Donald Griswold

    Author & Film Director


    About Donald

    Donald Griswold’s work was first published in The Weekly Reader as a 1st grade student.  He grew to become a life-long of film and literature lover.  Donald earned a Bachelor of Arts in Radio, Television and Film, specializing in the narrative of film writing.  

    Since 1998, Donald has owned Dog Star Media, a boutique content marketing company with a national clientele of high-end small businesses. Professionally, Donald has written and directed narrative, comedic and marketing scripts for video and radio.  Donald is an accomplished voice over talent and audio director.  Over the course of his career, Donald has written, directed, and produced a wide range of audio and video projects ranging from full-length DVD concepts to television commercials. He also has ghost written a memoir for a notable figure in the field of engineering.

    In 2017, Donald fulfilled a lifelong dream by writing and publishing his first novel, Dying LightFan reviews of Dying Light inspired Donald to produce the documentary film Abundant, which is scheduled for release in 20244.

    Donald is a long-time supporter of the arts in Dallas. He supports museums, local artists and live performance, especially ShakespeareDallas. Donald frequently visits the best Dallas-area music venues to support local musicians and live performance. Donald lives in Downtown Dallas, not far from The Dallas Arts District.  He has two daughters and his family lives in the Dallas area.


    Q & A with Donald

    Q: What inspired you to write Dying Light?
    I got the main plot and themes for Dying Light all at once.  It felt like a lightning bolt hit me.  I was on vacation with my girls, sitting outside at an Austin resort watching them play in the pool.... and BAM!  I had the idea start-to-finish.  The experience was so profound, I started writing that night.

    Q: What are some of your favorite books?

    I love the economy and punch of Hemingway’s style, so give me The Old Man and The Sea by Hemingway.  I also love the narrative, tone, language and Texas immersion you get from Larry McMurtry.  Leaving Cheyenne is my favorite by McMurtry. Recently, I read The Sportswriter by Richard Ford.  I loved how he just put you inside the head of the depressed, wandering main character as he did the best he could.  For mindfulness, give me Pema Chodron and Eckhard Tolle.  I love When Things Fall Apart by Chodron and A New Earth by Tolle.  For non-fiction, definitely Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell and Being Wrong by Kathryn Schulz.  Both of those were incredible eye-openers.

    Q: What about favorite films?
    The Godfather
    , of course, which I just saw in the theater for the first time on it’s 50th Anniversary release.  It was like I’d never seen it before.  Incredible.  Really, though, I prefer to think of landmark movies in my life as favorites.  My father took me to a Bogart movie a the historic Eastman Theater as a kid.  We stayed up all night watching the old Universal horror classics from the 40s... Frankenstein, Dracula and The Wolfman, when I was a kid, too.  My first real art film was the 1984 restoration of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.  My mother took me to Jaws when I was a kid.  I love all kinds of films because film speaks to me.  Hannah and Her Sisters, The Dark Knight, Enchanted April, Remains of the Day, Waiting for Guffman... all different kinds of movies all came to me at the perfect, memorable times.  How does anyone really pick a favorite?  

    Q: What about documentaries?
    I’d say Gimme Shelter made the biggest impact on me.  I first saw it in a documentary film class in college.  The scene where Mick Jagger watches the violence at Altamont on the monitor in the Maysles’ editing suite is still my favorite documentary scene ever.  Watching the watcher... all non fiction.  Pretty much I knew then I wanted to make a documentary film right then and there.  And, SuperSize Me, probably pushed me over the edge on making Abundant.  I re-watched it while I was considering starting development on Abundant.  Everything seemed so much more doable after that watch.  Also, I want to add Winged Migration to the list from the last question.  Seeing that incredible doc restored me once.   It’s an answer to both questions about movies!

    Tell us something about writing and filmmaking that might surprise.
    I can only speak for my process, but for me, the important turns come on small, relatable ideas or moments of realization.  Those are the points at which a palpable connection with the audience is possible.  So, you have to time that delivery just right and do it with the proper tone for maximum emotional effect.  The process of leading up to and delivering those vital ideas, at least for me, is very similar whether I am writing fiction or directing or writing a film.  

    What drives you creatively?
    I want to connect just like anyone else.  And I guess this is one way that I can do that.  I have this compelling desire to put into words and pictures what I am feeling.  Over the course of my life, I’ve been helped by other writers and filmmakers who used their talents to connect with me, and help myself understand me a little better.  I just want to do the same.

    Any creative heroes?

    Stan Lee... hands down, undefeated winner in that category.