Aaron Brown

One half of directing duo Focus Creeps on his new film for the TRIBUTE series, premiering on Dazed Digital, interviewed by the MAINLINE guys, who commissioned them

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Aaron Brown is one half of directing collective FOCUS CREEPS. They've done videos for everyone, including Girls, Neon Indian, Cass McCombs, Wavves, Smith Westerns, Delorean and more. He's also a good friend and has a cool bird named Birden that he and his girlfriend Natasha, who is a stylist in LA, take everywhere. This year, he and his partner Ben Chappell have wrapped up their two-year long wave of videos and creative direction for Arctic Monkeys. 

Aaron's ability to lower people's defenses with his chill charm and dope clothes and knowledge of obscure Bay Area rap makes him a perfect choice to continue our TRIBUTE series here, exclusively on Dazed. 

A few days ago, Vince & I got online and asked him a few questions. 

MAINLINE:

YO

THIS IS VINCE & AG

your inviewers

AARON BROWN :

hpwdy

howdy

we've both already typo'd

MAINLINE:

hello Aaron 

you ready

AARON BROWN :

no

MAINLINE:

ill fix your typos in post

AARON BROWN :

ok

yes

you better

MAINLINE:

we'll do our best to make you look good

AARON BROWN :

that's a tall order

MAINLINE:

lets get started w some questions

AARON BROWN :

ok

MAINLINE:

I'm smoking weed in-between your long pauses in responding 

AARON BROWN :

lets commence the circle jerk

MAINLINE:

perfect

question 1

Where did you find the main kid in your film? 

AARON BROWN :

There's a skateshop out on Atlantic in East LA. They have ramps in the back room to keep kids out of trouble in the ghetto. I started hanging out there on the weekends to stay outta trouble too

There's three kids that I would cruise around with, they seem like the leaders

Everyone said, you'd like to hang out with this kid Meklo, he's crazy

His name is Meklo, cause he has green eyes and looks white, like the guy named Meklo in that bloods and crips movie

MAINLINE:

Was there any issues with you hanging out somewhere you really didn't belong, were the kids suspicious of you?

Being that you're much older, and not from east LA?

AARON BROWN :

i made friends with the owner first and said i was making a skate video but with no skating.

it wasn't really weird, it was more about keeping them not bored.

MAINLINE:

So Meklo was immediately responsive to you wanting to film him?

AARON BROWN :

he was, yeah. he has a positive attitude in the midst of a potentially really shitty environment, and how he keeps that attitude was fun to explore

he does a lot of pranks and manipulates people a lot

he's the kinda person who would say 'yes' to anything and figure out what's in it for him

AARON BROWN :

immediately

MAINLINE:

did he manipulate you or potentially the process of the film, or who he truly is? Did he put on show or pretend in anyway?

AARON BROWN :

When you hang out with people for interviews you first encounter a kind of shell they've made up, but if you stick around long enough you see who they really are, darker stuff but also funnier stuff. I just went back a few times and could see that stuff coming out more and more.

It was more of the vibe, like: "why the hell do you keep coming out here? "You're weird, haha, lets go hang out."

MAINLINE:

What was that place he took you to? And WTF was that mound of prescription pill bottles? 

AARON BROWN :

Some homeless guy had lived there forever and had just died. It was a kind of memorial. We actually all found it together while wandering around the river.

there were kids kinda taking turns watching his encampment, kids would actually come and relieve the kid that was there before, it looked like they slept there

but they weren't homeless themselves

they must have just been friends with the dude that died. obviously he looked like he was fucking awesome

MAINLINE:

Last question, what was it like to be part of their clique for a day, and why do you think it's important to pay attention and capture youth? 

AARON BROWN :

they had a lot of ways to elevate above getting in trouble like it seemed a lot of their peers do. the irony is the way they would do it was by breaking different laws

but they were individuals.

but they were coming from a place of 'how to have fun' instead of being desperate.

This piece is mostly about that, their good attitudes.

that's the thing you forget a little, getting older you get more pissed at stuff. when you're fifteen that doesn't really exist.

MAINLINE:

Thanks Aaron, we're super excited about your film, thanks for not blowing us off. 

any last words? 

OH and one last last question, was it weird seeing your girlfriend get her head shaved on set for a Scorsese film? 

AARON BROWN :

haha, was hysterical, long story

MAINLINE:

aight dude, thanks again, well talk soon

MAINLINE:

cool dude

i think thats it

AARON BROWN :

THANXoXo

lets hang soon

MAINLINE:

most def

love ya dude

AARON BROWN :

im around all week

MAINLINE:

same here

go see Killing Them Softly

Ben Mendelsohn kills it

AARON BROWN :

dude, YES

WHEN AND WHERE? looks so good

MAINLINE:

i saw it

but arclight

i would go again maybe

AARON BROWN :

okk

steph emailed about some party thurs?

going to that?

MAINLINE:

ya

its Caviars party

AARON BROWN :

aight, that's a start

MAINLINE:

should be cool to drink free drinks and make fun of AG

it's what I do most of the time

AARON BROWN :

we could go get your truck stuck somewhere this weekend?

its not 4x4 is it? has that nice lift

MAINLINE:

ya it is

dude

its full on

wheel locks and everything

AARON BROWN :

SICK! LETS GO SOMEWHERE

my brother and i sleep under his truck haha

if you drink enough you make it through the night

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