What Is "Dream On"?

DREAM ON follows the stories of a handful of aspiring dreamers and their rise to the pinnacle of success. A future Hollywood starlet, a hungry rock band that has no other choice but to succeed, a college basketball star with his eyes on the NBA Draft, or a thirty-something single father looking to rehash his lifelong dream of rock stardom. A former NFL kicker attempts a comeback. A girl that was placed in a remedial writing course, later wins an Emmy for News Writing as a TV journalist. A 15 year old boy sneaks into a race car and eventually becomes one of the most popular drivers in NASCAR.

Time flies as DREAM ON pulsates into your heart with jaw-dropping musical performances from virtually unknown stars on the rise including Chris Hatfield, Lunar Mansion, Hooten Hallers, and Jet.

All of the stories come from people living in the same small town in the middle of the Middle West. Are they hoping in vain? Does it really matter? DREAM ON explores the climb to success, the tribulations, and the underlining hope that all things are possible... if you DREAM ON, it could happen to you.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

COLUMBIA DAILY TRIBUNE: Locally made film encourages people to pursue their passions


(Columbia, MO) - In perhaps the most famous utterance of a popular phrase, Aerosmith screamer-in-chief Steven Tyler once sang, "Dream on, dream until your dreams come true."
Thanks to the effort of some local filmmakers, a few more voices are joining that familiar chorus. On Saturday, the film "Dream On" makes its debut at The Blue Note. Something of a dream journal, the documentary captures the paths and passions of area talents that include University of Missouri basketball standout Kim English, news anchor Sarah Hill, musicians such as The Hooten Hallers and Lunar Mansion and a number of aspiring actors and performers. The film also traces the narrative of such locally forged talents as NASCAR star Carl Edwards and country singer Sara Evans. With each story and scene, "Dream On" encourages viewers to not only look up at the big screen and consider the size of these visions but to look inside at the dreams they might not be faithfully following.
As often is the case, the film came about in the wake of another dream being frustrated. Last year, longtime local radio personality Jet Ainsworth revisited a past passion: He once envisioned rock 'n' roll stardom but had long since set music aside to focus on his family. Upon picking his guitar back up and recording an album, he thought it might be worth inviting a few filmmaking friends along to a local gig. There might be something fun and instructive in making a short film about a 30-something returning to the rock 'n' roll dreams of his youth, he reasoned. The cameras rolled, but the show was something of a disaster, Ainsworth recalled, leading him to second-guess the entire project.
"Thankfully, it failed because it turned into something that I never would have considered doing," he said.
Ainsworth and his creative conspirators decided to turn the cameras outward and look into the lives of those who, like him, were pursuing seemingly far-off dreams. As discussions about the project intensified, filmmakers felt increasingly and intimately connected. Executive Producer Joel Shettlesworth, for one, saw his own dreams of making films for a living mirrored in the project's through line.
"As we discussed the concept more, I realized that I was relating to every point very personally," he said in an email. "If we could recreate that reaction in our audience, then everyone who saw the film would leave the theater energized and ready to really push themselves to shoot for their own dreams."
A documentary seemed the right avenue for meeting such an aim, a more relatable and potent means of exploring the issue than any sort of dramatized depiction could provide, Ainsworth said.
"Instead of writing a story about a fictional character who was trying to 'make it,' we all agreed that it would be much more effective to go with a documentary style and interview people in different fields at different stages in their careers and get their opinions and views," Shettlesworth added.
Moviegoers will not only hear subjects' stories but will join them on the journey, taking the court alongside English or the bandstand with Ainsworth. Each subject is viewed in his or her element, adding context to his or her hopes and ideals. To hear Ainsworth describe it, the final product landed at the intersection of wide-eyed optimism and grounded realism. While affirming the shelf lives of dreams should only be decided by the dreamer, he acknowledged that very few who aspire to see their name in stage or stadium lights will ever do so. The film shows just how fertile Mid-Missouri's soil is for growing national-level talent yet provides a down-to-earth reminder that many parts of the country could claim the same promise.
Dreamers in Saturday's audience won't find a sure blueprint to success, Ainsworth said. They will, however, be pushed to follow two important pieces of advice: work hard and, no matter what level of success you achieve, pursue contentment and happiness above all.
"It's not the life we choose; it's always what we do with the life we get which is the important thing," he said. "It's not as important to be a rock star as it is to try to be a rock star and enjoy that. It's not as important to be a TV news anchor as it is to be happy with the family that you have and get to be a TV news anchor."
In a similar spirit, the filmmakers' own ambitions changed over the course of production. Initially, they longed to see "Dream On" find a home in theaters across the country. Now, Ainsworth said, they hope it gets a grass-roots following and perhaps aids its subjects on their path to the future. Ultimately, the movie's greatest goal is to put a new spin on words that have long been used to harm and hinder dreamers.
"What we really wanted to convey was that the term 'dream on' has always been given a negative connotation," Ainsworth said, giving an example. " 'Oh yeah, dream on, buddy. Dream on. Good luck with that.' What we wanted to actually accomplish at the end of the hour and 20 minutes is a total change in how we look at that phrase … dream on, go ahead and do it."

Read this column and more of Mr. Danielson's work here:
Columbia Daily Tribune Column - DREAM ON

No comments:

Post a Comment