A New Hope: Babies, Teammates, Casting Calls
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You may or may not have heard the news, but about a month ago my wife gave birth to our first son! And I know everyone says this, but he has already completely changed our lives! We’ve had late nights--or more accurately, endless nights--and so many new rhythms. One of the serval things I didn’t anticipate is how having a newborn forces you to live in the present. Already, we’re hanging on his every movement; noticing small changes; and just trying to survive from moment to moment. Having a son has really helped me put things in perspective.  For instance…I am proud of that boy and he does nothing but eat, sleep, scream, and defecate. If I love my son for just being alive and being mine, how can I question God’s love for me? This new perspective also hasn’t diminished my love of this job! Writing scripts and shooting commercials is not any less important--quite to the contrary. It reminds me that I can put everything I have into making the best films possible, knowing that I’ve got this new life supporting me and also to support! We’re infused with a new hope (Star Wars pun not intended), and I can already see him improving the way we tell stories here at His Grace Productions.

And, at the risk of a not-so-subtle transition, something else that has been pushing my creativity over the last couple of years and bringing hope to our team is Josh Barbur. Josh is another member of the His Grace Production crew that you really need to meet. (To meet the rest of our crew check out these blog posts.)

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Have you ever had a moment when God brings the right person across your path at just the right time? That’s been Josh for me. We met working production at our church where I heard he was a good shooter. The rest has been history in the making. Josh has grown with this company, and he is a huge asset to our team.  From camera op-ing to lighting design, there’s not much this guy can’t do. Speaking of which, he plays in at least four different bands and is about to go on tour this summer with “Night Traveler.” See, my guys are rock stars! Oh wow… Dad jokes already?

Josh is always on the move and always booked. Whether he’s working with me, filming something for the church, playing with Thinking Caps, or sitting in with another band that needs him, his schedule is jam-packed. He’s a servant, a man of God, and he’s the person you want in your corner when walking on set.

Sunrise on a high-rise. Josh and James grab a beautiful time-lapse while I chill out and take this pic.

Sunrise on a high-rise. Josh and James grab a beautiful time-lapse while I chill out and take this pic.

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For His Grace Productions, Josh does a little bit of everything. On some shoots he’s our DP (director of photography) and on some shoots he’s in charge of lighting. (Pro-tip: The best way to increase your production value before purchasing a $100k camera is to light your projects well! This can be economical but can also take a long time. Thankfully, Josh IS a rockstar and can take budgeting lemons and make lemonade.) Josh is also a certified Steadicam-op and brings a high level of skill to each shooting. Whether he’s focused on perfecting some important detail, capturing big-picture shots, or bringing new, creative ideas, Josh is a source of inspiration and hope on our team. If you haven’t met him already, I hope you get to soon! (For now, you can stream the Thinking Caps!)

Another source of excitement and hope is the short film we’re working on. (For more on the short film, check out our last blog post.) We’ve officially begun casting, and so far we’ve had more than 150 people respond to our call (thank you Texas Film Commission for helping us spread the word)! Call backs and auditions will be happening soon and not long after that we’ll begin to shoot. We’ve got a location scouted--Jake’s Texas Tea House, a great restaurant and perfect backdrop for our story--and have had good conversations with the owners. I’ve been working with Will to get the shot list, and it’s all coming together. Then, depending on how this first vignette turns out, we’ll work to secure funding and shoot a full episode to use as a pilot that we’ll then pitch with the hopes of shooting a full series or feature-length film. To keep with the theme of this post, I’m hopeful.  Not because of circumstances, because we all know how quickly those change, but because Jesus Christ is faithful. We have a living hope that is solid, unchanging, fixed (1Peter 1:3). May everyone who reads this have an extra dose of hope today and as always don’t hesitate to reach out. We love hearing from you all!

So how are you doing? How’s business going this year? If you haven’t quite found a way to articulate how amazing your company is, we’d love to help. Tell us what’s going on by clicking the “CONTACT” button below and we’ll set up a time to chat.

Want to keep up with us? Click subscribe below and you’ll be the first to know what’s exciting and new on the His Grace Productions front.

Our Resident Genius AND News on Our New Film Series

Happy New Year! It’s already been a busy one at HGP! I still haven’t introduced you to all of our team, but first I need to give you an update on our First 15 Project, my work to create 15 short films. For the next installment, I’ve been working with my good friend, Joseph. We’ve got an idea to put together five to six short films, each four or five minutes long, and they’ll all come together to complete one story. And, for this one, we’re thinking about not only releasing it and seeing who likes it, but we’re also thinking about combining it into one full episode that we can use as a pilot to pitch to the likes of Amazon and Netflix. Who knows what shape it’ll all take, but whatever we do with the film, it’s just fun to think about new ideas, dig into our creativity, and be ambitious.

We’re really excited about this next challenge in storytelling and filmmaking. Our goal from the start has been to create stories we’re interested in and then find people who are willing to go on the journey of making it with us. We know that, for us, if we try to create something we don’t believe in, then we’re probably not going to make something creative enough for people to want to watch.

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Now that we’ve taken on this next goal of pitching to a distro company, I know this short film isn’t just practice and that I’ll have to push myself, both creatively but also in terms of production value and the quality of my writing. We’re really going to have to find and bring everything together--equipment, setting, actors, etc. (Side note: if anyone reading this blog wants to act in this next project, send me a reel!)

Our first script is almost done. I won’t give away too many plot details here, but suffice it to say there a dark haunts, a vigilante anti-hero, and various pre-apocalyptic settings. So, stay tuned for updates! We’ll keep you posted here on how the shooting is going and our progress toward a picked-up pilot, and what it looks like to try and get your foot in the door with these streaming platforms!

Now, after that exciting update, it’s time to introduce you to another member of the His Grace Productions team (drum roll please): Ryan Young! Below is a Q&A with Ryan and the skillz he brings to our team.

Q&A with Ryan Young, animator extraordinaire.


Hi, Ryan, thanks for doing this. I think we should just jump right in, no niceties or small talk. So, tell us about how you became a part of His Grace Productions?

Well, I met Jake through a friend. I was working on a shoot for an Antioch music video and needed a slider—so I went to Jake! We got to talking and he mentioned that he’d seen some of the motion graphics I’d done and that he needed help with a 3-D, motion graphic video and animation for a project he was working on. I helped with that and have been able to help with several projects since then.

At His Grace, we do a lot of live action, filming people and places for our productions, but could you tell us a little about why it’s important to have an animation component?

Animation is a great way to be engaging and a really good tool for promoting a product/service/event. It’s also very flexible, because we can control the colors and story in a way you can’t necessarily do when filming live action. We can also add animation to live action, which just adds a new level of creativity and engagement for an audience. With animation, we can pack a ton of things into a one-minute video.

Exactly, animation is a tremendous value add to our customers and the products we create. So, doing animation, you’re not necessarily on “set” or doing behind the camera work are  you?

Not really. I do digital animation, which lets us add a whole new element to our work and another way to meet our clients needs. I do 2D animations, which let us add illustration to piece and bring a lot more to our storytelling. I also digitally build 3D models. With these, I can basically sculpt a product to a client’s liking and allow them to highlight a product in ways that live action doesn’t necessarily let you. For example, we recently worked with cement barrier company to build a 3D replica of their machine and show it at different angles and in different ways that wouldn’t be possible by filming it alone.

How did you get into animation like this?

Like a lot of us, I started doing film in high school, and specifically I started to learn the program After Effects. I had to learn it for a high school show, and really just taught myself--with the help of YouTube. I’d watch videos of someone creating an effect and then I’d try it myself. After high school, I went to Baylor and started to learn a lot more. Along with After Effects, I started editing live action and eventually got a minor in film and digital media (I majored in entrepreneurship). While in school, I would help with video production at my church, and when I graduated I got to work for the church full-time doing video production. So now, along with working with His Grace Productions, I get to work alongside my church’s 17+ ministries and produce videos for their events and to promote their services. The more I’ve worked on this, the more I’ve realized that I’m just naturally a visual person, and I continue to realize how visual life is in general. There are just so many options and ways you can be creative visually.


What’s been your favorite project to work on?

Actually, it was probably the one for the cement company. It was just really interesting and fun. I got to work closely with the client. They brought in models for us to see and replicate, and we also got to go to the facility where they manufacture their product. Creating a model for them was really intricate and challenging, but I think it came out really well--and more importantly, so did they! The process of building that 3D model was fun, but so was getting to work hand-in-hand with the client throughout the process to give them a product they really love. Just in general, I’m really liking learning about different styles within 3D motion graphics and all the different techniques there are--for example, right now I’m doing a lot of 3D-neon looks. Motion graphics are just so versatile, and I love to add supplemental graphics on live action video to make it really stand out or even make a full-on cartoon that tells a story in a fun way that live action can’t always do.

Why do you like working with His Grace Productions? What sets it apart?

I think Jake is great at communicating with clients and understanding what needs to get done and how to get the client a great product. He has a really great creative mind but is also really good at seeing the big picture when it comes to what the client needs; if a client doesn’t have a great idea, he’s good at steering them away from that but making them happy.

Lastly, tell us a little about what you like to do when you’re not creating 3D models or animation?

Hmm, well, I play guitar and enjoy that, and I just like to hangout with friends, watch movies (I’ve really enjoyed Doctor Strange lately. There is so much going on in that movie that, at first glance, you don’t think of it as being animation but so many of the effects that make that movie special are animation). I also just like to come to Pinewood and read and hang out--right now, my favorite authors are Malcolm Gladwell and Brennan Manning.

It’s so fun to see people operate in their God-given talents and thrive!  So, now who needs a little animation in their lives? Click the contact button below and we’d be happy to explain a bit more about the process.

Ryan is just one member of our great team at His Grace Productions. We’ve assembled an amazing great group of talent so that we can make sure to meet all of our clients’ needs. Make sure to subscribe to our blog so you don’t miss our posts about the rest of the team! And, if you’re ready to create videos or a commercial to generate even more revenue for your business, let us know!

The Legend of Will Aker
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“Hey, bro, how much did that camera cost?”

Believe it or not, that was the question that brought Will Aker to the His Grace Productions team.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’ve put together a great team at His Grace Productions, and I want to introduce you to the people I’ve been working with. So, my next few posts will be focused on the people that make this place extraordinary. To start things off let me introduce you to the legend of Will Aker.

Will is a director of photography, which means he’s responsible for the entire aesthetic of the production.   

If you ask Will when he started filming, he’ll tell you he’s been behind a camera most of his life. “I started really young with my mom’s VHS camera. I would literally shoot movies and have two VCRs to edit it, pressing play and pause on one and recording on the other.” (Side note: Will and I have never talked about this, but if you follow my blog, you know I did the exact same thing as a kid!) And, like many of the great filmmakers of today, when he was a kid, all of his friends would come over and they’d make an action movie.

Will’s first typewriter.

Will’s first typewriter.

“I always wanted to reenact what I’d seen in movies,” he tells me, starting to laugh. “I really liked movies with a ‘great escape,’ so we’d dig tunnels in my backyard that we could ‘escape’ through. I even went to Goodwill and bought a typewriter so I could type my scripts!”

Once he came to college at Baylor, he was able to take things to a new level. “I kept making videos for friends, at first just for free. Then I started doing it at my church and people would ask me how much it would cost for me to make a video for them,” and just like that, Will became a professional. He took some film classes at Baylor and worked for productions companies, filming for a 3-D printing company (a company that makes the fastest 3D printer in the world! That’s not totally relevant to his filming, but it’s insane!), Mars Confectionary, Clay Pot (a Waco Vietnamese restaurant), Bare Arms Brewing, First Baptist Woodway, and a music video for Honest Men Music. (This is by no means an all inclusive list but you get the idea.)

Since then he’s continued to grow as a cinematographer and has traveled around the country—and around the world—to work on a variety of projects. (When we talked he’d just gotten back from shooting a documentary in Mexico.)

While it’s true that we first crossed paths when he was filming something for Antioch Community Church and I asked how much his camera cost, it wasn’t until later that we began working together.

“I actually reached out to you,” he reminds me. “I’d heard about your work and let you know I’d love to DP any of your personal projects—and would do it for free. I knew your portfolio was growing and if I could contribute to the His Grace Productions brand it could be an opportunity.”

Every once in a while I find myself in these rare moments when I feel like Jesus is just tapping on my shoulder, waiting for me to pay attention. Meeting Will was definitely one of those times in my life.  Having people on your set who are truly dedicated to serving and not stuck in their own ego is a game changer. Will and I worked closely on our very own HG Productions promo and since then he’s DP’d for me on “How to Hippo”, a pre-show short you can check out before seeing a movie at the Waco Hippodrome  and some secret squirrel projects we’re excited to release soon. Having a guy like Will around affords me the ability to set things up, communicate the vision, and leverage our creative process to the maximum. “Meh, good enough” is not in his vocabulary and that type of excellence is what I’m excited to present to our clients.

“I love working with people and serving people and building relationships, and I have a standard of quality that—well, it makes me sick to my stomach to sacrifice on quality. And one thing I like about working with His Grace Productions is that they have that same standard and they’re committed to doing everything they can to make excellent products.”

“Telling stories is something I’m passionate about,” Will tells me as we start to wrap up our chat. “Film is such a powerful medium to do that. It creates an experience—it can make my job as a communicator, telling stories, really fun,” and as he says that he’s beaming.

“My goal is to be the best cinematographer in Waco, in Texas even, and be able to contribute to everyone’s goals.”

That sentiment right there sums up why Will is a part of the team. If you’re looking for a crew of passionate, highly skilled, and dedicated team members to tell your story, please reach out now by clicking the “CONTACT” button below.  You can also just give us a call at 254-300-7492.

As I continue to introduce you to our amazing team, I have some exciting news on the next short film in our production schedule! Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the news!

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Team Work Makes the Dream Work

Our work with Adobe Spark and the production crew over at Team Thirteen.

Sorry I’ve kept you all waiting in suspense for a post—it’s been a while! His Grace Productions has had a busy summer! We just wrapped up shooting some drone footage  for Community Bank and Trust and are swimming in a sea of footage.  The last few months we’ve also worked with Adobe in helping launch their new product “Spark”, finished an animation video for the Baylor Business School, produced internal safety videos for Reinforced Earth Company, did commercials for Bush’s Chicken, Bird-Kultgen Ford and Community Bank and Trust, and created a video for a local movie theater to launch its remodeled space and did their pre-movie-turn-off-your-phones-and-keep-quiet video. We’ve also done work for Motoza, an Austin-based marketing agency and Gateway Church in Dallas. Plus, we just shot a commercial for ourselves!

Though it’s been busy, it really was a great summer, and I owe a lot of that to my team.

You’ve met the team, right?

Wait, what? You didn’t even know there was a team?!

Wow, it has been awhile since I’ve posted. This is actually one of the most exciting parts about His Grace Productions!  Let me take you back to this past spring…

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I was working on training videos for Bush’s Chicken. On the surface, this might seem like a simple enough project but when working with the food industry it can be hard to find an empty/quiet store to shoot in. This particular shoot required a start time of 4 a.m., a truck load of lights and equipment, and about an hour commute. I’m not sure how well you process information at 2:50 a.m. but I sucked at it, even in college. So, I called on reinforcements, and in steps Josh Barbur to the rescue. Josh and I prepped, filmed, lit, mic’ed, and kept each other awake to create an awesome video. And, well, that was it. it doesn’t take a genius to see the benefits of working with great people.

Besides creating an even better product for my client, I learned a lot. After experimenting with this concept of not doing everything myself, I knew I needed to continue to bring in new, creative people and that has turned out to be our greatest strength. It’s not just that each person brings a specific skill that gets plugged into our formula, which is still very important, but I started seeing that we were making each other better in bigger ways than just our specific roles or technical skills. Intuitively, I’ve known for a while that working alone, you can only go so far, (hello, welcome to military training 101) and that when you bring a great team together, every person’s unique talents can be leveraged to create something... more. Working with this team has reinforced that lesson. The more we work together, the more we’re able to build on each other’s ideas and create products that none of us could have created on our own. The production process became more fun and energetic, and what we were giving to clients reached a whole other level of excelence. Plus, you can’t beat the feeling of creating something as a team and then giving it to a client and watching the their eyes light up!


I’m guessing you’re probably thinking “Ok, you lived under a rock and never played a team sport or worked on a group project. Teams are cool, yada yada yada...moving on.”  BUT! How many filmmakers do you know who dream of just being another cog in the movie making machine? Sure we say, I’m good with being a director of photography (DP), or director, or lead writer, but most of our dreams are to have full control of the creative process. My experience with total control is that, eventually, project after project, your work starts to look the same. You need other people to challenge you and make you better!  As long as there’s a clear vision and direction for the team and everyone knows their role and responsibility, the sky’s the limit for creativity and originality.

And now, since you’re all reading this and probably thinking, “tell me more about who’s on the team!” I think I’ll dedicate my next few posts to introducing them. I want you to know who is behind the scenes and the insane talent you’re getting when you hire His Grace Productions to create that next earthshaking film for your company.

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So far, we’ve brought in a director of photography who has tremendous skills behind the camera and helps us find new depths cinematically. We also have an extremely talented animator/artist who has revolutionized our graphic work. Working with him has allowed us to offer an entirely new type of product, and it has been so much fun getting to see how animation can really enhance a video or be a great stand-alone piece.  We also have a jack of all trades (Josh, who I already mentioned) that gives us the ability to do what we do on a daily basis, plus talented editors, Emmy award winning director, sound operators, the coolest copywriter, and an amazing production assistant who helps with a little bit of everything.

We have all of this concentrated and effective talent at our disposal to help you rest assured that your brand is in good hands. This team has allowed us to continue to grow and help our clients have the best experience possible while receiving the best video product. Want a glimpse into what that experience looks like? We created a video to show you exactly what we’re talking about:

Now you know that if you hire His Grace Productions, you’re not just getting Jake McGhee, you’re getting a powerful team, passionate about our work and passionate about your success!

Over the next few months I’ll be posting about each of them, giving insight into who they are, what they do and why they’re great to have on the team. So, make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss one of them! And, if you’ve got a specific skill that you think I could use on my team, let me know. You might just see your face on my blog in the future!

If you’re ready to have this team take your marketing to the next level, let’s talk![

Jacob McGheeComment
They Don’t Care About the Perfect Soufflé: My Conversation with Author and Filmmaker Robert Fuller

Robert and crew on a recent commercial shoot in Waco, TX.

Robert and crew on a recent commercial shoot in Waco, TX.

So you’re plugging along, working hard to create that next amazing scene, then BOOM.  You look up and a massive brick wall is staring back at you.  Starting my own production company has been a wild ride and there are times when I feel beaten down and like I’m the only one struggling through a certain process. We are in the middle of writing the script for our next short film while tirelessly crafting commercials for our clients, and the high intensity pace of it all started to catch up with me. That’s when God pulled me aside and gave me the best pep-talk ever.  Enter, Robert Fuller. Robert is an amazing filmmaker, writer, and production company owner who reached out to grab coffee with me, and close to 3 hours later, reignited my resolve and passion for this line of work.  I’ve done my best to capture some of his inspiration in this post (how do you capture inspiration in one post?!). Robert offered advice on facing fear and the discipline of creating. I think it’ll leave you as motivated as I was. In fact, it went so well, I’m hoping to do this again, with other filmmakers! Make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the others!


Robert Fuller’s journey to becoming a filmmaker followed a long and winding road. In fact, if you believe what he says, he never even wanted to be one. But I think at least his subconscious knew, because in between telling me how he wasn’t interested in being a professional filmmaker, he dropped in, “well, I did make cheesy horror flicks with my brothers as a kid, you know with ketchup and butter knives.”—spoken like a young James Cameron/Peter Jackson/Steven Spielberg

Even if Robert didn’t know he wanted to be a filmmaker, he’s always known that he’s a storyteller at heart. “I can remember writing stories when I was young, maybe six-years old,” he told me, “And I mean seriously writing, spending time and working hard on my stories. As I got older, I’d spend more time writing. Sometimes I’d stay up most of the night working on a story.”

His journey to shooting video has taken him down a lot of paths since his childhood writing. Robert’s been a missionary, a janitor, a worship pastor, and has produced musicals and plays—none of it with a camera in his hand, but the theme of storytelling always finding its way in there. Finally, the call to the camera won out.

“I’m addicted to real true stories, real human stories, fiction or nonfiction,” Robert explains, “and I got to a point where I knew God was leading me to focus on telling his stories—stories of salvation and healing.” So, he decided to start travelling, looking for and listening to stories and writing them down. 

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“Before I left, I was talking with my old youth pastor, he’s a writer, and I was telling him about my project and that it was mostly going to be written—he basically told me not to write the stories because video would have a greater impact. So, I got a camera.”

“I really didn’t know what I was doing,” he continues, “but I knew I was not going to wait to tell the stories until I learned how to do it—that decision transformed my creative process.”

“It’s easy to want to know how to do it, then start. I think a lot of creatives get stuck there. They wait until they know what they’re doing or have a great product before putting it out there for the world to see.” 

At this point, I knew Robert was the person I needed to be talking to. Then Robert dropped his advice on me. FILMMAKERS, HERE’S WHERE YOU NEED TO PAY ATTENTION: Robert’s advice—or maybe mandate—to beginning filmmakers: You have to be okay with failure.

He recognizes this is easier said than done. “I’ve literally written millions of words over my life. You wouldn’t believe how much content—unfinished work, even completed books—I have sitting on my hard drive! It’s taken me a long time to get a thick skin and conquer my fear of failure.”


“Actually, what helped me get over it was a dream I had. In this dream, I was in a kitchen cooking, trying to make the perfect soufflé. I kept trying and starting over; never happy with the results. And then I looked out the kitchen window and saw there were so many starving people waiting for food! They were so hungry and didn’t care about the perfect soufflé—they just wanted to eat!” 

Once Robert woke up, he knew it was time to stop sitting on content, hoping it would eventually be perfect enough to release, and time to take the leap of faith to publish what he’d created. “I had to face my fear of failure and released my first book. It was tough to do. At every step of the process I kept thinking, ‘Are people going to think I’m a hack?’ or ‘I’ve always dreamed about this what if I fail?’” (…asked every visionary ever!)

“Perfect can be a killer sometimes. You have to just fall back on the truth that God has given gifts to everybody,” he’s says, “There’s no such thing as a magic wand; making good work happens through hard work.”

Robert’s other piece of advice (PAY ATTENTION HERE, it’s another golden nugget): Make your creative work—writing, filming, painting, etc.—a routine and a discipline.

“When I was younger, I’d write whenever I was inspired. I would go two weeks without writing, then an idea would hit me and I’d stay up all weekend writing,” he says with a slight laugh. “As I got older, I knew that needed to change.”

These days, he’s figured out a better structure. Every morning, he gets up before the rest of his family and writes for an hour, and to his surprise, his output increased significantly once he started this practice. “Writing became like muscle memory. I could sit down and my brain knew what to do and could move much more quickly. I’m finishing stories and books, and the writing momentum is like a train. Once it starts rolling, it’s hard to stop.”

Robert’s creative train seems to be moving full-speed ahead now. He owns a successful video production company, just released his first book (which is selling like hotcakes!), and is producing his first short film this summer. While his fear of failure is always lurking, it’s had to be pushed aside. “When I don’t write or create, I start to dry up a little and I feel off, which is always a good reminder. It’s not an option, I have to do it.”

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You can get his young adult fiction novel, In the Belly of the Earth, on Amazon and follow him on Instagram @fullerwriter to get updates on his short film and others projects.

This is just a small sample of what Robert and I talked about but it got me back on track to be disciplined in my trade and to not to let perfection keep me from moving forward in what God has called me to do. I hope this inspires you to keep pressing on, working WITH God on the amazing things He’s called you to.  We’re running this race together so when you’re in a rut and your soufflé is burning the kitchen to the ground, never forget to reach out.  You’re not alone and we’ve all destroyed plenty of kitchens before creating something really worthwhile.

Want more content like this? Subscribe to get all the latest posts from His Grace Productions!

The World Premiere of Our First Short Film

Drum roll please…

(In your head, hear this in a big, announcer type voice) “And now, in its theatrical debut, His Grace Productions proudly presents Cry Wolf !”


Well folks, we’ve finished our first short film. Like I thought, it took a little longer than I hoped, but that’s the reality of life. I knew that when I set out to make something creative, something that I was really passionate about (and do it alongside my day job that pays the bills) it was going to be an easier-said-than-done project, and I was right. But now, it’s done, and I’ve made something I’m proud of. And, here’s the thing, I know that it’s not good. I know that I haven’t created a cinematic masterpiece. Now that I’ve started down this treacherous path of narrative-based film, I know there’s a long road ahead but I also know that we MUST celebrate the little victories. I finished something I started; I set out to accomplish something and now I’ve done it. That in itself is worth celebrating. (Coincidentally, you can follow me along this treacherous path by subscribing to my blog!)


As far as production-value goes we did some things right and had a good time doing it. And while I can be confident about my skills as a commercial producer, I know that I have a ways to go as a filmmaker. And, wow, filmmaking takes a lot of work. Regardless of the on-screen outcome, I’m proud that I took this risk. Cry Wolf is not meant to be a stand-alone work of art. It’s a representation of me trying to get better at what I do—what I love to do. I think that’s the crux of it. Making films is what I love to do, and I knew I had to take a risk and start making some if I was ever going to be good at it. And I have to say, I’m really glad I did. Art and success doesn’t usually come fully formed. We have to work at it. You’ve got to step into the unknown and see what comes out. Honestly, this film was not supposed to see the light of day, but I want to show other filmmakers, other artists, the process I went through. (Side note: If you’d like to be a direct part of this process, I’d love to have you be a part of our next production. We’re looking for actors, writers, camera men, grips, productions assistants…you name it! Send us an email if you’re interested!)

So, here it is. Our first short film. Take it for what it is. I guarantee you I’m this film’s biggest critic but hopefully you’re entertained by it. Maybe it made you think a little or dream about your own next film. But, now that I’ve finished, I think most of all, I hope it inspires you to step out of your comfort zone and create something you want to create. I hope you see that putting in hard work and doing something you really care about is worth doing. 

And with that said, let’s dim the lights and hit play!

Jacob McGheeComment
Finishing What You Start: 4 Editing Pitfalls to Learn From


I just re-watched a cinematic classic, a tale of Machiavellian business practices and romantic uncertainty. It’s a movie called You’ve Got Mail. In this movie, Tom Hanks is charming (duh), and Meg Ryan is her usual beautiful but relatable self (also, duh). It’s a go-to, re-watchable film, but this last time I cozied up to it I noticed something. It’s a small moment that most people wouldn’t catch. But, in the scene where Tom Hanks’ character and his fictitious father are both on a boat together and Tom is mixing up martinis, I noticed a subtle discrepancy. Tom, as Joe Fox, shakes up the drinks and garnishes them with olives. The cameras then cut to his dad, who offers some lines about life, and then they cut back to Tom who ADDS OLIVES AGAIN!! One second Tom is putting olives in his martini, and the next the olives aren’t there and he has to put them in again. How could this happen?!

Now that I’ve gotten over the shock of this mistake, I’m able to see that it’s an editing error that even a Nora Ephron-written-Tom-Hanks-and-Meg-Ryan-starring-in-film can have, and more than ever I’m realizing the importance of post-production.

production company

I recently wrapped up filming my first short film in my First 15 project—Cry Wolf. Getting to immerse myself in the post-production editing process I was reminded of four pitfalls to avoid that will make your editing—and final product—so much better! 

Pitfall #1: Lack of Planning

You’re on location, ready to shoot, time to yell “Action!” and you realize…you don’t have power because you forgot to bring an extension cord. “That’ll never happen to me,” you say? It happens to everyone, and the way to avoid it is to plan every detail. Make sure you have food and water so your actors don’t run out of grace for the 30th take of the same line. Make sure you have all of your props built and on location for your shoot. Make sure you have batteries charged and ready (and spare batteries charged and ready) for every piece of equipment. Before you shoot, sit down and write out every scene and shot of your film/commercial/video. After that, breakdown each scene and make sure you know every piece of equipment that is needed and that it’s ready to go. If you plan, and back-up plan, for everything that could go wrong.  I know what you’re thinking, “Geez whiz Jake, this is awful specific” yeah… It’s because everything listed above is a mistake I personally made on this ONE shoot. 

Video Production

Pitfall #2: “I’ll fix it in editing.”