An Interview with Elizabeth Schiffler

It’s that time again! Let’s meet some more of our fabulous IRL: Craigslist artists. First up, Elizabeth Schiffler! Elizabeth is a graduate from the University of Washington, director of both theatre and film.

HR: So Elizabeth, for IRL: Craigslist, what are you working on?
ES: I am working on a short film inspired by the Craigslist Strictly Platonic postings. I spent probably like a week sitting with Craigslist Strictly Platonic, looking about twice a day, and I would read every post in the Seattle area. And then, I quickly was getting into a really dark hole with that so I had to find a couple things that felt like an inkling and then I told myself I had to stop going on Craigslist.

HR: Do you have any crazy personal stories from Craigslist?
ES: No.. I’ve totally just been like a voyeur on it. I just go and I look and I dream and that’s it. Very guarded. But that’s the point of it, it’s just very safe… it’s like a Tinder without pictures, you get to do it all without any vulnerability.

HR: So is it that you feel like it’s an anonymous place to dig around?
ES: It’s like this safe place full of ideas. You know, cause they’re all individual postings from real people. It’s this sense of maybe this is an actual thing that could happen but you don’t actually have to engage with it, you can just stand over it and say maybe that is my dream home or maybe that is my dream best friend.

HR: So what’s the saddest thing you found looking through Strictly Platonic?
ES: Oh god.. Honestly the whole thing. It was so sad. Because unsurprisingly, Strictly Platonic on Craigslist is not strictly platonic. No part of it is strictly platonic… there’s this weird kind of meta layer of Seattle-passive-relationship behavior where, you’re like, why are you a swinger on Strictly Platonic? There’s another Craigslist list for literally that. There’s a swinger’s forum, go to that one! Like don’t try and kid us.

HR: Is there an internet fad that you refuse to take part in:
ES: No.. I’ll try anything once! I think all of these things are tools of expressing ourselves and ways of connecting with other people and other ideas and is valuable, especially if you can develop a healthy practice around it. There’s nothing that really bothers me.

HR: Cool. Well do you want to tell us about projects you are working on?
ES: Sure, I just had my first short film (Becoming Mermaid) show at Northwest Film Forum’s Local Sightings film festival. And that was a really exciting opportunity to practice visual storytelling and transition into a more digital practice and figuring out when we are using our screens and have this frame of ourselves, how does that translate to stories that aren’t our social media stories.

Elizabeth Schiffler is one of two IRL:Craigslist filmmakers creating an original short film for this event using the topic “Strictly Platonic” from Craigslist. 


Photo credit: Julia Canfield