- YouTuber Dream, known mostly for playing Minecraft, has started releasing his own music.
- Producers on his second song “Mask,” as well as two animators for the music video, spoke with Insider.
- The group, mainly consisting of teenagers, worked with Dream to bring his teenage ballad to life.
On June 8, the Dream Music channel unveiled the music video for “Mask,” the second official song from the YouTuber Dream. Dream is the most popular Minecraft creator currently on YouTube, with over 23 million subscribers, and his music video pulled in over 10 million views in under a month. The creator, known by his avatar of a smiley-face on a green background, has built an online empire, complete with his own line of merchandise, a sprawling roleplay server, and a burger with his name on it.
The music video, featuring young and old animations of Dream walking through his school, talking to his dad, and throwing away his “normal pills” was picked apart for its angsty lyrics and imperfect animation.
“It’s just a very iffy music video that looks like garbage,” animation channel RebelTaxi said in his review of the music video. “The audio is actually bad and sung by Dream himself,” Daftpina, a YouTuber who makes video essays based on online animators said in his video “Dream: Animation Abomination.”
The song’s two producers, as well as two people that worked on the music video, spoke to Insider to share their thoughts about production and the criticism.
Dream found his producers on TikTok
In February, 21-year-old Dream released his first song “Road Trip” to massive acclaim from his fans. For the song, viewed over 20 million times on YouTube, Dream collaborated with 17-year-old TikTok producer PMBata, whose first name is Parker. He also recruited 17-year-old Perish Beats, whose first name is Justin, and producer Banrisk.
“Dream saw my TikToks and then contacted me, asking me to help him make a legit song for his fans,” Parker told Insider.
“In January I first talked to Dream,” Justin added. “Dream had messaged PMBata and basically said ‘I want to make a song with you,'”
After the success of their first collaboration, Perish Beats and Banrisk would work with Dream to create “Mask.” Dream had an idea of the melody he wanted to produce, sharing the song “She’s Kinda Hot” by 5 Seconds of Summer as inspiration. Perish Beats says the group “made the entire song through Discord,” sharing his screen so they all could collaborate and that it took “a week to complete with a few changes after the fact.”
Originally different lyrics were written, but Dream decided he wanted to rewrite them, confirming on his now-deleted DreamHangout Twitter that he “wrote all the lyrics” himself.
The music video was created by a group of teenagers
After “Mask” had been completed, Dream tweeted from his fan art account on March 15 that he was looking for an “animator for an animated music video” and that it “would be of realistic-like stuff, but doesn’t need the most details and may not need much color.”
Phyre Studios is run by a 16-year-old Minecraft YouTuber with 12,000 subscribers. Phyre had been a fan of Dream since 2019 and knew his editor, who connected and recommended her for the project. After chatting about creating a “Pixar or Disney” inspired video, Dream hired her for the job.
“It was random chance and luck getting recommended to Dream,” Phyre told Insider.
In a comment on Reddit, Dream wrote that he hired Phyre “because they’re from the Minecraft community, and I love supporting groups from within the community.” He added that “I did say that it shouldn’t be Minecraft-like, because the song isn’t about Minecraft and it would be cringe to have it be a Minecraft music video.”
Pre-production began in March, with Phyre saying that she collected the team of 18 animators, VFX artists, and modelers mostly “from the Minecraft community” that she had worked with before. Most of the project was being worked on by “teenagers,” she said.
“Teenagers don’t have the freedom of adults,” Phyre said. “It’s difficult when you’re not an animation studio, I’m just a YouTube channel, people can’t dedicate themselves full-time to it.”
One of the oldest contractors was 22-year-old Brady J. Harty who created the animation models for adult and kid Dream.
—Brady J. Harty (@BradyJHarty) June 9, 2021
Dream’s dad and other Minecraft YouTubers were supposed to have unique models, but Harty told Insider that these had to be cut due to “time constraints.” Time limitations also contributed to the wonky animation issues, like clothing rippling randomly or Dream’s eyeballs moving unnaturally in his eye socket.
Every scene in the video was derived from a script video Dream created, though its vagueness forced Phyre and her team to get creative with their interpretation, she said. One line from the script said a “report card marked with red F’s” had “tears landing on the paper.” Phyre and her team struggled to get the paper physics to work in their animation software. This led to Phyre creating a quick model, accidentally misspelling and writing “mathmatics.”
The “normal pills” were mentioned in the script, though it gives no actual explanation as to what they are, just that young Dream “dumps the pills into a bin and looks down crying.” In an interview with YouTuber Anthony Padilla, Dream said that he had “ADHD medication” when he was younger and when he was mad “poured them down the drain.”
“During production, it wasn’t clear what the normal pill bottle was supposed to represent,” Phyre said.
When the video was released, it received a mixture of support and backlash
The video took longer than anticipated to release, missing the original April 23rd deadline due to rendering and lighting taking longer. Still, the video released a month later to the joy of Dream fans and ire of online critics. Phyre claims she was “actually asleep” when the video premiered, waking up to a flood of notifications and comments discussing the oddities of the video.
“It was interesting to see all the hate, I’m not used to it,” Phyre said. “It is what it is, some people were very harsh or toxic.”
“Seeing the viral attention that tweets got making fun of our work was really disappointing,” Harty said. “It was exhausting dealing with the backlash.”
Still, Phyre is happy they worked on the video since it’s allowed her a chance to work on other unannounced projects and said that she would “work with Dream again.”
“I was overall excited we managed to finish it because it was the first real attempt at that style,” Phyre told Insider. “I was aware of some issues from production, there just wasn’t enough time to polish some small details.”
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