Since taking our first breath of their oxygen, humans have had a longstanding and crucial relationship with trees. As our very earliest technology, wood provided the fuel, shelter, and transportation that led to our propagation across the globe. Yet still we endlessly push nature aside, surrounding ourselves more and more in a world of our own creation. Humans stepped foot on the moon a good twenty years before we climbed our way into the rainforest canopies. Owing to the blinders of our technology, we’ve lost sight of the fact that we, too, are part of the natural world.

looking up through trees
aspen trees

What Does Humanity Look Like From a Tree's Perspective?

The oldest living tree is 4000 years old, while the oldest living person is 120. What would the relationship between the species look like if we slowed down and inhabited an alternate viewpoint? Is it a healthy symbiotic relationship based on reciprocity? Are we humans giving back as much as we take? 

A limited series

Let’s look at things with new eyes. By borrowing the wisdom of people who’ve shunned the distractions and comforts of glowing screens and prepackaged viewpoints, we can gain valuable, unforgettable insights.

Each episode in THE FOREST AND THE TREES features experts and characters with whom we can inquire, relate and connect. Their curiosity and passion illuminates long-held assumptions and enigmas about our relationship with the natural world.

Combining breathtaking cinematography, inspired by iconic masterful films like Our Planet and Samsara with authentic human characters whose curiosity and passion pull in audiences the way shows like The Abstract, Tails By Light and Dogs do so well. The Forest & The Trees is a limited docuseries that fits on the streaming spectrum between categories like Nature & Ecology and Social & Cultural.

Keeping in line with each episode's theme, a celebrity narrator and intriguing filmmaking open up our minds and dazzle the eyes while our expert characters weave a narrative arch keeping our audience engaged from episode to episode. Taking time between encounters with our characters, our narrator brings us back to the science and social commentary allowing the edits to meditate on mesmerizing visual depictions of the mysteries and lessons contained in forests across the globe.

man painting in woods
older man's face


Weaving a narrative tapestry from Different ways of knowing
How do you know what you know? And what happens when something shifts from what you previously just believed?

Thanks to colonization, we accept academic Western science as the authority on truth. An undergrad reads a textbook made of paper and knows how to turn maple sap into maple syrup. Yet an Amish child also knows how to turn maple sap into syrup – not because of a book, but through life experiences based on a culture with a direct connection to nature. 

Many nature documentaries predictably turn to the “expert,” the esteemed authority who will invariably sit down in a chair on a film set and hold forth with excerpts from their latest academic paper. In this series, though, we’re taking audiences out of the studio – and into the canopy. We will walk and climb alongside seekers and researchers as we follow a dizzyingly diverse range of practitioners – each with their own intimate understanding of trees and forests.

Early in the series, we will introduce each of the characters who will drive the series’s overarching narratives. Weaving together different ways of knowing, these four people will provide a multifaceted perspective on the big questions for which we all seek answers. 

By sharing their passion and insights, they’ll inspire the next generation of tree huggers.

Dr. Nalini Nadkarni
Dr. Nalini Nadkarni
Canopy Research Pioneer
Jeff Grignon
Jeff Grignon
Native American Forester
Chiako Yamamoto
Bonsai Artist


A theme that guides the conversation

Each episode in the limited series features a different celebrity narrator who greets the audience with a curious anecdote, each one examining something familiar from a new perspective. These cold openings are designed to meet the audience where they are, introducing them to the episode's central theme while posing a big question. After the show intro, we turn not only to our characters but to the trees themselves for answers.

tree ringstree rings
wood and reciprocity
If all the world is a commodity, how poor we grow. When all the world is a gift in motion, how wealthy we become.
Narrated by Paulina Alexas
tree tops against skytree tops against sky
connecting earth and sky
Nearly every religion includes trees and forests in central stories within their text. What is it about trees that draws us to their presence?
Narrated by Jaden Smith
tree time and human time
tree time and human time
If we slow down and look at the world from a tree’s perspective, what might we learn about ourselves?
Narrated by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya
helicopter lifting treehelicopter lifting tree
shape and control
Despite our best efforts humans will never be able to bend nature to our will. Are they better off without us or can humans and trees reach a more harmonious existence together? 
Narrated by Maisie Williams
tree canopytree canopy
community and the sacred underground
Just below your feet there exists a never ending subterranean biological infrastructure from which all life begins and ends.
Narrated by Zendaya
forest fireforest fire
fire and ash
Some species of tree have evolved to endure the effects of catastrophic fire, humans have not.
Narrated by Billie Eilish
defend & regrow
You can’t plant a 1,000 year old tree, but you grow one with a little help from your friends.
Narrated by Greta Thunberg

Despair Hope
& Action

What Can I Do To Reconnect With Nature in a Meaningful Way?

Documentary filmmaking can create empathy in an audience in a way no other medium can. I’ve never felt more fired up than I did when I walked out of the theater from Fahrenheit 9/11, and I’ve never felt such an overwhelming sense of horror as I did when I rented The Cove. But, for all their power, these films fall short in their failure to present something essential: A glimmer of hope, or, better yet, a call to action. As we’ve moved into an era of longer-form documentary, audiences being more acclimated to the idea of engaging with this format, there is a golden opportunity to not only inform and entertain, but to move hearts and minds to take meaningful action. As the old saw goes, “If you can see it, you can be it.”  

The filmmaking in The Forest & The Trees is intended to show audiences a balance of despair and hope, both fully justified. We’re delivering a new take on the time-honored nature documentary – one that doesn’t portray the world like an isolated scene contained in a snow globe, quarantined from outside influence. In this world, we engage – here, a cameraman skydives into a forest fire right alongside the character trying to put it out. 

And the reason is simple: Too much despair discourages taking action. With a healthy amount of hope and a can-do spirit radiating from the characters in our series, as well as the accompanying impact campaign, we will show audiences that they too can be the change they hope to see in the world. A curious exploration of Trees and Forests will remind humans that we, too, are part of the natural world – inspiring and enabling us to see both the forest and the trees.

aspen regeneration project sign


I appreciate your time and interest in what is a very meaningful project that
I have poured myself into over the past year. We need trees more than they need us, and that’s a message I’m passionate about spreading to my fellow humans.

With production support from
Bayonet Media I’ve created over 40 minutes of proof of concept content that I find to be a better example of what I would like to create with your help.  Feel free to browse these films and take a deeper dive into our characters and episodes on our private microsite. Let me know if you’d like a password.

Andrew P. Quinn
Creator & Director
The Forest & The Trees

Sizzle Reel 03:11 - Much like a movie trailer, this short piece is a glimpse into the breadth of the series
proof of conceptproof of concept
Proof of Concept  24:00 -  he tentpole of our sample content, this piece illustrates what an actual episode of the series would look like. Opening in 1984, at a time when humans understood more about space than we did about the rainforest canopies, we meet treetop research pioneer Dr. Nalini Nadkarni.
basketball courtcold open
Cold Open: The Milwaukee Bucks & The Menominee Nation  03:27 - This short piece is designed to be the cold open for our show. Narrator Cara Jade Myers meets our audience on the court of the NBA finals, where Indigenous Science set the stage for a victory 50 years in the making.
Dr. Nalini NadkarhiDr. Nalini Nadkarhi
Dr. Nalini Nadkarni Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop - 05:43 -  To shed a little more light on what makes Dr. Nalini such a singular individual, we created this scene about the 50-foot fall that threatened her life – and changed it.
Jeff GrignonJeff Grignon - native american forester
Jeff Grignon, Native American Forester 03:35 - A continuation of the Milwaukee Bucks cold open, this sample scene introduces audiences to Jeff Grignon, a Menominee forester who has been stewarding the tribe’s forest for most of his life.
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