In our fourth episode Aaron James and Andrew Dickson welcome producer turned Oscar short-listed director Aaron Ruell, to the Mt. Freelance podcast. Aaron is an accomplished commercial director and art photographer known for his beautiful art direction, intentional choices, and wit. But it took him a little longer to get there as he did his friend a solid, agreeing to play “Kip” in a little indie film that has become a beloved cult classic called Napoleon Dynamite. In our episode Aaron will talk about the challenges of being a filmmaker and a dedicated parent during a global pandemic, share some of what he’s been working on, and open up on his creative process when it comes to both filmmaker and photographer and how he balances vision and artistry with how commercial filmmaking works. He shares his desire to be more involved in the edit, his approach to collaboration and treatments and also how the unique visual aesthetic he’s developed came right out of the small town he grew up in versus a sense of nostalgia. And yes, we go there and ask him all about what it was like to completely by accident become a cult movie star. Turns out it wasn’t quite what he wanted. So if you’re curious to hear how he intentionally blew the chance to star in the Transformer franchise this is the episode for you. The Mt. Freelance podcast is hand-crafted by the producers, mixers and sound designers of Digital One, right here in Portland Oregon, and sponsored by Stumptown Coffee.