Eric Hueber’s first feature, Rainbows End, follows a colorful cast of characters from Nacogdoches, Texas as they travel west in search of their dreams. Flutter, Hueber’s second feature length film, won the Texas Grand Jury prize at DIFF, the Audience Award at AFF, and is currently distributed through MarVista.
What are some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned? The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to seek feedback, and then to shut up and listen. Other people’s opinions are essential. They keep you honest. They narrow your blind spots and help you focus. The even bigger lesson I’m learning though is when to stop listening. There’s the feedback you seek and there‘s the feedback that seeks you—criticism. You can easily create a feedback loop in your own mind and undermine your instincts. It’s merely a filter and only you know if a story needs to be told or not.
What’s the hardest scene or project you’ve ever had to write? How did you navigate the challenge? The hardest project I’ve ever had to write was the time I wracked my brain to write a commercially worthwhile genre piece. It’s the Venus flytrap we all face, especially being a poor outsider with no ties inside an industry that is obsessed with monetary value. I navigated the challenge well I believe. I gave up! It was a breakthrough moment for me. It’s so simple it seems trite to say it, but stories are personal. The best are intimate. Human consciousness loves a narrative. If you are not true to what drives you to be a storyteller then you are not being true to what connects us as a species. We are seekers. Stories shouldn’t merely entertain us; they should challenge us to evolve.
What was a major turning point in your career? After I completed my second feature Flutter, I was fortunate to find a manager and sign with ICM. Having agents who get their phone calls answered has been a major blessing. Things are progressing much quicker now.
Do you have a favorite or memorable experience at Austin Film Festival? Winning the Audience Award for Flutter at AFF was the high point for me, but honestly, meeting Sacha Gervasi briefly, just long enough to tell him how much Anvil: The Story of Anvil touched me, and seeing him light up was my favorite experience. I’m a metalhead and a fan at heart. At the end of the day, I like connecting to other artists as a fan more than I need to as a writer or a filmmaker. I don’t think that will ever change.