It is my privilege to share some of my experience working on “The Dream”.
This project has been in the works for months. I only came in during the last half or so. For almost a year, Brian Hanke has been working on the many details of this short film. It was an honor to work on the project. He created, conceptualized, and composed both this and the last video I was in, Aria for Strings.
After he had written the music and begun the recording process with a group of talented individuals, the two of us went back and forth discussing the story and who his characters were. Many items were created by one or both of us for this project. Details such as horns, jewelry, and crazy makeup were created through weeks of experiments.
However, no project is without hiccups…
The Dress Saga
One of our characters was a creature inspired by flames. We decided she should wear something that represented fire, power, and elegance. After much searching, I stumbled upon the perfect dress made of red lace. Form fitting but still flowing, I knew the moment I saw it that this dress would be perfect.
Until it arrived that is. There were quite a few unfortunate issues with this perfect dress that made it no longer perfect. Like how it was supposed to be custom sized, yet it didn’t fit in multiple places. Too tight in the arms and too loose at the waist, the fabric was both stiff and uncomfortable. Not to mention the design itself was different from what we ordered. Both the neckline and sleeves were nothing like the original image. We were able to return it, but that still left us without a costume. Luckily we had ordered it early enough that we still had a week to come up with a new plan. Even better, I have a wonderful friend who dug her prom dress out of an attic for me to use. With some minor tweaks and adjustments, we had our fire demon!
After our time filming, I have a much deeper respect for Actors and Actresses. To my relief, all inside shots were done near a blasting AC unit. The location shots however – specifically the ones with the car and near the lake – were in bright conditions with scorching temperatures. Our first scene was done in 98 degree weather, wearing a zipped up sweatshirt. Talk about method acting. We joked about picturing polar bears and snow falling. Meanwhile a lake goer stared in confusion at my outfit while he lounged in his speedo on the sand.
Another interesting factor in the creation of these characters was coming up with their makeup and masks. We knew one would represent a sort of dark, animalistic creature, while the other would represent flames. A few hours of Pinterest inspiration and two or three makeup trials later, we had our creatures.
Brian created the first character’s amazing horns out of foil and paint after watching a youtube tutorial. We wound my hair around them to help stabilize and create the look of growth from my head.
For our fire demon, we had a few trials of masks she could wear before deciding on one that appeared “cracked”. It looked the most surreal while still maintaining a hint of elegance. It also managed to startle the occasional passerby while on location, so I know we did well in our creation of these “nightmares”.
Hard work pays off
The countless hours Brian spent on each piece came to completion with the film’s premiere on November 1st, 2016. He wrote a blog post describing all the different aspects of putting the film together, along with the various programs (and electronics) needed to finalize it. I highly recommend checking it out to see all the tech work that went into it!
I enjoyed the experience immensely, even with all the new challenges we faced. With the success of this project I hope to do more filming in the future. Until then, make sure to like the video on Brian’s youtube page, as well as watch it below!