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Film production firm expands into Los Angeles market

March 30, 2015
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Film production firm expands into Los Angeles market
Grand Rapids-based Gorilla is a film production firm that works with a collective of more than 30 artists and operates an office in the Los Angeles market. Photo via

A film production firm has made it to Hollywood.

Gorilla in Grand Rapids said this month that it has opened an office in the Los Angeles market in Santa Monica, at 401 Wilshire Blvd.

Base in entertainment industry

The new entertainment division of Gorilla, branded as GRLA, will work to expand Gorilla’s connections in the region.

The office opened last fall and will eventually house both West Coast talent and talent from Michigan.

“It’s a distribution brand,” said Eric Johnson, who co-founded Gorilla more than a decade ago. “GRLA was created to represent our intellectual properties — current and future — which brings intentionality to something we’ve been doing all along.”

Gorilla Co-Founder and Principal Eric Machiela is now located on the West Coast to oversee the division and will be an integral part of the firm connecting West Michigan production cost efficiencies with opportunities in the Los Angeles market.

Machiela said that having a presence in Los Angeles will not undermine Gorilla’s impact on West Michigan, but just the opposite.

“We love West Michigan and the quality of life here, but we have a dream of making really good content, whether that be commercial or entertainment,” said Ross Vande Waa, partner, Gorilla. “Doing this locally is a big challenge. But we’re building this community and investing a lot here in Grand Rapids, because we’re playing a long game.”


Gorilla has worked in more than 50 countries and created a diverse collective of more than 30 artists.

The firm recently released the “For the Life of the World” series.

Gorilla has also produced feature-length movies in Mexico and Australia and created content for brands like MTV, ESPN, FOX Studios and Amway. 

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