In case you missed it, there some great consilient articles on The Science of Cinema by Greg Miller (although, not that Greg Miller, of Miller’s Compendium of Timeless Tools For The Modern Writer fame — but, yet another famous Greg Miller) in WIRED.com:

The backstory: In 2014 at the AMPAS (i.e., the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the place that hands out The Oscars, where that Australian movie, Mad Max: Fury Road* won a lot of awards… Mad Max (1980) is a top 20 RoI movie) there was an event called MOVIES IN YOUR BRAIN – THE SCIENCE OF CINEMATIC PERCEPTION… and, Greg Miller wrote some excellent articles from it.

i.e. The AMPAS event: http://www.oscars.org/events/movies-your-brain-science-cinematic-perception

Here are the relevant articles, by Greg Miller at WIRED.com, from: http://www.wired.com/tag/cinema-science/

  • Data From a Century of Cinema Reveals How Movies Have Evolved

    James Cutting, a psychologist at Cornell University has been studying the evolution of cinema over the past century. He’s identified several ways in which movies…

  • Cinematic Cuts Exploit How Your Brain Edits What You See

    It’s amazing that film editing works, because it’s so disruptive to the visual information coming into the brain, says Jeffrey Zacks, a neuroscientist at Washington…

  • How Movies Trick Your Brain Into Empathizing With Characters

    There’s a scene near the end of Black Swan, where Nina finally loses her grip on reality. And when people watch it, their brain activity…

    For Filmmakers, Higher Frame Rates Pose Opportunities—And Challenges

    The next generation of technology is presenting new opportunities—and new challenges—for film makers, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has launched a…

  • How Movies Synchronize the Brains of an Audience

    When people watch a movie together their brain activity is, to a remarkable degree, synchronized. It’s a slightly creepy thought. It’s also a testament to…

  • How Movies Manipulate Your Brain to Keep You Entertained

    At a recent event hosted by the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, neuroscientists and cognitive psychologists got together with film makers to discuss…

See all of the above (excellent) articles online, at: http://www.wired.com/tag/cinema-science/

And see also: Cinemetrics Articles

And see: StoryAlity #71C – CineMetrics



And see consilient film theorist David Bordwell’s excellent chapters in Evolution, Literature and Film: A Reader (2010).

Evolution, Literature and Film: A Reader (eds: Boyd, Carroll, Gottschall, 2010)

Evolution, Literature and Film: A Reader (eds: Boyd, Carroll, Gottschall, 2010)

e.g. What snakes, eagles, and rhesus macaques can teach us (2008) / David Bordwell

Bordwell's model of perception in ELF: A Reader (2010) p 274

Bordwell’s model of perception in Evolution, Literature and Film: A Reader (2010) p 274

Also – another great book is:

Great FLicks: Scientific Studies of Cinematic Creativity and Aesthetics (Simonton 2011)

Great Flicks: Scientific Studies of Cinematic Creativity and Aesthetics (DK Simonton 2011)

See also: Bordwell, D. (2012). The Viewer’s Share: Models of Mind in Explaining Film  from http://www.davidbordwell.net/essays/viewersshare.php where Bordwell notes:

`Academics praise interdisciplinarity, of the cooperation of the humanities and the sciences. Too often, though, that cooperation involves only interpretations. Humanists join with social scientists in producing readings but not explanations. The engagement of film studies with empirical psychology and cognitive science over the last three decades has come closer to providing the sort of “consilience” that Edward O. Wilson proposed: unified explanations that bring art, humanistic inquiry, and scientific inquiry together (Wilson 1998). Film researchers invoke naturalistic models and findings from psychology in order to understand more fully how cinema works, and works with our minds.’

(Bordwell 2012, online)

Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (E O Wilson 1998)

Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge (E O Wilson 1998)

And – for more detail on the evolutionary systems (or, complexity) view of narrative and bioculture in general, see, this book chapter:

StoryAlity #132The holon/parton structure of the Meme, the unit of culture – and the narreme, or unit of story – book chapter (Velikovsky 2016)

And for a great consilience & creativity & evolution reading list, see:

StoryAlity #71On Consilience in the Arts / Humanities / Communication

Comments, always welcome.


JT Velikovsky

High-RoI Story/Screenplay/Movie and Transmedia Researcher

The above is (mostly) an adapted excerpt, from my doctoral thesis: “Communication, Creativity and Consilience in Cinema”. It is presented here for the benefit of fellow screenwriting, filmmaking and creativity researchers. For more, see https://aftrs.academia.edu/JTVelikovsky

JT Velikovsky is also a produced feature film screenwriter and million-selling transmedia writer-director-producer. He has been a professional story analyst for major film studios, film funding organizations, and for the national writer’s guild. For more see: http://on-writering.blogspot.com/



Velikovsky, J. T. (2016). `The Holon/Parton Theory of the Unit of Culture (or the Meme, and Narreme): In Science, Media, Entertainment and the Arts.‘ In A. Connor & S. Marks (Eds.), Creative Technologies for Multidisciplinary Applications. New York: IGI Global.

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