Thoughts Behind the Making of “One”, a Short Film by Anthony James Donnelly

I AM truly amazed – and humbled – by the great, early response to my debut short film, “One”. Thank you all…! Since it has been so well received, I thought I’d share some of the concept and thinking behind the project, just in case any fellow actors and film makers are interested.

Ever since I was a young boy, I’ve wanted to make films: I’m fascinated by the whole process behind film making, and I feel very fortunate that I am able to act in the industry for a living. A little over a week ago, I invested in a video camera, and whilst playing around with it, I got the idea in my head to make a short film – how difficult can it possibly be, right?

The brief was quite simple: “With no budget and no other people involved, could I film and produce a short film that told a compelling story and hopefully evoke an emotional response, all in only one week?”

To stack things in my favour, I decided to shoot without dialogue to save the challenges of dubbing and syncing up the sound in the editing process – and I’d never edited anything before! The theme of ‘one’ became the focal point initially, then as I began shooting rough footage, the story of this lonely man emerged. I love playing with words, and I saw that in the word ‘lonely’ you have the words ‘one’ and ‘only’, so I started to evolve concepts of mundanity and how we overlook the ordinary, yet essential things we use in life – including people! Additionally, there is an interconnectedness between things: a toothbrush needs toothpaste, gloves come in pairs, etc.

I was fortunate enough to discover some royalty-free music by the talented composer, Kevin MacLeod, which gave the footage a very sombre feel, yet had a lot of diversity in the melody, which I hoped to utilize in the editing phase. Adding to the bleak feel of the film, it was a very early decision to shoot the whole thing in black and white.

Utilizing the ‘Bollywood’ shooting method (minimal number of takes, no complicated scenes, just shoot and move on) I was able to get an awful lot of footage in a very short period of time, often doing only one take. My biggest concern was shooting footage of myself – as I was also the cameraman! – I wondered, if I set up my camera on its tripod and then walked away to go acting, would somebody run off with my equipment? Thankfully, the opposite was true, almost as if passers-by couldn’t believe there could only be one person involved, they all steered well clear of the equipment!

All in all, it was an incredible experience, and I believe my little experiment has worked. It’s already inspired some fellow actors to follow suit and try to produce their own shorts. Hopefully you have found this inspiring as well, why not give it a go. I had a lot of fun shooting this in between working and daily life. It IS possible, if you have the will and the motivation. I’m looking forward to shooting my next short film soon.

In case you haven’t seen it yet, I won’t give too much of the plot away, but I’d love to hear any constructive comments and feedback, either on here or on the youtube page.

Many, many thanks, I hope you enjoy it…

World Citizen Solutions

TJP logoA revolution is FINALLY coming. Hopefully. Thankfully. Peacefully.

I feel so fortunate that I came across some information about World Citizen Solutions and Ken O’Keefe, the man behind this operation, in time to donate to this wonderful action plan.

I’ll let him tell you some more about it in his own words:

“Humanity’s challenge at this decisive point in history is to face a monster that is desperately attempting to expand its tyrannical system of human enslavement. Simultaneously, human consciousness is growing with unparalleled expansion and this is a grave threat to the tyrants. Only one of these forces, humanity or tyranny, can succeed, and the world we hand to our children and future generations will be defined by our success or failure in this regard. The irony is that the tyrants have no power but that which we have unwittingly relinquished to them. In order to create a better world we simply need to take our power back. That is my ultimate goal: a better world. My wisdom in this matter comes from the knowledge that the attainment of this goal is not up to me, it is up to us.” (Ken O’Keefe)

During the 15 years I lived as a British expat in the United States, I met countless thousands of Americans who all desperately wanted ‘something’ to change, but didn’t know how or what to do. They wanted a more equal society. They were sick and tired of being enslaved by ‘The System’. They were bored and angry with the so-called democratic overlords that governed with deaf ears. I thought a revolution was coming. I thought something would happen while I still lived there. It didn’t come, and I had to leave the asylum and find solutions elsewhere.

FINALLY there now seems to be an active group worth joining, supporting, and promoting. If you are tired of this continued insanity, please, don’t be apathetic any more, there IS something you CAN do! There’s something WE can do.

Find out more here: http://worldcitizen.solutions/

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51zsMIT4mUL._SY362_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgANTHONY DONNELLY blogs about all things writing, inspirational, and motivational. He has published a number of books for children and adults. His latest book, a short, inspirational parable about peace, love, and acceptance, When The Rainbow Smiled, is currently climbing up the Amazon charts, and is available in Kindle or paperback. When not sat at his keyboard writing, he can be found in Costa Rica, North America, or somewhere in Europe motivating and coaching individuals and groups in self-development techniques and life-balance. Most recently you can see him back on the sets of films and in front of the modelling camera again.

Book Reviews: When The Rainbow Smiled by Anthony James Donnelly

Rainbows New Cover

I hope you all had a brilliant Christmas. I hope many of you managed to take advantage of my free books over the holiday season. My best presents this year are these two early reviews that have come in for my latest publication When The Rainbow Smiled.

A big thank you to both of these reviewers, what lovely words! Thank you both for taking the time to rate and write a review.

Beautifully written and illustrated short story for all ages.

A perfect accompanyment to ‘When the Trees Held Thier Breath’. This thought provoking story seems to have the ability to speak to you on many levels when considering what is happening around the world today and the society we live in. It’s a book that you can read and read again and reflect on the message of kindness, sharing and freedom of choice and what can happen when we do none of those things. If you are wanting something a little different to share with your children then buy this book!

Five Stars

Such a beautiful book. Thoughtful, thought-provoking and wonderfully illustrated. Warmth on a page.

 A beautiful book, with the charm

A beautiful book, with the charm, delight and unexpected discovery of childhood innocence. The way Anthony Donnelly has unfolded the parable, we are taken on a journey that makes not only the rainbow smile, but our hearts too. A book to read to be inspired, to be lifted and to share.

How lovely to have one of my books referred to as, ‘warmth on a page’. Here’s hoping your year ends well and the New Year begins well and continues to bring you love, success and happiness.

FREE Books For Christmas

Rainbows New CoverIt’s Christmas. A time for love, generousity, and for giving, or ‘forgiving’. For this reason, ALL my kindle books will be free both today (Christmas Day) and tomorrow (Boxing Day) as a way of saying thank you to all my friends old and new, and spreading more of the spirit of the season.

All I ask in return is, if you download a copy of my book, please take a few minutes to honestly rate and review the book on amazon 🙂

 

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS:

Dr Wayne DyerI’m not really one for making resolutions for New Year, but at this time I do like to reflect back on the past few months and take stock. Like many of you, I’m sure, this has been a great year, but also a bummer of a year. I lost two very great and dear friends: Dr. Wayne Dyer, a motivational force in my life, and Richard Anthony Eyre, an old school friend.

Richard Eyre
Richard Eyre 1970 – 2015

They will both be missed.

 

On the upside, I’ve met and made numerous new friends, mostly in the film and TV industry. Another positive to the year: I’m very excited at the great progress I’ve made since April of breaking back into the acting world again. A short film I starred in landed at Cannes, thanks to the wonderful director Miho Sugita. I finally got an agent! And I have two new film scripts doing the rounds. It’s almost as if my life has come full circle and I’ve arrived back where I was before I left sixteen years ago!

On the writing front, my books continue to sell – Thank you all for that! Although I feel a little lazy at not having completed ALL the new books I had planned to publish this year, they are still in the works and WILL BE published in 2016. How about that for positive thinking?!

Talking of positive thinking, it’s been wonderful to connect with some old friends (Tony Wilson, and Trevor Oakland, to name just two!) from the distant past and indulge my other passion for self-development and motivation. When there’s something you just can’t help yourself from doing, then that’s a good sign you should be doing it (if it’s positive in nature!)

 

Did I Give Enough, Live Enough, Laugh Enough, and Love Enough…?

When I reflect back on this year, there’s one question I ask myself, and that’s written above. I have certainly laughed a lot this year, thanks to new friends, Stephen, Jo, Louise, Helen, Ness, Rachael, and Darryl. Did I give enough…? I’m sure I could have given more, but within my financial constraints I think I gave as much as I could monetarily, on a personal level, definitely! As far as living enough, I don’t think there’s much more this little chap could have crammed into the last 12 months. I always consider myself as lazy, but then look at what I’ve managed to do and wonder why I keep thinking that! And then there’s love… ah, that sweet, alusive thing… As far as giving my love away, that has been joyously done over the year. More on a platonic level than romantic, but there is always hope…! I’m sure, somewhere out there, there is a young lady that has the patience to put up with my ‘insanity’.

Well, if you’ve read this far, I commend you. What a ramble! Here are the links to my free books. Enjoy! Share! And for all of you I have not yet wished a very Merry Christmas and a superb New Year, that was it.

FREE BOOKS:

Click on the book cover to take you to the amazon link for the book (sorry, these are US links. You’ll have to transfer to the country link you need!)

Rainbows New CoverWHEN THE RAINBOW SMILED

A delighful, powerful short read accompanied by 19 exceptional watercolour paintings. Peace, love, harmony and balance.

 

 

The Shepherd Cover ArtTHE SHEPHERD

A new age parable about connecting and listening to your heart. Let the Shepherd guide you to where you should be in life.

 

 

 

cockroach coverTHE COCKROACH CHRONICLES

Can we learn about ourselves from probably one of the most detested creatures on the planet? Find out through a series of ten letters this brave, little thing writes back to those at home fighting the Eternal War…

 

 

49q cover49Q? THE ENIGMA CONTINUES

Not an easy read this one, I’ll give you that. This is an experimental novel, part of a trilogy, a film, and a musical album that never quite made it off the ground. Read at your peril, is all I say… It almost drove me mad writing it, but it’s full of philosophy, ridiculousness, and mischief. It’ll make sense once you’ve read it!

 

Remember, if you download a copy, please leave a rating and review, thank you very much!

MERRY CHRISTMAS ONE AND ALL,

AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR!

NEW BOOK: When The Rainbow Smiled by Anthony James Donnelly

Rainbows New Cover

Originally written back in 2000 as the sequel to my first publication, When The Trees Held Their Breath, this short, illustrated work tells the story of how colour first came to the world as a ‘smiling’ rainbow. At a much deeper level, the resounding message is one of peace, love, acceptance, and harmony.

This work is especially dear to my heart, as I thought it was lost forever. At the turn of the millennium, certain members of the UK education system were showing an interest in this work as an education tool for primary school children. Since I was living in the US at that time promoting “Trees”, I handed the project and all of my artwork over to an old Secondary School friend of mine, Richard Eyre. He had many contacts, and worked diligently with them to compile a teaching resource to accompany my short, powerful story.

Scan_20151212 (4)
Artwork by Mani Navasothy

Sadly, the project failed to reach fruition at the last minute, and was shelved. When you are an industry outsider, it’s very hard to break into a market that is controlled by the larger organisations! Even sadder is the fact that Richard passed away this year in a tragic motorbike accident in Thailand, where he had been living for the past seven years working on humanitarian projects.

It was at his funeral recently that I was surprised to be reunited with my text and some of my original watercolour artwork once more. Although a handful of my original art was missing, they had been replaced by the fantastic work of Mani Navasothy (an artist Richard had hired to ‘upgrage’ some of my images) which add even more depth and colour to my words.

Scan_20151212 (3)
Artwork by Anthony Donnelly

With the advancement of online publishing and print-on-demand technology, I decided to edit and format this into a full colour publication in honour of my late friend, Richard.

Although I have no doubt that this short book alone will not bring about world peace, this is part of my continuing contribution to that effort. Perhaps some younger readers and their parents will take the themes and messages of my text and open a dialogue about how we, as a combined human race, can work towards that end. A good start would be to bring peace into our personal lives, more understanding in our daily encounters with friends and strangers, a daily focus on love rather than war… We can only hope that by a collective effort and focus on love and acceptance, our children may get the opportunity to live in a war-free world.

When The Rainbow Smiled is available in print format and Kindle via the Amazon website. I love to hear feedback from my readers, so please help spread the word by sharing, posting reviews, and leaving me comments. May this year end well for you, and may 2016 bring you closer to your dreams.

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The Shepherd Cover ArtANTHONY DONNELLY blogs about all things writing, inspirational, and motivational. He has published a number of books for children and adults. His latest book, a short, inspirational parable THE SHEPHERD  is currently climbing up the Amazon charts, and is available in Kindle or paperback. When not sat at his keyboard writing, he can be found in Costa Rica, North America, or somewhere in Europe motivating and coaching individuals and groups in self-development techniques and life-balance. Most recently you can see him back on the sets of films and in front of the modelling camera again.

July 4th – International Forgiveness Day…?

NOTE: Many of my regular readers probably won’t like the questions posed or the turns this post will take, but stick with it, keep reading, trust me… You’ll agree with the outcome…

* * *

JULY 4th – American Independence Day – is coming up soon… barely a month away…!

How many people are going to celebrate the day truly conscious of what it is in rememberance of? For most it will merely be a ‘day off’, a time to party and get drunk, a day to feel ‘patriotic’ (whatever that means these days?), a day to sleep in, a day to exercise their ‘freedoms’ (do we really have the same ones anymore? Try testing your Consitutional Rights some day, see how far you get…!) and quite possibly it’s a day for some to still stick two fingers up at the British… more than 2 centuries later.

But how were the ‘freedom fighters’ in Colonial English America back then any different to the ‘extremists’ of ISIS in the Middle East today? There were a few rebels and military personel – trained by the English… using English weapons… dispondent with having doctines imposed on them by outside bodies… non-military supporters joined in because they believed in the ’cause’… Sound familiar…?

International Forgiveness Day

Anyway, I digress… That was not the point of this post – merely an interesting aside – but it will hopefully have proven a point after you finish reading. No different to my puzzlement with non-caucasian friends that are so very pro-ethnic rights, but hate gays… and vice versa… my gay friends that don’t agree with the ‘race-imbalance’.

Which brings me neatly and nicely onto my ‘fun’ idea…

WHAT IF… what if… what if… just for one day – one day out of 365 in an average year – we, as a global nation, decided that we’d have an international day of forgiveness and understanding. Each and every one of us, for one day, forgiving one other person that we believe or perceive has wronged us. Imagine the ripple-out effect that could have…

We’ve all wronged someone at some time or another (whether we were aware of it or not) and we can all certainly remember all those instances where people have wronged us – in fact, many people are stewing over wrong-doings that date back years…! The problem is, they probably have no idea how much they wronged you.

Forgive And Learn From It

I meet so many people that are still harbouring grudges against people years, sometimes DECADES, after the fact. It isn’t healthy, it isn’t right, and it can easily change. Personally, I believe almost all of the wars and civil disputes that are still going on are a direct result of a lack of forgiveness: people and nations trying to settle ‘unfinished business’.

How difficult is it to say, “I forgive you.” and mean it…?

If you’ve ever done it, or been on the receiving end of an honest apology, you’ll know what I mean. If you haven’t, this is your time to shine and grow! If you want to be forgiven, forgive… learn from it… feel how great it is to drop that baggage.

Forgive And Grow…

Think of all those resentments you have built up inside of you, festering away like a cancer – probably willing cancer to come and feed on your stress! Think of things in your childhood that still bug you… the teacher… the bully… the bus driver… the pervert… your parents… FORGIVE THEM…! They are harming you more NOW than they were then… FORGIVE THEM…!

You’ll feel a load lifted for doing it.

If you can’t do it face-to-face, close your eyes, imagine them in front of you, and… FORGIVE THEM…!

Imagine if THAT is what we did on Independence Day… “International Forgiveness Day”

Imagine forgiving and being forgiven…

ONE DAY to put the record straight…

The Big Picture

My blog is only followed by a handful of people, and most of them don’t really read my posts, so I doubt very much will come of this anyway, but imagine… imagine… WHAT IF…what if, a few people that read this decide this is a good idea, it’s good for them and good for others… WHAT IF… July 4th becomes an International Day of Forgiveness…WHAT IF… it doesn’t just stop with one day…?

WHAT IF people want to continue… Every day… Forgiving… Accepting… Loving… Learning… Teaching… Healing…

Ah…! I’m dreaming… We love war… and descrimination… and hatred… and sadness too much… It will never happen…

But…

WHAT IF…?

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The Shepherd Cover ArtANTHONY DONNELLY blogs about all things writing, inspirational, and motivational. He has published a number of books for children and adults. His latest book, a short, inspirational parable THE SHEPHERD  is currently climbing up the Amazon charts, and is available in Kindle or paperback. When not sat at his keyboard writing, he can be found in Costa Rica, North America, or somewhere in Europe motivating and coaching individuals and groups in self-development techniques and life-balance. Most recently you can see him back on the sets of films and in front of the modelling camera again.