Have you ever wondered how a beautiful film is made or wanted to learn more about anti-nuclear activism or the lives of pelicans? Then, listen to my conversation with documentary filmmaker Judy Irving.
Judy is a Sundance and Emmy award-winning filmmaker. Her groundbreaking film, Dark Circle, exposes the links between nuclear power and weapons. Judy’s more recent work focuses on nature and her love of birds. The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill is a love story about a homeless street musician’s connection with a flock of wild parrots. Pelican Dreams is about California brown pelicans. Judy is currently working on a film about swimming in San Francisco Bay.
What You Will Hear/Learn/Discover
[3:56] Judy talks about the early days of her career and how she transitioned to more nature-based documentaries.
[12:16] Judy explains why she lets the visual footage lead when editing her documentaries.
[18:36] Judy responds to the question, “What makes you love birds so much?”
[22:27] Mag and Judy discuss the patience bird watching requires.
[24:26] Judy talks about how she became a swimmer.
[30:27] Judy explains how swimming is a spiritual thing for her and discusses her upcoming film, Cold Refuge.
[36:46] Judy responds to the question, “What drives you and keeps you up at night?”
[46:41] We learn about Judy’s lifelong habit of journaling.
“My favorite thing about filming animals and landscapes in nature is that you kind of have to become one with all of it before you can adequately represent it on film. You can’t just race in and be like a Hollywood film crew or something. You really have to sit with it.”
“You know how they say that all of the atoms in our bodies are recycled from something else. I feel like, I swear to God, I feel like I used to be a bird. Because I feel like I know what it’s like to fly. I’ve had flying dreams. And, so I think some of my atoms might have been inside birds in the past.”
“[On swimming] It’s addictive in the sense that you never come out of the bay feeling bad, or feeling depressed, or feeling melancholy. You can go in there feeling all those things, but that connection and that full immersion in nature does something to the soul.”
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