Experiencing Interruptions?

The Long Haul

A metaphorical journey through the long-lasting effects of Covid-19. This film was one of twelve virtual exhibitions depicting the devastating effects of long covid on the human body for the NYC based art gallery ReLational Space (Artistic Dir. Dr. Leigh Jerome) in April 2021. There is also a Spanish version.

  • Helen Lucille Collen
  • Helen Lucille Collen
  • Helen Lucille Collen
  • Phil K. Collen
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 57 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 15, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Helen Lucille Collen

Helen L. Collen is a New Yorker. Born in Manhattan and raised in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn by her grandmother, she became an avid reader, music lover and visual artist at an early age. Helen attended Brooklyn Technical High School (Class of ’86) as an Industrial Design major. Her adolescent to young adulthood years were spent devouring music, science and art. As a devoted member of New York City’s ‘house music’ club scene from 1986-1993 Helen’s worldly experiences and exclusive list of social contacts grew into what would forever be an invaluable resource of ‘know how’ and ‘know who’.

In 1993 she forged forward incorporating her visual artistic talents into being a theatrical costume designer/tailor/stylist/costumer and wardrobe supervisor of a current 26 years. Having received her BFA in Costume Design (Class of ’96) from the acclaimed theatrical arts conservatory at S.U.N.Y. Purchase College, she is a recipient of the New York City Mayoral Citation for Artistic Service with union memberships that included I.A.T.S.E Local 764 (NYC), United Scenic Artists 829 (NYC), and I.A.T.S.E Local 487 (Baltimore, MD). In 1999 she received the Vivian Robinson Audelco Judy Dearing Costume Design Recognition Award for Excellence in Black Theatre’ for her costume designs in ‘The Trial Of One Short- Sighted Black Woman VS. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae’ directed by Paul Harrison Carter at the New Federal Theatre. Helen served as resident costume designer for Brooklyn, NY’s Billie Holiday Theatre for a total of 18 years from 1997-2015. She also became the theatre’s still photographer delivering production images to various media outlets for show reviews. To date Helen has been nominated for best costume design for a total of 7 Audelco Awards. Legendary talents and /or shows Helen has worked for or in capacity with include Wynton Marsalis, Nona Hendryx, David Letterman’s Late Night, HBO’s The Wire, David E. Talbert, Reggie Life, CBS, John Mellencamp, Sting, Babyface, Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Mint Condition, Martin Luther, John Amos, Ginuwine, Tyra Banks, Morris Day (The Time), Beyonce Knowles, Tony Danza, James Taylor, Rawkus Records, Don Henley, The Eagles, Def Leppard, Kanye West, N.E.R.D., Rhianna, Alvin Ailey Dance Troupe, Donald Byrd Dance Group, The Kennedy Center, Centerstage Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Lyric Opera House, Mass MOCA, The Roots, Bill T. Jones, Marvin Hamlish and the NSO Pops, Rain Pryor, Debbie Allen, Cameo, Brian McKnight, the Radio City Music Hall’s Xmas Spectacular, Dancing With The Stars, Jennifer Hudson, Robin Thicke, and Earth Wind & Fire just to name a few….

While still working in theatre/film and television Helen began working for national concert promoter Live Nation as a touring VIP hostess from 2008-2013. It was during these tours Helen’s photography blossomed into iconic live concert photos, ethereal land/sea & skyscape canopies, and the hidden wonderment documentation of everyday life. To date her art has evolved to now include motion graphics, short films, music video creation and NFTs.

In keeping with her artistic mottos “See Life” and “Create Your Space”, Helen has transferred her costume design and visual artistic talents to the digital world of capture to seamlessly create visual aural tapestries that are aiming to stimulate the senses and start meaningful, memorable conversations.

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Director Statement

“I died twice due to complications after my beautiful son Jaxson was born. There was no white light; no angels waiting; no singing voices; and I didn’t see my grandmother with outstretched hands. There was nothing. I don’t even remember the event itself. It has been told to me in dramatic form over and over by loved ones who were devastated that life could leave so unannounced and so quickly. Before all of this, I had a great appreciation of life but would still let the little things gnaw at me. Sometimes that gnawing would stifle my creativity. As an artist, I am supposed to have this unlimited cauldron of magic atoms popping off in my brain. But, life would get in the way. Until it didn’t.... Now life IS the way. It’s this beautifully simplistic complexity of reds and blues, smooths and roughs, hills and valleys. There is beauty in all of it. Dead I saw nothing. Alive, I see it all. And I want to share what I see. ”