Category: Films

After Party Interview

Earlier this year I found this clip of our after party interview at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival. I’m with cinematographer Roberto Correa and we’re talking about our film, The Selfie That Changed The World. I remember doing it but forgot all about it until I stumbled upon it.

Where you drunk during the interview?

Even though this interview took place at the after party around 1am at The Lot, a bar and restaurant in La Jolla, and I appear to forget what I did on the film near the beginning of the video, I assure you I was very lucid.

Related article: Aliens and selfie addiction on Amazon Prime Video.

We had a very good time at the festival and our film got a great response. The film is a fashion comedy that takes a peek inside the mind of a selfie addict. It was nominated for Best Creative Direction and Best Narration. The actor, Brandon Bernath, got nominated for Best Actor in CinéFashion Film Awards put on by Cinémoi.

festival best creative direction la jolla international fashion film
Brandon Bernath, nominated for Best Actor in the CinéFashionFilm Awards

You can watch a clip of Roberto and I introducing the film at the festival on the Fashion Film Network‘s vimeo channel and read about it in our post here.

Related article: we won Best Comedy Film and Audience Choice Award.

The best moment of the festival

The best moment of the festival for me was when another filmmaker came up to me and said because of the film, no one was taking any selfies after the screening. Yes! The film had some kind of affect.

It felt good to get a strong reaction like that with the film. Not to mention, selfies are to photography what McDonald’s is to food so the stopping of selfie taking was a good thing and I feel I made the world a better place if only for a short time.

Needless to say, the self-imposed selfie ban didn’t last long and people were back to snapping selfies later on. But it was nice while it lasted.

Read more in our blog post about us at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival.

Need a break? Of course you do! Take 1.5 minutes and watch No Words, a video poem. A short film about nature and our neglect of it.

pretty blonde woman in sunglasses in comedic fashion film
Christine Wood in The Selfie That Changed The World

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 commercial videos, narrative films, branded content, product and promotional videos, TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Click here for Gate5 video samples.

If you have a commercial or a narrative project where you need a director and/or a video production company, feel free to contact me to discuss it to see how if we can work together on it.

Check out my photography here.

No Words, a video poem

What do you do when your filming options are still very limited because of the restrictions on working and gatherings of people due to the Coronavirus pandemic? You make a new video out of existing footage and other assets you have available to you. I made No Words, a video poem out stuff we had laying around, a poem and footage I had already shot.

No Words is a 1.5 minute short film about nature and our neglect of it. The poem was written and voice by Lorraine DuRocher. I supplemented previously shot footage with a couple shots filmed by cinematographer Roberto Correa.

Get creative with your existing assets

Even though small media shoots have been deemed essential businesses and have been allowed since the beginning of the shut down as long as safety and CDC guidelines are followed, many companies are still apprehensive to schedule video shoots. Big budget filming, which was not deemed essential and was shut down is starting to come back with extensive new safety guidelines.

With the current environment, making new videos and repurposing your existing assets like footage and graphics is still a great way to keep your content flowing and to save money on production costs. Read my post on Gate5’s website on using existing asset to produce new videos.

a man on a bike and two other people look frozen in time at a city street intersection while they wait for the light to change
Scene from the video, No Words

The poem No Words really spoke to me. Nature takes care of itself instinctually without words and without thinking about it. Nothing in nature instigates its own self-destruction. Why do we?

When I re-read the poem recently (I read it years ago when Lorraine wrote it), I thought what it says is very ‘right now’ and thought it could make for a nice little cinematic piece. So we dusted it off, recorded the voice over and I went through old footage to go with the narrative.

Fun fact: the idea was to make all the footage of the insects, bees and of our parrot, Fast Eddie to look like it was shot in a forest but it was all shot on our porch and front yard.

Read about my short films about aliens and selfie addiction on Amazon Prime Video. Watch me introduce The Selfie That Changed The world at the La Jolla Int’l Fashion Film Festival.

The time to pay attention is now

In a macro sense, No Words speaks to what we have been and are currently doing to our environment. Now that we’ve destroyed it and have brought it to the possible point of no return with climate change, we’ve become aware of it.

The time to pay attention is always right now. You can’t eat the hamburger today and pay for it on Tuesday. Wimpy’s old saying from the Popeye comic strip, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” is where we are as a country and as a global community.

Come Tuesday you know Wimpy is not going to be able to pay, Well, environmentally speaking today is Tuesday. It’s time for us to pay up for our past consumption but the problem is we ain’t got no money.

On a personal level, No Words speaks to how we treat our bodies. We get caught up with the hustle of the today and our day-to-day business and we ignore our bodies until it’s too late. My intention with No Words, a video poem was to use the human body as an allegory of the environment.

Let’s learn from nature and from animals. Stay in tune with your body and environment which is an extension of our body and let’s take care of both of them today.

Watch my after party interview at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival.

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 commercial videos, narrative films, branded content, product and promotional videos, TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Click here for Gate5 video samples.

If you have a commercial or a narrative project where you need a director and/or a video production company, feel free to contact me to discuss it to see how if we can work together on it.

Check out my photography here.

Aliens and Selfie Addiction on Amazon Prime Video

Two short film written and directed by Greg McDonald of video production company Gate5 in Los Angeles are now available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video.  If you’re into aliens and selfie addiction, you’ll want to fire up the popcorn maker, plop down on the sofa ( oh wait, you’re already on the couch because of the lock down aren’t you?) and watch them.

You need a break from Facebook anyway

During the stay at home quarantine, it’s good to mix up the ways you pass the time. You can’t spend it all on Facebook. I mean, how many distorted close ups of peoples’ faces on webcam videos can one person stand? So hang up on that Zoom meeting and mosey on over to Amazon Prime Video and check out these short films.

The Selfie That Changed The World

a selfie addict gazes at her image in a mirror wearing sunglasses in a fashion comedy by Greg McDonald
Christine Wood in The Selfie That Changed The World on Amazon Prime Video

Take a peek inside the mind of a selfie addict in the comedy fashion film, The Selfie That Changed The World. Based on a true story. 

A woman I follow on Instagram who posts thousands and thousands of selfies where she looks exactly the same in every single one of them was the inspiration for it. If you feel I’m talking about you and that I stole your life’s story without your permission or compensation, I want you to know it’s based on the other selfie addict.

The film stars Christine Wood as the selfie taker and Brandon Bernath as the coffee shop screenwriter. The film was shot by cinematographer Roberto Correa.

Watch my after party interview at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival.

‘Selfie’ was nominated for Best Creative Concept and Best Narration in the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival and  Brandon Bernath was nominated for Best Actor in the CinéFashion Film Awards broadcast on the Cinémoi cable channel.

Watch the interview with Greg McDonald and Roberto Correa at the after party at the La Jolla Int’l Fashion Film Festival on Gate5’s site.

Nowhere In The Universe

a man and alien meet in the desert in the sci-fi fashion comedy, Nowhere In The Universe
Nowhere In The Universe, streaming on Amazon Prime Video

An alien becomes lost in a desolate area of the desert and discovers that no matter how desperate you are, even if you’re going to die from starvation and dehydration, some lines can never be crossed.

The sci-fi fashion comedy, Nowhere In The Universe stars stars Kaitlyn Clare as the alien and Brandon Bernath as the man. Thirati K created the alien special effects makeup and produced it. 

‘Nowhere’ won Best Comedy Film and the Audience Choice Award in the LA Underground Film Forum. Although technically not based on a true story, it’s based on a true story and most women will probably relate to its universal theme.

Read more about the shoot and watch a short timelapse video of part of the alien makeup being applied by Thirati K.

Now you have no excuse to stay on Facebook the rest of the day. Get on over to Amazon Prime Video for your aliens and selfie addiction fix.

Need a break? Of course you do! Take 1.5 minutes and watch No Words, a video poem. A short film about nature and our neglect of it.

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 commercial videos, narrative films, branded content, product and promotional videos, TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Click here for Gate5 video samples.

If you have a commercial or a narrative project where you need a director and/or a video production company, feel free to contact me to discuss it to see how if we can work together on it.

Check out my photography here.

Fashion Film Director Greg McDonald at La Jolla Fashion Film Festival

I just found this clip of fashion film director Greg McDonald and cinematographer Roberto Correa introducing the fashion comedy film, The Selfie That Changed The World at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival in 2017. (I only refer to myself in this paragraph in the 3rd person for SEO reasons. My ego isn’t really that big.)

The film was nominated for Best Creative Direction and Best Narration.

Watch the clip on the Fashion Film Network‘s vimeo channel.

This is the first time I had seen the clip. I knew they were filming the introductions and I meant to look for it shortly after the event and then I forgot all about it.

The La Jolla Fashion Festival is really a great time and unlike many other festivals, they actually like filmmakers! ha! It may sound odd if you’re not familiar with them, but many festivals treat filmmakers like leeches. Seriously. Like necessary evils they have to endure to put on their festival. But we need them and they need us so we get along just like any other normal dysfunctional family in America.

Greg the gringo

Of course, during the introduction of the film I pronounced Roberto’s last name like a gringo and he promptly corrected me. I took Spanish in the 8th grade but apparently not much took. So I appreciated the help. I returned the favor and helped him out by offering him proper microphone holding technique.

We’re taking our act on the road!

I think the most fun was the reaction to our introduction, that is, other than the reaction to the film itself, of course. Was that one person came up to us after the screening and asked where we perform. He thought Roberto and I were a 2-person comedy act. Now that’s comedy!

But I don’t know, I think maybe we should hit the road. Might pay better than independent filmmaking. It’s good to have a back up plan.

fashion film director Greg Mcdonald at La Jolla Festival and Roberto Correa

Another clip I just came across was of a quick interview of Roberto and I at the after party after the screening at The Lot. I think it was about 1am or so when we did the interview and we’re remarkably lucid.

Watch that interview clip with fashion film director Greg McDonald and cinematographer Roberto Correa on the Fashion Film Network’s vimeo channel.

What about film? Where can I see it? You can watch it on Gate5’s site, The Selfie That Changed The World.

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 commercial videos, narrative films, branded content, product and promotional videos, TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Click here for Gate5 video samples.

If you have a commercial or a narrative project where you need a director and/or a video production company, feel free to contact me to discuss it to see how if we can work together on it.

Check out my photography here.

Sacrifices You Made

How do I repay you for the sacrifices you made for me?

Sacrifices You Made, a flash fiction story

You sacrificed for me, I know. You sacrificed affection for resentment. Compassion for contempt. Encouragement for humiliation. Love for your limitations.

I’m grateful for your sacrifices. It made me who I am.

You gave me a gift. A gift that allows me to see things differently, to have a unique view of the world. The gift of doubt.

Confident well-adjusted people don’t make art. They become doctors and lawyers and design furniture for Ikea. That’s what you said. You saved me from that misery.

I don’t know how to repay you, so I’ll do what I learned from you. I’ll sacrifice my worthlessness and destroy the thing that you love.

~ Sacrifices You Made – a flash fiction story by writer-director Greg McDonald based on the photograph.

Backstory to the story

I hate selfies – what McDonald’s is to food, is what selfies are to photography – but I’ve given in and I do take them at certain times just for the hell of it if I feel like it and to document an event or something. When I took this I was going over the story of a script in my head that I’m working on.

I snapped it while driving to the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California from Los Angeles. I was going there to see the hemp pavilion and talk to companies in the hemp world about the video series I’m launching on hemp. It was exciting to see some innovating new hemp products that are coming out.

I’ve never set out to write a flash fiction story, they just sort of happen. Usually I write one based on a picture I’ve taken like this one. They’re fun to write and are a good quick writing exercise that you can do about anything at anytime without making a big investment in time or commitment to a story. Write it. Like it? Then keep it. Expand upon it if you want and incorporate it into something else. Don’t like it? Then leave it in your notebook and forget about it.

Like the other times I’ve written a flash fiction story, such as A Sunny Desert Day, it didn’t occur to me until I got home and looked at the photo that it could tie into my script and could be used as an image that represents the main theme which is about the relationship between a mother and son. I’m currently writing, or rather rewriting it and plan to have it ready soon. I don’t like to talk about things until they’re done so that’ll have to be it for now!

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 commercial videos, narrative films, branded content, product and promotional videos, TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Click here for Gate5 video samples.

If you have a commercial or a narrative project where you need a director and/or a video production company, feel free to contact me to discuss it to see how if we can work together on it.

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.

Watch my after party interview at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festival.

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.

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.

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