A Life of Extremes: The Life and Times of a Polar Filmmaker by Max Quinn

A Life of Extremes

A Life of Extremes

As a young man Max Quinn listened to Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay speak in Christchurch which cemented his drive and motivation to dream big.

Quinn’s career has taken him to the ends of the earth, from his native New Zealand to Alaska; Antarctica to the Arctic. A Life of Extremes is a personal account of his work, featuring vibrant text and stunning images that illustrate 50 years of adventures in polar climates. Learn, from behind the camera, about the natural history and wildlife of our world. Leave the tourist trail behind with this unique insight into life in the immensely beautiful, most extreme places on earth.

  • A rare view into life behind the camera, on countless missions to capture life in the most extreme environments on earth.
  • Full of stunning images, natural history, information about filmmaking in extreme conditions, and even some Emperor penguin biology!
  • From travelling 80km over crevassed ice to filming in –50 degrees, Max Quinn’s adventures make for an entertaining, educational, and awe-inspiring read.


“History will show New Zealand’s Max Quinn, as one of the finest camera artists in Antarctica”. – David L Harrowfield, Polar Historian

“When I think back over my time it seems almost like a dream that I have experienced so much. Yet the stories contained in this book represent only a small slice of my life roaming the world filming and producing natural history films. If in only a small way I have been able to reflect this remarkable world through my work, I will forever remain satisfied”. – Max Quinn



Max Quinn has been involved in television production for over 50 years. He cut his professional teeth working in news, current affairs, documentaries, and drama productions. In the 1980s, Max moved into TV production as a director and producer of children’s programmes.

In 1987, Max fulfilled a lifelong passion for wildlife by joining TVNZ’s Natural History Unit. He filmed in many of the world’s wildlife hot-spots for broadcasters such as National Geographic. In 1991, Max wintered over in Antarctica for 11 months to film and direct documentaries on the winter life at New Zealand’s Scott Base.

In recent years, Max has been working for a series of nature documentaries for National Geographic Wild. Although officially ‘retired’, Max still works as a freelance producer, director and cameraman, specialising in natural history, wildlife, and the global environment.

Max has recently become a Life Member of the New Zealand Antarctic Society. He lives in Dunedin and has no plans on slowing down.


“Whether it be about penguins, expeditions, global warming, dog sled racing or even the last great ice age I have been there and it’s been the ride of my life” – Max Quinn

“From overwintering with Emperor Penguins in the Antarctic to living with the Inuit of the Arctic, filmmaker Max Quinn has witnessed polar life most us only dream about” – Shaun Norman, Antarctic Field Leader and Mountain Guide.

RRP $49.99 A Life of Extremes is available from www.exislepublishing.com and wherever good books are sold.