Whirlybird

Zoey (then Bob) and Marika Tur captured the spectacle of L.A. in the 90s from their news helicopter, defining our recorded memory of the city.

200510 1 1100
Funding Initiative
Series and Special Projects
Director

Matt Yoka

Director/producer Matt Yoka began his career making TV programs with Vice Media (Vice Does America, Epicly Later'd, Huang's World, and HBO’s Vice Special Report: A World in Disarray). He developed a distinct visual style directing music videos for record labels like Drag City and Sub Pop, collaborating often with Ty Segall. His first feature film, Whirlybird, Show more draws inspiration from his childhood in Los Angeles and his research at USC's Annenberg School of Journalism, where he received a master's degree. Show less

Producer

Steve Holmgren

We fund untold stories for public media.

Learn more about funding opportunities with ITVS.

The Film

Zoey (then known as Bob) & Marika Tur revolutionized news media with their aerial reporting of police pursuits and breaking news in Los Angeles – and in doing so, defined our recorded memory of the city. “Chopper Bob” flew the bird while wife and partner, Marika, shot the video beside her in the helicopter - hundreds of hours of which would go down in American history. From the 1992 riots in L.A. to the collapsing of the Santa Monica pier to the famous O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase, Zoey and Marika’s unmatched eye-in-the-sky video archive captures the spectacle of 90’s Los Angeles while revealing their own personal complexities as a then husband and wife news team.

As the story unfolds, we look back on Zoey and Marika Tur’s lives. The attempts in returning to the media spotlight as “Chopper Bob” transitions from male to female, and finally meeting Zoey Tur, the first ever American transgender helicopter pilot.

Topics