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Filmmaker Louie Psihoyos On Creating Weapons of Mass Instruction To Thrill—And Forge Positive Change

By November 6, 2023No Comments
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Episode #792



Would you risk your life to redress our planet’s most urgent threats?

Without hesitation, Louie Psihoyos’ response is a resounding yes.

One of the most interesting people I have ever met. Louie is filmmaking’s James Bond, a documentarian serving up weapons of mass instruction frame by frame—and changing the world in the process.

If this name is unfamiliar, perhaps you recall Louie’s Academy Award winning documentary The Cove, an Ocean’s 11-esque thriller that powerfully exposed the gruesome underbelly of the Japanese dolphin trade. Louie also documented the rise of the plant-based athlete in the James Cameron produced Netflix hit, The Gamechangers and powerfully drew attention to mass species extinction in 2015’s Racing Extinction.

In addition, Louie serves as Executive Director of the Oceanic Preservation Society and is recognized as one of the top still photographers in the world, having created iconic images for National Geographic for nearly two decades.

Today he shares his story. Why he puts his life on the line for causes most urgent. And what he hopes to achieve as a result.

“We’re not just making movies. We’re creating social change with the most powerful weapon in the world.”


Today we dive into Louie’s remarkable career and courageous filmmaking style, one that often places his life and that of his crew in mortal peril.

We discuss his motivations, his work as an ardent activist, why conservation is so important, and his creative perspective on photography and filmmaking.

Louie also shares his whys for adopting a plant-based diet, the challenges of getting people to care about global issues, and why film is our most powerful asset in reckoning with our planet’s most dire environmental harms.

All told, this is a conversation about harnessing the power of story to spark action, ignite social change, and challenge cultural norms.

The visually inclined can watch this one on YouTube or Spotify. As always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts.

It’s an honor to share Louie’s powerful perspective with you today—may it incite you to action.

Peace + Plants,

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Thank The Team: I do not do this alone. Send your love to Jason Camiolo for audio engineering, production, show notes and interstitial music; with additional audio engineering by Cale Curtis and additional music by Moby; Blake Curtis & Dan Drake for video, & editing; graphics by Jessica Miranda & Daniel Solis; portraits by Davy Greenberg, Grayson Wilder & Gizelle Peters; video clips for social media are created by AJ Akpodiete; copywriting by Georgia Whaley; and theme music by Tyler Piatt, Trapper Piatt & Hari Mathis.

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