Dream Warrior - Short Fantasy Film


Hey everyone!

Sooo…a long, long, time ago, I made a post on this forum. I have pre-production anxiety, help! It was about my film Dream Warrior and how I was nervous during pre-production. I didn’t feel like it could ever get made.

I was actually surprised by how warmly I was received and I was greatly comforted by people’s encouragement and advice. Well, now almost two years later, after a lot of post-production struggles, I finally finished it. I’d figured I should show it to you all now. Thanks @Kevin_Senzaki @ShotBotWill @Jasper_Cloud @cherish @CFG and @FreddieW for your support! It really went a long way.


Congrats on finishing it! I was happy to finally find it in my subscription feed.


Hey! Thanks for subscribing, I’m glad someone remembers :slight_smile:


Hey, thanks for your patience! Really, really nice work; I enjoyed the film a lot!

You did a great job with how your story unfolds - I love the combination of dream narrative moving forward while simultaneously working as flashback. I also think you balanced how much information you reveal really well; I felt what was important was clear, without over-explaining. Nice job with the door openings tying scenes together. It’s a small touch that adds a lot.

I’m curious if you learned anything during the shoot or editing process that you’ll do differently next time?

I have two thoughts “feedback-wise.” The first is about the line or “180 degree rule” in terms of eye lines and scene geography. While it’s not an absolute rule, typically you want to shoot dialogue scenes from one side of an imaginary “line” drawn between the two main speakers, or, if this is a bit clearer, imagine two people on opposite sides a theater stage having a dialogue - you typically want to keep scene from the “audience’s view” (once you establish where that is), rather than hopping over behind the stage for an angle, where the actors would appear to flip position. The benefit is that this keeps actors looking in the same consistent direction between shots, so person #1 is looking from left to right, and person #2 is looking from right to left back. I felt at times this was broken either during the middle of a dialogue for a special shot, or throughout dialogue scenes in ways that were slightly confusing or maybe distracting, without helping the story along. Something to keep in mind when planning and shooting your coverage!

My second thought is about consistent tone; overall I think you do a fantastic job of establishing a tone and keeping it, but I felt the threat from the dark figure was inconsistent during the middle of the film. It’s set up and ends as a serious threat, but during the detention scene and the airsoft scene, it’s more of a comedic threat than an actual one, which takes the tension and stakes out of these scenes somewhat, after we’ve set it up as a genuine danger.

Congratulations on getting this project done; it must have been a huge undertaking and it turned out great. Let me know if you have any follow-up questions, and thanks for being patient with my getting back to you on this!


Hey, thank you for watching my film. It’s really awesome people at Rocket Jump come here and respond and interact and whatnot.

As for learning…yeah, I learned a lot. Enough that I’m kind embarrassed by this movie because there’s so many things I could’ve done better. ESPECIALLY during the shoots, where I basically had no real idea of what I was doing. There were so many shots that were so sloppy that I left them on the editing floor, never to be seen again. Sometimes when I see the film I just cringe internally.

The reason editing took so long was because my original editor broke his arm, and then I passed it onto my main actor (Raphael), who then got too busy, so he passed it onto me. I couldn’t exactly edit the film on the slow laptop I had around the time–it wasn’t until I built my own PC that I started on that. Raphael was also meant to color grade the film, but he never got to that either so…eventually I just took it and edited the whole thing myself. There’s no color grading or VFX (exception the blurred license plate, which took me like two hours to do since I had to teach myself rotoscoping). Most of the SFX are done by me or are free resources I found. Even once I finished the film, I had to wait for my composer, Caleb, to finish the final track…so yeah, there were a lot of post-production delays. Next time, I think I want to be more self-reliant during post.

Tried following the 180-degree rule to the best of my ability, but for some reason I had a weird obsession with Wes Anderson at the time and decided to put my subjects a little to close to the center of the frame–yeah, bad idea. I think I should learn how to do over the shoulder shot well first before I break the rules. Know the rules, then break them. There’s a LOT of mistakes with the camerawork–most of the time that thing was strapped around my neck.

Good point on tone too. I realized the film needed some comedic elements though–dreams are weird things that shift from hilarious to terrifying within seconds. (Warning: I’m going to sound really pretentious here): I intentionally chose “embarrassing” situations for Jacob because he needed to face his underlying fears of social interaction and rejection. Getting laughed at for something stupid in class may not seem like a whole lot to us as adults, but to a kid it’s our entire world. Whether we like it or not, our childhood scars can carry into adulthood, especially when we don’t realize it. A big inspiration for this film was Eternal Sunshine on the Spotless Mind, because of scenes like this:

Again, thanks for watching sir. I know it’s not a lot, but every view, comment, like, and subscription is important to me. I want to reach people, and hopefully, change them.


Also a BTS for anyone interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm5Ngq00MDU


I definitely know what you mean about hating parts of your own work - I feel that way about some of my work on VGHS, for example - but you didn’t let that stop you from finishing and releasing the film, which is awesome! Your ability as a filmmaker is more than the project you’ve completed, it’s also what you’ve learned through the process.

I actually totally understood what you were going for as far as putting Jacob in embarrassing situations; that part really played! I suppose thinking about it, I didn’t necessarily feel the same level of danger he might have in those situations, if that helps clarify my thought.

Congrats on overcoming all the challenges you faced through the making of the film, and just to say it again, I really enjoyed it! Very much looking forward to whatever you do next.


Yeah. I still get what you mean with Jacob’s “embarrassing” scenes. I think I would do things a bit differently. Make it a little more scary.

Glad you enjoyed it! I do have more content here (yes shameless plug I’m sorry kevin) https://www.youtube.com/user/knifebladepresents