Category: Flash Fiction

No Words, a video poem

What do you do when your filming options are still very limited because of the restrictions on working and gatherings of people due to the Coronavirus pandemic? You make a new video out of existing footage and other assets you have available to you. I made No Words, a video poem out stuff we had laying around, a poem and footage I had already shot.

No Words is a 1.5 minute short film about nature and our neglect of it. The poem was written and voice by Lorraine DuRocher. I supplemented previously shot footage with a couple shots filmed by cinematographer Roberto Correa.

Get creative with your existing assets

Even though small media shoots have been deemed essential businesses and have been allowed since the beginning of the shut down as long as safety and CDC guidelines are followed, many companies are still apprehensive to schedule video shoots. Big budget filming, which was not deemed essential and was shut down is starting to come back with extensive new safety guidelines.

With the current environment, making new videos and repurposing your existing assets like footage and graphics is still a great way to keep your content flowing and to save money on production costs. Read my post on Gate5’s website on using existing asset to produce new videos.

a man on a bike and two other people look frozen in time at a city street intersection while they wait for the light to change
Scene from the video, No Words

The poem No Words really spoke to me. Nature takes care of itself instinctually without words and without thinking about it. Nothing in nature instigates its own self-destruction. Why do we?

When I re-read the poem recently (I read it years ago when Lorraine wrote it), I thought what it says is very ‘right now’ and thought it could make for a nice little cinematic piece. So we dusted it off, recorded the voice over and I went through old footage to go with the narrative.

Fun fact: the idea was to make all the footage of the insects, bees and of our parrot, Fast Eddie to look like it was shot in a forest but it was all shot on our porch and front yard.

Read about my short films about aliens and selfie addiction on Amazon Prime Video. Watch me introduce The Selfie That Changed The world at the La Jolla Int’l Fashion Film Festival.

The time to pay attention is now

In a macro sense, No Words speaks to what we have been and are currently doing to our environment. Now that we’ve destroyed it and have brought it to the possible point of no return with climate change, we’ve become aware of it.

The time to pay attention is always right now. You can’t eat the hamburger today and pay for it on Tuesday. Wimpy’s old saying from the Popeye comic strip, “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today” is where we are as a country and as a global community.

Come Tuesday you know Wimpy is not going to be able to pay, Well, environmentally speaking today is Tuesday. It’s time for us to pay up for our past consumption but the problem is we ain’t got no money.

On a personal level, No Words speaks to how we treat our bodies. We get caught up with the hustle of the today and our day-to-day business and we ignore our bodies until it’s too late. My intention with No Words, a video poem was to use the human body as an allegory of the environment.

Let’s learn from nature and from animals. Stay in tune with your body and environment which is an extension of our body and let’s take care of both of them today.

About Gate5, my Los Angeles video production company

Gate5 is a creative video agency and full service video production company in Los Angeles producing high quality video content for the web, your social media outlets, kiosks and broadcast television.

We conceptualize, write scripts, secure locations and permits, cast actors, direct, film and edit commercial videos, narrative films, branded content, product and promotional videos, TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Click here for Gate5 video samples.

If you have a commercial or a narrative project where you need a director and/or a video production company, feel free to contact me to discuss it to see how if we can work together on it.

Check out my photography here.

Sacrifices You Made

How do I repay you for the sacrifices you made for me?

Sacrifices You Made, a flash fiction story

You sacrificed for me, I know. You sacrificed affection for resentment. Compassion for contempt. Encouragement for humiliation. Love for your limitations.

I’m grateful for your sacrifices. It made me who I am.

You gave me a gift. A gift that allows me to see things differently, to have a unique view of the world. The gift of doubt.

Confident well-adjusted people don’t make art. They become doctors and lawyers and design furniture for Ikea. That’s what you said. You saved me from that misery.

I don’t know how to repay you, so I’ll do what I learned from you. I’ll sacrifice my worthlessness and destroy the thing that you love.

~ Sacrifices You Made – a flash fiction story by writer-director Greg McDonald based on the photograph.

Backstory to the story

I hate selfies – what McDonald’s is to food, is what selfies are to photography – but I’ve given in and I do take them at certain times just for the hell of it if I feel like it and to document an event or something. When I took this I was going over the story of a script in my head that I’m working on.

I snapped it while driving to the World Ag Expo in Tulare, California from Los Angeles. I was going there to see the hemp pavilion and talk to companies in the hemp world about the video series I’m launching on hemp. It was exciting to see some innovating new hemp products that are coming out.

I’ve never set out to write a flash fiction story, they just sort of happen. Usually I write one based on a picture I’ve taken like this one. They’re fun to write and are a good quick writing exercise that you can do about anything at anytime without making a big investment in time or commitment to a story. Write it. Like it? Then keep it. Expand upon it if you want and incorporate it into something else. Don’t like it? Then leave it in your notebook and forget about it.

Like the other times I’ve written a flash fiction story, such as A Sunny Desert Day, it didn’t occur to me until I got home and looked at the photo that it could tie into my script and could be used as an image that represents the main theme which is about the relationship between a mother and son. I’m currently writing, or rather rewriting it and plan to have it ready soon. I don’t like to talk about things until they’re done so that’ll have to be it for now!

About Gate5, my Los Angeles video production company

Gate5 is a creative video agency and full service video production company in Los Angeles producing high quality video content for the web, your social media outlets, kiosks and broadcast television.

We conceptualize, write scripts, secure locations and permits, cast actors, direct, film and edit commercial videos, narrative films, branded content, product and promotional videos, TV commercials, episodic content and live video streaming production.

Click here for Gate5 video samples.

If you have a commercial or a narrative project where you need a director and/or a video production company, feel free to contact me to discuss it to see how if we can work together on it.

Check out my photography here.

A Sunny Desert Day

A Sunny Desert Day, a flash fiction story

Even though I couldn’t see them behind her mirrored aviators, I could feel the disgust shooting out of her baby blue eyes and tugging on every last rotten cell of my plaque-filled heart strings. I didn’t need to see her eyes to recognize the look. I’d seen it before after a bender at the docks with a two-bit con with a surefire thing in the 5th with some sauced Irish crumb. It’s the kind of look a woman gives a man when she’s got nothing to lose and even less to gain. 

She asked me to take her to the desert for some vitamin D and a view of the dirt. I got suspicious when she asked me to bring the shovel but with a dame like that, you don’t ask questions if you value your teeth.

A shot of giggle water and one last smoke before I showed her a lovely resting place out in the middle of nowhere. Why is there never a middle-of-the-road in the middle of nowhere? It’s where you go to either start something, or end it.

~ “A Sunny Desert Day”, a flash fiction story by Greg McDonald based on the photograph.

Backstory to the story

This photo came about from an impromptu shoot in the desert, and afterwards the short story based on the photograph. I went out to scout locations for a future short film with actress Kaitlyn Clare in Los Angeles and we figured since we’re going way out in the desert anyway, may as well do a shoot.

With very little planning and no real story in mind this is one of the resulting images with more to come. We also managed to make a short film, STARTUP about every startup founder’s dream.

Got a narrative or commercial project? Contact me to discuss. I’d love to hear about it.

Check out Narrative stuff. Or Photography and Commercial and Fashion films.

Domino Falls

Domino Falls

Domino left the big city and went out to stake her claim on a lifeless patch of dirt in the desert. She planned on building a tiny house made from sustainable materials and start an ecommerce business selling detox tea on Instagram.

Little did she know the Homestead Act of 1862 had long expired and the government denied her claim to ownership and seized her land when she struck oil while digging a hole for her septic tank.

~ “Domino Falls”, a flash fiction story by Greg McDonald based on the photograph

Got a narrative or commercial project? Contact me to discuss. I’d love to hear about it.

Check out Narrative stuff. Or Photography and Commercial and Fashion films.

Hi Mom!

woman holds shovel threatening to chop the viewers head off

Hi Mom!

I’ve met someone. I think you’d like her. She reminds me of you. We like to camp, hike, snorkel, play scrabble and we took a class in Viking cuisine together that really made us feel closer as a couple.

She sometimes takes a shovel to my throat but that’s usually only after I say something like, “you should smile more often” or I tell her to “take it easy”. She’s really great and cares about me. When I became incapacitated because of a gout attack in my big toe and she had to wait on me hand and foot, she gave me a mixture of sleeping pills and muscle relaxers and had me down it with whiskey to help ease the pain. I had to have my stomach pumped in the ER but for a few hours I didn’t feel any pain whatsoever in my foot.

We’re going to see Jon Hamm at the Wax Museum tomorrow. She wants to get a photo of herself holding a martini with his wax arm around her waist. She says she was born a couple decades too late LOL. After that, she’s taking me to this secret spot at the LA River. She says it’s really remote and no one will know we’re there. She said she has a surprise for me.

Until next time, from glamorous Hollywood, California, your loving son, 
Sonny.

~ “Hi Mom!’, a flash fiction story by Greg McDonald based on the photograph

Got a narrative project? Contact me to discuss. I’d love to hear about it.

Check out Narrative stuff. Or Photography and Commercial and Fashion films.

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