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Michael Calcagno films documentary-style for PSAs, advertising clients

Lifelong Gresham resident Michael Calcagno intended to be a journalist. Despite his lineage among medical professionals, Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in electronic media from the University of Oregon and embarked on a career in broadcasting.

He got his feet wet as a field reporter for a television station in Boise, Idaho, and later became a writer and producer for “Good Day Oregon” on FOX-12.

But two years ago, Michael, 26, decided producing documentary-style advertising video was more his style. It allowed him to follow his love for storytelling, but in a more meaningful way that helps others.

He founded Calcagno Media Video Production, finding a niche for his approach among both corporate clients and those closest to his heart — the small businesses and organizations in his own backyard.

What made you decide to go into the communications industry instead of following your family’s footsteps in medicine?

“I grew up watching Laurel Porter and Joe Donlon on KGW and thought that would be a cool job. I asked my dad (Gresham pediatrician John Calcagno) what I should do — should I go to medical school?”

“He discouraged me. He told me the medical industry isn’t as lucrative as it once was and he was right. I was never a huge science guy anyway. I was always more speech and debate.”

The point of advertising is to convince the public they need a particular product or service through a hard sell tactic. What makes your approach different?

“Ninety percent of my work is unscripted — I’m asking questions off the cuff. As consumers, we are tuned in to TV and the Internet, but we know when something is fake. We can discern that and that’s why I believe in interviewing on the spot. It gets the business owner’s message out there honestly.”

Small businesses rarely have budgets for advertising, much less one that allows them to utilize the digital market on TV or the Internet. Why does your company target that demographic?

“The foundation of my business is working with small businesses. They are the backbone of the community. They’re the ones who need to get their message out. They’re also the ones who bring jobs and prosperity to the area. If people don’t know they’re out there and what they do, they can’t support them. That discourages entrepreneurship. I want to see Gresham have that vibrancy of small business and I hope to be a small part of that.”

What motivates you to get up each morning?

“What gets me up in the morning is certainly the creativity, but it’s more about working with my clients. I get to learn about so many things. Working with nonprofits is so rewarding and so is working with a small business owner or Mt. Hood Community College. I like being part of the work of what they do for the community and my business is a way for me to be part of that.”

Contact information

Calcagno Media Video Production can be reached at 503-866-7124 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Who to Watch is a periodic column that recognizes up and coming young professionals, age 35 and younger. They come from all walks of business — offering superior customer service, finding their own niche with a marketable product or service or they may help and mentor others to become successful entrepreneurs. These young professionals are our community’s future business leaders and we’d like to introduce you to more of them. Do you know a young professional we could feature in a future edition of The Outlook? Submissions can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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