, Executive Director, Corporate and Foundation Relations, which was well received.

This spring semester Ibes and Stadelmann have been co-teaching their collaborative course for the first time where their students have been logging, transcribing and editing 11 hours footage filmed at two ecotherapy workshop retreats last summer. The students are also producing individual film sequences and soundtracks as additional components for their documentary film.

Over the summer, I will be working on editing the documentary; specifically, previously captured interviews with environmental professionals. I will also be creating an audio reference library as well as a video B-roll library. Both audio and video aim to capture man made and natural environments. Animated titles and sequences will be created to complement the footage.

The final documentary film will hopefully create a big impact for both the (ENSP) Environmental Science and Policy and (FMST) Film and Media Studies programs with the development of cross-disciplinary faculty and student film production at The College. Ibes and Stadelmann also hope to enter the film into local environmental film festivals such as the D.C. and Richmond Environmental Film Festival which should help raise the creative film production profile of FMST at the College.