About UsFilmsFor Teachers and StudentsParticipateFamiliesMuseumsNewsConservation Guide

- Greg MacGillivray – Chairman of the Board
- Ken Blaisdell – Director
- David Brobeck, Jr. – Director
- Christopher Palmer – Director and President
- Steve Robbins, Director

Greg MacGillivray – Chairman of the Board

Greg MacGillivray has been producing and directing award-winning films for more than 40 years.  He co-founded his Laguna Beach-based company, MacGillivray Freeman Films, in 1963 and today has more than fifty films to his credit, including more than thirty 15/70mm giant screen productions.  

Since the 1976 production of his first IMAX® theatre film, To Fly!, which he co-produced and directed with his partner, the late Jim Freeman, Greg has dedicated his company to the giant screen motion picture format and has produced some of the most popular and enduring films in the genre. 

Greg has received two Academy Award® nominations for Best Documentary Short Subject:  the first in 1995 for The Living Sea and the second in 2000 for Dolphins.  In 1996, To Fly!  was selected by the Library of Congress for inclusion in the National Film Registry, America's film archive, where it joined such classics as Birth of a Nation, Gone With the Wind and Citizen Kane as one of the most important films in American filmmaking. Five years later, To Fly! was inducted into the IMAX® Hall of Fame. In 1998, the company's dramatic film about climbing the world's tallest peak, Everest, broke industry attendance records and today remains the highest grossing giant screen film of all time.  Greg received a 2005 Special Achievement in Film Award from the Giant Screen Theater Association for the production of Mystery of the Nile.

Before turning to IMAX® theatre films, Greg had success working in Hollywood, directing and photographing for Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, and filming for the Academy Award®-nominees Jonathan Livingston Seagull and The Towering Inferno.

Greg has received numerous awards for his pioneering contributions to the giant screen industry.  In 2002, the Giant Screen Theater Association honored Greg as one of the five most important contributors to the success of the large format industry over the last twenty-five years.  That same year, Greg accepted the Bradford Washburn Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Museum of Science in Boston, for his contribution to science education.  Greg serves on the board of advisors for The Great Park in Orange County, The Ocean Institute in Dana Point, and UCLA’s Reef Check in Los Angeles.

Ken Blaisdell Director

Ken is a CPA who has been practicing in the Newport Beach / Irvine area for almost 30 years.   He worked for the International CPA firms of Ernst & Young and Deloitte prior to working as a partner in the firm of Smith Linden & Basso.  He has provided planning & consulting for international transactions, mergers & acquisitions, real estate, and entertainers & athletes.

Presently, Ken serves as Director of Tax at Pacific Dental Services where he provides planning strategies and compliance for the parent company and over 450 subsidiaries.

His proudest accomplishments are 4 great children and his wife Shara.

David Brobeck, Jr. Director

David Brobeck has been practicing law for 35 years and is a founding partner in the Orange County law firm of Beam, Brobeck & West, LLP.  A graduate of the University of Southern California and California Western University School of Law, David is an active trial attorney specializing in professional liability, governmental tort litigation, and general personal injury cases.  He is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, the State Bar of California, and the Orange County and American Bar Associations.  He has also served as a Judge Pro Tem of the Orange County Superior Court, and an instructor/lecturer for various continuing legal education programs for trial lawyers. 

In his spare time, David is an avid nature photographer and wildlife enthusiast.  His passion for preserving the natural environment and animal populations began when he worked during his law school years as a bus driver/guide at the San Diego Zoo.  His friendship with Greg MacGillivray and his enthusiasm for Greg’s many film projects began in 1963.

Christopher PalmerPresident

Chris Palmer is a professor, speaker, author, and an environmental and wildlife film producer who has swum with dolphins and whales, come face-to-face with sharks and Kodiak bears, camped with wolf packs, and waded hip-deep through Everglade swamps. Over the past 30 years, he has led the production of more than 300 hours of original programming for prime time television and the giant screen (IMAX) film industry. His films have been broadcast on numerous channels, including the Disney Channel, TBS Superstation, Animal Planet, and PBS. His IMAX films include Whales, Wolves, Dolphins, Bears, Coral Reef Adventure, and Grand Canyon Adventure.

Chris is currently president of the One World Ocean Foundation, which has launched the world’s largest global media initiative to save the oceans. He is also president of the MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation, which produces and funds IMAX films.

In 2004, he joined American University’s full-time faculty as Distinguished Film Producer in Residence at the School of Communication. There he founded and currently directs the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, whose mission is to train filmmakers to produce films and new media that effectively strengthen the global constituency for conservation. His book, Shooting in the Wild: An Insider’s Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom, was published in 2010 by Sierra Club Books and has been widely praised. His book inspired a new film for public broadcasting, called Shooting in the Wild. The 26-minute film is hosted by Alexandra Cousteau. Learn more >>

Steve Robbins

Now retired and enjoying life in Laguna Beach with his wife Marisa, Steve Robbins was co-founder Chairman and CEO of Robbins Bros Worlds Biggest Engagement Ring Store, a company he sold in 2009. Robbins Bros had a 23 percent market share of the engagement rings sold in Southern California and expanded into Chicago, Houston and Dallas. The company garnered several service and retail awards, including being named one of the “Best Companies to Work For” by OC Metro magazine.

Steve served on USC’s Advisory Council for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Marshall School of Business, was a member and co-chairman of the Beverly Hills chapter of The Young Presidents Organization and has served on several for profit private company boards along with the boards he served on in the jewelry industry.

In addition to his work with MFF Educational Foundation, Steve is on the executive committee of the board of directors of the Friendship Shelter in Laguna Beach (serving area homeless). He is also a board member of Miocean, a non-profit organization focused on reducing urban runoff in the 42 mile Orange County, California coastline.

Steve has a life-long love of nature and the ocean and enjoys paddling, kayaking, swimming, diving and other ocean fun.

© Copyright MacGillivray Freeman Films Educational Foundation 2007