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…

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

***

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.

*** CROWDFUNDING RESEARCH ***

Bullshit London CollageHi folks! Your help is need in a little bit of early research into a crowdfunding project I am hoping to launch in about 30 – 45 days time.

I have the fantastic opportunity to be involved with a brilliant, new actor pal of mine (Reuben) who devised an awesome, alternative London walking tour (www.bullshitlondon.com) back in 2013. I am rigorously learning the script as we speak…!

Together we hope to expand the business opportunity in many new and fun ways to create a wonderful new platform to help other actors earn a ‘dignified’ wage, whilst ‘resting’ and looking for acting work.

We haven’t established a monetary target as yet, but here are a few things you can help us with at this stage:

1. Would you consider donating to our crowdfunding appeal? (a pound or a dollar all adds up!) You don’t have to state how much you’d be prepared to offer at this stage, just a tentative yes or no is fine.

2. What sort of rewards/ incentives would entice you to offer more? Limited edition T-shirts (autographed!) posters, free tours, advertising… a tour dedicated in your honor… that sort of thing.

3. Would you help out with promotion and marketing – retweeting, sharing, commenting, liking the upcoming FB page, blogging, etc. Simple yes or no.

4. If you can’t help in any of the ways above, do you know of any workers/ offices in London that would like to book a private tour? (please add details below, or send them our website)

A HUGE thank you for reading all of this, I know you are all busy people, and we really appreciate any and all input. Please either email me (ant@bullshitlondon.com) and/ or add your comments below.

PLEASE share and tweet this link to your page.

Thank You Everyone!

What a great first day of my new book launch! Together we’ve managed to get THE SHEPHERD up to #6,143 in overall free downloads, and #8 and #45 in two subcategories! Magnificent work, please keep it up.

The ‘Look Inside’ feature is now working, too:

The Shepherd, free book
The Shepherd, free book

The free book download offer runs all week, so keep spreading the word and posting your reviews. It would be great to hit the #1 spot in at least one category, if we can… we just need a few more reviews and downloads each day for the rest of the week.

I can’t thank all of you enough for all your work, support, and great effort helping to make this a reality for me!

 

THANK YOU ALL…!

 

 

#freekindlebooks #freebies #bestsellers #amazonbooks

#quotations “Why Am I Here…?”

It is an age-old preoccupation of Man to ask the question, “Why am I here?” and search for meaning and purpose. Many years ago, I added two words to this question, and it is a rather nice mantra, especially in awkward or unexpected encounters:

“Why am I here for you…?”

Much modern thinking focuses on the ‘universe’ providing for us (which I believe is true) but it is all about ASKING, not giving. What if you altered your perspective just a wee bit and pondered what you can do for all those people around you? Just a simple smile, a kind word, a charitable deed… do you think, little by little, we might all be able to make this a wonderful place to live and co-create in…?

Just musing… Have a wonderful weekend…!

#newreleases “Writing Buy The Book.”

“Balls-deep in Paradise.” coming later this Summer… a sneak peek…

I think this first draft introduction to the new work says it all… it’s a really tough piece to write, and I am so honored and thankful to have all of you as supporters and FRIENDS cheering me on in the background – don’t worry, I’ve changed the names to protect the guilty…!

"Balls-deep In Paradise" by Anthony Donnelly
“Balls-deep In Paradise” by Anthony Donnelly

Introduction:
MY Secondary School English teacher, William R. Malyszko (just to give him credit!), once told me, “Write what you know.”
How could he possibly have gleaned from the vacation story writing assignment for which I submitted THREE NOTEBOOKS – instead of the asked for three pages – that I had a passion for writing? The aforementioned comment and the ‘F’ rating of my assignment (thankfully) didn’t diminish my passion for the written word. It could have done, however, and it pains me that people of leadership/ role models abuse (or don’t acknowledge) the power they have. Thankfully, far from perturbing me from writing, it planted an unconscious seed in me instead (something teachers and other folks of influence are all too often unaware of) it pushed me further into the realm of seeking exciting experiences to write about.
As the ‘experiencer’ (made-up-word – hopefully!) of my life, even though I have been a CEO, an actor, a freelance writer, a world traveler, and a hobo, I never really thought of it as exciting, adventurous, or even entertaining. How many of us actually reflect back upon our lives and think they were of any real significance? People say we all have at least ONE book inside us, but who truly believes their life is worth writing about? Even the celebrities bow down to PR-heads that tell them their fans are dying to read something, but they never – rarely – write the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, as is read in later memoirs lamenting the fact, and admitting their slavery.

This, therefore, is the book I’ve always wanted to write, but never felt was interesting enough to dilute my time to writing. I am writing about what I know, but I think it is dull and boring – thank heavens others don’t feel the same way. To them, I have led a precarious, fascinating, adventurous, nefarious, and down-right naughty existence. I cannot cast judgement on that, I lived the life I was born into – I think I played the hand I was dealt rather well – and I learned some tricks along the way. I know I broke hearts, I had my heart broken. I know I’m not a saint, but I’m not going to Hell either (I don’t believe in that! Which I guess helps…?!)
Unlike many of my other published works, this is very current. It is set in 2014, the time of my first trip to Costa Rica, a mesmerizing and enchanting country for which I have nothing but praise and admiration – especially for their performance in the World Cup! I won’t pass comment about England.
As you will read in this book – if you, hopefully, read more than this meager introduction, I was sexually abused as a very young child, I became a struggling, young entrepreneur, I dabbled in the quagmire of ‘sexual identity’, I was that typical ‘almost-ran’ who could have been anything, yet choose to be nothing, I loved, I lost, I married, I divorced, I traveled, and went from riches to rags… Boring, I know, but somewhere along the way I lost myself (or who I thought I was) found myself, lost myself, and found something much greater…
Do yourself a favor, don’t read this book. Unless your life is totally in the toilet, or you are lost, or you just have sympathy with a fellow human being… What am I saying? Please buy this book, put it in your toilet for friends to read when they are constipated – it might make them laugh so much they’ll shit (can you say shit? Not a made-up-word!)
I always had the dream of writing a self-help book that was as entertaining as a novel, I never dreamed I would have to actually LIVE that life to make it come true. Well, this is it… part memoir, part fiction (most of it, I assure you!) This is what it is – how I view my life right now: this is who I am, I have nothing to hide. Attack me, if you will. Praise me, if you will. My ‘Henry the Egg’ artwork sums up my life.
I hope you enjoy this story, or at the very least your friends have some humor whilst they work our their shit in your toilet…

 

Anthony Donnelly

#quotes “Change Is The Only Certainty We Have.” (A. Donnelly)

“Change Is The Only Certainty We Have.”

When you find that which is unchanging and unchangeable, have you found the source?

I don’t know, but it always puzzles me when I meet people adverse to change – especially older people – as, just from a molecular point of view, we regenerate all the time. Our cells are constantly dying and rebirthing. We are surrounded by change. Embrace it, it is as certain as Death.

If you want one thing to move forward with, because everything is in constant change, you can always start afresh…

#newbookrelease Coming Soon: “The Shepherd” by Anthony Donnelly

Happy July 4th and Canada Day weekend to you all…!

I am proud to announce that my latest book, “The Shepherd” will soon be available to purchase online at a very reasonable $2.99

AnThe Shepherd Cover Artother inspirational work about true leadership, self-discovery, independence and freedom. A semi-political work advocating an awakening to the international slavery of mankind by large governments without any true power… and taking back control of your own life.

Here’s a quick sneak peek inside…

 

“Follow your heart, for that is the only true leader of men.”

The Shepherd mingled amongst his flock of sheep and goats. For what seemed like eternity, he had been their leader. Most of his time was spent keeping them apart from one another, and looking out for potential predators, namely the wolf. That’s what he’d been told to do. Over fields and valleys, in good weather and bad, he had watched over them. Ever present. Ever watchful. When they wandered off too far, he tapped them back into line. He stayed up many a dark night keeping watch over them.
They seemed to have the better deal. They ate when they wanted, slept when they wanted, they looked happy and content. But something gnawed away at him day after day, as the sun burned down upon his weary head. Night after night, as he watched the stars, he became more and more worried. He was more lost than the flock he was supposed to be leading. He was tired and frustrated, but he couldn’t let them notice for fear of losing his leadership.

As always, I appreciate your support and following!

 

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PS – If you would like an advanced copy to review, please send me an email: Anthony Donnelly