John Madormo won the Best Family Film Synopsis at the Reno Film Festival's Annual Synopsis Contest for his family comedy adventure screenplay, "Dream Machine."
STATUS: "Dream Machine" is available to be optioned.
Have you ever been awakened from a horrific nightmare, so thankful you were only dreaming? Or felt cheated when a glorious dream was cut short? What if you were able to revisit those dreams each morning? Imagine it. You wake up, press a button, and watch your dream on a computer monitor.
In a family comedy adventure entitled “Dream Machine,” psychology professor, Adam Wilkins, Director of Brayington University’s Dream Research Institute, has created an instrument to help troubled patients suffering from recurring nightmares. Dr. Wilkins records his clients’ dreams, then views and analyzes them.
And if that weren’t revolutionary enough, the psychologist is also experimenting with a device that will transport you, mind and body, back into your dreams to relive those nocturnal delights, or back into those nightmares to confront your demons. But when Adam’s 12-year-old son, Jake, without permission, attempts to transport himself into one of his favorite dreams, he unwittingly deposits himself into the nightmares of his father’s patients.
“Dream Machine” is the story of countercurrents. The lives of a father and son spiral in opposite directions. Professor Adam Wilkins, a respected psychologist, and one of the country’s leading authorities on Dream Analysis, has just been named recipient of the coveted Strombecker Grant, much to the displeasure of one of his colleagues, a rival psychologist. With the grant money, Adam creates a tool that will revolutionize dream research as we know it.
His sixth-grade son, Jake, however, short in stature, and in self confidence, is a frequent target of pranks at school. He just can’t seem to outwit or outrun his tormentors. He has resigned himself to the role of victim, for perpetuity it seems. The only times that Jake is joyful, triumphant, or masterful, are in his dreams. So when he learns of his father’s discovery, he yearns for a chance to relive the only glorious moments he has known…or rather has dreamed of.
Adam’s relationship with Jake is sterile. He is loyal and dutiful to his patients, but neglects his son, not intentionally-just misplaced priorities. When Jake approaches him and asks to be transported back into his dreams, Adam balks. “It’s not a toy,” he warns, “You stay away from there.” But Jake’s desire to escape the painful present and visit a world of seemingly endless pleasure is far too great. Against his father’s wishes, Jake transports himself, not into his intended destination-a dream world of bliss, but into a netherworld of unspeakable horrors.
Adam soon learns of his son’s actions, and tries desperately to extract him from his nightmarish excursion. But when his attempts fail, he has but one choice-to transport himself into the dream world to rescue Jake. The experiences, shared by father and son as they battle unimaginable demons, help create a bond between them that had never before existed. Their escape plans, however, are soon foiled when one of Adam’s colleagues, a jealous rival, sabotages the Dream Machine, making it impossible for the pair to return, and leaving the father-son duo to face a life sentence of night terrors.