Why Science in Fiction?
Science – and its more tangible counterpart, technology – play one of the most important roles in society today. There’s no need to look any further than the front page of a newspaper to realise that most of the pressing issues of our time are linked in one way or another back to science and tech – both in cause and frequently in solution.
Many of the most compelling stories linked to our scien-technological existence are told through the genre of science-fiction. But science is everywhere, and it’s current. So while we love Star Wars, Blade Runner, and Interstellar, we also realise that science can play a part in stories rooted in the here and now, and even in the past.
However, filmmakers often have little exposure to scientists and scientific experts in order to understand how science can play a role in their work. We’re not talking here about teaching science; we’re talking about using it in your stories to maximum and most realistic effect. And while people sometimes think that science is too “complicated” or “esoteric” for dramatic film, remember that the scientific endeavour – exploration – is one of the oldest stories of humankind and human nature.
When James Cameron recreated the Titanic, he brought in experts on everything from silverware to architecture. It wasn’t because we were supposed to notice the silverware, or because it really mattered in an explicit way to the story. It’s because he was searching for authenticity in every element. Incorporating science in a screenplay is much the same – it’s not about being “correct”, it’s about achieving authenticity and using that part of your story world to its maximum potential.
The Geneva International Science in Fiction Screenplay Award is about giving screenwriters the incentive, and the access, to use science in their stories to its fullest effect. Be it in sci-fi, romance, or historical drama, science can play an important role and film, and we want to provide the opportunity for you to show us how.