In September, 2011, screenwriter Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Adaptation) spoke at BAFTA’s Screenwriter’s Lecture Series in London. It wasn’t exactly a knee-slapper, or a breezy lesson in getting your screenplay made. True to form, Kaufman likely caused an uncomfortable hush in that room by delivering something a little less expected, and a little more unsettling (As an indicator of tone, the lecture begins: “So you are here and I am here. Spending our time as we must.”)
You can experience an excerpt of Kaufman’s speech here, enhanced by visuals created by director Eliot Rausch.
Rausch, who won the Grand Prize at the 2010 Vimeo Awards for his short film, Last Minutes With Oden, pairs Kaufman’s words with a series of silent, striking images of people confronting themselves and the act of creating.
The five-minute video has Kaufman speaking on the nature of creating and serves as a sort of poetic call to action to creators and consumers of media.
He begins by speaking of the holes in our being–“the thing that must be hidden and protected. It is the thing that is tap danced over five shows a day; it is the thing that won’t be interesting to other people if revealed; it is the thing that makes you weak and pathetic. It is the thing that truly, truly, truly makes loving you impossible.” It’s the thing from which the urge to create is born, of course.
Kaufman also talks about the barrage of content coming at us and notes “it’s ludicrous to believe that at the very least this mass distraction and manipulation is not convenient for the people who are in charge.” And it kind of goes from there (samples: “Something grotesque and specific to our time is blanketing us;” “They’re selling you something. The world is built on this now.”)
The full 70-minute speech is here.
Rausch, who is repped by Uber Content, recently completed the documentary short, “LIMBO,” about three undocumented students in Los Angeles.