Tag: desert

The Shortest Horror Movie In The World

I give you – The Shortest Horror Movie In The World.

It’s got everything; an identifiable character, a universal theme, tension, mystery and a surprise ending that doesn’t spoon feed you the answer, leaving the interpretation up to you. All in 25 seconds. Only a slacker would need 2 hours to tell a story.

A silly spur-of-the-moment video I made while I was out location scouting although I’ve been told it’s better than the Blair Witch Project.

After my encounter in the desert, I’m happy to say I’m doing fine. It was a close call but I came out the other side. A little roughed up but okay.

A lot of hard work went into making this film and I’m very proud of the result. I think this is the one they’ll remember me for. It’s a pinnacle, a zenith, a high bar and a tough act to follow but I’m up for the challenge.

You never know what you’ll find location scouting

I was location scouting in the high desert for my short, Nowhere In The Universe when I shot this. It won Best Comedy Film and the Audience Choice Award at the LA Film Forum.

Scouting locations in the desert is always a good time for me. Strange, cool and/or creepy things always seem to to pop up.

Related post: watch my after party interview at the La Jolla International Fashion Film Festiva.

On this trip, I not only found the locations where we later shot the film at (where I made this video was one of them) but I also found several other locations that might be good for something some day.

Several broken down abandoned buildings and an interesting dry river bed stood out as places to make note of for future shoots. I also found a military zone as seen in the photo below.

Military zone with unexploded devices in the area

The sign says there are unexploded devices and dangerous weapons in the area and not to touch anything. No prob, you had my attention at ‘unexploded devices.

They don’t make motels like they used to

It was somewhat of a surprise to come across Roy’s Motel and Cafe on this trip. I had seen photographs of Roy’s before but wasn’t sure where it was. It’s located in Amboy, California on old Route 66.

The motel has long been out of operation and only a small gift shop is open inside the old gas station. However, I didn’t venture in. It looked like it was filled with the typical tourist crap you can find anywhere.

There’s a vacancy at Roy’s Motel & Cafe.

Although not in operation, the old motel rooms are open for people to walk in and check out. Helpful tip for when asking a tourist to take a photo of you: make sure they speak the language you do.

I asked this woman who got off a bus full of tourists if she could take a photo of me in front of the Roy’s sign. I said, “make sure you get the whole sign”. She nodded and trained my cell phone at me.

After snapping a couple of pics she handed my phone back to me and off she went to join back up with her tour group. I looked at the photos and this is what she took.

I asked her to make sure to get the whole sign. She smiled and nodded.

Well there’s my origin story on how the shortest horror movie in the world came to be.

Related: alien makeup timelapse.

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.

Nowhere In The Universe

Nowhere in the Universe is a sci-fi fashion comedy film about desperation – no matter how desperate you become, some lines can never be crossed. UPDATE: We won Best Comedy Film and the Audience Choice Award at the LA Underground Film Forum!

It was quite a surprise winning the two awards. Actors Kaitlyn Clare who played the alien and Brandon Bernath were in attendance. We had a really good time at the festival and the people who it on couldn’t be nicer. And it was in town!

I really enjoyed making this film with two wonderful actors, Kaitlyn and Brandon. The only thing I’d do differently is I wouldn’t shoot in two locations that are almost an hour apart. After spending the morning and the first half of the day getting the makeup and prosthetics done, we then spent about about an hour and half driving between the two locations. We got what we needed but it would’ve been nice to have just a little more time. However, I do best with limitations so I take it back, we did it just as it was meant to be!

If you have a narrative or commercial project you want to collaborate on just give me a hollar. I’d love to hear about it. Contact me to discuss.

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

Working with an Alien

bts of director Greg McDonald filming actors

Working with an alien is tough! Ha! Not at all when the alien is played by Kaitlyn Clare and you’re working with Brandon Bernath, two excellent actors. In this behind the scenes photo we were hurrying up before the sun went down while filming the sci-fi fashion comedy film, Nowhere In The Universe. We managed to get what we needed with several minutes to spare before sunset.

Sci-fi fashion comedy – is that a new genre we invented? I’m not sure but let me know if you know of another film that can that falls into this category.

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.

Alien Sighting

Alien sighting! A behind the scenes video with Kaitlyn Clare as the alien on our film shoot of, “Nowhere in the Universe”, a sci-fi fashion comedy. I had a blast making this! It was a super small cast and crew with great chill people. Working with people you like and get along with makes all the difference. Alien makeup and effects were done by Thirati K who did a fantastic job! And I love working with the two actors in the film, Kaitlyn and Brandon Bernath. The were excellent and a joy to work with!

We were a little worried about the weather since it rained a bit the night before which is very unusual for the desert in the middle of May but the next day it turned out great. Just some clouds when we started which worked out in our favor.

I finished the film in about 10 days after shooting and have already submitted it to one festival already with more to go. Stay tuned for more!

If you have a narrative or commercial project you want to collaborate on just give me a hollar. I’d love to hear about it. Contact me to discuss.

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

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.

Stone House Ruins

abandoned stone house in ruins in the California desert
Film location scouting
abandoned stone house in ruins in the California desert
Film location scouting

Stone house ruins in the California high desert. I came across this great abandoned stone house half destroyed while scouting location for an upcoming fashion comedy film. I was seeking a completely desolate area to film in and this isn’t what I was looking for at all but it would be a great location for something so I’m really glad I just happened to drive by it. It makes me want to think of something that could be shot here. Maybe a photo shoot. Not sure but I hope no one tears it down before I can film here!

Got a project? Contact me.

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

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