Cal Marshall Bites Into Five Questions For 2020: Filmmaker In The Cannabis Space – Forbes

Cal Marshall


©Andrew Kemmis

Warren Bobrow=WB: Tell me about yourself? What does the plant offer you? What are you working on right now?

Cal Marshall=CM: My name is Cal Marshall, on social media @CalCaliente, and I am a proud military veteran based in Las Vegas. I’m a patent-holding entrepreneur who started a social media content agency called Burger Media. We create culturally relevant narrative content that enables brands across different industries to connect with modern consumers. Right now I’m balancing multiple niche clients while working on a documentary series that takes a deep dive into the cannabis industry and sheds light on various aspects of the business and culture. Legal cannabis is an emerging industry with endless opportunity to identify stories that educate and entertain, and I’m positioning myself at the forefront.

Cal Marshall


Joe Lee Foto

The plant helps me to be really creative and innovative in a newly developing industry. As an entrepreneur, I have super long and intense days, and I plan meticulously to make everything as perfect as possible. My mind’s moving a mile a minute, and sometimes people mistake my pragmatic nature for coldness. On the plant I’m so much more personable, relaxed, and patient. I’m able to slow down and be present, which goes a long way toward connecting with others. I also find that the plant greatly heightens my sensitivity to art of all kinds. I love looking at tattoo art while high and being amazed by the colors; music just seems to hit just right and movies seem much more magical. I find myself appreciating the time and creativity artists invest in bringing their dreams to life. 

 WB: Tell me about your film, what is it that you want to share with the world? How do you intend on doing this? Did you go to film school? (I did, at Emerson College. It was certainly wasted time because I couldn’t find meaningful work in film.)


Cal Marshall


CM: This project is one way we’ll elevate (no pun intended) the cannabis industry and help to portray it in a more refined light. I want to convey that cannabis impacts our lives and culture in so many ways, encompassing art, music, fashion, and also health. It’s silly to me that cannabis is still seen by many as controversial; I want to give the subject a 360 view so people can get a realistic, comprehensive scope on the different parts of the industry.

 I intend on doing this through narrative storytelling — making that human connection through film. Living in Vegas where cannabis is legal and dispensaries are abundant makes it easy for me to connect organically with cannabis entrepreneurs, investors, and partakers. By showcasing a wide variety of businesses and characters, from veterans to soccer moms, the goal is that every viewer finds someone they potentially relate to. 

 I did not go to film school — I wish I had money for that. But, hey, maybe things turned out better in spite of it. I learned everything I know on my own, surrounded myself with a talented team, and have been able to build a successful creative business with global clients. Things happen for a reason. 

 WB: What is your six and twelve month goals? What about stigmas? How do you anticipate removing them? What do your parents think about this? 

CM: My six-month goal is to develop a viewership in the cannabis space and provide good content to them, whether it’s entertaining, educational, or just artistic. In 12 months I want to have one of the largest cannabis platforms on YouTube. I want to help get rid of stigmas in cannabis. The older generation really demonizes the plant, and it’s unfortunate. We’ve seen a lot of people go to jail for minor possessions as well, destroying families in the process. I feel like I can help remove the stigmas by showing the human side of things. As a filmmaker, I want to really make the characters we film or interview relatable and capture their rawness and authenticity. It’s pretty hard to hate someone you feel like you relate to, and that is the power of film that I want to take advantage of. 

 WB: Do you know how to cook? If so, who taught you? What is your favorite restaurant? Where? What kind of food? 

CM: I can only cook basic things. I usually try to get girls to make me food. It just tastes so much better when someone else makes it for you and comes out so much nicer than anything I can ever make. My favorite food is a good ole burger. That’s why I named my company Burger Media. I’m the type of guy who will order a burger from a Mexican restaurant. (Yeah, it’s that serious.) Right now my favorite in Las Vegas is at Scotch 80, where they have a burger for about $30, and, wow! They make their own ketchup and ranch sauce, the bun holds up the entire time, and they use ground prime steak for the patty. I’m obsessed. 

 WB: What is your passion?

 CM: My passion is connecting with others. The most effective medium I’ve found to do that with so far is film. But I like all types of art and means of communicating. Though I am a visual storyteller, one thing I wish I could do is write. I passionately feel that writing is a beautiful form of communication that doesn’t get as much respect as it deserves.

Website: Burgermedia

Instagram: Calcaliente

Youtube: Burger Media Channel

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