The Fray | Heartless

Photo: Jason Taylor

Photo: Jason Taylor

The Fray | Heartless What they made instead...

Rejected 03/03/05


The video will be a blend of low-frame rate filmwork blended with stopmotion animation. It will feature animated plants and very sad people. It will be shot in naturalistic way.


For “Heartless” I would like to structure the video around 3 tomb-like shrines that have formed in the homes of three severely depressed individuals. 

Each person has become frozen in time with grief. So much so that they have been over-grown by plants from their lack of movement. They have been swallowed up like buildings covered in ivy. The pants have become a death shroud, like something constructed by some ancient tribe. Each person’s sad face is visible under the layers of vines, leaves and lichen.

We find the first shrouded person propped up in the in the doorway of an emptied bedroom closet; an old television sits near by blinking with a staticy PBS-style loop of a mummy being assembled. A large window in the room has been blocked out by couch cushions. 

We find a second shrouded person half submerged in bathtub surrounded by floating candles. The bathroom window has the curtains drawn.

Our final shroud is found at a kitchen table. There are two plates of dried food, two stained wine glasses and a pitcher with dried flowers set in front of it. The kitchen window has horizontal blinds. They are shut.

We see a slight undulation within the vines, breaking the stillness of each tomb. The vines are tightening around their hosts.

We cut to a shot of a suburban skyline under grey cloud cover. Wind blows orange and yellow leaves into the gutter. 

Back in the houses, a gust of wind blows open the windows. The shrouds are hit with a violent light.

The shrouds begin to wilt and break apart. Layers of plants fall like leaves to the ground and are swept away. Outside we see a gathering storm; pieces from our shrouds are swept up into the air and joined by pieces from other unseen shrouds. Together, in the sky, the pieces assemble to form a dark cloud. The cloud dissipates. Soon after, it begins to rain.

Meanwhile, back in the tombs, the shrouds have receded. As the last bits shrivel and fall away, a heavily grieving person is revealed underneath each. Their eyes are red and swollen and their faces are soaked with tears. We close the video with three naturalistic shots. A young man rests his head on the floor, under the blue light of his flashing television. An older women rests her head on her kitchen table. We see a girl sitting fully clothed in a bathtub, slowly slipping beneath the water line.

Each person looks to the window as light and a cool breeze hits their faces.

Cut to black.