Inspire Friday Issue No. 53

Singing whales in Hawaii, a bird’s eye view of nest-building, baby squids head to space, reasons to visit the 10 least-visited national parks, and more…

Singing humpbacks and a daring rescue. This week we go on location to Hawaii where the MFF film crew is filming humpback whales singing their haunting songs for Humpback Whales (now streaming on Vimeo On Demand.)  The action gets intense when the filmmakers find a whale tangled in fishing gear.  Ed Lyman, NOAA’s whale rescue expert, swoops in to save the day with a dramatic sea rescue. Watch here.

Stepping inside the colorful world of fruit. Animator Kevin Parry gives us an oh-so-satisfying look at the insides of kiwis, mangoes, and other tropical fruit in his clever timelapse film titled simply Hidden Patterns Inside Tropical Fruit. Warning: may cause fruit cravings. Watch here.

A bird’s eye view of, well, building a bird’s nest. In this fascinating short timelapse film, we watch a mama Blue Tit build a safe home for her precious little egg.  What we learn is that this tiny bird is probably a better interior designer than most of us will ever be. A mama’s work is never done.  Watch here.

Baby squids take a trip to space. In an effort to better understand the effect space travel has on microbiomes, NASA sent 128 newly hatched Hawaiian bobtail squid to the International Space Station. The baby cephalopods will be used in an UMAMI study (Understanding of Microgravity on Animal-Microbe Interactions) that will help researchers better predict how humans can stay healthier for longer periods of time in space. Read more.

Reasons to visit the 10 least-visited U.S. National Parks. Nature lovers, listen up, we’ve stumbled across a list from the Matador Network of national parks that may take some extra effort to get to, but are totally worth the trip. From Alaska to American Samoa, and plenty in between, these parks will leave you with plenty to see and Insta-worthy backdrops. Read more


Every week, MFF president Shaun MacGillivray shares what is inspiring him now, his favorite book recommendations, podcasts, articles, short films, docs, quotes, trends, innovative companies, people, and entrepreneurial stories.

A TV show that inspires positivity. “The multi-award-winning show Ted Lasso on Apple TV featuring Jason Sudeikis is so good! I have been looking for funny shows in the model of Seinfeld, Friends, and Modern Family and this show is my new favorite.  Ted is so positive, and the show makes you feel, and want to act, more positively.” Watch here.

And for further inspiring reading recommendations…
Visit Shaun’s “Never Stop Learning” reading list.


For this week’s “From the Archives,” we invited MFF’s very own Meghan MacGillivray to contribute a photo and memory from her many years growing up on location as the daughter of filmmakers Greg and Barbara MacGillivray. Meghan is now the production manager of MFF’s film projects.

Growing up a MacGillivray. “My family and I spent a lot of time in Indonesia when I was young because my dad was commissioned by the Indonesian Government to create three films that would promote a better understanding of the Indonesian culture. In this photos, my brother Shaun and I are on location for Indonesia, Indah III, the conclusion to Dance of Life and Island Child. The film celebrates the spirit of the Indonesian people, something that Shaun and I were able to witness firsthand as we spent time in the country as young children. With every new film project, we delighted in meeting kids from new cultures and loved spending time together as a family in each new location. Of course, we were also very handy as slate holders and cheap extras as well! ” — Meghan MacGillivray

Coming soon!
Greg MacGillivray’s memoir, Five Hundred Summer Stories, will be released next year. A fascinating story chronicling Greg’s journey as an artist, self-made filmmaker, entrepreneur, father and conservationist. We’ll keep you posted!

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