The Coronado Island Film Festival begins Friday, January 15, and anticipation could not be higher! Among the most sought to see films is Daydream Hotel by Coronado local, Tony Perri. Perri is a seasoned producer, writer, and director with past involvement in the Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros Studios, and CBS-TV at KPIX. A background like Perri’s is certainly impressive, but it isn’t just the skills that make a great film – it’s the heart. Perri explains, “I’m passionate of film because of the way we can tell a story and make it feel real…I love creating total immersive experiences through images, sounds and music – that may take you into a new world and allow you to feel a connection with the actors, the scenery and audio ambiance. I love creating those truly emotional experiences through my films.”
Daydream Hotel was an almost natural choice for Perri, who had become friends with Hotel Del GM and VP Andre Zotoff – and had already produced many TV specials on The Del and filmed extensively within the City of Coronado. However, there was more to it than experience and connections, Perri breaks it down, “what really sent me full force into the making of the movie was wanting to create a venue for the amazing talent within our town and especially at the Coronado School of the Arts (CoSA). There are more than a dozen CoSA students (and their parents) involved with the making of Daydream Hotel and several are ‘stars’ of the film, including Coronado students Emma Kidd, Zoe Hunt, Felicity Bryant, Ben Shapiro and Patrick Clark.”
Among the numerous benefits of starring Coronado students and the Hotel Del, there are also some challenges. Perri illustrates a few of those, “Students that have lots of homework, sometimes jobs outside school and also sports – along with the challenges of filming at a world-class resort at off-hours for more 30-days without impeding in any way on the fabulous experience that Hotel Del guests come to expect. It helped that for many years I produced and directed movies, TV specials and live events for the Walt Disney Company at all of their theme parks and became an expert at producing movies and TV shows while dealing with the challenge of not impeding the Park’s guest experiences.” Perri triumphed through the challenges and said he even surprised himself with how well everything turned out in spite of the obstacles that he had to work around.
Perri gives credit to his parents for shaping him most to be the filmmaker he is today and it is easy to see why! Perri illustrates that his parents “gave me the freedom to explore my interests as a story-teller and young producer which truly shaped my passion for film-making today. As a kid, my brother, sister and I used to put on plays and musicals in the family garage (using the garage door as the ‘curtain’) and we created haunted houses and other fun shows in our basement.”
Before Daydream Hotel, were several other films. Perri’s first independent feature film “Serotonin Rising” starring “His Holiness the Dalai Lama, best-selling mind-body author Dr. David Dossey, and noted spiritualist Deepak Chopra, is a combination of narrative and documentary-style interviews which highlight new scientific research from the National Institutes of Health revealing the fact that kind acts for others makes you happier and healthier.”
After all of his success, Perri still remains humble. His interests mirror what a lot of us are interested in – adventure, travel, swimming, hiking. They also include golfing, tennis, and hiking (all great things you can do on island!). Importantly, he also includes teaching young people about film-making.
Tony Perri has a few special thank yous he would like to share:
I know I speak on behalf of the community when I give a heartfelt THANK YOU to Mary Sikes, Doug St. Denis and Andy Friedenberg for putting together this absolutely amazing first year festival. I have attended hundreds of film festivals ,and even won a few awards at some, and I’m totally blown away at how extremely well-done everything is happening at the Coronado Island Film Festival. I am honored and humbled to have my film as part of their inaugural year…and even more proud to have filmed the entire movie on location at the Hotel del Coronado and from high above the City of Coronado.
A very special thank you to Andre Zotoff and his gracious and wonderful Del Staff. Andre allowed us to film from every imaginable location at The Del from the century-old Tunnel underneath the property to the inside of the main Turret…Not to mention the incredible aerial footage of the beach and hotel.
Also thank you to Shane Schmeichel, CoSA director, for paving the way for CoSA students to take part in Daydream Hotel. Without these students and Shane’s creative direction, Daydream Hotel would never have been made. Thanks to Shane and the entire CoSA staff.
To see Daydream Hotel, make sure to purchase your ticket for the Coronado Island Film Festival! Daydream Hotel will be playing on Sunday, January 17th at 4pm at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. Read about the film in the synopsis below and watch a clip of the open!
Daydream Hotel Film Synopsis
It’s the year 2022 and the proprietor of the Hotel del Coronado, Mr. Sugarman, has discovered a new mineral compound while digging 5-miles deep into the earth to build a high-speed elevator thrill ride under his Hotel. Sugarman called in noted DNA specialist, Dr. Hershell Flint – who experimented with the mysterious mineral substance and combined its properties with the pressure generated by a super fast elevator ride down into the earth’s crust – to create a whole new experience for Daydream Hotel Guests; the opportunity to become the Fantasy Character of their choice through Dr. Flint’s DNA manipulation process.
Sugarman abandons the elevator thrill ride and replaces it with the world’s first attraction of its kind: Human Digital Transformation (HDT), at a cost of 1-million dollars per guest for one 24-hour period as a Fantasy Character selected from the Hotel’s Cast of Characters Menu.
But when three special HDT guests arrive at the Hotel for their digital transformations into a Mermaid, the 21st Century Pop Star – Gold, and the Cassonova Comic-Book Lover known as Alpha Romeo…it happens to be on the same night when a rival hotel owner, Betty Blackstone from the Glorietta Bay Inn across the street, attempts to steal the coveted HDT Ignitor Rod from the Transformation Tunnel. Betty’s plan is to create her own “Daydream Inn” with the help of the Ignitor Rod – but when her henchman, Harry Canon, drops the Rod on the way out of the Tunnel – it causes a short-circuit that sends the HDT Guests into a tailspin and a dangerous, life-threatening ocean.