So I was too busy directing my movie to write any updates, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t have any weird dreams! They were all somehow moviemaking-related, so it feels thematically sound to go through them in one post.
I had this dream after the first day of filming. I dreamed I was on set, working. That’s it. There was nothing weird like butterflies shooting out of the camera or the sound recordist transforming into an ice-cream or anything, but in a way, that’s what makes the dream notable.
I hate dreams like this. Now don’t get me wrong; I love being on set making movies. But it’s still really exhausting work and highly stressful. My brain needs downtime while I sleep, and these dreams stop me getting that.
I used to have these dreams back when I worked in retail. I don’t know why, but that job had a devastating effect on my mental health. I ended up quitting before I even had another job lined up and it was the best work decision I’ve ever made. So back during that time, to waste my precious dreaming time by dreaming about being at work was awful. I’m always aware in these dreams that I’m dreaming, too, but unable to influence it. It’s like being stuck watching a bad movie on an aeroplane; the screen is right in my face on the chair in front and I’ve already memorised the in-flight magazine. My eyes have nowhere else to go, so unfortunately there’s no way for me to avoid watching Superbad until we land in Sydney.
So I’m dreaming about being on set, all the time thinking “aw geez, I just finished doing this in reality, and I’m about to do it again when I wake up”. I suffered night terrors until I was a teenager and I’m deadly serious when I say that I’d rather have a night terror than dream about working between work.
I had these dreams as “filler” spaced out between the other dreams listed here for the whole shoot.
Now onto a lighter dream! But like my Elephant Man/Hitch dream, this one was a nightmare at the time.
I was trying to get to the location for filming the movie that day, which in the dream was inside a restaurant carved into the top of a tree. It was owned by one of my friends (named David, also a filmmaker). All the crew and gear had gotten up there alright, but David wouldn’t let me up because I hadn’t been to church that morning! (Despite the fact that the real David is, to my knowledge, an atheist.)
So all the crew were yelling at me because they didn’t understand. “Get up here, Martin!” my cinematographer was calling. “We’re all waiting on you! Hurry up!” But David was adamant. There would apparently be no heathens making movies in his giant tree restaurant.
Another nightmare, but this time not a funny one even in retrospect. I had a false-awakening dream where I “woke up” and found my girlfriend Lore had died in her sleep. I wouldn’t normally include this type of nightmare on this blog, but since I am listing all the dreams I had in order I feel like it would be ‘cheating’ to leave it out, somehow.
I woke up after this dream, and of course she was fine. But this is the only dream that I would rank worse than the “dreaming about work” dreams. I never thought I’d find a dream worse than those.
When I went to sleep on the night after we wrapped filming, I dreamt that the entire shoot was all just a dream and we were only on day two of the shoot! And not only that, but my entire cast had died in a giant bus explosion that morning (even though none of them took a bus to set but hey dream logic)! So, to replace the lead actress, my (male) cinematographer just wore a big hat and kept his face turned away from camera the entire time. He insisted nobody would notice!
So to close out the filming, I effectively dreamt I was a poor man’s replacement for Ed Wood. That is a new low.