MacGillivray Freeman Films is the world’s most prolific independent producer of giant screen films. This Laguna Beach California company is creator of the top two box office hits for the giant screen industry: To Fly! (1976) and Everest (1998). The company also produced the popular The Living Sea, nominated for an Academy Award in 1995, and the box office success Dolphins (2000).

Greg MacGillivray started the company with Jim Freeman, whom he met in the 1960’s when both were focusing their lens on the art and sport of surfing. Together they produced several short films and gained critical success as they ventured into commercials, corporate promotional pieces and Hollywood motion pictures. Jim Freeman’s photography for the documentary Sentinels of Silence helped the film win two Academy Awards® for Best Documentary Short and Best Live Action Short in 1971, and the team’s camera work for Jonathan Livingston Seagull helped the film receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Cinematography in 1973. The Towering Inferno, for which they supplied aerial photography, received a 1974 Oscar in cinematography and was that year’s highest grossing motion picture.

The team’s aerial expertise prompted an offer from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum to produce the bicentennial film for the museum’s new IMAX® theatre, the first of its kind in the United States. Just two days before the 1976 premiere of their film To Fly!, Freeman died in a helicopter accident in California.

In tribute to Freeman’s talents and friendship, MacGillivray retained their company name. Twenty years later, To Fly! was selected by the Librarian of Congress to be preserved in the National Film Registry as one of the most important films in 100 years of American filmmaking history.

MacGillivray and his company are responsible for several technical innovations for the IMAX® format, including developing special cameras, mounts and photographic techniques. Each adds to the visceral experience unique to this format. The company has mounted the giant cameras on a jet dragster, a whitewater kayak, a downhill ski racer, the Blue Angels jet aircraft, and inside the P-3, a research plane that flies into hurricanes. The filmmakers even placed their camera directly in the path of an avalanche to achieve a shot with maximum impact.

In addition to its film production and camera divisions, MacGillivray Freeman Films operates its own Distribution Company that develops marketing and educational materials for each of its films. Journey into Amazing Caves marks MacGillivray Freeman Films’ 25th large format film release.

  Our Mission Statement:

MacGillivray Freeman Films produces giant screen motion pictures to entertain, enlighten and inspire people of all ages. Using the grandeur of the large format medium, we seek to create immersive, cinematic adventures of the highest artistic, technical and educational caliber. Our films celebrate nature, the challenges of exploration, the excitement of scientific discovery and the joy of human achievement. In addition to giving audiences uncommon experiences in extraordinary locales, many of our films focus on the splendor and fragility of the world’s oceans and its inhabitants. We hope the natural world, seen on the giant screen, inspires reverence and stirs a passion for preserving it.

MacGillivray Freeman Films extends each film’s learning experience with educational materials designed for students, teachers and families. Books, study guides, videos, speaker tours, websites and museum exhibits are created by an array of talented educators, writers and scientists. Producing both innovative educational tools and exciting, high-quality cinematic experiences continues to inspire the direction of our company, a path enjoyed for the last 25 years.