We're raising money to make Otto Cannot Dream, a surrealistic comedy addressing the role of the American Dream in our society and opening a discussion about how to best redefine it!
Once I dreamed I was Otto, and since then I don't know if I'm Victor who dreamed he was Otto or if I'm Otto dreaming that he's Victor
"What if our dreams had a say in what we dream for?"
OTTO CANNOT DREAM est une comédie surréaliste, critique du rêve américain dans sa version la plus désanchantée, jouant à la frontière entre les rêves et la réalité, dans l'univers dystopique d'un Los Angeles sans couleurs.
Otto fête ses huit ans, quand une curieuse brigade fait irruption chez lui, et tue ses parents sous le prétexte que ce sont des originaux. Pour calmer l’enfant effaré, on lui donne une pilule rose.
Otto a maintenant 45 ans et vit une existence morne. Pilule quotidienne, travail routinier, troubles du comportement. Lors de ses rendez-vous de contrôle avec son supérieur, le constat est toujours le même: malgré la pilule, Otto n’arrive pas à rêver le "A dream", porteur de gloire et de prospérité.
Jusqu’au soir où, sous l’impulsion de Julia, une de ses rares collègues qui a encore un grain de fantaisie, il se refuse à prendre la pilule. Alors s’ouvre à lui la porte, non pas du "A dream" mais de ses rêves personnels. Ils ne le quitteront plus, faisant irruption dans sa vie, de jour comme de nuit.
OTTO CANNOT DREAM is a surrealistic comedy and a critic of the American Dream in its most disenchanted version, playing at the frontier between dreams and reality, in the dystopian world of a colorless Los Angeles.
On the night of his 8th birthday Otto lost his two parents to an obscure tyrant regime, and has never been able to dream since then. Otto, now 45, has settled into an OCD routine of wake up, wash, walk to work, stamp papers, walk home, take the A-pill and go to sleep.
But when his co-worker Julie inspires him to stop taking the A-pill, his subconscious is unleashed.
As characters from his mind enter his waking reality and subvert his daily routines, a strange eclipse flares the world into a relentless magenta glow.
Otto's oneiric adventure challenges him to find back his inner voice, to stand up for himself and face the secrets of his trauma before being finally able challenge the institution that took his parents, and his childhood dreams, from him.
Pour soutenir la fantaisie de ce court métrage, un important travail sera fait sur la chromie. La vie d'Otto enfant sera traité en couleurs naturelles. Celle d'Otto devenu adulte, en revanche se déroulera dans une chromie très désaturée. Une éclipse manifestera l'irruption des rêves, qui seront saturés de couleurs, et baignés par une lumière magenta.
Otto - he has OCD, he cannot dream, and is therefore disconnected from his inner voice when the film starts.
Otto 2 - Otto's alter ego from the dream world, eccentric, magical. He looks just like Otto, except for his clown red nose.
The A-dream - a disenchanted version of the American dream, only directed towards celebrity and money.
The A-pill - a new medication capable of transforming "confusing and scattered" dreams into the A-dream, making it an "enjoyable & productive time"
The A-team - characters from Otto's dreams, invading his daily life and chasing after Otto 2. They secretely work for Otto's boss, and call themselves "bad dreams".
The "breach" - dreams invade reality and vice versa, visually materialized by a total solar eclipse (day for night lighting scheme).
Born and raised in Paris, Victor Pourcel developed a passion for storytelling at an early age, due to the influence of his grandfather, Jean Cosmos, a notorious French screenplay writer. After getting his Baccalaureate in economics with high honors, Victor studied humanities for two years in one of the most prestigious French hypokhâgne-khâgne. Admitted in Audencia, one of the top French business schools, he specialized in management of multimedia industries. Victor interned in Artmedia, the biggest talent agency in Europe, and was then hired to read, breakdown and criticize three screenplays a week for them, while finishing his Master degree in business in Nantes, and in Cincinnati, where he attended MA/MBA classes in art administration at the College Conservatory of Music.
Victor did his final internships in Los Angeles, in a management company and two production companies, one of which being run by Michael Phillips (Taxi Driver, Close Encounters of the Third Kind), who became one of Victor’s mentors throughout the past years. Back to France, Victor worked for a production company, where he developed and produced a number of short films, including a prestige collection of short films adapted from unseen Boris Vian screenplays, and pre-bought by French national TV channels France 2 and France 3. Victor then worked for a year on a documentary about his grandfather, ‘A Life of Storytelling’, before heading to USC SCA Master program in Film and Television Production, in order to perfect his craft as a storyteller.
Ian McClellan started as a company electrician on the 2012 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning film Beasts of the Southern Wild. He went on to associate produce for Academy Award-winning filmmakers Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman on their documentary The Battle of AmfAR (premiered Sundance 2013). He earned his MFA at USC in film and television production and now runs his production company Punk Riot, focused on enabling directors to realize their unique artist visions.
Marine was born on the French island of Reunion. She graduated from high school with a baccalaureate in Literature. At the age of 20, she moved to Los Angeles where she discovered her love of filmmaking and subsequently enrolled in the Film & Television Production undergraduate program at USC. Marine has gravitated towards producer roles.
She produced a short western that was selected in several local film festivals and was an Associate Producer on Lalo's House, produced by Victor Pourcel, winner in the short film category at the 2018 Pan African Film Festival. In addition, her passion is to document the growth and blossoming of her three-year-old daughter with short videos.
Rommel Villa is a Bolivian graduate production student at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. He was recently awarded the Lionsgate-Televisa Grant, a prestigious award that supports emerging Latino filmmakers.
Rommel has produced over ten short films and edited and directed seven films. His previous writing/directing work includes: SKETCHWORLD, an Augmented Reality commercial for Microsoft, SLEEPLESS NIGHTS, a short horror film set in a radio station, and AMONG GRAVES, a fictional novel adapted into a feature screenplay that explores teen suicide.
Rommel's work experience includes assistant producing and editing for VoxPop films, directing award-winning plays at Saint Francis parish in Sucre-Bolivia, and producing and directing commercials for the American-Bolivian Center in Bolivia.
Born and raised in San Diego, Robert Green is a rare 3rd-generation Southern California native. He has had a passion for storytelling in its many forms since he was a child, and aspired to be a novelist and screenwriter up until his second year at the University of Southern California, at which time he took an interest in film production and began pursuing a career as a Producer. He participated in internships under such industry idols as James Lassiter (I Am Legend, The Karate Kid) and Stacey Sher (Pulp Fiction, Erin Brockovich).
Robert internally transferred USC's School of Cinematic Arts, and although his focus was in Critical Studies he was given the opportunity to work on numerous undergraduate thesis films. In 2017 he was selected to produce the western-comedy Black Knuckle and Deputy Maltese, becoming the first non-production student in the school's history to serve as Producer on an undergraduate thesis film. Robert lives in Los Angeles and works as a freelance Assistant Director, Production Coordinator, and Post-Production Supervisor, while continuing his studies part-time in pursuit of a B.A. in Cinema & Media Studies and a B.A. in English Narrative Studies.
Adriana Serrato is a cinematographer based in Los Angeles, California. After receiving her BFA in Visual Arts from Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington D.C., she went on to pursue her MFA in Film and Television Production from the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Art, where she further developed her love of photography and honed her skill as a cinematographer.
During her time at USC, Adriana had the opportunity to shoot 20 short films, along with four thesis films, ranging across several genres, including documentary, comedy, drama, and horror. Her work has received recognition and excellence awards at California Film Award, Ouchy Film Awards, Roma Cinema DOC, Nevada International Film Festival, Queer Screen’s Mardi Gras Film Festival.
Adriana has most recently had the opportunity to work with ARRI on several shoots for their company, and she earned the AMIRA grant on her latest film Elwood Takes A Lover, directed by Jon Palmer. Adriana continues to expand her portfolio, shooting in and around LA.
Camila Prisco Paraiso is a recent graduate student from the School of Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California. Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, she has lived in many cities and countries around the world, including Portugal and New Zealand.
She developed her passion for photography and film as she started to document her traveling adventures. Camila has contributed to many films as Cinematographer, Art Director and Producer. She has interned at a creative agency, film festivals and most recently at the talent agency APA. With a diverse resume and passion for traveling, Camila is determined to keep taking her career around the world and inspiring others with her work.
Sevag Chahinian is a Los Angeles native filmmaker naturally drawn to the camera. Finding his passion in film at an early age, Chahinian wasted no time cultivating the necessary skills to reach his professional goals. As he went on to pursue a degree at University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, Chahinian was able to further develop his inherent talents.
Through his years at USC SCA, Sevag has worked as a director and director of photography on numerous projects ranging from small scale (with skeleton crews) to major productions. He has worked on graduate thesis films that have won multiple awards on the festival circuits. Most recently, he was a cinematographer on one of four thesis films produced each semester at USC. Recently graduating of University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts where he earned a B.A. in film production, he has begun his journey out in the real world.
With his bold vision to push the boundaries in his visuals and storytelling, Sevag continues on his path of being a cinematographer and director as he seeks to bring joy and true meaning to the world through his films.
Amrish Ramnarine is a 3rd year Graduate Student at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He was born in Trinidad and Tobago. As crime increased his family migrated to Florida for him to study alongside his brother. Throughout high school he would always make projects a little different from his peers. While his classmates made poster boards for their book reports; he would make short films. He successfully made the story Of Mice and Men into a comedic spoof which made him a popular choice for group projects.
He wanted to study film but was prohibited by his parents. He began studying business and psychology for his undergraduate degree which he acquired by 19 years old. He then pursued an M.B.A in order to make his father happy indicating he would take over the family business. He has lived in various countries throughout his life ranging from Japan and the UK. While living in the UK he studied law and enjoyed watching shows in the West End Theaters. He uses his life and school experiences to shape his views of the world around him.
Saori is a costume creator originally from Japan, as well as a performer, and has more than 5 years of experience in the field: retail, theatre, television, and film productions.
She is highly motivated, detail oriented, innovative and multi-talented, and has a fascinating background, from orchestrating start-ups in the fashion industry to elevating organizational performance through skillful restructuring in a dynamic, fast paced environment. She has proved her high skills in a number of industries over time, with extensive experience in costume design, costume making and wardrobe styling for film projects.
Marco Valerio Antonini was born in Rome (Italy) and graduated in Composition and Orchestration from the Santa Cecilia conservatory of Rome. He attended the Film Scoring Master Class Fotogrammi e Pentagrammi (Frames and staves), taught by the Oscar-winning composer Nicola Piovani (Life is Beautiful).
In 2013 he composed original music for the Cinecittà / Luce documentary “PROFEZIA. L’Africa di Pasolini”, about the famous Italian poet. This film was invited at 70° International Venice Film Festival. That successful experience started a continued collaboration with the Istituto Luce Cinecittà documentary production company, with two new documentaries: L’Ultima voce. Guido Notari (directed by Enrico Menduni) and 1945. L’anno che non c’è (directed by Beppe Attene), for the 70th anniversary of the World War II (2015) both presented at international film festivals.
In 2015 he moved to the United States and was admitted in the prestigious Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program of the University of Southern California, with the Harry Warren Screen Composer Award scholarship. In 2016 he scored his first US-produced feature film, Loners, by Eryc Tramonn. In the same year, he was selected for the prestigious ASCAP Television & Film Scoring Workshop with Richard Bellis, and was awarded the 2016 Steve Kaplan TV & Film Studies Award as an outstanding participant in the workshop. He also won the first edition of the Juan Gil International Soundtrack composition prize (2016) and was selected for the 2018 Los Angeles Live Score Film Festival by the Helix Ensemble.
He collaborates with a number of Directors and Game Developers from America, Europe and the Middle East. Recent works for games include the RPG Indie Game Fort Triumph (Israel), the VR Game Arafinn – Return to Nangrim, as well as soundtracks to documentaries (Standing Up, US 2017) and short films (The Dust Trail, US 2017; Goldfish US 2018). He also works as an additional composer for composer Gordy Haab on projects like Star Wars Battlefront II and Halo Wars II, and as an orchestrator for Jeff Beal (House of Cards, Netflix; The Long Road Home, National Geographic, and Jay Gruska (Supernatural, CW) among others. He lives in Los Angeles, California.
Antonio Gómez-Pan was born in Madrid in 1985 and is currently living between Los Angeles, Barcelona and his hometown. He has been appointed as an Academic of the Spanish Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Academy (2017) and he just won the Gold Medal for Best Editing in Berlin.
Even before he had finished his BA in Film Editing at the prestigious film school ESCAC, heedited "Mi Amigo Invisible" (2010) and "Elefante" (2012). They won, respectively, the Best Short Film Award at the L.A. Film Festival and at the Sitges Film Festival, along with many others. They were selected in dozens more, some of them as relevant as Sundance or Clermont-Ferrand. "Mi Amigo Invisible” even managed to be pre-selected for the 2010 Hollywood Academy Awards (Oscars). In 2014 he edited “De quoi je me mêle”, produced by Michel Gondry and his upcoming short film is directed by the well-known photographer Eugenio Recuenco.
He has also edited feature films like "Puzzled Love" (2011), which premiered at the San Sebastian International Film Festival (2011); "Otelo" (2012), also selected at the San Sebastian International Film Festival and winner of the European Independent Film Festival (among many others) and last but not least, "Hooked Up"(2013), which premiered in Sitges 2013 official competition and recently has been bought by the influential Spanish director Jaume Collet Serra.
In the documentary field, he has edited “Limbo Starr, Diez Cuenta Atrás” (2010), which premiered at the In-Edit Beefeater Documentary Festival and “Coses Estranyes que Brillen” (2013). Antonio has also edited innumerable music videos for artists like Palmbomen or Nothink and is currently working as a freelance editor for companies like Canadá or Garage Films (awarded Best Spanish Advertising Company in 2009 and 2010). In this field, he has edited advertisements for brands as well-known as Adidas, Coca-Cola, Chanel, Unicef, Volkswagen, Nike, Ikea, Toyota... among others.
Originally from Santa Cruz, California, Stephen Burchell is an experienced visual effects artist and editor. He first started making stop-motion films as a hobby around the age of eleven, and from there, he continued to develop his skill set, branching out into other areas of film, such as documentary filmmaking and visual effects.
Stephen is currently earning his Bachelors degree in film production at USC, and his proclivity for visual effects has given him the opportunity to work on many student projects, including several graduate thesis films, a television series, and even a feature. Stephen was recently the lead editor on his senior project “Summon a Fiend,” which was one of four films produced by his class.
A big science fiction and adventure fan, Stephen hopes to work as a visual effects supervisor, but is also interested in directing his own films someday. He is fascinated by the psychology of the mind, and wants to use his skills to both entertain and challenge.
Although born in Buenos Aires, Santiago Rodriguez Herran grew up in Argentina, Austria and Switzerland. After earning a degree in Business Administration from the University of Bern, he decided to pursue his long-term goal of film-making. Skeptical about the prospects of being a film-maker in Switzerland, he went to work for a private auditing company and later in the public sector and there-through was able to save enough money to attend a film school abroad. In 2015 he was admitted to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. There he specializes in Sound and Cinematography at the School of Cinematic Arts.
Otto Cannot Dream is a surreal dystopia where we hyperbolize the contrast between what society wants from us and what we want to do as individuals into a terrible government regime that forces its citizens to take the A Pill to all share the same dream of success. But when Otto cannot dream, we’re forced to ask if we can ever do or become what we cannot dream? Ultimately can individuals define themselves against all outside pressures?
Otto Cannot Dream reminds me of some of my favorite dystopian films- Disney’s animated Paperman, Brazil, 1984. By talking about a parallel world where things are not the way we want them, we can look at our own world. From a dystopia we can imagine utopias. And as a filmmaker I’m excited to create this fantasy world that has so much to say about our own.
Thanks to you, we've reached the first quarter of our crowdfunding goal and I'm a bit closer from being able to make Otto Cannot Dream, my USC thesis film! Your support means the world to me. Thank youuu!!!
Grâce à vous, nous avons atteint le premier quart de notre objectif de crowdfunding et je me trouve un peu plus prêt de pouvoir réaliser Otto Cannot Dream, mon film de thèse USC! Votre soutien me touche infiniment. Merciiiii!!!
And now that you're part of the family behind Otto Cannot Dream, if you feel like supporting the project further, you could become its ambassador by sharing this link around you! https://fundly.com/otto-cannot-dream
This could very well help me get to that second quarter, third, fourth... and turn this project into a reality! Thank you! Merci!
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