Every great filmmaker has to start somewhere and Student Government Association Vice President James Bland proves to be no exception. As an aspiring director and screenwriter, Bland had the opportunity Tuesday to showcase his talents to a packed Lee Hall auditorium.
“Dreaming in Color,” Bland’s debut film, was originally intended to be a 20-30 minute short film; however it was transformed into a feature length motion picture – a little more than an hour long. The premiere proved to be highly successful, even featuring an appearance by the Marching 100.
“Dreaming in Color” chronicles the lives of best friends Grace, a hopeful singer and Sean, a wannabe NBA basketball player. Grace, who was passionately enacted by Whitney Reed, 22, a senior public relations student, has organized and leads her high school choir and seems to be the only dedicated member of the team. With big hopes and even bigger dreams, Grace is easily the most optimistic character in the entire movie and not only dreams for herself but Sean as well.
Sean, played by a believable Bryan Brown, 22, a senior broadcast journalism student, is trying to live life on the straight and narrow but is caught up in an internal struggle. He has a mother who wants him to use his high school diploma to go directly into the construction business. Sean, of course, has dreams of greater grandeur.
A sad ending and a positive message of following dreams helps make “Dreaming in Color” a bittersweet affair. However, poor sound quality and a few lighting issues proved to be a little cringe-worthy. The film also suffered from a number of random scenes and events as well as a plot that is ultimately very predictable. The friendship between Sean and Grace could have been further explored as well.
Nevertheless there were things to be celebrated. While the acting wasn’t exactly Oscar-worthy, the individuals who were enlisted in the cast did decent jobs, namely public relations student Tanza Thompson, who shined as a hard-working student who divided her time between her studies and taking care of a young toddler. The supporting characters also infused their ensemble scenes with humor, which was a bonus.
The Florida A&M product placement, in the form of an “I Believe in FAMU” T-shirt, was a nice touch as well.
While “Dreaming in Color” isn’t exactly a masterpiece, it is indeed a motivational and inspirational tale, and that certainly counts for something.
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