Johnny McGrath

My day job is a freelance video producer.

Until just a few weeks ago, I was the videographer/photographer at Camp Gray, which is a Catholic youth ministry camp. As you can imagine, things are a bit different right now because of COVID-19.

It’s been a dream of mine to be a film maker since the 6th grade. My family had a VHS camera and I made a lot of short films—typically using Lego creations as my characters. 

My favorite: the many Lego-based sequels I made to The Godfather. I once added Godfather segments into my mom’s VHS copy of The Sound of Music (her favorite; I didn’t do this until she’d gotten a DVD of it). Somewhat surprisingly, Paramount Pictures did not offer me a movie deal based on these creations. I have no doubt they’ll regret this decision later. These videos are a great trip down memory lane for my mom and she’ll also be able to use them as compromising evidence if needed.

I started to get more serious about pursuing filmmaking as a career in high school. Senior year I took a basic editing class and had a lot of fun with that. I discovered Madison College offered a visual communications degree that combined video production and graphic design. That was great training and I graduated from the program in 2019. 

I’d worked at Camp Gray throughout college and the summer after I graduated, I took a job there doing their videos and photography. That summer was transformative, and I realized I didn’t want to leave. I had the good fortune to be hired on year-round as a SaLT Missionary, which stands for Servant Leadership Team. In this role I helped with an environmental program for 5th-7th graders, facilitated retreats for a variety of age groups and helped with marketing. 

At present I’ve decided that I’d like to focus on YouTube videos. I’ve had a lot of ideas in my head that I haven’t had time to explore and this seems like the time to do it. You can check out my website here. And my Youtube channel here

And, I’m reopening an old Twitter account where I journaled about all things related to the Milwaukee Bucks. I was pretty disappointed when the NBA shut down. Here are some reactions to my old tweets for your enjoyment. 

My most memorable caffeine was the coffee I had after pulling a nearly all-nighter to get ready for my final presentation at Madison College. I’d been hard at work for days pulling together a website and a demo reel and not getting a lot of sleep.

I wasn’t a big coffee drinker, but that last morning I said to my dad, “I feel like a zombie, help me out.”

He said, “Here’s my solution” and poured me a big thermos mug of coffee. I chugged it down like water and remember saying, “This is awesome. Can I have another one?”

It was an energized drive to school. I remember Billy Idol’s Rebel Yell was playing and I was fired up and ready to tackle that last presentation. There was one more coffee at school and a really big nap after I got home. 

From that experience I realized that I actually kind of liked coffee and now it’s become part of my routine. 

My current caffeine of choice is usually black. I’ve tried cream and sugar, but I never seem to get the right mix.

My favorite place for caffeine is often Panera. You can do a monthly subscription, which gets you unlimited coffee. I also like M-N-M Coffee House in Waunakee. 

The people I’d love to share a cup of caffeine with are the following:

Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. Because I love the Bucks and this should have been their year!

Toby McGuire, Andrew Garfield and Tom Holland—the three different actors who most recently played Spider-Man. I’d like to meet them in character, duking it out and talking about what it’s like to be Spiderman in different universes. 

Raymond from the Blacklist TV show. Who is this guy and what is his motive? I’d love to sit down with him and pick his brain apart. 

John Cena and Dwayne Johnson, together. They have an ongoing rivalry and it would be fun to listen in as they trash talked each other. I just have to decide if they’re doing it in character or as themselves.

My grandparents. They passed away in 2011, about six months apart. I wasn’t very old when they died, and I wish I could meet up with them again at my current age. 

World problem that could be solved with the right amount of caffeine: Right now, obviously, it would be solving the pandemic. 

Once we’re past that, I’d like to have the clarity to become the perfect mixed martial arts guy and defeat Khabib Nurmagomedov. He’s had the title for a long time.