Dream Catcher is a passion project of mine, a story that was born from my imagination many moons ago, back when I was living in my own perfect little dream in the bubble that is film school.
In my second year at Chapman’s Dodge College, I was prompted to pitch an idea for a short film. As it happens, just a week earlier a dear friend of mine had woven together a beautiful handmade dreamcatcher, which she gifted to me for my birthday. I delicately hung the treasure on the wall above my bed.
When I returned to my abode that day after class, I plopped down on my bed, gazing abstractly at the wall where that mystical dreamcatcher was hanging. Without so much as a breath, my mind wandered into the microscopic world, seeing the story of a Young Sorter who works inside the dreamcatcher and goes on this wildly mislead adventure to catch a Nightmare. Looking back, I realize the story itself was a manifestation of my fears of the unknown world at the time - the daunting real world that lurked beyond my sweet dreamlike bubble of college. And, even then, I felt I could not be led by my fears, but instead I became determined to grow from a place of love for the work I do and the content I produce.
Turns out the real world isn’t so bad after all! With a sprinkle of good timing and a dash of good luck, I was able to assemble a Dream Team of talented young filmmakers to help me bring this vision to life. Having recently graduated, this is my first “big girl” short film, my debut as a filmmaker some might say, and I could not be more proud of the final piece.
May all who view Dream Catcher allow this message into her/his heart:
Do not follow your nightmares. Follow your dreams!
The dreamcatcher is a sacred instrument of protection invented by our Native American ancestors who believed the magical web would catch one’s good dreams, while the bad dreams slipped through the hole in the center and disappeared into the night.
In one Lakota legend, it is said the dreamcatcher was delivered to a spiritual leader through a vision cast by the spider spirit, Iktomi. High on a mountaintop in pre-colonized America, this tribal elder spoke with the ancient weaver who told him of the cycle of life. He told of how people begin their lives as infants, grow into children, adults, then elders, and soon need to be taken care of as infants once more. The spider spirit, the great teacher of wisdom, said,"in each time of life there are many forces - some good and some bad. If you listen to the good forces, they will steer you in the right direction. But, if you listen to the bad forces, they will hurt you and steer you in the wrong direction."
Though this short film is entirely fiction, and was written before I myself had much knowledge about the Native American myth, the theme is serendipitously the same. Listen to the good forces in your heart, and good spirits (or little elves inside your dreamcatcher) will protect you.
Now that the short film is complete, one might ask herself: What do I do now?
Well now, the first step after any short film is born, is the Film Festival Circuit! Learning how to crawl our way through Press Kits and Director Statements is like feeling out how strong the legs are on this thing. For instance: Why is our story important? Why does the world need this story right now? These are the big questions. From conception to final cut was our creative incubation phase. And now, it is time to package our film together with the right tricks of the trade and send it off into the world to have a life of it’s own beyond the production house.
Dream Catcher is in the submission process for every major Academy Qualifying film festival. In addition, we have submitted a nursery rhyme adaptation of the short film to various Book Publishing Agents in the Children’s Book sphere.
The Big Dream, though, the one we have been following all along, is to cultivate a sense of interest from an animation studio or production company that would want to work with Enlighten Productions to bring Dream Catcher to the big screen as a feature length movie.