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Here’s the Wild Idea

Devyn’s Wild Idea: To connect people through films and stories that will change the world.

Devyn Bisson is a documentary filmmaker who got her start as a beach lifeguard in Huntington Beach, Calif. At just 25 years old, Devyn has produced and created several award-winning films, including The Wave I Ride, and a short about Syrian Refugee Crisis, Lighthouse Molyvos, that’s coming out this summer.

Even though she’s young, Devyn has a lot of wisdom about the power of telling a story, and how you can tell your story now. She talks about the similarities between making films and lifeguarding – in many ways they can both save lives. She also shares tips on how to find stories, how to listen to your gut, and how to follow a film’s story so it resonates with a greater audience and takes on its own life.

Listen to this Episode if:

  • You love documentaries.
  • You’re a surfer or a lifeguard.
  • You want to be a filmmaker.
  • You are interested in telling important stories.
  • You’re an artist, poet, or a rebel.
  • You care about the Syrian refugee crisis and the world.
  • You want to make a career doing what you love.

Key Takeaways

  • 3:00 – The transition from lifeguarding to filmmaking.
  • 4:25 – How Devyn became a lifeguard.
  • 5:55 – Devyn wanted to do everything the boys were doing.
  • 7:15 – Why surfing and documentary films go hand in hand.
  • 8:30 – How storytelling saves lives.
  • 11:30 – The film she made about parmesan cheese and Sikhs.
  • 15:00 – Making a film about Big Wave Surf World Champ Paige Alms.
  • 16:50 – The coolest part of making documentary films.
  • 20:00 – The hardest part of making a feature length film.
  • 22:05 – Why you have to let go of your stories.
  • 23:20 – Why you should take breaks and get in touch with the creative process.
  • 25:30 – How Devyn decided to cover the Syrian refugee crisis.
  • 28:30 – What Devyn saw in Greece while she was covering the crisis.
  • 32:30 – How to make a career doing what you’re love.
  • 34:15 – How to get closer to your story.
  • 36:00 – Devyn’s favorite part of filmmaking (hint: it helps you know you’re making the right decisions).
  • 38:00 – What people don’t understand about millennials.
  • 40:50 – Why Devyn has meetings with herself.
  • 43:00 – Advice on not beating yourself up about how long your journey takes.


Links Mentioned

Sponsor: Toad & Co.


My piece about Devyn in Outside Magazine
Riding Giants
Hues of Blue Stories 
International Surf Lifesaving Association


The Wave I Ride (about Paige Alms)
Sikh Formaggio

Awesome book Devyn recommends gifting

Mary Oliver
Still Writing: The Perils and Pleasures of a Creative Life by Dani Shapiro 
Bird by Bird by Anne Lamont

Connect with Devyn



Wild Ideas Worth Living on Facebook
Wild Ideas Worth Living on Instagram
Wild Ideas Worth Living on Twitter

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