Welcome to Dreams Factory


Dreams Factory is a Richmond based production company founded by Sunny Zhao, a multi-award winning director, cinematographer, editor, and writer, and in business for over twenty years.

Through production of TV commercials, web and corporate videos, public service announcements, or video for other platforms, our team of experienced and dedicated professionals is passionate about driving our clients’ messages home to the hearts of their audience through compelling visuals, while ensuring your budgets and time are used to maximum efficiency.

At the core of Dreams Factory is our love of collaborating with our clients’ and bringing your ideas to life, refining them into a visually dynamic and impactful product that will resonate with your intended markets. We take great joy in pushing the boundaries and exceeding expectation by approaching each project in innovative ways to captivate the audience in this ever-changing world.

Sample collection of our work

One Belt One Road - Directed by Sunny Zhao who lead a team through China, Greece and Europe during the production. The video played during the opening ceremony of the Belt and Road summit in Beijing, China, which was attended by over 68 world leaders. One Belt One Road is also currently airing on CCTV (China's largest television network) as well as broadcast outlets around the globe.

Hunter and Dog - TV Commercial for McGeorge Toyota. Dreams Factory won the Gold Award in Best Overall at this year's Richmond Show for "Hunter & Dog," a television commercial which tells the beautiful story of the bond and trust between a man and his dog, featuring the new Toyota TRD 4x4 pickup truck.

Main Street Station - video for The City of Richmond’s revitalized historic Main Street Station. The video was produced entirely by Dreams Factory and shot over a four year period through all phases of construction. The City of Richmond displays the video via digital, marketing presentations, and online to advertise the station as a driving force in Richmond’s revitalization, as a destination, an urban hub, and an event space.

Trailer for “Gift” - feature length movie, written, directed and shot by Sunny Zhao, produced by Dreams Factory. “Gift” screened during the Cannes 2018 Film Festival, and is an Official Selection of the 2018 Raindance Film Festival to be held in London.

Eyes of the Future - TV commercial for Conexus for Healthy Vision. Director and Cinematographer Sunny Zhao developed the creative concept and script in this emotionally moving spot to visually express the mission and goals of Conexus. Conexus provides vision testing and glasses for students who may not be able to afford otherwise.

Snagajob - Corporate and online video promoting Snagajobs new app.

eXtra Chances - TV commercial and web video for Virginia Lottery.

Stampede - TV commercial for Virginia Lottery’s summer TV campaign.

Dreams Factory Montage of Work - Directing and cinematography samples.

Throwback 70’s - TV and web campaign for Virginia Lottery. Full production including live action footage, animations, graphics, and original music are all by Dreams Factory.


  • Concept development, script writing, storyboarding and creative directing and consulting.

  • Producing, directing and shooting On-Locations or In-Studio, 4k to 8k Ultra Hi-Def video, Ultra High Speed Hi-Def video, Hi-Def Ariel Drone Videography.

  • Post production including; editorial, color correction, graphics, roto-scoping, compositing, animation, integration of logos and branding, mastering and output for all types of video content including.

  • Audio production, location audio recording, voice over recording, sound effects, original music, library music tracks, audio mixing and mastering.

  • Hi-Resolution still photography, on location or in studio, for print, web and digital use, billboards, and bus sides.

The Team

Bringing more than twenty years of experience to the table, the Dreams Factory team gives the best possible outcome to any production. Accolades include the Emmy Award, the ADDY Award, the Richmond Show Gold Cannonball Award and Best in Show, and the Telly Award, among others.

The Dreams Factory team is dedicated on the creative front, as well as focused on client support and client communications, logistics, and assisting with all phases of production. Key staff members are:

Sunny Zhao

Sunny Zhao is a multi-award winning director (including the Emmy Award), cinematographer, editor and writer with 20+ years of experience. He has created ad campaigns for clients such as Seiko Watch, Walmart, Geico, UPS, Miller Lite, CCTV of China, Virginia Lottery and Virginia Tourism. He has also created documentary films such as Keepers of the Flame, a historical film about America’s first Capitol building designed by Thomas Jefferson and Virginia’s essential role in American history, which is currently showing at the Virginia Capitol building. His most recent work is the full length feature film, Gift, which premiered at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival and is also an official selection at the 2018 Raindance Film Festival in London.

Clara Lee

Clara Lee is an original member of Dreams Factory, having been with us since 1994 when the company was founded. She is our Executive Producer/Producer and has been involved in all of Dreams Factory’s works since the company’s inception.

Tim Dowdle

Tim Dowdle is our Producer/Line Producer/Executive Producer. He has been involved with most of Dreams Factory’s productions for the last two decades.

Amy Zhao

Amy Zhao is our writer, designer, and social media experience creator. She is an Echols Scholar and recent graduate of The University of Virginia and is our most recent addition to the team.

Dreams Factory has worked with: