Aaron Hale - Passion and Talent
Aaron Hale looks like the kind of guy who would gladly help you move a couch, or change a tire. In fact, when you see him on screen, it’s hard not to immediately think "hey, I know that guy." It’s that affability - that off-the-cuff niceness - that might surprise you to learn that he’s also one of the hardest working actors and filmmakers in Austin. He’s living proof that with great work ethic combined with raw talent you can really do anything!
Born in Lubbock, Texas, he spent much of his late teens and 20s as a singer- songwriter, ping-ponging his way across the country playing his heart out in dive bars and backyards and anywhere else that would have him. But he soon realized that he was denying his first love: film. He put the positive energy he had put into his music career into film, and into just a year after making his first short film, Clementine, he’s already winning awards for Best Actor, Best In Show, and Judges Choice.
If you haven’t seen Clementine already, do yourself a favor and watch it immediately. Originally written as an excuse for Aaron to have more variety in his acting reel, its easy to see why its sly take on mental health (with a heck of a closing scene) has been winning audiences and judges over.
Describe yourself in 28 words or less. I am an actor, screenwriter, director and producer, with a focus mostly on comedic stories with heart, though I love being a part of a variety of projects.
What interested you in filmmaking / what you specialize in? I have always loved film. Since I saw E.T. for the first time as a kid, I’ve wanted to be a part of it. There are few artistic avenues that give an artist as much room and opportunity to reach people, and film, at least to me, is the one that offers the most immense possibilities to do so.
Why Austin? Austin is such a great town for artists. I’ve always loved the Hill Country of Texas and it’s always been a dream to raise a family here. I, honestly, couldn’t think of a better place to begin my journey as a filmmaker than here in Austin. I’m loving the community and the opportunities here. It’s an all-around magical place.
Tell us more about Clementine. Originally, the concept of the film came about because, as an actor, I was finding it hard to get good roles because I didn’t have a great film reel, but I couldn’t get a great film reel without great roles. A catch-22. I decided I would, essentially, make a film that allowed me to show some range so that my reel could look better. I didn’t want to just make a bad film, and I didn’t want to make a Nutty Professor Eddie Murphy thing where I play all the characters for no reason. So, I wrote something a little different. If that makes sense. I called my buddy from Kansas City, Ross Wooten, and he brought some equipment, and we shot it together. After shooting and editing, we realized we had something kind of special. So we started submitting to festivals. Which was not our initial goal. But I’m so glad we did as it’s been doing really well so far.
What projects do you have coming up, and where do you go from here? I am simply focused on being a part in making films with stories that I feel connected to, and people I love working with. But, even more than that, I want to work on projects that promote and encourage more women filmmakers, more diverse stories from all kinds of perspectives, as well as casts and crews that reflect the changing dynamics of the culture as a whole, so all types of people feel they have a place at the table and that their own unique experiences are represented well. I am also very excited about my next short project that I’m currently in pre-production for. It’s a dark comedy in the style of a Twilight Zone episode.