Tag: special effects makeup

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.

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.

Alien Sighting

Alien sighting! A behind the scenes video with Kaitlyn Clare as the alien on our film shoot of, “Nowhere in the Universe”, a sci-fi fashion comedy. I had a blast making this! It was a super small cast and crew with great chill people. Working with people you like and get along with makes all the difference. Alien makeup and effects were done by Thirati K who did a fantastic job! And I love working with the two actors in the film, Kaitlyn and Brandon Bernath. The were excellent and a joy to work with!

We were a little worried about the weather since it rained a bit the night before which is very unusual for the desert in the middle of May but the next day it turned out great. Just some clouds when we started which worked out in our favor.

I finished the film in about 10 days after shooting and have already submitted it to one festival already with more to go. Stay tuned for more!

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.

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