Dec 15, 2021
The National Geographic
documentary The First
Wave captures the
harrowing first four months of the Covid-19 pandemic as it played
out in one of New York City’s hardest-hit hospital
Joining us is Matthew Heineman,
an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy-winning filmmaker who directed
and produced this film.
The incredible footage he
obtained and shaped into The First Wave represents a testimony to the strength of the
human spirit and how people come together in the face of
He shares how he gained access
to the hospital at the beginning of the crisis, the heroes he
filmed, and the inevitable emotional toll the production had on him
and his crew.
“I saw an obligation to take
this issue that was so relegated to stats, headlines, and
misinformation, and try to put a human face to it.”
- Matthew Heineman
[00:00] - The trailer
for The First
What the film is about.
[05:25] - What motivated Matthew to
make the film.
[08:18] - How he gained access to
[10:40] - The uncertainty he had
going into this project.
[13:14] - How they moved from
filming healthcare workers to patients.
[18:03] - A clip from the film
showing how things escalated at the start of the
[20:31] - How Matthew incorporated
the Black Lives Matter protests into the film.
[22:01] - The emotional toll making
the documentary had on Matthew and the film crew.
[24:56] - The lessons he hopes
people will take from this film.
[29:11] - The different filmmakers
who were involved in the creation of this film.
[31:58] - The next projects Matthew
is working on.
[33:45] - A clip from the film
showing the toll the pandemic has had on families.
The First Wave (2021)
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