Christina Choate has an M.F.A. in Science and Natural History Filmmaking from Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana and a B.S. in Marine Biology from University of California, Santa Cruz. She makes short science films with the goal of broadening people’s minds about evolution and large timescales, as well as the historical connections between humans and the environment. She hopes to continue her exploration of the globe and make movies that will excite and educate people about the natural world, depicting it in all its fascinating details.
As a filmmaker, my goal is to create films that show the world in three distinct ways:
1. Highlight the intricate and beautiful details of nature in an unobtrusive manner
2. Examine the interconnections between humans and the environment throughout history
3. Recognize the power of evolution in the ongoing transformation of life
I am interested in filming stories that present aspects of science to a wide audience, including individual research topics, scientific exploration and direct observations in the field and in the lab.
Movies about the minute and wonderfully simple details of an animal’s life, with unimposing styles, can bring out the essence of a creature’s life by following its activities. Often people will gain more interest in other creatures from simple observation, gathering their own opinions and forming their own questions. Such films nourish personal connections with nature and make people curious about the biological mechanisms that have given rise to the animals in front of them.
Stepping beyond observation, I want to create films that show the interconnectedness of human and natural history. I want to focus on the history in natural history and show, for example, that notions such as ‘native species’ can become arbitrary when looked at over longer periods of time. Humanity has at times served as an inadvertent, yet not necessarily harmful, ecological force and this can provide remarkable stories.
My most challenging goal is to show evolution’s fundamental role in shaping the natural world and the wonderfully simple process of natural selection. It is a topic of great controversy, and even its definition is often misunderstood. The lack of attention given to evolution at many levels of education has left much of the world empty-handed. As evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky said, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” Film has a way of explaining issues that span large timescales in ways that text alone cannot.
I am always looking for new collaborations, so if you are interested in making science films please contact me.