Movie premiers starting February 12, 2016. Find theaters.
Soar past Yosemite’s Half Dome and over Yellowstone’s other worldly Grand Prismatic Spring in National Parks Adventure, an IMAX film and awe-inspiring salute to the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary.
Narrated by Academy Award-winner Robert Redford, the film takes you along the arc of history, beginning with the creation of the national park system ⎯ the first of its kind in the world. It also traces the fun-filled adventures of three outdoor enthusiasts ⎯ world-class mountaineer Conrad Anker, his stepson and outdoor photographer Max Lowe and longtime friend Rachel Pohl, an artist.
“It’s so much about experiencing incredible places and feeling like you are transported to amazing scenes,” says film producer Shaun MacGillivray. “To make a film that celebrates this incredible moment in time was really special for us.”
So Many National Parks, So Little Time
With more than 400 national park sites, MacGillivray says it was tough to select the 30-plus parks showcased in the 43-minute film. He says they decided to focus on the iconic parks like Yosemite, Yellowstone and Glacier but also spotlight hidden gems like Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan. The team actually discovered Pictured Rocks after they cancelled a winter shoot in Yellowstone. The park’s unusually warm winter sent the crew scrambling for a park to film its three adventurers ice climbing.
Among many powerful moments he experienced on set, MacGillivray says going to Arches National Park in Moab, Utah, blew him away.
“We’re driving up this road in Arches and I am thinking, ‘I cannot believe this isn’t manmade ⎯ that the universe created this,” the 35-year-old recalls. “It was spiritual in a way.”
Being awestruck does not come easily to MacGillivray who grew up in Laguna Beach, Calif., and has spent his entire life on sets with his family in exotic places around the world. His dad Greg MacGillivray and friend Jim Freeman launched their film business MacGillivray Freeman in 1966, starting with surf films. In the years since, the company has produced 38 giant screen films, including the 1976 IMAX film, To Fly!, for the Smithsonian’s new National Air and Space Museum. To Fly! positioned them as pioneers of an entirely new big-screen format.
“I probably should have been more grateful when I was young,” MacGillivray says, laughing, referring to all the international travel he did with his family. “I have had such an amazing life. I caught the [film] bug early because I realized you are able to inspire people about amazing topics.”
National Parks Closer than You Realize
Fast-forward to today, and MacGillivray is still astounded by the diversity found in the parks they visited. What does he want people to do after they see his film? Visit one of the incredible national parks, some of which may be closer to you than you realize.
“If you live in really any city in the U.S., you can probably get to a national park site within 30 minutes, be it a historical site or big park,” he says. “It’s all about expanding your horizons, getting out and experiencing these wonderful places. Get off your couch, out of your house and be out there.”
More information: nationalparksadventure.com
The MacGillivray Freeman Story