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The Environmental and Wildlife Filmmaking concentration is based on the conviction that films and new media are essential educational and policy tools in the struggle to protect the environment and wildlife. Students produce media that focus attention on the need to conserve the environment in a way that is effective as well as ethically sound, educationally powerful, and entertaining. With the right combination of creativity, enthusiasm, knowledge, skills, and a love of the natural world, today's students will becometomorrow'senvironmental stewards. The Environmental and Wildlife Filmmaking concentration trains filmmakers and multimedia producers to raise awareness and empower action through the innovative use of media, and to produce films, new media, and/or games that effectively strengthen the global constituency for conservation.

Degree and Course Requirements

FAQs for Environmental and Wildlife Filmmaking Concentration

What types of students would be interested in this concentration?

If you are interested in the sustainability of the natural world and related issues, like climate disruption, wildlife, environmental justice, overconsumption, biodiversity loss, animal cruelty, farming, and other topics like these, then you should choose the EWF concentration.

We are seeking students who have a calling, not just those who want a job—students who are cause-driven, science-based, creative, determined, tenacious, hardworking, ethical, collaborative, highly professional, and who have outstanding leadership qualities. We are looking for students who are deeply concerned about the world we are leaving future generations, and who want to have a tangible and positive impact on the future of the planet.

Students who go through our program tend to find fulfilling jobs as storytellers, producers, directors, editors, cinematographers, communicators, educators, marketers, distributors, and outreach specialists in film companies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, broadcasting companies, and other organizations concerned with conservation and the health and well-being of our planet.

Whatever your background—even if you have never worked in a related field—our goal is to turn you into a professional filmmaker. We warmly welcome a diversity of previous trainings.

Students will likely be interested in the EWF concentration if they see possibilities for themselves in the programs and projects of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, an integral part of the School of Communication.

What type of work do students make in this concentration?

Students in the EWF concentration work on documentaries of all kinds (short, long, web series, IMAX films, PSAs, experimental, advocacy, interactive, comedic, etc.), as well as narrative films with environmental messages, and across all media platforms: social media, mixed media, new media, and beyond.

Students have made all kinds of products and are only limited by their imaginations and creativity. Topics are inexhaustible and include wildlife of all types from ants to zebras, ecological systems of all varieties from the Arctic to tropical wetlands, and social issues of every description from climate disruption to the impact of war or social policy on the environment.

Whether it is the need for children to spend more time outdoors, for politicians to focus on the wellbeing of future generations, or for people to change their behavior so we reverse the trend of damaging the Earth, the issues to be explored are urgent, enduring, and fascinating.

What kinds of internships can students have?

Obtaining internships is incredibly important. Students can potentially get internships at a wide variety of organizations, including:

  • Film companies, like Sirens, Half Yard Productions, Biscuit Factory, and Big Fish
  • Nonprofit and advocacy organizations, like Conservation International, Sierra Club, and World Wildlife Fund
  • Government agencies, like NOAA, NPS, and EPA; and
  • Broadcasting companies, like National Geographic, Discovery, PBS, and NBC.

What kinds of jobs can students seek upon graduation?

Possible jobs following graduation include producing, directing, editing, writing, and shooting. Some students start their own for-profit or nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving particular clients or causes.

Our graduate students go on to careers at networks like Discovery and National Geographic, at film companies like JWM and Story House, at nonprofits like the National Wildlife Federation and the National Audubon Society, and at federal agencies like the Department of Interior and NASA.

The issues they work on include everything from over-consumption, agriculture, shark conservation, coral reefs, endangered species, rainforests, waste dumping, recycling, sustainability, ocean acidification, plastic waste, climate disruption, over-population, animal rights, environmental justice, and a huge array of other important topics. Our students and graduates are already working to spread the word about the importance of protecting the natural world on which we all depend. Join us!