half magic

the film work of spencer macdonald

Age of the Farmer

In the summer of 2015, Eva Verbeeck asked me to join her on a trip throughout the Pacific Northwest to make a short film on young farmers, that would accompany her photo story for a variety of publications. Having spent much time on organic farms, I knew the importance of this mission...

We traveled from Portland to British Columbia on a three week trip to make this film. Infinite gratitude to the farms that opened up their homes and minds to us.

Select Press:

Vimeo Staff Picks

The Atlantic's Editors' Picks

National Geographic's Short Film Showcase.

Official selection for the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, and Flagstaff Mountain Film Festival.

Producer: Eva Verbeeck  |  Director/DP/Editor: Spencer MacDonald



In March of 2016, we traveled to the highlands of the Kenyan Rift Valley to film and photograph running culture for Golazo. We stayed in the family homes of some of these athletes, and documented their daily lives as they prepared for international competition.

People often wonder what makes Kenyan runners among the best in the world. In preparation for this project, we came across many different opinions on this; ranging from diet, to genetics, to initiation ceremonies. However, working on this project directly with the athletes gave us different answers.

This film is an attempt to provide an experiential journey through Kenyan running culture. Special thanks to all of those that we stayed or spent time with. Your warmth and hospitality will always remain with us.

Select Press:

The Atlantic's Editors' Picks

Outside Magazine

Huck Magazine

Director/Cinematographer/Editor: Spencer MacDonald | Producer/Creative Director: Eva Verbeeck | Client: Golazo



Most of this footage was shot with Patrick Gilmore on our journey through Hells Canyon while working on a project for The Hells Canyon Preservation Council.

The edit originally came from our teaser video, "15 seconds in Hells Canyon." This version came about as I expanded the edit for an art show that I participated in in Portland.

DP: Spencer MacDonald and Patrick Gilmore   |   Editor: Spencer MacDonald


Conservation Generation

The National Young Farmers Coalition approached us to create a film that offers a look into the lives of four young farmers and ranchers in the arid West. Despite contending with the impacts of historic drought, climate change, and increased competition for water, the film’s farmers are each committed to their communities and to finding innovative solutions to water shortages. To read more about the four farmers featured and to help NYFC and local partners protect water, visit youngfarmers.org/conservationgeneration

Director/DP/Editor/Animator: Spencer MacDonald |  Producer: Kate Greenberg, Chelsey Simpson, Eva Verbeeck |  Still photography: Eva Verbeeck  |  Client: NYFC


Skyberry Farm

My first storytelling video project. Shot on a Canon Rebel T4i, with the exception of the aerial footage. One of my favorite summers.

Director/DP/Editor: Spencer MacDonald


Can You Build a House with Hemp? (NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC)

“Since the beginning of time, hemp is the only plant that can feed you, house you, clothe you and heal you.”

Patrick Gilmore and I shot this for National Geographic. In it we tell the story of how the legalization of marijuana in Oregon is beginning to revive the hemp industry, and creating perhaps the most environmentally sustainable building material yet: hempcrete.

The piece was featured with an accompanying article on their website’s front page.

Producer: Patrick Gilmore   |  DP: Spencer MacDonald and Patrick Gilmore   |   Editor: Patrick Gilmore|  Client: National Geographic


The Right Brain Effect

We wondered what would be the best way to capture the perspective of a middle school teacher and student. We decided the only way was to let them film themselves. So we strapped a camera to an old motorcycle helmet and captured a day in the life.

Client: The Right Brain Initiative | Producer/Director: Spencer MacDonald and Patrick Gilmore | Editor/Animator: Spencer MacDonald


Trash for Peace

"All of our possessions, at some point or another, will not be wanted by us, but they all can be used by someone..."

The story of the Portland, OR based nonprofit, Trash For Peace.

Director/DP: Spencer MacDonald & Patrick Gilmore   |   Editor: Spencer MacDonald


The Hells Canyon Preservation Council - Conservation for Generations

The story of the La Grande, OR based nonprofit, The Hells Canyon Preservation Council, and the wild lands that they serve to protect.

Producer/Director/DP: Spencer MacDonald & Patrick Gilmore   |   Editor: Patrick Gilmore   |  Most aerial footage: Red Lab Films


SEED: The Untold Story

SEED: The Untold Story unearths the dramatic story of seeds and the global struggle to preserve them. From a kernel of corn to a grain of wheat, every seed carries within it the hope of the future. But that future is at risk as high-tech industrial seed companies, have taken control of seeds through patents and genetic modification, threatening the irreplaceable diversity of our seed inheritance with extinction.

I worked with Directors Taggart Siegel and Jon Betz on this feature film as one of the studio photographers and assistant editors.


Peep my instagram for some of my little shorts.