"Live the story, tell the story."
Kevin McCarey is an Emmy Award winning filmmaker whose films have been shown on the National Geographic Channel, PBS, NBC and the Turner Networks. He is also a published author.
Raised in New York's Hudson Valley, Kevin McCarey attended SUNY Maritime College. During the Vietnam War, he served as a deck officer aboard merchant ships carrying "booze and bombs" to the war zone. These misadventures are recounted in Oceans Apart: the Wanderings of a Young Mariner. Later, McCarey took a job as boat captain of a research vessel in Puerto Rico. There he took part in the efforts to stop the bombing of Culebra, recounted in his book, Islands Under Fire: the Improbable Quest to Save the Corals of Puerto Rico. This led to work as an oceanographer on a variety of expeditions from the North Atlantic to the South Pacific.
McCarey left the sea to study at the University of Oregon where he received an MA in Film Studies. He was hired as a documentary writer-director for Turner Broadcasting where he worked on the Peabody Award winning series Portrait of America featuring Hal Holbrook. He garnered three Emmy nominations, an Emmy Award and three CINE Golden Eagle Awards. This was followed by Trumpet of Conscience, a visual and musical interpretation of the last Christmas sermon by Martin Luther King Jr. - which he refers to as "the world's first and longest black gospel music video." The film won the prestigious Chris Award and an Emmy. Trumpet of Conscience aired every Christmas for twelve years on the Turner Networks.
In 1991, he directed a narrative short, "San Juan Story," starring Jacobo Morales and Rosana DeSoto. This was his first attempt at comedy, and the film was an Academy Award semi-finalist. Then in the 1990's he wrote and directed the four hour docudrama series Pirate Tales with Roger Daltrey. This featured extensive reenactments filmed aboard period vessels and in exotic locations from Tunisia to Panama. This was followed by the five hour docudrama series Gunfighters of the West with Brian Dennehy for TLC.
In 1998, he wrote and directed his first narrative feature Coyotes, starring Leo Gannon and Kirsten Carmody. It was filmed on location in Baja Mexico. This was a no-budget film made with the help of good friends and various colleagues from National Geographic. An audience favorite at the Palm Springs International Film festival, Coyotes won Best Feature Film at the Savannah Film Festival in 1999.
Since 1996, the “Captain” has traveled the world for National Geographic Television and Films. He has written, directed, supervised and/or produced some twenty films on subjects ranging from giant squid to the lions of the Kalahari. He also teaches filmmaking at the Savannah College of Art and Design, because, he says, "it's time for the next generation to endure the tick bites, broken limbs and exotic diseases that come with documentary filmmaking." In 2017, Kevin McCarey received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Marine Sanctuaries for his work as an oceanographer, filmmaker and author.