Eliot Rausch on Dealing w/Creative and Personal Pressure After Winning Vimeo Festival’s Grand Prize
You are probably already familiar with director Eliot Rausch, either because of his short documentary ‘Last Minutes With Oden‘ that got million of views and won the first edition of Vimeo Film Festival’s Grand Prize, or because of his wise and raw advice on Wonderland about balancing creative and commercial work, or because of his short film illustrating Charlie Kaufman Manifesto.
I am very fond of Rausch’s personality because of his willingness to say things as they are, and most of the time in the creative field, things are foggy. It’s about trial and error, a load of luck and good timing and being curious.
What’s the Story here? (aka why the video below is worth you time)
The video below takes place a year after Rausch has won his Grand Prize. He has received money to shoot another video. That sounds great on paper, but it turns out that instead of firing Rausch’s creativity, this unexpected win has triggered tensions with the friends involved in the video who were in financial need, and Rausch personal doubts on what he wanted to say vs. what he felt was expected of him for this second video.
That set-up to me is gold. I do believe that if a creative journey is hard work, luck and timing, it is also tangled with doubts, accidents and struggles. One of the hardest part of being a creative being the clash between your work life and real life. And when a friend comes asking you for help and the money you made winning a prize for a film about them, that’s falls under the real life folder.
The video starts with ‘Last Minute with Odens’, continues with Rausch explaining the backstory for making the video, entering the Vimeo Film Festival and people’s response to it. Then Rausch explains his process and tortuous journey to decide what his (expected-by-all) new video made with the Grant money would be about, trying to decide between doing a narrative fiction or documentary and finally.
We often think that the hardest part is to get attention from ‘people’, either millions of people, or key people, and once that we’ll have managed that, things will just roll smoothly, creativity will flow, money will stop being a limitation of our best expression et caetera, et caetera, et caetera. Rausch’s story puts these clichés in perspective.
In the video below you will also get to see ‘Limbo’, Rausch’s video made with the Grant money and hear more about the process of doing it. Watch until the end, the Q&A is also very interesting and Rausch shares more raw insights on the responsibility of exposing people via films and dealing with its potential outcome.
I hope you will it all enjoy as much as I did:
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check the archives for a taste of it.