Private Project

daydream screener

Dreams are the foundation on which success becomes a reality... but success is subjective. Without an outlet for achievement through the established society, he (The Processor) resorts to a gruesome and deadly black market trade to satisfy his hunger for success. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

  • Richard Ramirez
  • Richard Ramirez
  • Richard Ramirez
  • Alan Freytag
  • Richard Ramirez
    Key Cast
    "The Processor"
  • Lizzete Zunica
    Key Cast
    "The Superior"
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Genres:
    Horror, Psychological Horror, Drama, Thriller
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes 24 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 29, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    800 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    HDV, 4k, Sony
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Richard Ramirez

Richard Ramirez has worked as an artist and sculptor on feature films, including special effects. His work as a production artist has brought people closer to the films they love; from fabricating collectibles and prop restoration, to preparing materials for Disney Land Star Wars Theme Parks. His transition from man behind the curtain to behind the camera is one spawned by his love of cinema and art. Some of his creative inspirations include Ray Harryhausen, Bernie Wrightson, Stan Winston, David Cronenberg, Fritz Lang, and John Carpenter. A lover of genre films, he enjoys such staples like Comedy and Horror, able to enjoy films from Black Orpheus to The Deadly Spawn. Tales of horror are especially reflective of humanity, where our fears are important to acknowledge, as are the contradictions that life is bound by; light and dark, life and death, etc. Through understanding these do we ever hope to make it through the unknown that terrifies us all and the known that horrifies us.

"It's not easy, even down right infuriating at times, but god damn if I don't love it."

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Director Statement

We wanted to tell a story of a horror that was relatable, unsettling, but ultimately very human. In this edit we jump right into the horror, seeing the monster's twisted views on full display. One of the horrifying aspect that was pushed is how this truly pathetic character reflects how many people will twist any logic to justify pretty much any action, no matter how awful or monstrous these actions may be. The other very real horror we play with is its ending, fantasy. Next to calling into question what the viewer has seen, this pushes the notion of "Daydreaming" as, while neither good nor bad, it plays with the haunting questions of their gravity and the notion that you may never truly know someone.

Passion will only take you so far. When production problems arise, as they inevitably will, finding creative solutions is key. Sometimes finding creative solutions is thinking of how to make the best of a bad situation, turning an obstacle into an opportunity, sometimes it's how to rally your crew to victory, all while keeping your vision alive. Often these have to be thought of on the spot at a moment’s notice. On DAYDREAM, after the second camera man had dropped out/doubled booked at the last minute, causing an already tight nighttime shooting schedule with special effects to be even tighter and more intense. This led to most of these scenes being done quickly in only one to two takes in an effort to conserve time and alleviate tension from the crew. Because these scenes were plan and shot so tight, there was hardly any left on the cutting room floor. Meaning what you see in the final for this "Butchers Kingdom" in the shed is pretty much all the footage that was taken.

One the greatest assets has been my crew. DAYDREAM was a lean machine of a project. A good crew brings the best out of each other, especially the director. I marveled as the crew pulled off miracles on a regular basis. They were worthy of throwing a ticket tape parade and were told as much. Alan Freytag has been a long-time creative collaborator of mine and is another example of bringing the best out of each other. Without Alan's belief in his ability, DAYDREAM would not exist.

Lizzete is a fantastic actress. She really was able to sell the fear, well as she could the authoritative position of a higher up in a company setting. She took direction well, a positive and fun person on set, and was very enthusiastic about the project. She even helped applying her own makeup for the shed scenes. Truly a great actress.

Almost all of the shots in this short were done via a hand held camera.

The footage from the Camcorder is all real, no post work on that footage to get that look. It's good to see the family camcorder still got life to it.

This version is the culmination of a three day shoot; two for the slaughter, one for the end.

The final scene in the "office building" was actually shot first. We tried so hard to get an actual office floor to shoot on; we contacted every type of business in town, even managed to get the City Manager to help us find a place, but alas we ended up having to shoot guerrilla style in, well, not an actual office building. though not the ideal situation, we were able to shoot the scene without any stress on our actors or crew and managed to get the desired shots.

This version is currently the shortest version of DAYDREAM and the most direct in horror. Simply put; it is boiled down to just pure horror and is the base that all other versions of DAYDREAM are built on. Other versions have what we refer to as the "montage" that shows his growth and development to this very point over the passage of years. Next to growing a beard, this removed first act has over two dozen locations and utilized drone shorts, slow motion shots, even some addition special effects. These versions ultimately told a similar but different story of disappointment and frustration while building a sympathetic character before his horrifying transformation.

The majority of time goes into planning and doing the less glamorous, but essential, side of film making. Be it paperwork, crunching numbers, phone calls, etc. One of your job as a filmmaker is simply getting the job done. From conception of an idea though post-production and beyond, detailed planning can make a shoestring budget work.

We took everything into account for this budget; gas, food for the crew, any rental equipment, materials, batteries, etc. I have worked for many productions big'n small and it is surprising just how many things aren't counted into the budget. We stayed within our planed budget with a little overhead, and we needed it. Things happen.

This led me to constructing a bedside editing bay to increase efficiency, where I would wake up early and immediately start editing till late that night. This was repeated till editing was done. This for a short time was done from Alan's couch. We had done editing from a distance but to cut down on the turn around time, I stayed with Alan as we both edited on the project; he from one room and I in another.

I will say it is some of the stuff that you wouldn't think twice about took allot of blood sweat and tears to make in both pre and especial postproduction work.

Many of the gore and other sounds heard were made in post production. These even include the haunting atmospheric/musical portions of thee film. A good portion of which were made by recording sounds of the director's mouth and hours of intense/goofy Foley work in a large empty garage.

For the gore, I constructed pressurized tanks and tubes of blood to be released when needed for the "money shot" moment but the construction of out prop hammer and gore is a mixture of real and fabricated. A few days after the shoot a sickeningly sweet smell was coming from this shed/garage we shot in, it was our brains. Yeah, turns out some of the spare brain was left out and was filled with a bunch of maggots... Really wished I'd have filmed that. If it makes your skin craw, you know you got something.

Scoring the film was a task I did not seek out, but recognizing a film's score is just as important as any character, setting, or story, ended up composed DAYDREAM's score in a few days, with 78 to 84 layers of music in total, averaging five layers for any given scene. Atmosphere was crucial to the short and was one of the big driving forces behind the score. Each version of DAYDREAM has a custom score made for that version.

Me scoring the film was done more out of a time restraint and somewhat budgetary, but this project also was made to be flexible.

By that I mean "Daydream" was ambitious but was made to be flexible if something didn't work out, or at least how Alan and I saw it. Aim high and be realistic, play to our strengths and what we have or can make happen, if we can do more, great, if something comes up, we deal with it, and make this project. We did.

This was my first time being sole director of a project between Alan and me. I very much appreciated his full support of me in this position and for believing in me to do it. I look forward to the future projects we have.