Alex Prager is a creative genius and exceptional storyteller. Her catalog of work speaks for itself: she’s been exhibited in some of the finest art institutions in the world, and she’s received an Emmy for her New York Times series, “Touch of Evil.”
So when we were narrowing down the pool of directors to bring our new brand campaign to life, we were eager to see her interpretation of “Vimeo can help.” What she delivered was nothing short of art: it was visually stimulating, playful, a little strange and — most importantly — it perfectly captured the spirit and humor of Vimeo. We knew she was The One.
In the end, Alex directed 14 unique brand films that vary in scenario from relatable to absurd, subtle to over-the-top, and sweet to strange. Learn what went into making them, and check out some of her favorites below.
Did you have an “aha” moment of becoming a filmmaker?
I’ve always loved movies, and I’ve told visual stories in my own work since the beginning. In 2010, I found myself at somewhat of a plateau with photography. I was getting bored, and at my show that year, people started asking me what happened to the person in the photograph before and after I took it. This led me to make my first short film, “Despair,” showing one version of the before and after. After I made that film, I became obsessed. I wanted to know the whole history of filmmaking, devour every book on how films are made, and try to watch every movie ever made. I love everything about it.
Where do you find inspiration?
Besides film, music, and art, I get my inspiration from life. If I’m trying to work out a personal problem, struggling or going through something, those questions end up in my work. The work I make is deeply rooted in and around Los Angeles and Silver Lake, where I live. Last fall, I released my first monograph, “Silver Lake Drive,” which was a big moment where I was able to see almost everything I’ve created over the past 10 years.
Favorite stuff to shoot? Is it different between still and moving picture?
My still photography is fed by my films and my films wouldn’t be what they are if I didn’t have my background in photography. I love the ambiguity of photography that moving pictures just can’t have. There is more freedom for the imagination to drift around and create its own story.
What excited you about working with Vimeo?
What drew me to this project was the opportunity to tell stories of unique individuals that make up a world in rich detail. Vimeo was open to the characters being strange and having weird little moments in their lives that make them more endearing. I was able to create these tiny stories that highlight the awkward moments in life we can all relate to. I hope Vimeo continues this series of videos because this is what I personally want to watch when I’m exposed to advertisements for something. I also like that this isn’t an overt and obvious advertisement — they are short films. It’s very clever of Vimeo because their focus was to create high-quality slices of life to connect with people rather than to sell a product.
Out of the 14 spots, which is your favorite?
It’s hard to say, because I really do like them all. We shot everything practical, in camera, so it makes them even more special to me. “Speech,” “Laser Pointer,” “Tea Time,” and “Whale Belly” are high up on my list.
Must-haves on set?
My mom has a baked goods company called The Good Witch that specializes in the best homemade cinnamon rolls. I always like to have them on set. They are home to me, and they give me the feeling of normalcy amidst whatever obstacles arise.