Helping Hollywood drive climate action

Taking climate-friendly actions is part of what it means to be alive right now. Our food, our homes, our cars, our conversations — the changing climate is shaping our lives. And we need to see this reality reflected on screen to inspire audiences and drive action. That’s where Hollywood comes in!

Telling Climate-Friendly Stories

We get it — “climate” is a big word. But, climate in storytelling is more than just epic climate sagas or eco-docs. Any story can be a climate-friendly story, because climate-friendly actions can fit into any genre or format in big ways or small.

So what is climate-friendly action? Rare has identified the highest-impact climate actions that people can adopt to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions significantly.

TV remote control in the foreground, Video on demand screen in the blurry background, streaming

Using the Science of Human Behavior to Inspire Climate Action

Behavioral science is an incredibly powerful tool to inspire positive climate action. Rare’s Entertainment Lab provides the entertainment industry with behavioral insights and scientific best practices to help creatives tell stories that reflect our world and drive change for our planet.

After all, behavioral science not only adds powerful creative depth to the stories we tell, but it can help ensure savvy messaging in unobtrusive yet effective ways.

Hollywood Creates Cultural Norms

The entertainment industry can shift our culture. Hollywood made designated drivers a cultural norm and helped reduce alcohol-related traffic fatalities by 30%. Joe Biden cited the American sitcom, “Will & Grace” in his support for same-sex marriage. Just imagine what Hollywood could do for climate action!

Shifting Our Climate Culture

Our mission is to provide specific and highly effective behavioral levers and tactics to the entertainment industry, helping creatives tell stories that create new cultural norms and drive change for our planet right now.

Audience voting for the best pitch in the Behavior Centered Design Challenge.
Photo by Taylor Mickal.

Rare’s Entertainment Lab provides support including:

  • Workshops and events 
  • Story consultation 
  • Resources, tip sheets, and behavioral science guidelines
  • Audience surveys and public opinion research
  • Impact measurement and evaluation
  • Behavioral research to improve climate communication
  • Behavioral insights for policy design and choice architecture

…And more. We are excited to find new and innovative ways to work with our partners.

About Our Team

Ellis Watamanuk is a media impact producer and strategist working at the intersection of storytelling and climate action. He’s worked on campaigns for Blackfish, Paris to Pittsburgh, Other Side of the Hill, and more. In addition to his work in climate, he has led impact campaigns for films like Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, We the Animals, and A Thousand Cuts, and distributed films including The Miseducation of Cameron Post. As the Sr. Director of Entertainment at Rare, he brings the organization’s behavioral science expertise to the entertainment industry, leveraging the power of storytelling to create new cultural norms around climate.

Anirudh Tiwathia is a behavioral scientist and public policy specialist who works on pathways to encourage climate action. At Rare’s Center for Behavior & the Environment, Anirudh focuses on the use of mass-media and entertainment to influence climate beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors. In previous work, he examined the psychological underpinnings of liberal democracy and the antecedents of voluntary compliance. Anirudh has also worked for tech start-ups and in intergovernmental organizations like UNDP and UNICEF. He holds an MBA and PhD (Behavioral Policy) from the Booth School of Business; an MA (Public Policy) and a PhD (Cognitive Psychology) from the University of Chicago; and a BA from Vassar College.


Stay Connected

To learn more and keep up with Rare’s work with Hollywood, please get in touch.

Past Work

Stories for Our Planet

With partners Sony Pictures Animation and Sony Pictures Entertainment, we hosted a workshop for storytellers on incorporating plant-rich diets in narratives effectively and creatively.

Action Platforms

We have advised on climate action platforms for Netflix titles, including Breaking Boundaries and Don’t Look Up, Our Great National Parks, and Down to Earth with Zac Efron: Down Under.

Climate Storytelling Playbook

Rare partnered on Good Energy: A Playbook for Screenwriting in the Age of Climate Change, a first-of-it-kind interactive resource for writers and creatives in Hollywood to learn and explore how to incorporate climate into their stories. Rare supported the Solutions on Screen section and penned How Minds Change On-Screen and At Home.

Measurement and Evaluation

We have worked with media partners to design rigorous studies that can quantify the impact of individual content (e.g., a film) on the climate beliefs and attitudes of audiences at home. We are also developing standardized impact evaluation tools and methods for wider use across the industry.

Hollywood Climate Summit

Rare hosted the How Minds Change Workshop at the 2022 Hollywood Climate Summit.