Night Giant, Aaron Beckum’s latest short film made us curious to know more about the man behind the camera. Here is the interview with the Los Angeles-based filmmaker, artist and musician.
FM: Hi Aaron! How about giving us a little background info about yourself? Your eclectic and cross-disciplinary attitude brings you to work with different media and languages. You are a filmmaker, a musician, an artist. Where, when and how did everything start?
AB: Music came first for me. I grew up around music and it was just a natural way of expressing myself. I took a video production class in college that kind of got my mind going towards film. We had a VHS to VHS editing system that barely worked but I remember loving the lo-fi analog feel to it and the possibilities seemed endless. Then I found out about this new way of editing on a computer on this program called Final Cut Pro and that was it. It was like magic being able to cut images. I think my favorite part was, and still is to some extent, the act of cutting image to music. When you cut the right image with the right piece of music it elevates it to a whole other thing. That’s fun. Basically, filmmaking was a way to combine all of the things I loved: music, writing, art, photography etc…
FM: Do you believe that knowing more than one artistic field is a necessity in today’s art world?
AB: I don’t think it’s a necessity, but I think it’s common. Most artist friends of mine are doing all kinds of different things at the same time. I do think if you want to be exceptional at anything you have to pick one thing and practice and fail in that field until you get where you want to be.
FM: Let’s talk about your latest short film, Night Giant, which has had a great festival run. The short is about a young man’s surreal adventure as he is haunted by nothing less than a Night Giant…But it’s also the story of a journey through the guy’s fears and insecurities that are invisible but real. The short playfully recalls different film genres with elements of horror and sci-fi combined with a dry humor which set the film tone. Can you take us through a brief walkthrough of how the story came about and evolved? What was the inspiration behind it?
AB: Night Giant just came to me one night as I was driving. I saw a strange shadow and my mind decided that that maybe it was the shadow of a Night Giant? I’ve been kind of intrigued by giants ever since I was a kid when my Dad read my sister and I the BFG by Roald Dahl. When I was writing Night Giant, I loved the idea of a real world that was totally normal except for this one thing, there are Night Giants out there. In the story the giant is obviously a metaphor for whatever that thing is that haunts you in life. In this case I was specifically thinking about that feeling of failure and the fear of failure that keeps you from growing. I was thinking about fears that stop you in your tracks and how once you confront them and move past them you can start growing again.