Greece: Secrets of the PastGreece: Secrets of the PastGreece: Secrets of the PastGreece: Secrets of the PastGreece: Secrets of the Past
Greece: Secrets of the PastAbout Ancient GreeceGreece: Secrets of the PastAbout The IMAX FilmGreece: Secrets of the PastRelated TopicsGreece: Secrets of the PastFor TeachersGreece: Secrets of the Past
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Introduction Family FunLinks Credits
The Filmmakers
Veteran film producer Greg MacGillivray explains shot set-up to vulcanologist.
Veteran film producer Greg MacGillivray explains shot set-up to volcanologist.
Courtesy MacGillivray Freeman Films

Greg MacGillivray – Heading up the film crew was Greg MacGillivray, owner and co-founder of MacGillivray Freeman Films. (Jim Freeman died in a helicopter accident some years ago.) As a cinematographer, Greg has shot more 70mm film than anyone in cinema history - more than two million feet - and he has directed and produced many of the most successful large format films. In 2002, the Giant Screen Theater Association honoured MacGillivray as one of the five most successful contributors to the success of the large format industry over the last twenty-five years.

MacGillivray also worked in Hollywood, directing and photographing for Stanley Kubrick, and filming for the Academy Award®-nominated Jonathan Livingston Seagull and the Oscar-winning Sentinels of Silence. MacGillivray is also well-known in the industry for his artistic and technical innovations for the giant film format. He has initiated the development of three cameras for the IMAX format – the high-speed (slow-motion) camera, the industry's first lightweight camera, and the "all-weather" camera used during filming on Mount Everest.

The whitewashed houses and the sheer cliffs of the island of Santorini.
The whitewashed houses and the sheer cliffs of the island of Santorini.
Courtesy MacGillivray Freeman Films

As Greg puts it, “ My own personal romance with Greece actually began about 30 years ago when I was shooting a movie for Twentieth Century Fox there and I first visited the island of Santorini. I fell madly in love. It was one of the most stunning places I'd seen in all my travels around the world. There was such beautiful architecture with these striking blue-and-white homes literally carved into the sides of the volcanic caldera, stunning vertical cliffs, amazing ocean vistas and also a truly unique culture. The mix of this beauty, humanity and the buried wonders from the past being discovered by archeologists there was simply overwhelming and it was then that I first knew I wanted to make a movie about Greece. It stayed on my list of future film subjects for years until I saw the opportunity to make it come true.”

Alec Lorimore- (Producer) has over 20 years experience in giant screen, 70 MM formats in addition to an extensive screenwriting career with the major Hollywood studios. His list of very successful productions includes Everest, Dolphins, The Living Sea, Top Speed, Coral Reef Adventure, Journey into Amazing Cavesand At Sea, for which he was awarded the prestigious Alfred Thayer Mahan Award for Literary Achievement. A graduate in Cinema from the University of Southern California, Lorimore resides in Newport Beach, California.

Steve Judson- (Writer, Editor) is arguably the most experienced editor in the large format field having worked in that capacity on all but two of MacGillivray Freeman's extensive list of productions. In addition, he has served as a writer, director and script consultant on a number of projects. Prior to joining the MacGillivray Freeman team, Judson worked as a writer/director/editor at ABC and Universal Studios. He is a graduate of Yale University and holds an M.A. from the USC cinema school.

Jon Boorstin- (Writer) is a novelist, and a writer and producer for films and television. He has written screenplays for, among others, Universal Studios, MGM, HBO, ABC, and CBS and has been a writer-producer for both NBC and Disney. Boorstin was educated at Harvard University and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He studied photography at the Illinois Institute of Technology and film on a post-graduate scholarship at the California Institute for the Arts.

Nia Vardolis - (Narrator) is best known as the star of the highest grossing independent feature film in history, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Discovered by Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson, who expressed interest in producing a film based on her original screenplay, Vardalos went on to star in the leading role. She garnered an Academy Award® nomination for Best Original Screenplay and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Motion Picture. She also received an Independent Spirit Award for Best Debut Appearance, a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast and a Writers Guild Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. One of the most successful romantic comedies of recent times, the film also won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Comedy Motion Picture.

Dolly shot of ground penetrating radar in action.
Dolly shot of ground penetrating radar in action.
Courtesy MacGillivray Freeman Films

Brad Ohlund- (Director of Photography) has worked in the large format industry for 25 years and his credits with MacGillivray Freeman include Dolphins, Adventures in Wild California, Journey into Amazing Caves, Coral Reef Adventure and Mystery of the Nile. After attending Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, California Ohlund began his career with the classic film To Fly. His filming assignments have included filming underwater reefs in the South Pacific, indigenous tribes in New Guinea and Borneo, as well as hurricane, blizzard, tornado and other environmental extremes around the globe. He was a key member of the MacGillivray Freeman Films Everest expedition in 1996.

Modern large format aerial photography relies primarily on helicopters
Modern large format aerial photography relies primarily on helicopters.
Courtesy MacGillivray Freeman Films

Ron Goodman- (Aerial Cameraman), a native of Canada, specializes exclusively in gyro-stabilized cinematography and has done so for the last 30 years. His film credits include The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Superman- the Movie, Superman II and III, Santa Claus, the Movie, the Passanger, City Slickers, Grand Canyon, and Far and Away. In addition to being an active cameraman, Ron is the president of SpaceCam Systems, Inc., holds various patents relating to aerial cinematography technology and has been the recipient of numous accocales and awards including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences plaque for Scientific and Engineering achievement.

Steve Wood- (Composer) has been scoring films for MacGillivray Freeman Films for more than 30 years beginning with the 1975 cult classic Five Summer Stories. He worked with Sting on both The Living Sea and Dolphins and with George Harrison on Everest. Wood was Kenny Loggins' musical director for nine years and has written many songs with Loggins including “If You Believe” and has played with artists such as The Pointer Sisters, David Crosby and Graham Nash. He has a great interest in and knowledge of diverse ethnic music including Indonesian, Caribbean, Greek, Chinese, Tibetan and Irish styles.

Matte World Digital- (VFX) has worked with some of the most highly acclaimed directors of the current era to put their ideas on the screen. The company designs and produces digital visual effects for films, television, commercials and interactive projects by using the latest techniques in digital compositing and computer graphics. Among the company's many clients have been Disney, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures, 20th Century Fox, Castle Rock Entertainment, Warner Brothers and Amblin Entertainment. Their work can be seen in such Hollywood films as Clear and Present Danger, Batman Returns and Martin Scorsese's Casino as well as in a wide range of commercials and music videos.

Sassoon Film Design - (VFX) is a Santa Monica-based graphic design company specializing in visual effects for feature films, television, 3D IMAX, as well as special venue projects. The company most recently completed visual effects work on the critically acclaimed IMAX& theatre film Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D. Other Sassoon Film Design credits include Spartan, DeLovely, Roar: Lions of the Kalahari (IMAX format), Forces of Nature (IMAX format), Sesame Street 4D (for Universal Studios Osaka), Discovery Channel's Unsolved Histories, Back to the Future: The Ride, and The West Wing. Among the company's clients are Disney, Paramount, IMAX Corporation and Dreamworks SKG.