Whose Dreams are These?
CONCEPT - PROPOSAL
Dreams are an interesting subject of discussion, and no matter what sort of person an individual is, they sleep and most likely have dreams. Some people remember their dreams clearly, others have a foggy but basic recollection, some cannot remember anything, and others do not dream at all. The dreams themselves are as individual as their dreamers, and the significance of dreams varies across cultures, and from individual to individual, but no matter what each person’s opinion on how important dreams are to real-life, the dreams themselves have no effect in real life, right? Sure, dreams inspire people to be great or terrible, and provide life and personality changing insights. From dreams come ideas, inventions, feelings, and worries that originate from “real” life and get worked over unconsciously. However, it is not until a person chooses to do or not do something in their conscious life because of a dream that that influence manifests itself. Even then, dreams are still, for the most part, experienced individually, and nobody knows for sure what exactly another person or even they themselves dreams.
So, what if we had the technology to record just what a person dreams as they see it, and play it back like a video? How would such technology be used, and how powerful of a tool could it eventually become?
The main item of the story “Whose Dreams are These?” is the development and evolution of just such a technology, and how people are able to work with dreams themselves as they would another digital media. The technologies for working with dreams adapt and improve with time, and alongside this change is a change in people’s opinions on the importance and influence of dreams. There is not meant to be one set main character of this story, it is told through the viewpoints of different people interacting with an evolving technology of dream recording and manipulation at different stages of its development. We see how the technology changes through several subplots that revolve around each person or group at different points in time. It can be used as a character study, to see how people use dreams, both those from sleep and conscious hopes, in real life to help, entertain, discredit and even harm others.
FIRST STAGE – RECORDING
In the beginning, the tech is used much the same as dream diaries now are. It can merely record a person’s dreams, and the product of recording is not quite developed visually. The unclearness makes is so only those who work in dream analysis, such as shamans doctors, psychiatrists understand and are interested in it. The tech is used by doctors to analyze and help patients. The dream technology is then adapted for use by psychiatrists, as a sort of straight-to-paper dream diaries. There is one psychiatrist in particular who uses the tech personally. She is a single mother whose child left her, and she dreams about her child often, so she uses the dream recording technology for personal use as well as professional. At first, the recordings are for nostalgic purposes, they are memories and she reviews them just as one would watch home videos or flip through photo albums. As time moves on and she works with patients, and her memories fade with the absence of her child, she begins to see something new. It is something not in her real memories of her child, only in the dreams. She becomes obsessed with these “clues,” and eventually figures out a way to track down her child using them. When she does find her child, they want nothing to do with her, and she feels their reunion was better left as “a dream.”
SECOND STAGE - POLITICS
In the second stage politics are brought into play and a politician dreams are used to discredit her, either by showing “unpopular” desires she holds or maybe that she sympathize with the enemy. The concept of how important dreams are, and the credibility they have as substantial evidence becomes a public issue as she is maybe even brought to trial for what is recorded in her dreams.
THIRD STAGE - EDITING
Lastly, as the technology becomes cheaper and easier to use, it is made accessible to the public and popularized. The ability to edit recorded dreams is developed, but because the media of recorded dreams is so different from formats such as video, it is perfectly clear if a dream recording has been altered. Yet, as people practice with it and the process becomes more smooth and “realistic”, groups are formed of people who edit dreams as entertainment. There is a pair of young siblings who grew up in poor circumstance that part of such a group. They join the group for fun and to develop skills, but are unable to escape their poor living conditions. Eventually, corporations are made, and one is particularly interested in the creation and programming of copyrighted dreams. They hold an interest in the poor youths, and offer them work, but there is a shady suggestion that the corporations will use fabricated dreams to discredit and even terrorize their competition and enemies.