Technicolor Dreams was a short webplay that was released on YouTube on February 22, 2015. The production was produced and directed by puppeteer Joseph Scarbrough, and was his first foray into experimental films.
The story follows Joseph through a restless night filled with eerie and surreal dreams that prevent him from getting a peaceful night's sleep. Enter a pair of Dream Sprites, who have been dispatched from Cloud Nine to help regain control of his dreams.
Tropes associated with this work
- All Just a Dream: In the end, Joseph awakes and finds that his previous encounter with the sprites was a dream in and of itself. See Dream Within a Dream and Twist Ending below.
- And I Must Scream: When Joseph receives a Shockingly Expensive Bill.
- Anvil on Head: One of the methods the sprites try to help Joseph achieve relaxtion is by smashing him on the head with a mallet in an attempt to put him completely out. It doesn't work.
- Based on a Dream: See Twist Ending below.
- Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: A variation. After Joseph wakes up from another episode of unpleasant dreams, he tries to calm down by watching TV, though much of what's on TV are shows, movies, or commercials that are pushing sleep.
- Comically Missing the Point: The sprites inform Joseph there is an entire cloud of Dream Sprites that get dispatched out to dream sufferers.Joseph: I'm not particularly a fan of cloud services.
- Dream Within a Dream: Joseph has nightmares, is visited by sprites, they help him achieve pleasant dreams, they bill him, and he wakes up to discover all of that was a dream.
- Dream Intro: Begins with Joseph asleep in bed having visions of a tornado destroying a town, which is then further destroyed and set ablaze by gangbangers, which then turns into visions of Hell, before waking up.
- Dream Sequence: Three of them, one of which is a Nightmare Sequence, another is resembles channel signal scrambling (complete with snow and static), the last is a sequence of pleasant dreams.
- Easter Egg: The character of the same name who always appears in Scarbrough Productions (such as Steve D'Monster ) is apparently doing eyeglasses commercials now.
- Hammerspace: Lampshaded. This is how the sprites obtain items to use in their work, even those that are larger than they are, such as a giant rubber mallet.
- Laugh Track: Although a standard in Scarbrough Productions, Joseph himself admitted that he was initially reluctant to add one to the film, on the grounds that it wasn't intended to fall into any specific genre, including comedy. There is an unreleased version that omits the laugh track.
- MacGuffin: The dreamcatcher the sprites finally give Joseph to help him achieve a night of pleasant dreams.
- Mind Screw: Also lampshaded. The first title we see on screen is "A Joseph Scarbrough Mindscrew".
- Muppet: The Dream Sprites.
- Name's the Same: With a BeeGees albums, although the title was apparently supposed to be a Shout-Out to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
- No Name Given: Neither of the sprites were given names; the script even identifies them simply as "Male Sprite" and "Female Sprite".
- Now You Tell Me: The sprites at one point have Joseph drink warm milk to help him relax, but when they see it has no effect on him, he explains that drinking milk regularly has helped him build up a resistence to sleep-inducing properties milk has.Male Sprite: Well why didn't you say something before?!
- The Place: Cloud Nine is where Dream Sprites are dispatched from.
- Puppet Shows: Not surprising for a Scarbrough Production.
- Shockingly Expensive Bill: The sprites bill Joseph for the services they've rendered to him, bringing his total to a whopping $750,000,000. Doesn't help that one of the items on the bill was "overcharge".
- Shout-Out: A number of them.
- When Joseph is watching TV, clips from Sesame Street, The Great Space Coaster, Seinfeld, Whose Line Is It Anyway?, and Fatso are seen.
- The sprites speculate the reason behind Joseph's on going problem of "freaky-deaky, acid-trippy" dreams is the result of, "Watching too many Sid & Marty Krofft shows."
- One of the sprites that suggests that drinking warm milk to get to sleep is better than counting sheep and subtracting cows.
- Twist Ending: Joseph wakes up in the end and discovers that not only was his visit from the Dream Sprites and all their attempts to help him achieve pleasant dreams a dream itself, but he also takes note of this in a journal from under his pillow, and talks about turning the dream into a weekly comedy series. Word of God is that the entire film is supposed to be an allegory of Joseph Scarbrough's creative process.