Louie Psihoyos is an Academy Award-winning filmmaker and Executive Director of the Oceanic Preservation Society (OPS). He is recognized as one of the top still photographers in the world, having created iconic images for National Geographic for 18 years, and hundreds of covers for other magazines. Believing that film can be the most powerful weapon in the world, Louie founded OPS with Silicon Valley entrepreneur Jim Clark in 2005.
An ardent diver and dive photographer, Psihoyos’ mission is to show the world the decline of the oceans–our planet’s most crucial resource. Circling the globe dozens of times on photographic missions, he collects the imagery and stories underlying the compelling issues that challenge and threaten the natural world while connecting with environmentalists who are working to save the planet.
Psihoyos’ first documentary film, The Cove, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Film of 2009 and over 75 other awards around the world. An annual dolphin hunt in a secret cove in Taiji, Japan suggests a microcosm of a larger picture: man’s disregard for the planet. The film garnered immense critical praise and has been seen by millions of viewers worldwide.
His second film, Racing Extinction, follows a team of artists and activists as they expose the hidden world of extinction with never-before-seen images. The film premiered on Discovery in 220 countries and territories on the same day, was nominated for an Emmy (Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking) and an Academy-Award (Best Song), and sparked the #StartWith1Thing movement. With partner Obscura Digital, Psihoyos was the creative mind behind the unprecedented large-scale video projections of endangered species onto the United Nations Headquarters, Empire State Building, and the Vatican.
Psihoyos most recently finished directing The Game Changers, executive produced by James Cameron. The film tells the story of James Wilks — an elite special forces trainer and winner of The Ultimate Fighter — as he travels the world on a quest for the truth behind the world’s most dangerous myth: that meat is necessary for protein, strength and optimal health. What James discovers permanently changes his relationship with food and his definition of true strength.
Through the production of compelling film and imagery underlined by moving narratives, contemporary crises, and heroic film subjects, Louie Psihoyos is radically changing how people perceive documentaries. OPS’ film credits include Racing Extinction, The Cove, Game Changers, and Leuser: The Last Place on Earth (in production).
Learn more about Louie’s history, views and perspectives on the podcasts below:
The Joe Rogan Experience
Knowledge Without College