Judy and Sophie's Story


December 11, 2013 Update: During the making of this film, we fell in love with the indefatigable Judy Zappia, her adoring husband, George Imbrie, and her helper monkey, Sophie. Judy and George battled long and hard with Judy’s Multiple Sclerosis and they gave us their story “straight up.” Judy died earlier this month. We will miss her.

Client: Helping Hands Monkey Helpers

After producing Monkey Do and And then a MonkeyHelping Hands Monkey Helpers asked us to create a new film for their website and annual fundraising gala. They suggested filming a new monkey recipient named Judy Zappia and her husband, George.
   Judy met George while on a sailing trip in the Caribbean.  They fell in love, married, and began an active life in Vermont.  From the moment Judy discovered she had progressive multiple sclerosis, life for the couple began to change in ways they could have never predicted.  By the summer of 2011, Judy had long lost her ability to walk and most of the motion in her upper body.  Helping Hands asked us to tell the story of how Sophie, a highly-trained service monkey, had affected the lives of Judy and George.
   We spent two days with the couple and their monkey, filming interviews and special moments. We were a little nervous about how it would go, but Judy and George were very open on camera and game for trying just about anything.

Judy & Sophie's Story received considerable attention after being selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick.  We were very excited to see it reblogged on BuzzFeed, The Daily Beast, PawNation, and many other sites.