We awakened from a dream, and quickly found curiosity in our surroundings. In the pursuit of discovery, we have gone from horseback, to piston pounding beasts, to an electric explosion. Yet what will be the final vehicle for our desire to explore? Where will the dream take us?

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Director’s Vision for ‘Lucid’

The film “Lucid” came about as a way of extending my traditional discipline of cinematography into something digital. In 2023, I decided to learn Unreal Engine as a creative tool, and I wanted a project to have something to showcase the power of what digital tools reveal to us as filmmakers.

From a storytelling standpoint, I wanted to meditate on the ideas of dreams, evolution and freedom. The first third of the film is meant to set up the world, the second third is meant to represent the dream, and the last section being a representation of fruition. In the ideation phase, I wrote a small amount of copy to frame the narrative, as well as storyboarded and shot listed intensively. I decided to use AI tools like ChatGPT and Midjourney in this phase to give myself the opportunity to visualize many ideations of what the final film needed to be. All of the images are created by myself with Unreal Engine, some 16mm film shot with a Bolex and some supplemental footage shot on a RED camera.

After going through the first round of editing, Editor Scott Hanson and I realized that we needed more connective tissue for the edit. This is when I picked up the Bolex and started shooting some black and white film around my house. I also shot some footage on a RED Komodo to get more detailed textures of smoke, fire and other elements on a black background. I even played some of the Unreal and RED footage on a 4K monitor and shot this with the Bolex as well to kind of “beat up” the images a bit. Colorist Dante Pasquinelli helped marry all these elements together by adding filmic color and texture, giving the film the level of continuity it needed.