We’ve got an amazing location for THE NORTHLEACH HORROR, the short film I’m prepping. The only problem was we couldn’t get into it until last Monday. This was causing me to lose sleep. The night before we started building our set, I had a curious dream.
I was walking on a dark street. A crescent on a hill. As I walked, things became darker and darker. Eventually, clinging to a railing, I realized I could see nothing at all. Despite this, I remained unafraid.
Out of the darkness, the sound of a colossal dog, padding up the pavement to meet me. Its nose snuffled at my face — it was as tall as I was. Apparently happy, it trotted off. I was still not alarmed. But I began to suspect I was blind, since no trace of the outside world was now visible to me.
I had a flashlight in my pocket. Clicking it on made no difference, so I shone it right in my eye. I got a strange view of my eyelids, FROM THE INSIDE, as if I were watching from far back in my own skull. Somehow this satisfied me that I was not blind. But I had never actually been worried when this seemed a possibility.
The horizon began to be pinked by the light of dawn, and the world came back.
Upon awakening, I realized that the dream had taken place on Regent Road, outside our location. I’ve never previously had the experience of placing a dream after waking from it.
Later in the day, boring someone at lunchtime by recounting this tale, I realized I had put a flashlight in my pocket that morning without thinking of the connection.
Choosing an image for this post, I grabbed the shot in A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH where David Niven, in subjective camera, goes under the ether. I had forgotten that what he’s looking at is an enormous light which resembles my LED flashlight in extreme closeup…
I suspect the Baskerville dog part may of the dream have been triggered by our aged Siamese cat, Tasha, standing on my chest like Fuselli’s nightmare and sniffing my face, which she does in a rather canine way. Such an experience, occurring during the depths of REM, might easily superimpose upon the dreamer’s imagination the sensations of a man-sized hound.
Though the dream was kind of an anxiety dream, I’m cheered by the high quality of its cinematic references.