Dreams Come True Girl
Aaron Brown & Ben Chappell (a.k.a. Focus Creeps)

Focus Creeps

How did you get into directing?
We went from spending a lot of time just nerd-ing out on every video/film format around to shooting music videos for friends. There were a million late nights, hundreds of feet of film and lots of sweat along the way leading up to rounding out last year with multiple videos listed on year’s best lists—as well as shooting pieces for major brands including Scion, Mountain Dew, Budweiser and Target.

What is your most recent project?
We wrapped a video for Neon Indian on Mountain Dew’s “Green Label Sounds.” It was a cool combination of a supportive ad environment but also there was a great DIY freedom to improvise pretty experimental scenes throughout the course of the shoot. We are also finishing up the post on a film we shot chronicling a 10-city tour of the bands Girls, Smith Westerns and Magic Kids.

What is the best part of being a director?
It’s fun to invent problems that you then get to choose who you want to figure it out with. Collaboration and seeing how other people see things, and the ultimate product that comes out of everyone’s input and contributions is a tremendous feeling. It’s fantastic to have an idea and then see that idea realized in front of you. Like going to battle but without the casualties.

Have you a mentor and if so, who is that person (or persons)
and what has been the lesson learned from that mentoring which resonates most with you?

Aaron worked for the filmmaker Rob Nilsson who emphasized improvisation and getting the most out of each stage of filmmaking. Also early-on, Vice magazine and VBS.TV were super cool to work with, they’re creating some of the best branded content, Aaron just finished a feature length doc with Vice about DIY rock around the country. And, Samantha Hart, who owns Foundation Content, has helped a ton in getting our stuff seen and bringing our work into the commercial world.

Who is your favorite director and why?
Directors who combine genres and push the envelope by creating their own signature realities. Derek Jarmen, Larry Cohen, Leos Carax, all the punk types who have a strong emotional command of cinema.

What is your favorite movie? Your favorite commercial?
Herzog’s Bad Lieutenant is on our on-demand over and over. It’s perfect in every way. Speaking of which, so is the original. Foot Locker/Nike “Hyperizers” video. Amazing art direction, amazing direction, amazing.

Tell use about your background (i.e. Where did you grow up? Past jobs?)
Aaron grew up in Sonoma, CA. Ben grew up in Davenport, IA. We met in college in Chicago during some computer class and got to talking about how we both had a parent on drugs, there’s something to do with directing in there but that’s another story.