The filmmaker of the classic surf film Five Summer Stories and pioneer of the IMAX® filmmaking shares stories from his adventurous life and groundbreaking career, in Hollywood and beyond
(Laguna Beach, CA – November 2, 2022) – Greg MacGillivray has led a life like no other, and for the first time, he’s telling his story. MacGillivray Freeman Films and Earth Aware Editions are proud to announce the publication of Greg MacGillivray’s illustrated memoir, FIVE HUNDRED SUMMER STORIES (Earth Aware Editions/Simon & Schuster; Nov. 15, 2022), a fascinating account of MacGillivray’s journey as an artist, a self-made filmmaker and an entrepreneur at the head of MacGillivray Freeman Films, the most successful documentary production company in history — and the first to reach the benchmark of $1 billion in worldwide ticket sales.
FIVE HUNDRED SUMMER STORIES also reflects MacGillivray’s unique place in filmmaking history, first as a Southern California surfer kid who made his first film at age 13 and who later revolutionized surf films in the 1970s with the classic Five Summer Stories (the book’a title is a riff on this beloved surf film), to his years in Hollywood working with such celebrated legends as Stanley Kubrick on The Shining and on films such as Big Wednesday, The Towering Inferno, Blade Runner, Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Koyaanisqatsi, to his work pioneering 70mm IMAX filmmaking, creating some of the most memorable, groundbreaking IMAX cinematography and many of the most celebrated and enduring educational giant-screen films, including Everest, the most successful IMAX documentary of all time. There are stories of almost dying in New Guinea, flying into eyes of hurricanes, the perils of shooting in the USSR, and how making Everest changed his life.
The book is also a story about MacGillivray’s deep commitment to family, to ocean conservation, and to raising awareness about the importance of protecting our natural world.
“I have been incredibly fortunate to have turned my passion for filmmaking into a lifelong career, and my hope is that FIVE HUNDRED SUMMER STORIES has something for everyone—surfers, Hollywood aficionados, business entrepreneurs, film students and devoted fans of documentaries and giant-screen IMAX films,” said Greg MacGillivray. “It has been an honor to make films that inspire people around the world with the miraculous beauty of our planet.’”
Illustrated with more than 500 photographs and filmmaking artifacts from MacGillivray’s extensive archive, as well as story contributions by legendary surfers Gerry Lopez, Corky Carroll and Bill Hamilton, and filmmakers Stephen Judson, Howard Hall and Brad Ohlund, FIVE HUNDRED SUMMER STORIES also features 40 QR codes linked to exclusive behind-the-scenes video content, film clips, interviews and never-before-seen footage, giving even more depth and perspective to this amazing journey.
A dedicated environmentalist, MacGillivray is donating his book proceeds to the non-profit ocean conservation groups Surfrider Foundation, Oceana, and One World One Ocean.
More About Greg MacGillivray
Greg MacGillivray is one of the most prolific and successful documentary filmmakers of all time, with more than 60 films to his credit. In the 1960s, he partnered with Jim Freeman to form MacGillivray Freeman Films and together they made a series of surfing films, including their classic Five Summer Stories, before going on to work in Hollywood as aerial cinematography specialists. After Jim’s untimely death in 1976 on the eve of the premiere of To Fly!, their first IMAX documentary together, Greg devoted his career to making giant-screen documentaries and has since shot more 70mm film than anyone in cinema history. Greg has received two Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary Short Subject for The Living Sea and Dolphins and has three films inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame. MacGillivray’s films are known for their artistry and celebration of science and the natural world.