After many years of hard work and dedication, our GMS Media is thrilled to announce the soon to be opening of our new film studio space in Portland, OR – GMS STUDIOS.
The journey to this point has been a long and winding road, filled with obstacles and challenges, but we never gave up on our dream of creating a state-of-the-art filming stage that would serve as a hub for creativity and imagination in the Portland community.
We knew that finding the perfect location for our studio would be key, and after months of searching, we finally found a space in the Iron Fireman Collective Building. The building is located in a bustling area of the city, surrounded by a diverse array of businesses and organizations, and it is easily accessible to the entire Portland community.
Once we had secured the location, we set to work on designing and building the studio itself. We knew that we wanted to create a space that was both functional and beautiful, one that would inspire creativity and encourage collaboration among our team members. We worked closely with designers and builders to ensure that every detail was perfect, from the lighting and sound systems to the layout of the studio itself.
And in just a few more weeks, everything will be ready. The results will be truly impressive. A space filled with the latest technology and equipment, and designed to meet the needs of the most demanding film and video production projects.
We are incredibly excited to share this space with the community, and we can’t wait to see the amazing work that will be created here. Our studio is open to anyone who is interested in film and video production, from students and amateur filmmakers to professional directors and producers.
Click here to check out our Peerspace listing and book the studio for your next video or photo shoot!
We believe that our new studio will be a valuable resource for the Portland community, providing a space where people can come together to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and explore their passion for film and video production. We are committed to fostering a culture of creativity and inclusivity, and we look forward to working with the talented people of Portland to bring their vision to life.
So if you’re in the Portland area and looking for a state-of-the-art film studio to bring your film and video projects to the next level, come visit us and see the imagination and creativity of our company and film studio space for yourself.
We’re looking forward to see the magic happen in our studio and see the final product that will be shared with the world. It’s been a long road to get here, but we couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds for our studio and the Portland community.
…come with me and you’ll be… in a world of pure imagination.
– Geff Zamor, Creative Director + Founder
Our writer, Spencer Bonnell, reflects on what it’s like to be an emerging professional in the new media industry, and the struggles of a young creative.
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a filmmaker. To me, being a filmmaker was better than getting a real job and the financial security that would come with it. Even before I wandered onto my first set, I knew I wanted to be one of those black cladden men with a paunch who swore excessively. It was there that I knew that I belonged. To me, it meant being able to go to a party and say I was a somebody. They weren’t like anybody else. I mean, these guys did whatever they wanted. They blocked off entire streets for one scene, and nobody batted an eye. At night when they used seven 300ds to light the street brighter than a desperate actress’s smile at an LA producer, Nobody. Ever. Called. The. Cops.
Gabriel Lawler. Gabey-baby. He ran La Modifica Uomo delle Caverne and a few other places for his boss Geff, who was the boss over everybody in the industry. Geff might have talked patronizingly, but it was only because that was his right as Director.
At first, my parents loved that I found a job as a PA in such a highly competitive industry. My father, a producer himself, started in the industry at eleven, and he liked that I got myself a job. He always said film school kids were spoiled lazy. And my mother was happy after she found out that Geff was partial to the same Norah Ephron movies she liked. To my mother, it was the call in to her talk radio show.
I was the luckiest PA in the world. I could shoot anywhere. I could do anything. I knew everybody and nobody knew my name. But it wasn’t too long before my parents changed their minds. For them, PAing was supposed to be a part-time job, a step along the way, but for me, it was full-time. A producer like my father could never understand, but I was a part of a set. I belonged. I was treated like one of the guys. Every day I was learning new routes for my crafty runs.
My father was always pissed off. He was pissed that I had to work so hard. He was pissed that I made such lousy money. He was pissed that there were seven of us grabbing coffee for one actor. But after a while, he was mostly pissed that I hung around the grips. He said they were bums and that I was a bum. He said I was going to get into trouble. I used to say I was only doing crafty runs, but he knew better. He knew what went on at the studio.
At dinner one night he caught me absentmindedly over-undering a spaghetti noodle, and I saw disgust run across his face. Every once in a while, usually after he got his load on, he’d teach me a lesson by making me rewatch Mike Meyer’s Love Guru in an attempt to deter me from my craft. But by then, I didn’t care. No matter how many producers tore me a new one, I wouldn’t listen to what he said. I don’t think I even heard him. The way I saw it, the way it was explained to me, everybody has to take a beating sometime. There’s the career in film you wanted, and there’s the one you get.
Spencer Bonnell, Writer + Assistant Coordinator
Our DP and Associate Creative Director, Gabe Lawler shares a sneak peak into our current and upcoming projects.
In 2022 GMS had the privilege of telling a large sum of stories for different small businesses, and various other projects that include some documentary and narrative work. But there was one project that was ongoing that stood out from the rest.
Inward Out is a series that I got to work on first-hand as the Director of Photography (DoP) and found it to be a great opportunity to expand my knowledge on how to expand peoples stories through visual storytelling. Through this series, we got to explore the stories and identities of Queer women and their stories of discovering themselves to being the successful people they are today. It is not everyday that you hear these stories and it was very clear to me before beginning this journey to understand how I would visually show these individuals as “in their own skin.” Even in pre-production I took it upon myself to study some of Annie Leibovitz’s work to better understand how to present a portrait of somebody’s true self. And as we began to shoot, I left with one good piece of advice from Annie herself, that it is not always necessary to make the person who is in front of the camera feel totally at ease.
As we began production, there were times where I got to shoot the interview first and there were times where we shot the b-roll first. As a DoP I thought that it might be a lot easier shooting the b-roll after hearing the interview because I would have more insight into what the “real” story is, but sometimes production called for us to do it in reverse order. What I found was that it exercised a new part of my brain in working with the subject without having a biased story in my head, giving each person a different perspective on their visual story. It turned out to be a great exercise for me in exploring my visual storytelling skills.
Seen above is Jaime Wyatt (Pictured in the middle), who is a Queer Country Singer-Songwriter with an amazing story of how she came to be who she is today. I had known a little about her story, but didn’t necessarily know the full extent. We originally intended to shoot the interview prior to the b-roll but with some complications in the locations, we had to pivot to shooting the b-roll first. But to capture the “real story” through imagery we had to put in the work before even knowing what she was going to say in her interview so we decided it was best to immediately get her playing guitar and capture her in her element and go from there.
As we staged her to sit on the altar and as she started playing guitar and singing, the story began to unravel. She had a sheer connection between her and her guitar that nobody could separate, as almost like she was catching up with a loved one with how her day was going. The moment was there, but now it was time to capture it. As quiet as a church mouse, I roamed through the pews, giving different perspectives through the lens, trying to capture the story as if you were sitting there with her as she gave a sermon from her soul. And after we had captured that moment, her story was very easy to see.
Being on this project has given me an opportunity to become a better DoP in the way that it has taught me to not worry so much about how the person feels behind the lens, but how to see a moment for what it is, and how to document it in a true light. Not everybody has the ability to be amazing with taking direction or be a natural behind the camera, but everybody has the ability to be a human with a unique story and perspective. It’s not always on the subject to present the story, but for us filmmakers to uncover it. I look forward to taking this experience and using it to share more stories in the future.
Gabe Lawler, DP + Associate Creative Director
Emmy Wu is our Senior Producer + Operations Manager. She talks about the difficult nature of challenges, and how we can leverage difficulty to become even stronger and better than before.
Over the last couple of years, the world has changed – a LOT.
There are more challenges now to building a team. There are more people working remotely from home who don’t want to be in an office. There’s a shift towards the younger generation starting to take the reins where baby boomers are retiring that’s causing contention between generations.
Economists have even coined the term, “The Great Resignation”, that illustrates the highest rates of job quitting in US history in 2022.
People want more than just a J.O.B. We want fulfillment. We want to know the work we’re doing matters. We’re done with toxic environments. We want to do it with people we share common values with.
But in order to truly do the work we’re born to do – we must be willing to change ourselves. Challenges push us to change, and change is the impetus for growth.
Before joining GMS, I had been a remote worker for over 8 years. When everyone else was wanting to work from home, I was dying to be back with people. Days upon days of working solo with little real-life interaction, the “laptop lifestyle” really took a toll on me.
And the universe listened. One scorching summer day, Geff reached out to me to help produce a few upcoming projects – and as soon as I got my hands on production schedules and call sheets again, I was in love.
I believe that sometimes, positive change can only happen when we make space for it in our lives.
Prior to this, I was so committed to the hustle that I had resigned to the fact that feeling lonely would just be a fact of life. But when I let go of other things in life that were no longer serving me, and embraced this shift in work – I found my groove and purpose in work again.
GMS has embraced some changes as well as we’ve installed some new operational procedures that have positively impacted our workflows. In a few short months, we’ve already seen how much faster and easier we can get our work done by streamlining our processes.
GMS is also expanding into original narrative content, and it’s been a wonderful challenge to take on projects that test our storytelling in new, creative ways. We cannot WAIT to share those with you when they go live.
And Geff has (FINALLY!!!) said yes to us properly building out our social media presence, so keep your eye on our Instagram account where we’ll be sharing more behind-the-scenes and what’s up and coming!
And now I’ll be dragging Geff the whole way while he kicks, screams and bores us with stories about the “Good Old Days” when you weren’t allowed to take out your cellphone on set.
And this is just the beginning. Watch out Portland! GMS is comin’ in hot!!
Sometimes it’s external conditions that force us to change. Sometimes it’s an internal realization. Regardless of what prompts the shift, embracing uncertainty can show us – prove to us even – that when things get hard or uncomfortable – instead of resisting it, embracing the change is what ushers new experiences into our lives.
So yea. Change requires work. Most of the time it sucks.But are the outcomes worth it? Abso-fucking-lutely.
Emmy Wu, Senior Producer + Operations Manager