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Hemp Already Video Series

I’m super excited about a new episodic video series called Hemp Already, about all things hemp that I’m producing. Here’s the sizzle reel, or teaser. The first episode is coming in 2020!

Why a show about Hemp?

Hemp is going through a huge resurgence now that the Farm Bill of 2018 has made the plant legal again and we aim to capture this excitement and innovation!

The first use of hemp dates back about 8,000 years ago. It’s been used for thousands of years for many products and was one of the largest agricultural crops up until the late 1800’s. With the signing of the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 outlawing hemp along with cannabis in 1937, it effectively killed the hemp industry. It’s such an efficient source material for so many things including timber and petroleum based products that it posed a major threat to those industries which played a part in the plants demise – hey, it’s competition so we need to squash it!

hemp tv show about all things hemp

The renaissance of hemp has begun and people are using this miracle plant again to build all kinds of things. It’s the most versatile, sustainable, carbon negative, deforestation saving, eco-friendly plant in the world. It grows in only four months, can grow almost anywhere – wild hemp grows in all 50 states, uses less water than other crops such as corn or cotton, produces more fiber than cotton and more biomass than corn, doesn’t need herbicides or pesticides (or very little), regenerates the soil and has numerous other benefits. It truly is a miracle plant.

What can be made from hemp?

There are tens of thousands of products that can be made from the plant instead of the unsustainable, greenhouse gas emitting, toxic and fossil fuel based materials that are being used now.

The list of things that can be made from the hemp plant seem endless: negative carbon construction materials like hempcrete used in residential houses and commercial buildings for walls, ceilings and flooring, hemp insulation, hemp wood, fiberboard, carpets, paints, varnishes, inks, any paper product can be made from hemp instead of trees, supercapacitor batteries (yes batteries!), plastics and bio composites (nearly all European car makers use it now for car parts), biofuel, diapers, mulch, animal bedding, all kinds of clothing (much more environmentally friendly than cotton), rope, canvas, beauty products like soaps, lotions, makeup, nail polish, shampoo and it can feed people and animals with a whole bunch of food products and can help cure us with cannabinoid extracts.

hemp hurds for making hempcrete in episodic series Hemp Already

This is just a short list of things that can be made from hemp. This article from the Ministry of Hemp lists 73 things that can be made from hemp but that’s just the beginning. Some estimate that there are 25,000 products that can be made from it while others estimate 50,000! Whatever the actual number is, its large.

What will the show be about?

The show will feature the pioneers that are helping to save the planet by making things with hemp. Each episode will tell the story of a business or organization and their hemp products but it’s not a business show: it’s much more than that. Hemp is a movement and hemp advocates are an enthusiastic bunch to say the least! They love the plant and what it can do for the planet and the economy. Hemp Already is really about seeing new ways of doing things and different ways of living. It’s a show about diverse people who are making the world a better place through the hemp plant.

About the sizzle reel, what is hempcrete?

I’d like to thank Dion Markgraaff and the US Hemp Building Association and Sergiy Doctor-Hemphouse for letting us film their hempcrete workshop. 

Hempcrete is a sustainable negative carbon construction building material that is used in walls, flooring and ceilings. It’s fire, mold and pest resistant. It is not load bearing, and is usually used with wood stud framing. The thermal properties are incredible – it regulates moisture and temperature in the building thereby vastly lowering energy costs as many houses built with hempcrete do not need heating or air conditioning.

after pouring hemcrete in form you then tamp it down

Hempcrete replaces traditional insulation and drywall which is made of hydrofluorocarbons that produce potent greenhouse gases. Typically lime or clay plaster is used on the inside and outside although any permeable material can be used. 

In the workshop we filmed, the students were building the walls of a tiny house with hempcrete. And as you can see, it’s a pretty straight forward process. Hempcrete is made by mixing hemp hurds, water with a lime binder.

Hemp already. Let’s go!

About Gate5, my Los Angeles video production company

Gate5 is a creative video agency and full service video production company in Los Angeles producing high quality video content for the web, your social media outlets, kiosks and broadcast television. 

We conceptualize, write scripts, secure locations and permits, cast actors, direct, film and edit viral videos, branded films, product and promotional videos, web and TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Click here for Gate5 video samples.

Check out my photography here.

Best Comedy Film

Writer-Director Greg McDonald and actress Kaitlyn Clare, winning Best Comedy Film and Audience Choice Award for the comedy sci-fi, Nowhere In The Universe.

My film I wrote and directed, Nowhere In the Universe won Best Comedy Film and Audience Choice Award at the Los Angeles Underground Film Forum! The film is a sci-fi comedy about how some lines can never be crossed no matter how desperate you are.

Keeping with the ‘underground’ theme, the festival was low-key, they didn’t do a whole lot of promotion but it was a lot of fun hanging out with Kaitlyn Clare, who played the alien in the film, and actor Brandon Bernath. And it was close! It screened not far from my place so it was very easy to get to. The only criteria I have when submitting to film festivals – it has to be very close 🙂

I give good Q&A

Nowhere In The Universe got a great response from the audience which is so much more satisfying to experience in person vs. getting a couple likes online. And it was an added surprise winning Best Comedy Film and the Audience Choice Award!

I have to say I do give good Q&A. Haha! It helped that the people who put on the festival were very cool and nice and that makes all the difference in the world. Some festivals I’ve been to treat the filmmakers like leeches. It was good to see the opposite at the LA Underground Film Forum.

I’ve submitted the film to a couple more festivals but I’m ready for the next project. What will it be? I’m not sure, I’m kicking around a few ideas.

Need a Director and/or a film crew and post for your project?

Give me a hollar if you’re looking for a director for your film or commercial video. I’d love to talk to you about it. My company, Gate5 can provide production and post.

For narrative films, humor and comedy character based stories are my specialty. When it comes to commercials, I’ve done everything from construction , tech, manufacturing, financial services, product demos, to beauty, makeup and fashion.

About Gate5, a Los Angeles video production company

Gate5 is a full service video production company producing engaging and results driven video content for big and small businesses and advertising agencies and we produce narrative films.

We conceptualize, write scripts, secure locations and permits, cast actors, direct, film and edit viral videos, branded films, product and promotional videos, web and TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

So contact me. I’ll be waiting by the phone.

Check out my other pages – Photography, Narrative, Commercials and Fashion Films.

Video Marketing for Social Media

It’s no secret that video has exploded on social media recently. One study claims that in recent years branded video on YouTube has increased 99% in views and on Facebook 258% – and it continues to grow with no signs of video marketing for social media slowing down. 

On Twitter, a video is 6x more likely to be retweeted than a photo. The lesson is clear – if you’re not leveraging video marketing to grow your business, you’re leaving money on the table.

Video content is what is driving the Internet today to a large extent. And it will continue to do so. More brands are using video to connect to their target audience, build relationships and increase sales.

No matter what size your business is or what industry you’re in, if you haven’t taken social media video seriously, it’s about time to you do.

Social Media is a Monster

Social media has a voracious appetite. You need to keep feeding the beast to stay relevant and keep your customers engaged and keep the buzz going.

For many companies, producing one or two videos a year or even a handful won’t keep their customers engaged and drive sales.

But full service video production is expensive!

It can be. There’s a reason commercial videos cost what they do.

When you pay professionals for script development – meetings, research, brainstorming, then to write the script, create storyboards and shot lists, scout locations, cast actors, direct the shoot with a full crew and expensive equipment and finally edit, color grade, mix sound and create graphics, animation and visual effects – it all adds up to many hours of labor and equipment costs. Not to mention the cost of actor fees, costs to rent sound stages and locations, and if needed, additional insurance above and beyond what a company normally carries.

Even just needing several items listed above will drive up the cost. You certainly don’t need all of those things to push the cost over your budget.

So What’s The Option?

Faced with high production costs, many companies produce videos in-house. And I say – whatever works. If a cell phone video gets the results you’re looking for, that’s all that matters.

But there are times when a homemade video won’t cut it and a $25,000 video is out of the question. 

Design and Plan for Social Media

Not every video needs to be a big production. It starts with planning and designing a video shoot around filming a lot of content in one day that can be edited into multiple videos.

To accomplish this, you’ll have to set aside your big ideas that require a group of actors, expensive locations and equipment for the time being – you can make those videos later when you’re looking to accomplish specific marketing goals such as making a big splash for a product launch or promoting a new service at a trade show.

Simple. Effective. Engaging

The key is to create videos that can be shot simply with a small crew without a lot of third party costs. I’m talking about making practical videos here that show who you are as a company, give easy to follow product demos and customer testimonials. These kind of videos will create a lot of value for your customers yet won’t cost an arm and a leg.

To solve the problem of creating multiple videos while keeping costs down, we’ve streamlined the production process to keep the bloat out and the quality in. We’ll work with you to create a creative solution that can be filmed in one location, with only one or no models or actors and that can be shot with a small crew, often times with a 1-person crew. The idea is to film enough content in one day to edit multiple videos that you can post over time.

We offer monthly production plans with fixed per month pricing for these types of productions when you need to release content weekly.

Case Study

As an example, TanMeBox, a company that offers several sunless tanning products, came to us needing several videos for social media. We worked with them to create a series of 5 videos that we shot in one day with a one person crew that provided high quality video, good lighting and sound. The package included 3 videos that were product related, 1 video was a testimonial and 1 video was the company founder introducing a new service. 

We provided the production of the five videos for a very cost effective per video rate. 

Simple. Effective. Engaging.

The two videos above are from the series. 

Check out this article for more information and infographics on video marketing statistics for 2020.

About my company, Gate5

Gate5 is a creative video agency and full service video production company producing high quality sharable content for your social media outlets. We conceptualize, write scripts, direct, cast, film and edit viral videos, branded films, product and promotional videos, web and TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Need a video? Contact us to discuss your project and for a free consultation.

Check out our commercial video samples.

Best Beauty Videographer

The best beauty videographer in Los Angeles! Well, I suppose I should be more modest but that’s not good for SEO 🙂

I have a vast experience producing and directing beauty videos for makeup and cosmetics, hair and skin care clients. From big companies to small businesses, I can work with just about every budget level from simple social media productions that can be completed by a one-person crew on up to full productions for commercials.

Hire an Expert

My team at my production company, Gate5, are expert at creating video ads for Facebook and Instagram in addition to videos that will live on your website or youtube. If you’re looking to make videos to run on as ads on social media sites, it’s best to optimize the video and shoot and edit it with a square 1:1 aspect ratio on mind. Square videos on Facebook and Instagram have proven to get more views, likes and engagement than horizontal 16×9 videos do. The key is to film in 4k in the 16×9 mode, while maintaining safe framing for the 1:1 aspect ratio. Filming in 4k gives you a little more opportunity to reframe in editing for the square aspect. Then for your website and on youtube, we can then edit a 16×9 (or wider) version of the videos.

Need monthly social media content?

Need beauty videos on a monthly basis? We can provide cost effective monthly production plans for clients who need to post original and new content on a weekly and monthly basis. We can tailor a plan that fits your monthly budget while keeping quality high and communication with you easy breezy. Our aim as a top makeup videographer service is to have us feel like we are your in-house video production department!

Despite the cookie-cutter approach others may take, if you need monthly video content, there is no one-size-fits all. We’ll customize a solution specifically for you. As a starting point, check out the monthly plans I have on the Gate5 site.

For more tips and advice, this article from Falcon.IO contains some useful information to keep in mind when creating your video ads for social media. It has some common logic things, like ‘grab their attention early’ – really? Never heard that before when it comes to internet video but it’s a quick and worthwhile read.

About my production company Gate5

My video production company, Gate5 is a creative video agency in LA and full service video production company producing high quality sharable content for your social media outlets. We conceptualize, write scripts, direct, cast, film and edit viral videos, branded films, product and promotional videos, web and TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Need a beauty video? Or other video? Contact me to discuss your project and for a quote.

Commercials and Fashion Films

Photography

Short and Sweet Hollywood Film Festival

Director Greg McDonald with actress Kaitlyn Clare at the Short+Sweet Hollywood Film Festival
Director Greg McDonald with actress Kaitlyn Clare at the screening of their sci-fi comedy film, Nowhere In The Universe at the Short and Sweet Film Festival Hollywood.

Here I am with actress Kaitlyn Clare at the Short and Sweet Hollywood Film Festival! Our sci-fi comedy fashion film, Nowhere In The Universe, screened in the first night of several in the festival which goes on for roughly a month in Hollywood. It’s quite a festival with screenings in numerous cities in the U.S., Europe the Middle East and where it originated in Australia. They feature plays, musical theater and cabaret in addition to short and sweet films. Quite an honor to be a part of!

The film got a great response. The only bummer was that the online voting was only open for 5 minutes after the screening block was over. I had no idea. We all went home to vote only to find out it was closed. I guess they announced that at the beginning of the screenings but I missed that. Oh well. Voting for your own film is kind of weird anyway but where would our online life be if we couldn’t vote/like/view/follow our own stuff and encourage our friends to do the same? 🙂

Why do cell phones make my head look big?

Always fun hanging out with Kaitlyn who did a fantastic job playing the alien in the film. Why do pictures taken with cell phones make your head look big? Maybe I should accept the fact that I have a big head. I must learn to accept reality.

Check out all the behind the scenes photos, still photos and frames from Nowhere In the Universe on my Flickr page.

Need a Director and/or a film crew and post for your project?

Give me a hollar if you’re looking for a director for your film or commercial video. I’d love to talk to you about it. My company, Gate5 is a full service video production company in Los Angeles and can provide the filming crew and post production as well as actors, locations, permits and all the other good stuff needed.

So contact me. I’ll be waiting by the phone.

Check out my other pages – Photography, Narrative, Commercials and Fashion Films.

Beauty And The Beach

woman in a pretty dress stands on the beach in the eco fashion film, Beauty And The Beach

Beauty And The Beach will be screening in the F3: Frankly Film Festival in Ohio and in the Berlin Flash Film Festival!

What is an eco-fashion film?

The film is an eco-fashion film. Say what? That’s right, I said it. It’s an eco-fashion film. The subject matter is about the environment and its degradation and what is happening in our oceans and on our beaches and it features fashion too.

It’s about a woman who takes a walk on the beach and discovers the new normal. It was pretty much improvised between the actress, Hayley Pendergrass, the makeup artist Thirati K and myself. We had a general idea of what we wanted to do and when we got to the beach, we shaped the story around what we found on the beach and what was available to us.

Did you have a script or was it improvised?

The key for me is to do as much planning as I can before a shoot but then to stay open to what’s in front of me on the day of the shoot. The film you wind up with is what you shoot on the day, not what you have in your head beforehand.

If you’re open to ideas while shooting then you can incorporate changes based on what you have available on the day of the shoot to tell the story better. But you must do your work beforehand. Having a firm grasp on the theme and what you’re trying to say gives you the spine to hang everything off of so you’re not blowing in the wind not knowing where you’re going.

If you hold on to your preconceived ideas and are not open to what’s in front of your face while shooting, you’re missing opportunities to make the story better.

We wanted to keep Beauty and the Beach very short and we did – it’s one minute long. It’s a bit of a challenge telling a story in such a short amount of time but I’m happy with the result. Although, I’m not happy about the subject matter. It was quite disgusting seeing the amount of trash on the beach. I would’ve much preferred to not have it there and being forced to come up with a story about something else.

Check out a behind the scenes of director Greg McDonald shooting Hayley on his instagram post.

About Gate5, a video production company in Los Angeles

Gate5 is a full service video production company in Los Angeles. We’re a one-stop shop video agency that provides everything from concept development to delivery or any part in between. We produce branded films, promotional videos, product demo tutorials, explainer videos, episodic content, docu style corporate profiles, TV commercials for broadcast and live video streaming production. We work nationwide and primarily service the Southern California area.

If you have a project that you’d like to collaborate on, that needs a director and or producer, give me a hollar! Contact me.

Check out my other pages – Photography, Narrative, Commercials and Fashion Films.

Audience Choice Award

Actress Kaitlyn Clare and director Greg McDonald at LA Underground Film Forum
Q&A with director Greg McDonald winner of Audience Choice Award and Best Comedy Film

Audience Choice Award winner and Best Comedy Film at the Los Angeles Underground Film Forum for my film, Nowhere In The Universe, a sci-fi comedy film about how some lines can never be crossed no matter how desperate you are.

Keeping with the ‘underground’ theme, the festival was low-key but it was a lot of fun hanging out with Kaitlyn Clare, who played the alien in the film, seeing a couple of films I really liked and meeting some cool people. Nowhere got a great response from the audience which is so much more satisfying to experience in person vs. getting a couple likes online. It was a surprise winning a couple of awards and now it’s on to the next one!

If you have a project that you’d like to collaborate on, that needs a director and or producer, give me a hollar! Contact me.

Check out my other pages – Photography, Narrative, Commercials and Fashion Films.

Unplug Coffee Maker When Not Using

Unplug coffee maker when not using it. It’ll not only save you some money on your electricity bill, it’s good fire safety too! I’ve always found it entertaining when control freaks lose it and think they’re going to scare everyone with their temper. This is a wish fulfillment for all those who’ve suffered an overbearing boss in the office. This clip is from an old film of mine and as many times as I’ve seen it, this actor makes me laugh every time.

By the way, unplugging other appliances is a good idea too.

Got a narrative or commercial project? Contact me to discuss. I’d love to hear about it.

Check out Narrative stuff. Or Photography and Commercial and Fashion films.

How To Shoot Beauty At The Beach

How to shoot beauty at the beach – get a great model-actress like Hayley Pendergrass and get a great makeup artist like Thirati K! Problem solved.

Seriously, it’s hard to take a bad photo of Hayley. We went out to Long Beach with a vague idea for a short film and to shoot some beauty and fashion stills. We got lucky with it being overcast, which helped out for the beauty shots and later the sun came out just enough to help us out with the fashion shots. Thirati’s makeup perfectly complimented the mood and tone we were going for and the wardrobe. We used what we came across on the beach and used it for the improvised film we shot. It completely changed the idea we had in our heads but it worked out much better than if we had planned everything out. I was very happy with the film and the still photos. All-in-all a very fun and productive day.

It also gave me a chance to try out a 4k cinema camera that I bought last year but haven’t used a whole lot. I was very happy with the results and I figured out what I need to do to make it more ergonomic.

Got a narrative or commercial project? Contact me to discuss. I’d love to hear about it.

Check out Narrative stuff. Or Photography and Commercial and Fashion films.

Employee Orientation

Employee Orientation, an excerpt from a film I made in 2003 using footage my dad shot in 1967 at a company party for Detroit Diesel in super 8mm film. The film explores the orientation of a certain employee.

This party was on a Saturday night and they dressed up like this. It wasn’t like they were coming from work. I have to admit I miss basement parties in Michigan. Brings back a lot of memories.

My mom is the redhead at the end.

Give me a hollar if you have a narrative film or commercial project you want to collaborate on. I’d love to hear about it. Contact me to discuss.

Check out my Narrative stuff. Or Photography and Commercial and Fashion films.

Copyright © 2020 Greg McDonald | Writer-Director | Simple Persona Pro by Catch Themes
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