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Aaron Denn

About Me

CV (pdf)

AaronSAsmAaron was the first person to train specifically as a producer at the National Film School at Beaconsfield in England. He has since been in the business for over twenty-five years and has worked in the UK and overseas at every level of film and TV production - corporate films, commercials, pop promos, feature-length movies and stills shoots.

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When I was young I didn't want to be a train driver or an astronaut. I wanted to race bikes and ride the Tour de France!

I went a little way along that road, winning the Southern England Road Championship on the hottest day of aaronCyc2the hot drought year of 1976. Cycle racing taught me 1) you get used to hitting the ground at 30 miles an hour but the burns from scraping along gravelly tarmac stick to the sheets at night, and 2) the more training and preparation you do, generally the better you go in the races.

During the winter I clocked up 500 miles a week round the lanes in the Hampshire countryside. Rain, sleet, snow and sometimes sunshine, we went out on our bikes every day. In the end I didn't make it to the Tour de France. I got as far as the National Youth Squad before back injuries made me rethink. I didn't want to be a club rider so it was time to move on. Motor racing, that would be the way to go.

I was nearly 18, I'd passed my driving test first time, my instructor wore clogs, looked like James Hunt and got the driving school Mini into 4th gear before the junction to the main road 100 yards from my parents' house. What more could I need? As it turned out, quite a bit actually. Money and lots of it, even then. I got one job working in a boat yard scraping and varnishing the hulls of wooden yachts, and another selling coffee machines in London.

I saved money and found a Formula Ford course where you could learn to drive single seater cars fast for in a week. The best driver got a free race. While we were getting ready one of the works team cars was going round consistently near the lap record for Formula Ford on that track. Who is that? we asked. Ayrton da Silva, someone said. Ayrton Senna had arrived in Britain, so the legend has it, with a suitcase of money, a phone number for the works team, and the name da Silva so his family wouldn't know he was going motor racing.

I finished my course as fastest driver but the prize was for the "best" driver and I had spun being over-enthusiastic so I was docked points. So now I needed sponsorship money to go racing. How to go about it? Ah, I had a friend who was a filmmaker, with access to video equipment and editing suites. Perhaps we could make a film to show people what they would get out of sponsoring motor racing. I was working for a team at the weekends - we would film their driver.

I soon discovered that I was effectively producing a corporate video and from those humble beginnings of lugging all the equipment around, making the tea and sandwiches, driving to all the locations and then staying up all night editing to get it finished here I am now, 30 years on, older... wiser... Why didn't we all just get proper jobs.... But that would have been boring.