$500 DKMH Music Contest, “Nightmares,” and “In Vitro”

$500 DKMH Music Contest, “Nightmares,” and “In Vitro”

Projects are piling up for this young artist.


If you're familiar with the name Dacre Montgomery, it's more than likely that a) you're a Stranger Things fan, b) you've been smitten ever since the 2017 Power Rangers reboot, c) you're my article editor, or d) you are a faithful reader of my Odyssey work. Now let's just lightly stroke my ego for a moment and say that you sit in the fourth category, which means that you've likely skimmed my previous two spotlight pieces on Montgomery and, more specifically, the DKMH podcast.

For all the unseasoned viewers out there who haven't committed my or Montgomery's portfolio to memory, DKMH is a relatively new beat poetry podcast series created by Montgomery in collaboration with a number of stellar indie artists, from Julia Stone to Matt Lange and LUCHS. Having released the first seven-episode season of DKMH this past July, Montgomery launched this series as a way of both sharing his own poetry during the first major breakthroughs of his career as well as supporting independent artists by putting these poems to music that they've curated specifically for the project.

Suffice it to say that these digital, musical poems are highly personal in nature and often fluidly weave between different periods of Montgomery's life, from his crushing, familiar anxieties as a luckless and bullied drama student to his joys as a fully validated star-to-be in a content relationship. The intimacy of this artistic experience can be jarring, and I would advise you to go listen to a few of these poems for yourself, as my brief description of these projects can hardly imitate the effect of the performances themselves:


Got all that? Good. Now we can dive into the headliners that no doubt peaked your interest as you were lazily scrolling through the Odyssey community's homepage or spitfiring Montgomery's work on Google.

$500  Music Contest

(left to right) Liv Pollock and Dacre Montgomery


Now before you get all excited, take a look at the announcement date, the rules, and the deadline for this venture.

On Friday, November 1st, Montgomery announced via Instagram and Twitter that he would be holding a two week long contest period for anyone who could take the narrated poem "Control," which will eventually become the third episode in the eventual second season of DKMH, and create their own winning instrumental accompaniment. The winner, of course, would win the privilege of having their track featured as the official instrumental of "Control" in the increasingly popular DKMH collection, collect that free promotion by Montgomery through the podcast series, and earn a spiffy five hundred bucks on top of that. All in all, the rewards that could be raked in are fairly nice in return for some patience and care towards the ambience of a less than three minute poem.

As it stands, it has been just over two weeks to the day since that announcement, and the entry period is slimming to a close. That being said, Montgomery himself did not specify the exact date of the contest's closing, nor did he send out a subsequent alert on social media announcing the competition's closure. Therefore, it's possible that the contest could extend to the end of this week, or that Montgomery is allowing a brief grace period for late or delayed entries. We can't be sure, but it wouldn't hurt to slip in a submission if you're up for the task.

Here you'll find the Dropbox file for the raw "Control" track:


And over here you'll see the exact web address where your edited and curated instrumental track should be sent:


Good luck to all the late entrants out there, and make us proud!

Nightmares: A Dance Film


Released on Halloween night, this filmic adaptation of fan favorite "Nightmares," the fourth episode of DKMH season one, signals the first of what could very well be a collection of DKMH short films. This particular project has been marketed as a "dance film." And yes, at first glance that title can seem a bit unclear, but a quick look at the finished product will quickly demystify any questions about what kind of genre this piece might occupy. Narrated by Montgomery, Nightmares is precisely the kind of performative art project that we all suspected from the teaser that Montgomery shared via Twitter over a month and a half ago. This is no narrative short film, with a clear story or discernable characters, but more of a visceral, visual accompaniment to the pre-existing poem.

The piece has gotten some healthy fan attention since its release just over two weeks prior, but has yet to pick up much media buzz. Regardless, it's an interesting new venture for Montgomery that stands as one of his first ever writer-director credits in what will soon be a growing set of similar titles with the awaited release of next year's short narrative project, In Vitro.

In Vitro: Post-Production and Naomi Scott


Slated for launch sometime early next year, In Vitro is a more narrative-driven adaptation of the poem of the same name with a powerful new starlet joining its ranks: Naomi Scott. Having collaborated with Montgomery on the set of the 2017 Power Rangers film, Scott has snagged worldwide attention for her portrayal of Princess Jasmine in this year's Aladdin live action remake, as well as a spot as the fourth Angel of Elizabeth Banks' upcoming Charlie's Angels reboot. Though the short film looks to be well into its post-production process, precious little is known about what form the piece will take, though the inclusion of named character roles with the introduction of the mysterious "Amanda," suggests that this adaptation will take a far more traditional approach than Nightmares by establishing and tracking the narrative of a young woman. Of course, the plot itself seems far from typical, as it focuses on the woman's fantasies that her child, conceived from sexual assault, was actually born through in vitro fertilization; however, all things being equal, viewers will likely be more familiar with the kind of story-driven product that Montgomery is set to complete within the coming months.

Summarily, Montgomery has clearly been hard at work compounding on the artistic momentum created by his spectacular turn as the late Billy Hargrove in the second and third seasons of Stranger Things. Taking all of these independent passion projects into account, as well as his upcoming role in the Cannes-ready romantic comedy, The Broken Heart Gallery, it's hardly a mystery as to why Montgomery is being eyed as one of the next young stars to watch out for both in Hollywood and beyond. For now, though, it looks like a bit of patience is in order before this slew of acting, writing, and directing ventures can hit both the small and big screens for curious fans of the young star.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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