Directed by
Matt Yoka
Edited by
Brian Palmer & Matt Yoka
Story Supervision
Barry Poltermann
Additional Editing
Erin Elders

Official Site


Flying high above Los Angeles in a whirling news helicopter, Marika Gerrard and Zoey Tur (known then as Bob) captured some of the city’s most epic breaking news stories. The two recount the salacious details of their career as a husband-and-wife journalist team doing whatever it took to catch an unfolding story. Their camera captured the extreme adrenaline of the culture of live news and, as a result, the strain it took on their relationship—and, ultimately, a major life transition for Zoey. A wholly unique take on the story of Los Angeles told through stunning aerial footage and remarkable home videos, Whirlybird reframes many of the city’s pivotal moments of the 1990s, including the O. J. Simpson pursuit and the 1992 riots.

In Matt Yoka’s sprawling debut feature, he deftly mirrors the peaks and valleys of one unique American family to the city of Los Angeles, showcasing their parallel growing pains and their search for a sense of self. Whirlybird is a completely original and intricately woven tapestry that reveals the agony and the ecstasy of breaking news.

On Rotten Tomatoes, 82% of critics’ reviews are positive, with an average rating of 7.4/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, “Whirlybird is a fascinating — and often thrilling — look at what goes into making the news.”

Drawing on an amazing video stockpile from the 1980s and ’90s, “Whirlybird” is an editing feat.

Ben Kenigsberg
New York Times

“Whirlybird” is a complicated, engaging, one-of-a-kind, portrait of a deeply flawed human.

Jude Dry

Whirlybird is informative and thrilling. It’s also profound and sad. And maybe it’s got threads of inspiration and uplift as well.

Dan Feinberg
Hollywood Reporter

“Whirlybird” proves a memorably evocative time capsule of 1980s and ’90s Los Angeles and the people who made – and captured – the news, as well as a stirring portrait of regret.

Larry Goldstein
Los Angeles Times