California has long been known as a land of dreams – a place irresistible to visionaries from all walks of life who come to innovate, create, entertain, and accomplish feats that, in turn, go on to change the world. But dreams don’t just happen – they are made. Built up piece-by-piece, day-by-day.
Dreamland tells the story of one day in California. Filmed simultaneously from dawn until dusk on November 19, 2010, it follows a remarkable ensemble of Californians who are pushing the bounds of the possible.
Entrepreneurs, daredevils, entertainers, scientists, politicians, chefs, and technologists who are all in California for the same reason: to make their dreams a reality. Some are household names; most are not. But each embodies an adventurous and innovative spirit that is singular to California.
On this one-day event, a dozen documentary film crews scattered across the Golden State – all the crews working together to tell the story of one day in time, and individually to capture unique stories of people and places. Insightful interviews punctuate these stories, but at the heart of the film lies action.
Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson are world-class rock-climbers and, on November 19th, they are thousands of feet off the ground in an attempt to do something nobody has ever done before – free climb El Capitan’s Dawn Wall in Yosemite Valley.
In San Diego County, legendary skateboarder Bob Burnquist perfects a new trick on his personal mega ramp – an 80-foot high, 360-foot long skateboarding ramp he built in his own backyard.
In Los Angeles, the creative process unfolds as singer/songwriter Liz Phair records her latest piece of music.
In Santa Cruz, we meet Sarah Gerhardt, the first woman to surf world-class big waves at Mavericks, and who is also a scientist and mother of two.
In Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve in Mendocino County, botanist Steve Sillett climbs to the top of a 350-foot redwood tree in order to study the effects of climate change on the centuries-old tree.
In Palo Alto, Bill Clerico and Rich Aberman, founders of the rapidly growing internet company WePay, navigate the risky world of start-ups in Silicon Valley.
In Sacramento, Mayor Kevin Johnson, NBA all-star turned politico, attempts to keep his agenda on-course despite the stumbling blocks he encounters.
In Ventura, we meet Yvon Chouinard, avid environmentalist, rock climber, reluctant businessman, and owner of the outdoor clothing and gear company Patagonia, where the company policy is “Let my people go surfing.”
In Los Angeles, chef Susan Feniger runs the busy kitchens in her popular restaurants Border Grill and STREET, and explores international cuisine in the many ethnic enclaves of LA.
In Napa Valley, we meet members of the Ceja family, who came to the United States from Mexico as migrant farm workers and transformed themselves from grape-pickers to Vineyard owners.
And in Glendale, at his company Applied Minds, Academy Award winner Bran Ferren invents new technology for a diverse clientele working in the fields of software, aerospace, entertainment, electronics, biotechnology and architectural design.
Dreamland is a living, breathing snapshot of what drives ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things.