Filmmakers Making A Social Impact


Filmmakers Making A Social Impact: Why & How Filmmaker Robert Craig of Gutterglove Is Helping To Change Our World


I wish someone would have taught me the importance of reaching out to the media with press releases on stories about our business in the very beginning of my career. Example: I was in business for maybe 15 years before I sent out my first press release. How dumb is that! I didn’t even know how to reach out to the media, they were a mystery to me. I eventually bumped into someone who was an expert at converting exciting stories about a business into a press release and then sending it out to the media in hopes of getting some attention from the press. He was an expert at writing press releases and taught me all about it. Since then I’ve sent out press releases all the time and got hundreds of articles published.


As a part of our series about “Filmmakers Making A Social Impact” I had the pleasure of interviewing Robert Craig.

Robert Craig is producing films that are changing lives with stories that create awareness, inspire, and uplift. A number of his films, notably the internationally acclaimed The Lost Girls, streams on the LIFETIME channel. The films address real-world issues such as child trafficking, bullying, and homelessness and are handled delicately so families can watch together and open up conversations about life choices. Craig’s faith in God has led him to a unique and much-needed niche in the filmmaking industry, bringing together top names to write and act in inspirational family films that are purpose-driven and faith in God.

Craig’s entrepreneurial success has allowed him to pivot to a successful film career by channeling that same focus, ingenuity, and drive to create award-winning film projects. As the founder and CEO of the successful business Gutterglove, he created technology that led to a number of patents, improved the lives of millions of homeowners, became a #1 rated Consumer Reports product and is available at Costco, Sam’s Club, Home Depot and Lowes to name a few. Craig’s work of producing, directing, and hosting award-winning infomercials for his products during his 20+ year business career, as well as his involvement in the film industry on the sidelines in other ways, led to a smooth transition to film development.


Thank you so much for doing this interview with us! Before we dive in, our readers would love to get to know you a bit. Can you share your “backstory” that brought you to this career?

I’ve been wanting to produce films for over thirty years. When running the home raingutter business from 1996 to 2018 as the CEO, there was no room or time for me to maneuver full time into producing full length feature films because my time was needed to make sure that the gutter guard company was running efficiently. My philosophy for running my gutter guard business is the same as my film production business, which is putting equal emphasis on marketing my products as I do in making the products. I think that’s what brought wild success to my gutter guard company.

We were very fortunate at my gutter guard company over the years, surrounded by a great team of people, who helped our stainless steel micro mesh gutter guard to be rated number one virtually everywhere. Consumer Reports magazine published in three separate articles that my Gutterglove gutter guard product was rated number one out of 19 gutter guards tested. We still have the highest rating today.

Our gutter guards have gone on to be rated number one on virtually every website out there where it’s sold. Were even sold in many of the top stores across the country including Costco, Home Depot, Sam’s Club, Lowe’s, and hundreds of other roofing and gutter supply stores around the country. When I got into this business, I knew nothing about gutter guards. But being in the field and learning and understanding what works and what doesn’t work for keeping leaves out of the gutter, taught me and gave me inspiration on how to invent a gutter guard product that really would work effectively. I don’t have an engineering degree, I never finished college, yet to date I have 27 patents in four different countries on gutter guard technology. I also have 10 patents pending that over time, could yield another 10 to 15 patents.

I think one of the most gratifying accomplishments of the gutter guard company is I know that we have saved probably thousands of homeowners lives because they no longer have to go on their roof to clean out their gutters because our gutter guard product keeps all the leaves and pine needles out of their gutters. It’s such a wonderful feeling to know that we are saving lives.

During the time of running the company, I spent whatever time possible I could in producing any videos for making commercials about our products, educational videos for how to install them or infomercials. It was so much fun producing, directing and hosting these video projects, it gave me a taste of movie making, but it wasn’t my time yet to leave this business for making films.

Prior to leaving my gutter guard company in early 2021, I spent many years before that seeking out a qualified CEO to run the Gutterglove company. I did that because I knew someday I would leave the gutter guard company and produce films, so I prepared to replace myself by finding a qualified CEO to run the company and that’s what happened. I groomed this gentleman for five years before I left the company.

I am happy to say that we have sold over 120 million feet of gutter guard product to date and have a large manufacturing facility in California and Tennessee.

Having the company be able to run on its own with a qualified team of about 100 employees has allowed me to leave the company and to pursue my dream of producing films.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your filmmaking career?

I tend to be quite different then your traditional businessman, and really try to think outside the box, all the boxes, and how to bring attention to the products that I sell. I decided to try this really crazy concept and so I bought a 2021 McLaren GT and put a Robert Craig Films and Amy and Angel car wrap on the car. Amy and Angel is one of the films that we are producing.

My goal was to see if I could draw more attention to the car than it usually gets. So now I’ve got a bunch of dogs on the car wrap with action-oriented content to get people’s attention. Many people told me that that was a dumb idea, which when I hear that, that really makes me want to do it even more. I think what drives people to not go along with new fresh ideas is because they feel uncomfortable because they are stepping outside of their comfort zone, whereas I am the opposite. We need to encourage inventiveness and creativity!

People like to do what’s most common to them because it’s easier. But how are you going to get noticed if you’re just like everybody else? I want to be different and draw attention to what I do, because that will help drive sales. I just need to make sure that I’ve got a great product to sell to that person!

I also put a large QR code on both sides of the car so when people scan it, I will have an idea of where the interest is. To date I’ve gotten numerous scans. Countless times, every day when I drive the car out to promote my film in the McLaren, I notice people taking photos of the car, videos of the car and sometimes when I make eye contact they give me a thumbs up. They tell me that’s a really cool car and occasionally people will say, what type of car is that? I’ve never seen that before. It is a very unique car that’s manufactured in the UK and is referred to as a supercar and is very expensive.

And one of the other great things also, is it’s a great conversational piece. So many times people have come over to me and ask me, what is Amy and Angel? And that gives me an opportunity to give them one of my Amy and Angel marketing postcards that are in the car and also talk to them about the film and also talk about them and what they do in life.

I’m constantly thinking about ways on how I can promote our films well before we even shoot the film. That’s because I want to build a huge audience, a following that wants to watch our films. I don’t want to necessarily rely on a distributor or big studio to do that for me, because how will I know if they are really putting in 150% effort into the marketing. I’ve heard all the horror stories of producers losing all of their money because the distributor did a meager attempt at marketing, and I do not want to be one of those statistics. So I’m creating my own audience with a great marketing and PR team. That is what’s uniquely different about Robert Craig Films and all the other production companies out there that I know about. All they are about is producing films, where we are about producing films and marketing and promoting and building an audience to watch our films. We want to make sure there are plenty of customers lined up to watch our inspirational family, social impact movies. Producing films is so incredibly competitive. I need to think of as many creative ways to stand out amongst the sea of films that are vying for a streaming platform to be watched by the world.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

FOREST WHITAKER — I once met Forest Whitaker on Hollywood Blvd in Hollywood a long time ago and I asked him specifically how to be successful in the acting business. He responded by not taking no for an answer and kept trying and didn’t ever give up. I was always so impressed at his kindness to talk with me about that. What a wonderful person.

MARK WALBURG: This is about an interaction that I had with a famous movie star and his name is Mark Wahlberg, in 2021. The story started like this: my daughter and I were at the Gucci store on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, we were upstairs and then we began to walk downstairs to leave. While we walked downstairs, my 16-year old daughter said to me, whispering, that it was Mark Wahlberg passing us while walking up the stairs. I didn’t recognize him as I was looking at the steps walking down so I wouldn’t trip. We briefly stopped and so did Mark, but he already passed us a couple of feet but looked at us, but I didn’t believe it and kept walking out. Later I realized he was waiting for us to say hi. It really was Mark! But I think we were just too nervous.

We then walked out of the store and across the street and my daughter kept telling me, dad we need to go back in and say hi to Mark. I was instantly really nervous because I felt uncomfortable doing that. But nevertheless, my daughter, Shiloh, got the best of me and we walked back inside the Gucci store. While there, a manager told us we are not allowed to take photos of any celebrities. Shiloh and I walked upstairs slowly, and when we got upstairs, we noticed Mark and his bodyguard next to him. We walked up to about 10 feet from him and just stood there, me and Shiloh looking at each other not knowing what to do because we felt uncomfortable. And that’s when Mark did something I couldn’t believe. He walked right up to me and Shiloh and asked us if we wanted a picture with him. He totally made us feel comfortable and was so warm and friendly and we were able to get a few photos. He even asked us several questions about what we were doing. Then we left.

The reason this is really important to me is because he is such a famous movie star yet he humbled himself to come up to us because he could see that we were nervous and asked if we wanted a picture of him. What a great example of humility. I always love sharing this story because of his kindness.

Which people in history inspire you the most? Why?

JESUS CHRIST — That’s an easy one, the first person that comes to mind is of course Jesus Christ, who to me, is the greatest example of how a person should live. His example shows the importance of showing kindness to one another no matter what, being compassionate to one another, the importance of taking care of your family, the importance of loving one another, and when you combine all of this together, it equals more of a peaceful and joyful life on this earth. I can attest that I do the best I can to be obedient to him, but I still fail because I’m not perfect, but his love overlooks that and he showers me with guidance, wisdom and a desire to help people in whatever capacity God has gifted me in. Hope I’m not sounding too religious! But I have to share this because I have experienced it. So to me it’s true.

CLINT EASTWOOD: I’ve always admired Clint. I’m so amazed at his ability to be so multifaceted in film making for such a huge span of his career of 65+ years. He’s 92 years old and is still producing, directing and acting. How can you do that? What an example of never giving up and always putting your whole essence into a project.

SYLVESTER STALONE: I love his example of never giving up. When he wrote the screenplay for Rocky and also starred in it, is such an example to all those in the entertainment industry never to give up with their dreams. Even in his film Rocky, it shows the unlikely story of a nobody boxer making it to the top in fighting the world champion. Kind of like David and Goliath. I can’t stress this enough, it’s a lesson of never giving up.

Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview, how are you using your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share with us the meaningful or exciting social impact causes you are working on right now?

I could easily retire right now if I wanted to, and sometimes I’m so tempted. I’m driven by something inside me that pushes me to produce quality inspirational films with stories that encompass the importance of compassion, forgiveness, loving one another and the reality of God’s existence as it’s portrayed in the Bible.

If I have the ability to produce entertaining clean family content through film making, for the purpose of helping one improve their own quality of life, providing awareness on certain social impact issues, how can I do anything less. Let me describe “less”: to think of only myself and live an extravagant lifestyle whereas I and my family are the only beneficiaries. To me that’s “less”, whereas to most it would be “that’s the only thing I want to do if I’m rich!” I believe God wants me to make these films, that’s an easier way to answer your question.

SOCIAL IMPACT FILM “MAYA”

Logline: “Having lost all hope of happiness, after a life of neglect, 16-year-old Maya finds her knight in shining armor in a man who reaches out to her on social media. What she doesn’t know is that their love comes with a price, which throws her into a world of forced sex, money, and lies.”

Social impact film “Maya” on sex trafficking: This film is in post-production and should hopefully be finished in a month or so and released in theaters most likely in the first part of 2023. The film chronicles a sad story of a teenage girl, Maya, that gets trafficked by someone who connects with her through social media deceptively. She falls for his lies and then takes her into a life of tragedy and despair. It will be a great film to watch because it will show how the criminals use social media for luring their victims.

SOCIAL IMPACT FILM “NO ADDRESS”

Logline: “A group of people experiencing homelessness bond together as a family while struggling to survive the streets while fending off a harassing gang, an unforgiving community and the local authorities.”

Social impact film “No Address” about the homeless: This film is in pre-production and we plan on filming this January 2023. It shows several characters, including two veterans, that each have their own sad stories that have led their lives to becoming homeless on the streets. Through a variety of encounters, one by one they get together and form their own family. Then while on the streets, they have to battle the gangs that try to harass them and steal their EBT food stamp cards, a community that doesn’t want them and the challenges they have with the police. We are hoping that after people watch the film, which will be in theaters mid-2023, that people will have a new realization that people who experience homelessness people really do need help and that they should be more involved in their community to help reduce homelessness.

SOCIAL IMPACT FILM “AMY AND ANGEL”

Logline: “A shy, deaf teenager is bullied out of dance class only to find an unexpected dog as her new dance partner and together compete against the same crew on a national TV talent show.”

Social impact film “Amy and Angel” about bullying: This film is in the development stage and we don’t plan on filming till the end of summer 2023. However, we were able to start submitting the screenplay of this film project to film festivals all over the world. To date, the screenplay has been accepted in over 145 film festivals and has won over 35 Best Screenplay awards and counting.

This film is inspired by true events that took place with a young girl and her dog with a dance routine on the popular TV show Britain’s Got Talent.

The film is about a young deaf teenage girl, Amy, who has cochlear implants and goes to dance class but gets bullied out of the class because of her deafness. While at home feeling sad for herself, she hears a dog barking across the street and decides to go over and console the dog. While making a new relationship with this furry friendly dog, Angel, it turns out this dog can magically dance, and together they form a dance routine.

They decide to audition on a national TV talent show and they get accepted. They then begin to compete against other talent acts, including her former dance crew that bullied her out of dance class. So now the bullying continues. However, towards the end of the film, Amy exhibits expressions of love and forgiveness, showing that relationships are more important than stepping on people to get ahead in life or making people look bad.

Many of us have ideas, dreams, and passions, but never manifest it. But you did. Was there an “Aha Moment” that made you decide that you were actually going to step up and take action for this cause? What was that final trigger?

It seemed like my whole life has been an audition for me to produce films but so many things got in the way, challenges, life itself, problems and anything else you can think of prohibited me from making films. I could have let all those issues in my life drown my dreams into despair but something inside me pushed me forward to look beyond the challenges of life and to see what my calling is and to fulfill it. And I truly believe it’s producing films with great messages that talk about life’s problems that people need help with. I would like my films to be that tool that people can use to not only improve their lives, but to also give them a taste of God’s existence.

I talk to countless people who talk about their dreams and passions, but they never come true. As I listen to their stories, it’s sad to hear that they allowed the problems in their lives to cause them to discontinue pursuing their dreams. My advice to them is to keep pushing on because there will always be problems in life. The great thing with having God in my life is through his promises in the Bible, they carry me through with confidence.

Prior to producing films, I don’t recall any particular aha moment, but rather a consistent unrelenting desire to make films. However, I do recall an aha confirmation from God telling me and reaffirming that I need to be producing films. Because every now and then, I wonder, am I really doing what I’m supposed to be doing. So on early Wednesday morning April 27th 2022, while I was having my devotions, I felt God talking, inside me, as loud as a megaphone, telling me that I needed to be part of the filming of Maya, on set in Los Angeles. I mention that because I was not planning on going down for more than one or two days, but God clearly told me ‘to go’, you need to be down there the whole filming. And it was such a loud voice inside of me that I was in awe that the creator of the universe was talking to me. And so then I went to the filming and it was the best experience ever and confirmed to me that my calling is to produce films.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

ROBERT’S ANSWER: As you know, we are in pre-production of our film entitled No Address, which is a story about a group of people experiencing homelessness. I have always had a heart for those experiencing homelessness and help them out on a weekly basis with my family, through our church. However, there was this one person who had experienced homelessness who did not have transportation, had no job and lived in a tiny room that was maybe 200 square feet. I decided to buy him a new 2021 Ford Ranger pickup. And he was so grateful and so thankful. He now uses the truck to help his homeless friends that he knows when they need to move from an encampment or if they need some food and to help people out at church where he can. And he tells me all the time how thankful he is from our love that we have shown him. We did that because it was an important cause and he needed help. We have since told him that we will use him in one of the scenes of our No Address film and he is so very excited for that.

Are there three things that individuals, society or the government can do to support you in this effort?

Yes, firstly they can watch our film, secondly they can be more involved in their community by helping the homeless and it would be great if they would subscribe to our newsletter!


What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.


I think the first thing would be, I wish someone would have told me how challenging it is to run a business.


Example: There are many times I could have made better decisions when running my companies over the decades, but if I had some guidance early on to maneuver around common everyday business issues, I may have been more successful in the earlier years.

It was challenging learning about payroll, learning about general liability insurance, learning about preparing financial reports, learning how to manage employee issues, how to be successful at marketing, how to create graphics and logos for your business, how to find customers, how to build quality products, and on and on and on I could go.


I wish someone would have told me how many hours are needed to run a successful company when there’s only so many hours in a week, and if it’s not balanced properly, a marriage could suffer. Example: I am fortunate to have such a wonderful wife, who put up with me all these years when many of these years I would work 80+ hours a week. I don’t know how many marriages can last with that type of crazy hours. I’m so thankful for my great marriage, which is more important to me than our successful company. My wife and I have a great relationship and bless her heart for putting up with me all these years.


I wish somebody would have told me the basics of how to start a business. Example: That would have helped out greatly because I had to learn trial-by-error, I just had a lot of fun trying and improving through my failures, and that’s how I got successful. I’ve started many businesses in my lifetime, some have failed and some were very successful. But I never look at failures as a failure, I look at a failure as learning how not to do something. It teaches you what not to do and guides you in a direction of what you should do. I wish somebody would have told me how to open a bank account, I wish somebody would have told me how to get a business license, I wish somebody would have told me how to manage money wisely, the importance of getting legal counsel in structuring a business entity, and on and on I could go.


I wish someone would have told me how to spot a deceiving manipulating businessman. Example: when I first tried to produce a movie a few decades ago, I didn’t know how to vet out a person to see if they were honest, had a good reputation, if they had integrity, if they had a criminal record, if they were good at business, if they had good ethics in decision making etc etc. When I was introduced to a particular individual who promoted themselves as being able to find funding for films, I totally believed in what he was able to do without doing any background checks.


At the time I had no idea what a background check was or how to verify if a person was good to do business with. This person promised me, even through signed written documents from a ‘supposed’ investor, that this investor he knew would invest millions of dollars in our film. I totally believed him. He said the investor lived in Hollywood and we even went down there to have a meeting with him, and we waited at a bar for three hours and the investor never showed up. But my deceitful friend was there with us and we saw him on the phone talking to this ‘ghost’ investor saying that he would be there soon but he never showed up.


We drove 7 hours to get to this meeting and then 7 hours back home. Later on, we found out that he was lying all the time and all he was trying to do was use me to get into show business. He never knew any real investors. It was a lesson very well learned and taught me to do research on anyone before we do business together.


I wish someone would have taught me the importance of reaching out to the media with press releases on stories about our business in the very beginning of my career. Example: I was in business for maybe 15 years before I sent out my first press release. How dumb is that! I didn’t even know how to reach out to the media, they were a mystery to me. I eventually bumped into someone who was an expert at converting exciting stories about a business into a press release and then sending it out to the media in hopes of getting some attention from the press. He was an expert at writing press releases and taught me all about it. Since then I’ve sent out press releases all the time and got hundreds of articles published.


If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?


Whatever a person does for their career, I really think it’s important that they should give back to their community. They may not realize it, but there are so many people in need. And if God has blessed them with their business and they are doing well, I believe they should help out others who are less fortunate. I really believe it’s our duty, it even says it in the Bible (James 1:27).


We are very blessed that many other Social Impact Heroes read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US, whom you would like to collaborate with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)


Actually yes, ever since we partnered with Julia Verdin, a Hollywood director, writer, producer, and bought the rights to her screenplay “Amy and Angel”, I’ve always wanted to collaborate with Simon Cowell on the project. We plan on filming in summer 2023.


That’s because the screenplay was inspired by a talent act on his show Britain’s Got Talent between a teenage girl Ashleigh and her dog Pudsey. I’m so grateful that Simon Cowell started the TV talent shows around the world, including America’s Got Talent, because if he hadn’t, there would be no “Amy and Angel” script. I’ve circulated the script to hundreds of film festivals around the world and the script has been officially accepted into 145 film festivals and has already won 39 Best Screenplay awards and counting. We are thrilled!


This is a social impact film against bullying. The film is about a young deaf teenage girl, Amy, who has cochlear implants and goes to dance class but gets bullied out of the class because of her deafness. While at home feeling sad for herself, she hears a dog barking across the street and decides to go over and console the dog. While making a new relationship with this furry friendly dog, Angel, it turns out this dog can magically dance, and together they form a dance routine.


They decide to audition on a national TV talent show and they get accepted. They then begin to compete against other talent acts, including her former dance crew that bullied her out of dance class. So now the bullying continues. However, towards the end of the film, Amy exhibits expressions of love and forgiveness, showing that relationships are more important than stepping on people to get ahead in life or making people look bad.


Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?


In the 35 years that I’ve been in business, with various companies in various industries, I’ve learned that focusing on the needs of people is more important than focusing on living and growing an extravagant lifestyle. In December 2012, we had some tough challenges with business, so much so that we could have gone out of business.


That’s when one of my consultants told me that if we don’t do exactly what he says, we may have to file bankruptcy. This is a long story short, but I believe the problem was more spiritual than it was on how I ran the company. At that time, and I was a Christian, I did not tithe to the Lord regularly, but I tithed when it was convenient for me, when I had some extra change laying around. I didn’t trust in the Lord like I should have back then. But that all changed when my consultant told me the bad news. I recognized that I was holding back from God, and in January 2013, I made a commitment to tithe 10% of my income back to the Lord every month, and I have been obedient and consistent with that ever since


The Bible says in Malachi 3:10–12, “Bring the whole tithe into this storehouse, that there may be food in my house, test me in this says the Lord almighty and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit, says the Lord almighty. Then all the nations will call you blessed, because yours is a delightful land, says the Lord almighty.”


Ever since I made that commitment to God back in January of 2013, the Lord has blessed me more and more financially every year. And so much so now, that I’m able to produce films for God’s glory and great entertainment for everyone around the world. Back then, I had the manufacturing company for making stainless steel micro mesh gutter guards. And now, that company’s products are rated number one on virtually every website in the country and are sold at many of the leading stores including Costco, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, Lowe’s and many others. Wow


How can our readers follow you online?

robertcraigfilms.com

facebook.com/RobertCraigFilms

instagram.com/robertcraigfilms

tiktok.com/@robertcraigfilms


This was great, thank you so much for sharing your story and doing this with us. We wish you continued success!

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