Welcome back to our Employee Feature series, where we give you a “behind-the-scenes” look at our team. This Meet Motion Source article features David Gall, who is a triple threat as a Cinematographer, Photographer, and Editor.
Born and raised in the Chicago south suburbs, David has always been drawn to storytelling, both fiction and non-fiction alike. Grounded in a broad appreciation for art, David has 14 years of photography experience and prides himself on composition and the ability to capture the atmosphere of the moment, in an effort to convey a feeling and breathe life into an image. His love for photographs is surpassed only by his passion for films and filmmaking, both small and large productions. As a still frame, or motion picture, David has a strong belief in the power of film to make a statement, and to tell your story.
It was back in 2014, on a music video project, that David first worked with Motion Source. Since then, he has filled a number of roles on set, and has become one of our trusted production members.
Where did your filmmaking path begin?
I grew up in a household full of movies and movie buffs. I used to stage and frame scenes using my eyes as a camera when I played with my G.I. Joes. The love of film started early, but the filmmaking process began with photography in high school. With a small Sony point-and-shoot camera, I captured anything and everything I found interesting. Discovering I had a knack for composition was one thing, but understanding it was another. I pursued understanding composition and atmosphere with art classes, practice, and learned techniques.
How did you get from there to where you are today?
Having success with my photography, I branched out from personal work to paid work. Starting a small business offering wedding photography granted me several new experiences and really opened new doors to turning my hobby into a profession. Having explored many different types of photography now, the natural next step was to transition to film, something I have loved deeply since I was a kid. I have learned so much, and made so many new, and great, friends since crossing paths with Motion Source, it's been an honor to be a part of the team.
What is it that you love most about your job?
The story crafting, the constant change of scenery, and the camaraderie of the production process. While technically video production is my job, it doesn't feel like a job to me. While this job has its hard days, and long days, I wake up every morning without the feeling of the grind. It truly doesn't feel like a job. Setting out on these missions to capture an event or craft a story, in ever changing locations, with a creative and supportive crew, is incredibly fun. This is the best job I've ever had and I am thankful for any and all opportunities before me.
Can you recall a favorite set memory, or a definitive moment?
A favorite memory is difficult to pinpoint. Looking back only a few years, I've been tremendously lucky to have been a part of some special productions and some very unique music videos. From surviving a bitterly cold Halloween short film shoot in the middle of a forest, helping to create a cyberpunk inspired neon dystopia, to my small police officer cameo deflecting a smoke grenade with a riot shield, there is always something new around the corner.
As for definitive, it would have to be my music video directorial debut last December.* Directing has been a goal of mine for a majority of my life and it was incredibly profound to have something plucked from your imagination and brought to life with the help of a talented and trusting crew. That first experience will live with me forever.
What do you do when you aren't at work?
When not at work, I spend time with my longtime girlfriend Julie, we shower our miniature schnauzer Ronan with possibly too much love and attention, and juggle maintenance around our first house. Beyond that, occasionally I find time to catch a movie, a television show, a podcast, a book, an anime, or a video game on my Xbox. I've become entranced with audiobooks and listen to them almost every day during my commute. I still treasure the movie theater experience, so I try to catch all the big releases in IMAX and frequent as many concerts as I can whenever my favorite bands come through town.
I have also dedicated a fair amount of my time to costume building/crafting recently. Working with materials and paint is a very new experience and something I've really come to enjoy. My love of Star Wars lead me to join one of the LucasFilm approved costume clubs that help raise awareness and money for charity.
What was the last great movie that you saw?
I cannot not mention the sheer spectacle that was Avengers: Endgame. For its genre, the scope and scale of that film running on 10 years of character build-up delivered a finale beyond expectation. It was something that we'll be lucky to even see a fraction of again. On a much, much smaller scale, the last great film I can put my finger on was Predestination. It's a sci-fi thriller that I went into cold, with a story that caught me completely off-guard, and left my jaw dropped through the end credits.
*You can check out the music video David directed here: