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Creative Filmmakers, Ira Glass Has a Stunning Message of Inspiration Just for You

Ira Glass Creative WorkFilmmaking as a creative pursuit can be one of the most rewarding things that a person can undertake, especially if you’re proud of the content that you create and it’s well-received by an audience. On the other hand, filmmaking is one of the most difficult creative mediums to work in, because it’s not only inherently collaborative (which can cause problems if you’re working with the wrong people), but the technicality of it can be prohibitively overwhelming. And when you have high standards, which almost all of us do, failing to live up to those standards can be entirely devastating to your creative morale. Luckily, famed radio star and producer Ira Glass has some inspiring words that will put your creative woes to rest.

The Ira Glass speech in the video that follows has been a popular one in creative circles for the past year or so, but Vimeo user Frohlocke’s visual interpretation of the piece is absolutely fantastic, and it brings the memorable message of the speech to its full potential.

The message here is such a simple, yet incredibly profound one. Your creativity is a muscle, and without flexing it and constantly forcing it to grow stronger, it’ll never live up to your standards, which are derived from the creativity of the artists you admire the most. Through working often and working hard on your creative pursuits, the gap between your abilities and your ambitions will begin to shrink, and over time, you will find that the work you produce will live up to your standards, and maybe even exceed them.

What do you guys think about “The Gap?” Have you found this philosophy about creativity (or perhaps another one) to be true in your work and your creative journey? Let us know down in the comments!

Link: The Gap by Ira Glass — Vimeo Staff Picks


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • This video is great, thanks for posting! Really inspirational and I definitely connect with it, as I think most artists will. I’ve always been very critical of my own work. Its great to look at my early films and realize that I get closer and closer to something I am truly proud of with each film I make. When the majority of my fellow film school grad’s only video I’ve seen them post in years is a “Facebook Movie” (automatic slideshow with inspirational music) it kind of hurts my soul.

  • Loved the speech, not the video. It was too jarring and distracting. I had to turn away because it kept pulling my focus away from Glass’s speech and I couldn’t comprehend the message.

  • I liked the video ^_^

  • loved it!!!

  • Crap. I have to work hard? I’m out. Peace.

  • This is the most accurate description of filmmaking I have ever heard.

  • I’ve only recently, over the last three years, started making videos, mainly commercials for online but I’ve worked on the creative side of things for years, firstly as a musician and then as a creative director in the advertising industry (I also spent a few years trying to make my way as an artist). What I have found is that yes the gap closes a little but then you raise your standards and the gap opens again. So the whole process breaths. Even if you do exceed your own expectations at some point you will inevitably miss the mark at some point in the future. If you are ambitious you will always be striving to do better.
    Love the film by the way.

  • Greg Nuspel on 02.7.14 @ 6:54AM

    I’ve always like this graph

    Though it is aimed at photographers I think most will see the parallels.

    • Awesome graph. I’d not seen it before.

    • “the hdr hole” hahahhaha =)
      this is so true!

      • That’s not fair to really good hdr photography. Yes, that is a thing! Mostly you don’t even realize its hdr, because that is how it is supposed to be used.

    • Thanks for the link to the graph. It reminds me of what I have long known. The more you learn about a subject the more you realize how much you have to learn about it. Never think you have learned it all no matter how good you have become.

  • excellent! thanks for sharing!

  • All very true. True of most skills, in fact.

  • Duncan Dyson on 02.13.14 @ 4:00PM

    I love this video it has proved my creativity right. Guys am a script writer let’s link up on Facebook and what’s soewe can strengthen each other. facebook-duncan dyson mkandawire. What’s app +260950279067