Sunday, 24 June 2018

When Dreams Come True

Dorme is a 35mm fantasy short film that was the heartfelt vision and creative obsession of Sylvia Binsfeld, an incredibly talented writer, producer, and director, that has become the darling of films festivals around the world. It tells the story of a sleepy little boy that drifts off to sleep and enters a child's delightful world of toys, fantasy characters, and dreamy adventures. The entire film is a visualization of the Brazilian lullaby "Dorme" written and recorded by Arnaldo Antunes which forms the enchanting sound track.

Stills from Dorme by Sylvia Binsfeld

Dorme was an irresistible creative urge for Sylvia Binsfeld who was compelled to see it come to life no matter what. It was an immensely complex project because virtually every scene of the piece is a visual effects shot. There were multiple greenscreen shots, CGI images, digital matte paintings, motion tracking, optical flow speed changes - virtually every digital effect in the book was required to bring Dorme to the screen.

Stills from Dorme by Sylvia Binsfeld

Beautifully photographed by Svetlana Cvetko, Sylvia needed a senior digital compositor to finish her film that could share her creative vision and had the technical background to cope with the full range of artistic and technical challenges that Dorme presented. With over 20 years of visual effects experience, a deep background in feature film compositing, and a creative imagination that complimented hers, she selected Steve to bring the many pieces of her film together and give it the final loving look.

Stills from Dorme by Sylvia Binsfeld

Dorme was a daunting production challenge because all but one of its 65 shots had visual effects of some kind. The illustration here shows but one example of the many layers of Dorme. This shot combines a greenscreen plate with a digital matte painting of the night sky plus seven other graphic elements to make this one shot. A warm interactive glow for the lantern was a requirement for every shot where it was carried by the boy.


Composite shot of Dreaming Boy walking through 2D planets

On the more technical side, the film frames were digitized as 10 bit log Cineon scans, so the entire job was composited in log space to maintain all of the picture information for the finished film. The entire job was rendered at 2k resolution (2048 x 1556) and delivered on firewire to the Digital Intermediate facility for final color timing. After color timing, Dorme was recorded back out to 35mm film and married to the sound track for theatrical projection. A 24P video master was then produced directly from the color timed digital film frames for the video versions.

The Many Layers of Dorme



As you might imagine, Steve and Sylvia collaborated very closely because of the extremely creative aspect of the project even though they lived over 400 miles apart. Before each shot was put together there was an extensive phone conversation to establish the shared vision that is so important to bringing someone else's vision to the big screen. As each shot progressed, Steve rendered and uploaded high resolution QuickTime movies to an ftp site so Sylvia could download them and review them. This was followed by a phone conversation or an email to fine tune the next version. Because of this tightly coupled creative loop Sylvia never felt that she lost control of her creative vision. The warmest testimonial to the smooth execution of this large and complex job is the fact that Steve and Sylvia emerged at the end of the project as the best of friends.

Steve at his workstation creating the visual look of Dorme's 64 visual effects shots.

Steve at Work



"I looked high and low for a compositor and digital effects artist who had the gift to bring life to my creative vision for my fantasy film, Dorme, exactly the way I saw it. Without his amazing talent & pure digital wizardry, the magic of Dorme could never have happened. Steve is a true master!"
- Sylvia Binsfeld
Director of "Dorme"



Please visit the official "Dorme" web site at


San Francisco 5oth International Film Festival Participant 2007Tribecca Film Festival Participant 2007Cinequest Film Festival Participant 2007East Lansing Children's Film Festival Participant 2007
Danville International Children's Film Festival Participant 2007San Diego Children's International Film Festival Participant 2007Reno Film Festival Participant 2007

Play the Dorme Movie Play the Dorme Movie


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