“Well, here it is, my finished thesis!
At SVA, everyone graduating has to complete a thesis. As Computer Art majors, we started the process at the beginning of our junior year.
From the beginning, I knew I wanted to have my thesis about dreams and lucid dreaming. (The subject has always fascinated me. My AP Art portfolio in high school was also about dreams!) Coming up with a story, however, was hard. I wanted to make it about my own dreams, so it started out as someone just traveling through all these random dreams. After coming up with concept art and storyboarding it all out, I realized that it was just too long and confusing.
So, I picked out one of my favorite dreams, where I’m flying, and transform into a hawk. It needed some sort of storyline, so I incorporated another dream where I “wake up” and fly out my bedroom window.
The rest of junior year was spent tweaking storyboards and making production schedules. At this point, I knew that I wanted to use the Waking Life rotoscope technique. Every second, every frame, would be that much more work. The deadline of April 2009 was always looming.
The summer of 2008 was spent filming. Starting out, I was using a Sony HDR-HC7. Great camera, until there was a problem with the tape drive! (Luckily it was under warranty, so it got sent off to be repaired.) However, I still had most of my filming to do, so I was able to get ahold of a Sony HDR-HC9… even better! I used an Ewa-Marine underwater housing (Really, it just looked like a big ziplock bag! But it kept my camera dry, and that’s all that matters!) for all the “flying” sequences.
Senior year, Fall 2008. Thesis work really begins. I worked with my thesis advisor to really tighten my cut, trimming out any unnecessary frames. Then, every frame was hand drawn in Photoshop. This part took the longest, about five months. Then color was added in After Effects. Aaaand… here it is!
The title comes from reading the book “Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming” by Stephen LaBerge. In it, he uses the word oneironaut to mean “explorer of the dream world.” I scanned in that page, and you can see it in the background in the very beginning, if you look closely!
The music used is “Escape into the Twilight” by Skrypnyk. You can download it for free from Overclocked Remix!”