OUTTAKES – The Dragon in My Dreams

James / June 22nd, 2010

If you’ve watched The Dragon in My Dreams, you know the story. I remember a recurring dream I had as a child, about a dragon. The dragon was an actual water fountain at a park where I used to play. I probably hadn’t been to the park since I was 3 years old. I don’t know why I started thinking about it again, all of a sudden. I got curious, does the dragon still exist? In combination with that, I was already planning another retrospective “Cinemassacre 300″ where I try to trace my own origin as a filmmaker. Why do I create the things I do? Where did all my ideas come from in the first place? The dragon was my earliest memory, the very thing that inspired me to tell stories about monsters. It’s not too often you owe so much to an inanimate object.

I made the trip out there. At first, I doubted I would even be able to find the same playground. I knew it was near the hospital where I was born, so I used that as a reference. Surprisingly, I found the park very easily. The big question was if the dragon would still be there. And so it was! When I saw it, I shouted “oh my God” over and over. It looked exactly how I remembered it. There was a lot of paint chipping off, but it was the very image that had been burned into my mind for so many years. I was amazed at how it still towered over me. It made me feel like I was still that same child.

I called my camera operator Matt to come film it for the video I was making. “What day’s good for you?” , he asked. I said “How about Tuesday?” So we headed back there on Tuesday. I had the whole video planned. I would walk up to the dragon, greet it like an old friend, and that would be the ending of the video, being reunited with the most impressionable object from my past, the symbol of all my fears and aspirations. We even had a crane that we were going to mount the camera on. It would have been a great way to reveal the dragon, to raise the camera up on the crane, pointing down at me, from behind the dragon. Well… as seen in the video, we showed up that day to find the park cluttered with rubble and construction equipment. The gates were barricaded. I couldn’t believe my eyes. They were renovating the park. The swings were being removed, the slide, everything! A worker with a jackhammer was getting ready to take down the dragon. I went up and basically told them my life story, that I used to visit this dragon as a kid, and was just now coincidentally making a video about it. They let me in. The worker was nice enough to put down the jackhammer for a few minutes, while Matt filmed me gazing up at the dragon for the last time. As we left the park, I realized that a 30 year chapter of my life came to an ironic ending.

I still can’t get over the fact that we happened to choose that particular day. If we went there one day earlier, we would have filmed it like planned, and never known what was going to happen. If we went one day later, the park would have been remodeled and the dragon moved. It seemed like it was some sort of fate, as if the dragon had telepathically called me to come back to witness it one last time. Really weird.

This short “outtakes” video captures some of the shock we experienced on that day. Before I even realized what was happening, I told Matt to roll camera and film me walking into the park. Watch my expression. You can see me staring totally in disbelief, containing my emotions, but feeling devastated on the inside. After all, I’m glad we were able to film the dragon one last time, and it gave the video a new direction.

The workers told me the dragon was being moved the front gate, and I hear it’s happened successfully. The dragon now stands on the sidewalk, though it’s a bit shorter than before. My last memory of it will always be in the very spot I remembered as a kid, towering over me.

Thanks everyone for all your positive comments on the Dragon in My Dreams video. I really appreciate it.

Comments

  • December 19, 2010 at 4:59 am

    wow yea you can really see your mood change when you thought you couldn’t get the footage of the dragon that you wanted. that was cool that the workers allowed you to shoot…and that you showed up just in the nick of time!

  • Rasengan999

    December 21, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Emotions, fate, dreams. These things have odd ways of working. James, you are one of my top role models. You follow that dragon, and carry out your dreams. You James, are a talented person. Keep up the good work, no matter what you do, we’ll all still love ya.

  • January 12, 2011 at 11:20 pm

    Wow. I have seen your every video and the whole Dragon in My Dreams was the most breathtaking. I almost cry at the end because your motions is in us all. your fans and your family. I hope the best of luck to you and your work James. Good Speed~ :’-)

  • Nightmare19

    January 24, 2011 at 8:08 am

    That music that plays, god it gos right to your heart! Makes me wanna cry!

  • gnsquared

    January 28, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Watching this makes me miss my own home town. Its strange leaving behind things that were familiar to us for such a big part of our childhood. I remember in my elementary school they painted a new mural the year I was in 5th grade and I got to paint a turtle on it. Gosh I hope they never paint over that turtle!

    Jeez, thanks for making me all misty eyed and sentimental James. Anyway, like many of your fans I really admire your dedication to the films and videos you make. What many others try to replicate for your success, you continue for sheer passion. You seem to be a fairly private person and I’m thankful that you shared this moment with us.

  • March 8, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    i have to tell you, this really speaks to me. its incredibly touching and powerful to watch you go back to your first nightmare or memory and face whatever it was that caused it. its a sense of accomplishment that not alot of people can ever say they’ve experienced.

    i truly wish i lived by you as i would love to work with you, either for voice over for characters or even just a bloody extra in your films! if you’re ever in the phoenix Arizona area look me up lol,

  • April 1, 2011 at 1:13 am

    This is really great raw footage. I can’t believe how crazy it was that you came back to film on that particular day, and that you were able to say goodbye to the Dragon as you remembered it. How very touching.

    Being around the same age as you, I can totally relate to how devastating it can feel at times to see things that contributed to your earliest, and most vivid childhood memories get torn down, moved, or ending. To think back on your life, how far you have come, and how your life has changed. For better, or worse.

    The movie really spoke to me, and this video only added to that. It reminded me of times where I felt that same mix of emotions. Bravo James

  • Venin

    April 14, 2011 at 12:04 am

    I enjoyed this film very much. Yes, it made me cry, but it also reminded me of something from my childhood…

    http://bp2.blogger.com/_d_qMo4ImpiY/RsKiST8FiXI/AAAAAAAAAVE/NnImYv7C7-g/s1600-h/bunyip.JPG

    That is the thing that haunted my childhood. It arose from the murky water and roared loudly.

  • mazzz0

    May 1, 2011 at 7:35 am

    I really hope you’ll never stop doing these videos, they’re fun to watch and they are realllly good !

  • Born in the wrong time.

    June 2, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    The Dragon in My Dreams is full of mystery.
    Many of the fans love to see this history.

    Good Job.

  • June 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    In the original feature, it seems almost too perfect the way it was laid out. It might make someone think it was planned out that way. And the idea that it was this fateful is crazy. The visual of the jackhammer and the rubble on the ground feeds into that idea of preparation, but the way that it was there spontaneously makes it so much better. It was a fortuitous twist of fate, but I’m glad to hear that the dragon is still around in some capacity; the symbol has changed since your childhood, but it still exists.

  • July 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    good video, but PLEASE use “ironic” in the correct sense of the term. that happened way too much in the monster madness videos.

  • WilsonX100

    July 10, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    James, I’ve been a very long time viewer of your work, and I’ve always loved it. this is a touching, sad, happy, inspiring film of yours, and it shows me that i can do whatever i want to, just like you. You always wanted to do film, and now its your life. And when the AVGN movie is finished, your goal of having that feature film will be completed. You are a very good film maker and entertainer, and i will always continue to watch all of your work, you informed me on so many different things. Games, movies, little facts, camera work and editing, things like that. I appreciate what you do, and i like your connection with the viewers. Thank you!

  • btr88tuxedoblack

    July 19, 2011 at 2:42 am

    I love these kind of videos. Really sentimental and heart felt.

    Awesome!

    Thanks again for the cool videos James

  • S2thec2theo2thet

    August 5, 2011 at 4:50 pm

    all i can say is wow….. james you are truley an insperation! from such a small age you loved imagination and followed your dreams.. one day i will live off making people smile.. and in that aspect you are a great sucsess. how many people can say they are following there dream… not many …..but you…… you are , you had the balls to say this is what i want to do and you did it there is not many people who can say that they do what they truley love. im not talking shit or kissing ass i just want to let you know that i see more then a pocket protecter i see a film maker who wants nothing more then to share your imagination. and that my friend is a cumodity that the world is sorely lacking….

    Scott

    p.s. i cant spell worth a fuck

  • zengie

    August 6, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    really love those sentimental movies that make you cry and feel all good inside at the same time… please keep doing what you do James, good luck on the movie (as if yr gonna need it)! ALL IS GOOD NERD!!

  • species_5618

    August 18, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Just made a account to comment this. I first read the story, which really got to me. Then i had to see the video, in one word… amazing. really very very good.

    Its great to see how far you got with this. As many more i also do some video shooting, you know vacation, wedding videos (just for hobby notting more :) ) but i never thought of taking it a step futher. So it is nice to see what you have accomplished and the good stuff your making. I think its a inspiration for many.

    good luck, and keep up the good work!

    cheers

  • captkiro

    September 30, 2011 at 2:34 am

    what the? didn’t this have like hundreds of comments? what happened to them.

  • 19superunknown80

    November 21, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Ha! I’ve been to the same playground as a kid! I totally forgot about that thing. I grew up on Borbeck St. in Rockledge. Small world.

  • BradCunningham

    January 20, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Based on Mrs. Nerd’s recommendation, I re-watched the original Dragon in My Dreams video, and am about to watch the outtakes. James, you are a fantastic filmmaker and I wish you all the luck in the world as you follow your dreams (as we all cheer you on) as you begin making your movie! May the dragon pave the way to your future! Peace!

  • kamate2

    February 25, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    =}
     

  • kain11

    May 24, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    me and my daughter were glad to find out that your dragon is still in the park! we thought it had been destroyed. you said it was fate that you got there when you did and we agree, your dragon is in the front of the park now as you are in the front with so many people you have touched with you films James. long live the dragon !!!

  • Old Hay

    August 21, 2012 at 2:09 am

    Fate? If I were religious, I’d almost call it providence. And why not? You’ve been weaving magic on film so long, some of it is bound to come back around to you. Thanks again, James.

  • Edouard224

    October 28, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Lke yeah how ironic it’s like Destiny x)

  • sonicshoop2

    May 30, 2013 at 7:57 am

    God so sad!

  • Caleb Burleson

    August 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I’m glad that the dragon is just getting moved. When I saw the original video I thought that it would me torn down.

  • MonsterMovieSciFi fan

    October 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    little stores of LIFE :)

  • November 13, 2013 at 6:36 am

    Really powerful video James, there is something seriously honest and beautiful about it. Well done.

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