In Your Dreams
Written and Directed by Mike Krohn
In the future, a sentient robot finds that his dreams intrude on his waking life.
Q&A with Mike Krohn
Q1: Tell us a little about In Your Dreams, Winner of Best Short Film (1-10 minutes) in the festival.
"In the future, a sentient robot finds that his dreams intrude on his waking life."
The film was made in under two weeks during the Pandemic, by a single filmmaker, on a budget of six dollars.
Q2: Where did the idea for this film come from?
The Pandemic had shut down production. I wanted to make a film, so I decided to use Virtual Production techniques in Unreal Engine to make one on my computer.
I wanted to show how cinematic and beautiful a film using Virtual Production can be, while moving the audience emotionally. I also wasn't going to miss the opportunity to make a film featuring robots, space travel and exotic alien planets. I love that stuff, but you don't get to do it much because they are very expensive to do in live action. Virtual Production makes them possible even on the limited budget of a short film.
Q3: What were some key challenges when making this film? How did you overcome them?
The biggest challenge was being the only filmmaker working on the project. I had to light, choreograph, shoot and edit the whole film myself. Fortunately, there were a lot of helpful resources available on the internet that made the process easier.
Q4: Tell us a funny anecdote or a memorable moment from making this film.
Whenever you work with cutting-edge technology, things go wrong and you have to roll with it. When shooting the temple scene, the green robot docent character locked up and refused to move anything but her arm. I needed her to walk around the sleeping robot and tap him on the arm to wake him.
I ended up floating her along like a balloon, lying sideways, to get her arm in the right spot to tap the other robot. Since the shot was closeup on the other robot, and the background was out of focus, nobody can tell she’s levitating over to him. It would look pretty crazy if you saw the wide shot!
Q5: How did you get into the film industry?
I grew up and went to school in Southern California, so I was lucky to be close to the entertainment industry. I wrote a script and showed it to some friends from university who were in the business. They helped me get an agent and I started working for the movie studios.
Q6: What films or filmmakers have been the most inspiring or influential to you and why?
I love the work of Spielberg, Lucas, and Cameron. I’m a popcorn filmmaker. I enjoy making crowd-pleasing, entertaining movies.
Q7: Do you have a favorite film project that you have done? Why?
My absolute favorite film will always be my next one. I’m always trying to stretch, to improve and to come up with something even better for the audience. I’m constantly creating new stories, learning new technologies and thinking of ways to exceed audience expectations.
Q8: What advice would you share with a new filmmaker about filmmaking or the industry?
If you want to be a filmmaker, go make a film right now. It has never been easier or less expensive to make a film. Make a film, then make another right away and keep at it. Everyone gets better with practice.
Make the things you love. Don’t try to please anyone else. Make the kinds of movies you’d stand in line in the rain to see.
The most important thing to know about the film industry is you have to do the job to get the job. Nobody will let you make a film until you make some on your own and do a really good job. Nobody wants to hire unproven talent. They want to hire talent that is already making great stuff without any help from Hollywood.
Don’t wait for anybody or anything. Make the film you can, with what you have, right now.
Q9: Can you tell us about any of your upcoming projects?
My producing partner and I are setting up a new production company, so I’ve been developing a number of new screenplays for me to direct. After the success of IN YOUR DREAMS (winning 65+ international awards as of this writing), it seems likely that we will fast-track a sci-fi film made with Virtual Production and including robots.
Q10: Where can people find out more about your work?
For more information about IN YOUR DREAMS, please visit this website: https://tinyurl.com/InYourDreamsFilm
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