by Zach Terrell
When trying to separate the value of art from others’ evaluation thereof, I find some comfort in these words.
If you must know… It’s visual memory, one of afternoon light, orange and hazy, sliding through the wooden rods of my crib.
Welp, it’s been almost a year since we began work on “Dreamworld” and in a week we get to premiere for it’s first audience. It’s terrifying / thrilling / emotional.
Ryan and I set out to take a beat-up 1989 Volvo, the Canon T2i Rebel (affectionately called “Russ Camoureaux” after our newly adopted surrogate guru), an adventurous, trusting, willing and ever-Decembrists-singing tiny redhead (who does such brave and fully-realized work in DW)and drive to San Francisco (and all parts in between) to shoot our most ambitious and most personal endeavor to date. What resulted was everything we hoped for and a jaw-dropping amount more.
It definitely wasn’t without fear, sacrifice, & turmoil, but it has been the most gratifying thing either of us has ever worked on. And that’s what me and “Jean-Luc GoDARST” set out to achieve since Day One w/ Sneak Attack -challenge ourselves, surprise ourselves and make what we want to make.
As is often the case in bare bones, “it ain’t gonna happen”-type indie filmmaking, the odds were firmly stacked against us. But a wonderful community of like-minded artists linked arms and did this together (and sometimes for no recompense to speak of, just the goodness of their hearts and their valuable time). I’ll never be able to pay back everyone for the gift they gave to Ryan and I. People pulled dinero out of their very own pockets to pay for hotels, wardrobe, locations, superb tacos in Santa Barbara, flights from NY - LA, gas for “Goldie”, etc. We made wonderful new friends and hopefully lifelong collaborators who all gave voice to a simple coming-of-age story.
Selfishly, it’s a passion project, semi-autobiographical in nature and…I made it for me. But I also wanted to make it for Ryan. And most importantly, I made it for my Dad. It’s a closure piece to him. A thing I’ve been waiting to do for twenty-three years. He makes a bit of a cameo in the film, as does my warrior of a mother, which is really neat. And our Executive Producer happens to be the older brother I never had. The man who taught me as a kid how to be loving and who taught me how to find solace in playing the drums, which I do to this day. He came in and literally took the film off of it’s deathbed. It’s a special piece, because it’s a fateful piece. I want to thank Rob Gibbs for continually inspiring me, being a trusted one, a genius and dealing w/ my garbage per usual. But i would be remiss to not say that I am so incredibly grateful to belong to my beautiful, understanding, strong, intuitive, supportive and brutally honest family incl. the man I now refer to as my father, Eric. They make me who I am. But most importantly I want to give credit to one of my best friends and former teammate in life, Heidi, for never telling me to stop and always letting me “dream”. Thank you. And that’s Oliver’s story too. Not to stop, to imagine. It can happen. Anything. Whatever that “it” is for you.
“Dreamworld” is a shining example of our loyalty to the three-part spirit and mantra of Sneak Attack: vision, momentum, completion. All the other frill doesn’t mean diddle. And damned if we aren’t gonna stick to that from here on out.
Lastly I want to express my giant love and gratitude to my best friend, brother, sensai, therapist, coach and co-dreamer, Ryan for giving everything he had to help me tell this story. It’s changed my life.