PT449 – “Fantastic Fungi” and “Gratitude Revealed”: How Psychedelics Inspired a Cinematic Exploration of the Invisible

October 10, 2023
Featuring: Louie Schwartzberg

In this episode, Joe interviews Louie Schwartzberg: renowned filmmaker known for the award-winning documentary, “Fantastic Fungi”; and now, director of the new film, “Gratitude Revealed.”

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In this episode, Joe interviews Louie Schwartzberg: renowned filmmaker known for the award-winning documentary, “Fantastic Fungi”; and now, director of the new film, “Gratitude Revealed.”

He talks about his path to photography and filmmaking and how psychedelics were a huge inspiration – how his techniques of slowing down, speeding up, and zooming in were ways to capture the invisible aspects of reality – that which is “too slow, too fast, too small, and too vast for the human eye,” but is always there. He discusses the premiere of “Fantastic Fungi” and the waves it spread through the psychedelic space; The Louie Channel, his new streaming channel that will feature all his work in 4k and the work of other curated artists and friends; and the clinical trial he’s involved in to see if participants have better results in the treatment of their alcohol use disorder by watching his imagery set to music on an 80-inch screen while on psilocybin – research that hopefully leads to the concept of being able to prescribe images and music to people based on specific criteria. 

He discusses his new film, “Gratitude Revealed,” which explores the power of gratitude: making it a daily practice (and especially a post-psychedelic integration practice), how resilience is one of the best benefits from practicing gratitude, and how easy it is to stop a rumination spiral by simply finding something to be grateful for. He also talks about the blessing of being a photographer and always thinking of beauty; how psychedelics make people more environmentally conscious; tripping with parents; how a shared love of nature could be the bridge between opposing sides; and how the best way to deal with the climate crisis is to start in your own yard.  

Notable Quotes

“We’re talking about psychedelics on your podcast, but the truth is, I think the imagery I want to create for your community, this community, is exactly the same as I would do for a four-year-old or a five-year-old. How beautiful is that? It’s about wonder and awe. It’s about being open-minded.”

“The politicians, they understand how to press that fear button. They go right to the cultural differences and press the abortion button or the gun thing or whatever it might be, and all the lies and all that. I don’t want to even spend another second talking about that, other than [to say] we have to be conscious that pressing the fear button is easy to do because that’s survival, and you get an immediate reaction. The films I’m trying to make and what we’re discussing here is making people laugh, making people cry, making people fall in love. That takes a little more talent than pointing a gun at you. …Beauty and love and gratitude is the emotional energy we can employ to overcome fear.”

“It’s a great tool. It’s not like we have to practice meditation, become a Yogi for like ten years or 20 years of practice. It’s something you can do immediately. It’s not like a meditation thing that you have to become an expert in. It’s like, how easy is it just to ask yourself in the moment: what can I be grateful for? Pretty easy.”


Gratitude Revealed: Film Screening and Q&A with Director Louie Schwartzberg

The Louie Channel Louie Schwartzberg Pacific Neuroscience Institute Launches New Psychedelic-Assisted Clinical Trial

Swimming in the Sacred: Wisdom from the Psychedelic Underground, by Rachel Harris, Ph.D. (Use code PT10 for 10% off) (use code REMPSYCTODAY for 10% off your registration)

Louie Schwartzberg

In this Episode

Louie Schwartzberg

Louie Schwartzberg is a renowned filmmaker, and director of the award-winning documentary, “Fantastic Fungi,” narrated by Brie Larson, which is featured on Netflix and rated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. Louie has spent his notable career providing breathtaking imagery using time-lapse, high-speed, and macro cinematography techniques. He is a visual artist who breaks barriers, connects with audiences, and tells stories that celebrate life and reveal the mysteries and wisdom of nature, people, and places. In Louie’s new film, “Gratitude Revealed,” he takes the viewer on a transformational cinematic experience of how to live a more meaningful life full of gratitude. In “Fantastic Fungi,” Louie explored the magic of the natural world beneath our feet; in “Gratitude Revealed,” he takes that wisdom above ground, and journeys into the soul to celebrate the human spirit. Through his intimate conversations with everyday people, thought leaders, and personalities, gratitude is revealed as a proven pathway back from the disconnection we feel in our lives. On April 20, 2023, Louie launched The Louie Channel, a unique streaming channel dedicated to inspiring wonder, awe, gratitude and hope, that will feature all of Louie’s work, as well as curated artists and will include an audience engagement platform for live events and conversations. Louie‘s three TED talks have over 65 million combined views. He was Oprah Winfrey’s guest on Super Soul Sunday, and his Gratitude Revealed programs premiered on the OWN online platform. In 2017, he received the Debra Simon award for Leadership in Mental Wellness from Global Wellness Summit. Additionally, Louie received the 2020 Grand Visionary Award from the American Visionary Art Museum, in addition to many Clio awards and Emmy nominations. Louie has received various awards including Captain Planet, Superhero for the Earth Award, a National Medal for Garden Club of America, The Semel Healthy Campus Initiative (HCI) Eudaimonia Award for Mental Wellness, and an Award from Maui Film Festival for “Fantastic Fungi.” He is the only artist to be inducted into the Association for the Advancement of Science Foundation’s Invention Ambassadors Program. His past theatrical releases include the 3D IMAX film, “Mysteries of the Unseen World” with National Geographic; “Wings of Life” for Disneynature, narrated by Meryl Streep, and “America’s Heart and Soul” for Walt Disney Studios. Louie has also directed “Soarin’ Around the World”; the most popular motion simulator ride film now playing at Disney Theme Parks globally. Louie also directed three seasons of “Moving Art,” which are featured on Netflix and will soon be on the Louie Channel. For Louie, the greatest satisfaction is creating works that inspire audiences to celebrate life and protect what we love. Louie is currently based in Los Angeles, CA, where he continues to push the envelope and set trends for new ways to capture that which is too slow, too fast, too small, and too vast for the human eye.

Socials: Louie’s instagram / Gratitude Revealed instagram