Tag: director

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.

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

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.

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.

Alien Makeup Timelapse

Behind the scenes timelapse footage of special effects alien makeup, prosthetics and body paint being applied by Makeup Artist Thirati K on actress Kaitlyn Clare for the film, Nowhere In The Universe. The film was produced, directed and written by me and produced by Gate5, a video production company in Los Angeles.

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get a timelapse of the whole application but this gives you a little taste of it.

The film is a sci-fi comedy with a fashion element about desperation, dating and personal limits and how some lines can never be crossed.

Aliens, aliens everywhere! What’s a makeup artist to do?

For the look of the alien, Thirati wanted to create something unique. It’s a real challenge since it seems like aliens are everywhere you go. Between movies, TV shows, Halloween and youtube and instagram beauty bloggers, we’ve all seen it all! She pulled it off by creating a unique shape of the head with the prosthetics and with her colors for the face and body painting.

Another thing that I think helped in creating a unique look was forgoing contact lenses. I’m really glad we decided on that as I wanted the alien to have human qualities and not a cliche look. Unless you spend a lot on the contact lenses to get something unique, you’ll wind up with alien eyes that you’ve seen a million times. Not to mention, Kaitlyn’s naturally beautiful eyes complimented Thirati’s work perfectly and she had just the feel and look I was going for.

The locations

We shot the film in two locations in the high desert. The first place was about 25 minutes north of Amboy, home of the famous Route 66 icon, Roy’s Motel & Cafe. I had a chance for a quick stop at Roy’s during the location scout. The day I was there, a bus full of tourists had stopped and the place was full of selfie takers.

The motel isn’t operational but the doors are open to the rooms for you to go in and check out. The gas station is a gift shop. I’m not sure if the gas pumps work. I should have checked. I considered filming in the barren desert next to and behind Roy’s but I found a much better spot.

The second location was about 20 minutes west of Twentynine Palms and only 15-20 minutes from the Airbnb house we were staying at. The two locations were about 1.5 apart.

The shoot day

makeup artist applying body paint and alien prosthetics on actor

Thirati started putting on the alien makeup, prosthetics and body paint at 6am. It took about 5 hours to apply and having to shoot in two locations about 1.5 hours apart, we had a very full day of filming.

That’s one thing I wouldn’t do again, shoot in two locations that far apart when the makeup will take 5 hours! Ha!

After getting Kaitlyn in her wardrobe after the makeup and body paint was finished it was about 12 noon at that point and I started to get a little nervous about making our day. We still had an 1.5 hour drive to the first location! What was I thinking? Arghhhh!

Since the story takes place during the course of one day, following the alien’s trek through the desert from morning to evening, we we had to shoot the film in chronological order. Usually you don’t need to do that but in this case, there was no way we could not have. It obviously wouldn’t have worked shooting the ending of the film at 1:30pm when the sun as at its highest point and then shooting the beginning at sunset. The time of day was part of the story.

At about 1:30pm we got to the first location and we all moved as quickly as we could. No one felt rushed, including myself at this point but we had no time to spare. We were pretty efficient getting the shots we needed and then it was off to the second location which we arrived to at 4pm or so. I’m not really sure what when we arrived. I didn’t even want to take the time to look! It was crunch time.

No time to spare!

Sunset was around 7:30pm so we had to work fast as we had the bulk of the filming to do and only 3.5 hours to do it. Fortunately, the filming itself was very straightforward with shots of just Kaitlyn and the final scene between the man, played by Brandon Bernath and the alien. I knew exactly what I wanted out of the shots and scenes so we were able to move quickly and change things as needed when I realized some of the preconceived ideas I had in my head weren’t going to work with the given circumstances.

We literally shot right up until the the sun went down. The last take was at the last moment the sun was above the horizon. It was tight but we got everything we needed and was a great day!

an alien runs past camera at sunset in the desert in BTS shot

About Gate5, a video production company

Gate5 is a video marketing company and full service video production company in Los Angeles. We produce high quality content for social media outlets like Instagram and Facebook and for online and broadcast.

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

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

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

Nowhere In The Universe

Nowhere in the Universe is a sci-fi fashion comedy film about desperation – no matter how desperate you become, some lines can never be crossed. UPDATE: We won Best Comedy Film and the Audience Choice Award at the LA Underground Film Forum!

It was quite a surprise winning the two awards. Actors Kaitlyn Clare who played the alien and Brandon Bernath were in attendance. We had a really good time at the festival and the people who it on couldn’t be nicer. And it was in town!

I really enjoyed making this film with two wonderful actors, Kaitlyn and Brandon. The only thing I’d do differently is I wouldn’t shoot in two locations that are almost an hour apart. After spending the morning and the first half of the day getting the makeup and prosthetics done, we then spent about about an hour and half driving between the two locations. We got what we needed but it would’ve been nice to have just a little more time. However, I do best with limitations so I take it back, we did it just as it was meant to be!

If you have a narrative or commercial project you want to collaborate on just give me a hollar. I’d love to hear about it. Contact me to discuss.

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

Working with an Alien

bts of director Greg McDonald filming actors

Working with an alien is tough! Ha! Not at all when the alien is played by Kaitlyn Clare and you’re working with Brandon Bernath, two excellent actors. In this behind the scenes photo we were hurrying up before the sun went down while filming the sci-fi fashion comedy film, Nowhere In The Universe. We managed to get what we needed with several minutes to spare before sunset.

Sci-fi fashion comedy – is that a new genre we invented? I’m not sure but let me know if you know of another film that can that falls into this category.

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.

Alone in the Desert

Alone in the desert. Help! Come looking for me if I don’t show up in a couple days. A silly spur-of-the-moment video I made while I was out location scouting although I’ve been told it’s better than the Blair Witch Project 🙂

It’s the perfects spot for a fashion comedy short I’ll be shooting soon. It’s remote but easy to get to, there’s nothing around – well there is but just don’t point the camera at the houses and it’ll look like you’re in the middle of nowhere. Best of all I don’t think anyone will bother us there. Should work out great. We’ll find out.

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

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

Domino Falls

Domino Falls

Domino left the big city and went out to stake her claim on a lifeless patch of dirt in the desert. She planned on building a tiny house made from sustainable materials and start an ecommerce business selling detox tea on Instagram.

Little did she know the Homestead Act of 1862 had long expired and the government denied her claim to ownership and seized her land when she struck oil while digging a hole for her septic tank.

~ “Domino Falls”, a flash fiction story by Greg McDonald based on the photograph

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.

Copyright © 2019 Greg McDonald | Writer-Director | Simple Persona Pro by Catch Themes
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