the xteamartists network

Xteamartists is as pleased as punch to report that our short Daydreaming at Midnight did last night win Best Picture at the Inaugural Sight of Sound Film Competition. Daydreaming at Midnight was directed by Andrew Yorke and coloured by Kevin Michael. The pair shared the remaining duties in production and post. Sponsored by the Dallas Film Society and the Dallas Chamber Symphony, filmmakers were asked to select a piece and produce a visual-only short to be accompanied by a live score played by the Symphony at their season-ending performance. The short films were well-recieved and the Dallas Chamber Sympony played a wonderful concert focused on Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D Major.

The plot synopsis: While waiting at a stoplight, a young man ventures into his subconscious to rediscover moments of happiness and resolve in a chaotic, urban world.

Andrew chose Robert Schumann’s Träumerei, which translates to English as daydream, for its pace and lyrical ascent. The piece, with which he had been very familiar since childhood, struck him with immediate inspiration. Reversing the process of scoring a film, he said, we get the opportunity to elucidate the music with a visual story. All music tells a story, but the nature is more abstract, leaving us with the freedom to explore many interpretations each time we listen. Sometimes the interpretation we see in our minds is very clear and stays with us, and this was the case when I heard Träumerei.

The pair also chose to shoot on iPhones, so that footage could be gathered over a short period in an off-the-cuff fashion without additional pressure. In the midst of full-time commitments, this allowed them to imbue a daydream quality through footage which felt personal and unstaged. We were both surprised at the capabilities of a device that began as a phone, said Kevin. He noted that the device shots retained impressive latitude and clarity even when pushing the limits of low-bitrate 8-bit video. Though far from the style of production normally pursued, the short was very much a labour of love and a stress-free return to techniques learned during production on their first motion picture, Videotape. «»