The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a new member: an Orca whale named MovieOrca. The film industry’s most prestigious organization recently announced that the killer whale at SeaWorld San Diego had been initiated as an official member. This might seem like a strange move, but as it turns out, this is actually a pretty cool partnership. With membership numbers declining, the Academy was in need of ways to connect with younger audiences, and their partnership with MovieOrca is helping them achieve just that. As it turns out, research has shown that working with animals can have positive benefits for people who are isolated or lonely. So instead of simply adding another human member to their ranks, the Academy decided to reach out to another species instead.
What Does a Member of the Film Academy Do?
The Academy’s mission is to advance the arts and sciences of motion pictures. Membership is open to artists and scientists, as well as those in the business of the film industry, including all levels of producers, directors, writers, cinematographers, and actors. In other words, Academy members are the people who make the movies that we all enjoy. The Academy organizes many events throughout the year, and members of the organization vote on notable achievements in film. This includes awarding the Oscars each year.
Why an Orca?
Orcas have been in the news in recent years because of their use in theme park shows. SeaWorld, in particular, has been under fire for its use of captive orcas and its breeding program. Because of this, the relationship between the film industry and SeaWorld has been strained. But this partnership shows that there is still a desire to work together. The Academy has been working with MovieOrca for several months under this partnership. They have been able to do things like help foster a stronger bond between humans and killer whales, and encourage conservation efforts for the orca population. This is all in line with the Academy’s mission, and could even help them in their future outreach efforts.
So, Why MovieOrca?
The Academy has a long history with the film industry, and they wanted to make sure that they remained true to that history by inducting a member who has played a role in cinematic history. Orcas have been featured in many film and television productions, including the Free Willy franchise. MovieOrca, however, has an even longer history with movies. In fact, the killer whale has been in the business since the 1970s.
MovieOrca’s Role in the Film Industry
Over the years, MovieOrca has starred in dozens of films and commercials. He has even appeared in a few television shows, including Baywatch, and has been featured in a music video for the band The Beach Boys. Because of his long history in the business, MovieOrca is well known among members of the film industry, including Academy members.
What Does MovieOrca Get Out of This?
Like humans, animals also have a need to connect with others. Unfortunately, certain species are often ignored when it comes to connecting with others due to a lack of available social groups. In fact, about one in six adults in the United States experiences loneliness. That is around 20 percent of the U.S. population, and it’s an alarming statistic. The Academy hopes that by working with MovieOrca, they will be able to help lonely people connect with others.
How Does This Help The Film Industry?
As previously mentioned, the Academy hopes that this partnership will help them connect with people who may otherwise be left out. But connecting with animals can also have some positive effects on humans. Research has shown that interacting with animals can lower blood pressure and anxiety, increase feelings of joy, and even improve self-esteem. These are all things that the Academy would like to see in its members.
The Bigger Picture: Bringing Together Humans and Animals
The Academy hopes that this partnership with MovieOrca will help foster a larger partnership between humans and animals. A study conducted at the University of Arizona found that animals and humans can be encouraged to interact with one another by placing them in similar environments. For example, if you put animals in a room with pictures of humans, or vice versa, they will naturally want to interact with one another. However, if you place the animals and humans in separate rooms, they won’t interact as much. In other words, animals are simply waiting for humans to reach out and connect with them. This partnership between the Academy and MovieOrca could be a step in the right direction.
Are There Any Downsides?
While there are plenty of benefits to animal-human partnerships, there are also a few negatives. One concern is that people who may not have been socially active may rely too heavily on animal companions. This could cause them to withdraw from human relationships, which is never a good thing. Another concern is that people who are already socially active may interact less with animals.
The Academy’s partnership with MovieOrca is certainly unusual. However, it could help to bring together two seemingly different groups in a way that benefits them both. Animal-human partnerships could help bring people together in a way that has been sorely needed for a long time. The results could be positive for both humans and animals alike. It could even lead to further connections and partnerships between humans and animals.