Designed for Dreaming


When I was asked to create a short film for Los Angeles magazine’s Get L.A. competition, I called upon my obsession with L.A.’s past and its future. I asked 21 of the city’s optimists, futurists, and dreamers to perform what my wife dubbed a “tone poem” originally recorded for General Motors in 1956 as a paean to the world of tomorrow. Up for the challenge of reinterpreting this classic (and testing their vocal skills) were an eclectic group of Angelenos including City Councilman Tom LaBonge, architects Dion Neutra and Frank Escher, Los Angeles Conservancy executive director Linda Dishman, histotainer Charles Phoenix, and visual futurist Syd Mead. (There was also a spiritualist scholar, a Planet of the Apes-obsessed producer, and a 13-year-old filmmaker—see the complete list below) I filmed them all over the city, from the Museum of Neon Art to the Penguin in Santa Monica to the tract homes in Porter Ranch. I even commissioned an original score from SpongeBob SquarePants composer Eban Schletter. So sit back and enjoy my homage to the true City of the Future: Los Angeles. I’m looking forward to seeing your homage, too.


Designed for Dreaming stars (in order of appearance): 

Maja D’Aoust, Philosophical Research Society
Sven Kirsten, 
Book of Tiki
Brian Peck, Producer
Brooke Keesling, 
Tom LaBonge, 
Los Angeles City Council
Linda Dishman, 
Los Angeles Conservancy
Mick Ignis, Stop-motion animator
Miss Critter, 
Character designer
Robert J. Burman, Architect
Frank Escher, 
John English, Historian
Director, Taxi Stand
Frances Eames Noland, Filmmaker
Syd Mead, 
Visual Futurist
Ming or Ping
Electronic Pop Musician
Charles Phoenix, 
Dion Neutra, 
Jack Laxer, 3-D Photographer

Kim Koga, 
 Museum of Neon Art
Joe Velas, 
Lighting Engineer
Dabney Ross Jones, Soprano