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Photos from SLEEP by Timothy Heller

Dec. 6, 2017
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Timothy Heller and I met when we were teenagers on Facebook. In her profile photo, she was wearing an electric blue wig and wearing a costume dress. I knew that I wanted to be friends with her. Five years later, she emails me a song she wrote and asks if we can make a video for it. She has nearly no budget, no idea what we are going to do, but we just have to do it, because the song is so relatable to both of our lives at the time. Timothy had recently been cheated by a man she was working with in the music industry,  I had just ended a toxic relationship with a manipulative work partner, and we both could feel our need to… detox. So I grabbed my cell phone and said, “Let’s make magic with the same thing that probably causes most of our anxiety.” By that, we meant the phone—the same device we used to live out most of our relationships, both online and offline. 

We wanted to focus on being a teenage girl, sitting by the phone at home late at night, waiting for the so-called “dream boy” to come around. But we are looking to deconstruct this title: is there even such a thing as a dream boy? Is what we actually crave dream friendship?

Timothy represents friendship in this video as a sort of faraway fairy spirit. She hears her soulmates on Earth make phone calls all the time. One night, Timothy's friends both receive terrible news. Timothy can sense that they are trapped in a feeling, trapped in a sort of isolation, and so she sings the feelings of her friends, acting as a voice for the silent. She then soars down to earth to rescue her friends who are stuck in their own separate darknesses. Once the girls have been found, Timothy invites them to her dreamworld where they are free to sleep, dream, play, and be free of the pain that once bound them. It is a story of finding solace in what is soft and innocent—it is a recovery story for our inner teenage girl’s pains. It is a video to fall asleep to: nightmares blessed not by god, but by our best friends.

Here are a selection of still photographs from the shoot in anticipation of the video's premiere.