Strike Anywhere, the LA and San Francisco-based production company known for its focus on storytelling, adds comedic director Aaron Beckum to its talented roster.
Originally from Kansas City, Aaron Beckum grew up mostly in Europe before coming to LA by way of Vancouver. Beckum has a background in editing, producing, writing, and directing, having studied film at the Vancouver Film School, where his debut short won an Achievement in Direction Award from the Directors Guild of Canada.
After moving to Los Angeles, Aaron spent time at The Directors Bureau working as a creative director in Roman Coppola’s Special Projects Division. He would go on to form close working relationships with celebrated directors like Mike Mills after working on his feature “Beginners,” and Miranda July after serving as an Associate Producer on her film “The Future.” During this time, he accrued a respected body of short films, music videos and commercials, working with clients like Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, Redbubble, and Sony Music. His shorts and music videos have screened at festivals all around the world, including the Vancouver International Film Fest, Raindance, London Sci-Fi, Fantasia, and Woodstock. He is currently developing a feature film “Microchip Blues” with the support of the Sundance Institute Feature Film Program.
Aaron’s work is known for being highly stylized, combining Scandinavian deadpan humor with a love of 1970s slapstick comedy. Visually, it is often characterized by lo-fi practical effects and selective color palettes. Beckum often asks himself, “If I were to pull a still at any moment in the piece, would that frame stand alone as a good photograph?” This mindset ensures his work is graphic and iconic, and balanced within the frame.
With a tendency towards working with non-actors and employing in-camera techniques, Beckum is able to create authentic worlds in a few short moments. “I have a thing for practical effects, single takes and match cuts,” he says. “I just love to create organically, as much on set as possible.”
His signature style is perfectly on display in his Redbubble spot “The Last Pickle.” The ad follows an unfortunate worker in a beige office attempting to hold onto the last pickle from a pickle jar, and inevitably falling out of the high-rise window. Beckum says, “It's a great example of what I like to do because it combines a sort of drab setup but ends with an over-the-top goofy ending. Also, I think anything with a falling dummy is just great.”
Beckum is eager to get his stand-alone style of comedy in front of the clients and agencies that Strike Anywhere has established relationships with, saying he was immediately drawn to the level of quality they are known for producing. On the style of work he wants to create under the Strike Anywhere banner, Beckum describes it as “riding the line between slapstick and silly, dark and deadpan – but heartfelt and true. In all my work, I try to communicate real human connection and experience through a stoic and wry comedic lens. Strike Anywhere seems like the perfect place to strike that balance.”