Gary Gabisan, sometimes known as Guro Gary or simply Un-G, is a digital media professional, with over 15 years of experience in the corporate and non-profit sectors, a filmmaker, musician and martial arts instructor.
NYU FILM SCHOOL
Graduating from NYU film school in 1995, with a focus on experimental and documentary film, his first job in the IT industry was as a Junior Designer for IN2, an advertising agency that specialized in interactive ads.
Soon after, Gary taught himself coding and web development and, in 2000, stepped up to the position of Front End Developer at TMP Worldwide, an established international advertising agency. At TMP Worldwide, Gary wrote code for Pace University’s re-launch website and maintained e-commerce functionality for H&M’s website.
Having a steady paycheck allowed Gary to purchase camera equipment and work on his personal film projects on the weekends. During this time, he stayed active in the New York city independent filmmaker community and collaborated with internationally-recognized and award winning director Lav Diaz (Norte, The End of History) and commercial / music video director Steven E. Mallorca (Slow Jam King).
Attracted to the storytelling possibilities offered by digital media, in 2003, Gary joined MTV as an Interactive Producer. He developed, produced and published weekly original online content that focused on audience engagement after a TV show’s premiere air date. While at MTV, Gary concurrently managed multiple productions and the timely launches of on-line content for flagship MTV shows such as Laguna Beach, Pimp My Ride, and Punk’d.
In 2007, Gary made the move West to Los Angeles where he continued to produce on-line content for entertainment companies such as Jackass and Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. From his experiences working on two iconic brands with distinctly different audiences, Gary learned how to embody a brand’s vision as well as recognize and appeal to the nuances of distinct niche markets.
DIGITAL AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA MANAGER
In 2010, Gary was offered a unique opportunity to work in the non-profit sector, exploring the uses of digital media. As Digital and Interactive Media Manager at the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) , a non-profit media organization that creates original programing for PBS (Public Broadcast Service), Gary became the voice of the organization on social media and learned firsthand the importance of metrics and analytics in making strategic decisions and creating better content. The sole organizer of the influential San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival (SFIAAFF), CAAM also offered Gary the opportunity to to produce and direct the original youtube series, Directions in Storytelling and to conduct extensive research on transmedia storytelling.
While at CAAM, Gary further developed his own digital media storytelling techniques and was able to test and refine a system that optimized how live events and digital media could work together for an organization or an intellectual property.
Returning to Los Angeles a year later, Gary decided to make himself “recession proof” by turning his core filmmaking skills into an alternate stream of income.
With an updated DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera rig, he began working freelance as a camera operator / cinematographer. Since 2011, Gary has shot on-location interviews, industrials and reality TV segments for clients such as XBOX, Spectrum Pharmaceutical, and MNET America. From working as a camera operator / cinematographer, Gary has developed new filmmaking techniques that take into account multiple screen sizes and modern day viewing habits.
During this same time period, Gary continued to work on digital media projects such as front end development for HowToTrainYourDragon2.com; WordPress development for Fast & Furious director Justin Lin’s blog YouOffendMeYouOffendMyFamily.com; and SEO work for the Pacific Mesothelioma Center, a non-profit medical research institute. At this point, Gary has committed to use all his superpowers solely for good and not evil.
Alongside his professional media and filmmaking career, for the past 20 years, Gary, (also known as Un-G) has also continued pursuing his passion for music — as a composer and performer for the New York-based bands P.I.C and The Jack Lords Orchestra and as co-founder of the independent record label Riding Mower Records. In 2002, Gary appeared weekly on Comedy Central, performing with P.I.C when they were Wanda Sykes’ house band on the show, “Premium Blend.” That same year, the show adapted P.I.C’s original track, “Hiphopunkfunkmamboska,” as its theme song.
Throughout these past two decades, Gary (a.k.a Guro Gary) has also honed his skills as a martial artist. In 1998, he earned a bronze medal in the heavyweight division at WEKAF’s (World Eskrima Kali Arnis Federation) international Filipino martial arts competition, placing third in the world after competing, in full combat gear, against three other competitors in an un-airconditioned high school gym in Cebu City, Philippines. Most recently, Gary was promoted to the rank of Master – 4th degree black belt in Doce Pares Eskrima (Filipino martial arts) and currently holds the rank of Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. In addition, he continues to train in Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) and teaches Eskrima, self-defense, and boxing to group classes as well as in one-on-one training sessions.
Home Barista, Iron Skillet Chef
Beyond the realms of digital media, film, music and martial arts, Gary continues to work on perfecting his home barista techniques and iron skillet cooking skills.