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Work / Film

Terri Timely’s documentary about a woman who makes super-realistic baby dolls

Terri Timely is the LA-based director team made up of Ian Kibbey and Corey Creasey. The duo’s film Dollhouse takes three elements; subject matter, protagonist and direction that come together to make a compelling, and at times moving, documentary about an artist who creates the fascinatingly life-like baby dolls called “reborns”.

The pair of directors have taken this subject often portrayed from the side of the people who buy the dolls, and shifts the focus to Kate Charles, an at-home artist who creates these dolls by hand. Edited by Catherine Bull, the documentary drifts between process and purpose, capturing both the technical aspect of sewing in hair and painting realistic skin tones, to the more emotional side of making the dolls and the attachment Kate develops towards each one.

The short is thoughtfully shot and avoids sensationalising the subject matter by presenting the story honestly with Kate’s narration providing some context for the tens of thousands of collectors who purchase reborns. For Kate a real bond is created between her and the dolls, and she’ll keep going until she makes that “masterpiece”.

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Terri Timely: Dollhouse (still)

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Terri Timely: Dollhouse (still)

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Terri Timely: Dollhouse (still)

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Terri Timely: Dollhouse (still)

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Terri Timely: Dollhouse (still)