I have been working with Southern Time Productions for six months now. My time with the team has been in a position as a Creative Director and Producer. In that time, working with non-existent budgets, we have produced a 30 min Avaunt guard concert performance, produced a short podcast series, and have fine tuned a pitch proposal for a new series inspired by a true story, titled Dreamer. In preparation for the release of the one minute short proof of concept for Dreamer that we are currently producing, I thought I’d take this opportunity to introduce y’all to the characters in the story. Now, Dreamer is staged to become an emotional rock opera series inspired by the true life story of Tim Bartsch, a formerly aspiring concert cellist disenfranchised by his journey through the 90’s with an HIV positive diagnosis. The one minute short we will be releasing by the end of the year illustrates the reality of an impassioned, emotional journey that brought our hero to the brink of death in 2009. The hero in our series is Dreamer, a young man seeking to find his way in the world. We first meet Dreamer in the palliative ward of a hospital, where he is dying from AIDS. It is from his perspective in that bed that the viewer is invited to reflect on Dreamer’s journey into this dark time. His mind addled by drug treatments and an active infection attacking his brain, the viewer is thrust into Dreamer’s own rock opera reality. Tormented in his youth as an outcast, Dreamer seeks solace in his passion as a musician. With dreams of concert halls, Dreamer challenges himself with long hours of practice. He loses himself in his passions, unleashing his frustrations and pain through his music. As Dreamer struggles to forge a path to shape his imagined future, he meets Chuck. A renowned cellist in his own right, Chuck represents an opportunity that Dreamer can’t turn away from. Dreamer finds himself willing to sacrifice everything for the chance to overcome his own broken identity in order to seal a promising future for himself. He gives everything he has to Chuck, who slowly dominates Dreamer’s life. Chuck’s own history is sordid, and full of a brokenness that Dreamer uniquely understands. Chuck finds himself drawn to this broken young man. For Chuck, Dreamer represents a chance at a new life. On the rebound after what he believed was a long term committed relationship, and rejected by everyone he had ever trusted, Chuck finds fresh hope in Dreamer. But in his position of authority over Dreamer, Chuck’s own pain naturally creates a toxic environment for both men. To complicate things further, there is a mysterious figure engaging with the story from the sidelines. Leading the Dreamer rock opera band, Southern Time, we find T. Lead singer of the Southern Time Band, and an ethereal character, T carries us through the Dreamer’s story, watching from the sidelines like a phantom from the shadows. The entire Dreamer series is ultimately a story of discovery told through the music of The Southern Time Band. The world is a dark and broken place; No one survives unscathed. But for Dreamer, HIV and AIDS are not the end of the road, they are where his story begins, truly begins. Spoiler Alert, Dreamer doesn’t die in that hospital bed. That hospital bed is where Dreamer discovers a true and honest hope; a compassion that heals through self-sacrifice. As the viewer is carried through Dreamer’s own foggy memories, they are offered opportunity to explore the depths of broken identities on a journey to discover the healing power of compassion. Stay tuned for the Dreamer short teaser releasing later this month.
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