Gorilla to be recognized at the WMCAT iBall!

We’re excited to announce that we’re receiving an award for our partnership with WMCAT

Long ago, before Detroit or Los Angeles, Gorilla was a little group of midwest dreamers with a vision to ignite a new kind of creative community.

From the outside, it worked. We successfully built a film production company synonymous with authentic, human storytelling. Today, that vision has cascaded beyond our wildest dreams and has empowered us to build a Creative Studio with a host of exciting disciplines – from commercial and feature films to virtual reality, to strategic branding and design. It’s been a wild ride and we are beyond grateful.


Along the way, we noticed something disturbing. Although we envisioned Gorilla as a place where diversity flourished, those who walked through the doors were almost exclusively, well, white dudes. This was not our intention, nor was it our vision. And it forced us to ask some hard questions.

Why fewer women than men?

Why not more minority creative talent?

Yeah, we know. Duh right?

Of course, these questions are glaringly obvious to those whom it affects. In hindsight, they’re actually pretty embarrassing. Although our hearts were in the right place, we naively believed that “if we left the doors open, anyone could walk in”.

The reality was that our growing West Michigan office was located in a community which, like many in modern America, still suffers from legacies of disempowerment. Of course, there were (and are) many like WMCAT, who were already fighting for issues of equality, but our own ignorance prevented us from joining them. We were on the sidelines and didn’t even know it. It was an awakening which forced us to reevaluate and change our perspective.

Today, we are actively working to leverage our influence to help level the scales of inequality. Partners like WMCAT and Mosaic reflect the best of this effort, and our friends at Carbon Stories are crushing it. Manifesting social change is a battle, and it’s an honor to fight alongside these amazing humans.

Gorilla’s growth has required a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. We’re proud of what we’ve built. But we have also received the benefit of privileges which supersede our efforts. We can’t change that, but we can leverage it to tip the scales for future creatives. If we wish to inspire a diverse creative community we need to do more than leave the doors open, we need to empower future creatives to walk through them. 

We are so honored by this gracious recognition. But the truth is, it’s very existence is an indication of work yet to be done. The best validation will be the day that an award doesn’t need to exist anymore.

That’s what we’re fighting for.

WMCAT students learn film roles on set with Gorilla.

A WMCAT student learns directing techniques from Gorilla’s Eric Scott Johnson.

A WMCAT Student captures the action.

A WMCAT Student on Fischer Dolly provided by Lowing Studios.

A WMCAT Student pulls follow focus with 1st AC Tyler Holman.