Ian Asbjornsen

Writer | Director

Ian Asbjornsen

Ian Asbjørnsen

(az-byorn-son, transl. “Son of Heathen God Bear”


Ian is a Writer-Director with an M.F.A. from USC's School of Cinematic Arts, whose work explores the intersection of science fiction, fantasy, and contemporary youth culture.

He has written two feature film scripts, "The Indigo Children" (scifi-horror) and "Infinity Ring" (supernatural thriller) and is in the process of writing a science fiction novel, "The Slave-Maker War."

As a child, Ian was known to force his little brother and parents to learn and play Magic the Gathering, Warhammer 40K, and Dungeons & Dragons with him. He even dabbled in creating his own fantasy/scifi board and card games.

But Ian is not only an expert in nerd culture, but in youth culture as well. As a drummer in punk and psychedelic rock bands, he became immersed in music, even being voted to be his high school's "Lunchtime DJ."

Ian has gone on to utilize both areas of expertise, combining a world of music with fantasy elements in his electro-pop short film "Love to Want to Love," which won Best Student Film at the LA International Underground Film Festival.

With everything from live-action anime ("Shatter") to black metal documentaries in China ("Black Wing"), Ian focuses his work on bringing new worlds of cultures and characters to life.

He majored in Asian Studies and traveled extensively in China and Tibet, but two of his favorite classes were "Invertebrates" and "Entomology" (the study of insects) - both of which have influenced is writings about alien life forms and xenobiology.

In college, he continued to play drums, produce electronic music, and toured with The Bowed Piano Ensemble, an acclaimed New Music group. He was awarded a Literature Grant from his college's English department, which funded a 90 min experimental "hypertext" science fiction film he directed titled "LA Inferno."

Always inspired by new filmmaking technology, Ian interned at Panavision's Light Iron, during post-production of David Fincher's "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," "Total Recall" and others. At his side business, Capstone Film Lighting, a boutique grip and lighting rental house in Los Angeles, Ian is constantly immersed in cutting-edge lighting and camera technology.

Music videos he has directed have premiered nationally on NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly, played on "rotation" on mtvU, and have been featured on the online sites Spin Mag, Pitchfork, Noisy, XXL Magazine, Brainfeeder Records, Glamour Mag UK, and Topshop. Commercial projects include "Gelateria Uli" - winner of the 2016 AT&T Real Stories contest.

He was the recipient of the International Cinematographers Guild Scholarship Award while he was attending USC’s School of Cinematic Arts for his M.F.A. in Film Directing and Producing.

Hollywood is in his blood - his father was cinematographer for the Baywatch franchise, and his Great-Great Uncle Charles Frederick West was Head of Paramount Pictures' Editing Dept. By the time Ian became a teen, he had already completed up to 70 short film projects, and is happy to continue on as an adult in a career he is passionate about.

If interested in working with Ian, you can contact him at ian.asbjornsen@gmail.com


Education

M.F.A. Film Production at USC School of Cinematic Arts
2008 – 2012 Los Angeles, CA
B.A. at Colorado College
2004 – 2008 Colorado Springs, CO

Awards

2016
“Gelateria Uli” – Winner, AT&T “Real Stories” Competition
2013
“Love Song” – Best Student Film, L.A. International Underground Film Festival
2007
International Cinematographers Guild Scholarship Award, International Cinematographers Guild

Clients

  • AT&T
  • NBC
  • mtvU
  • Brainfeeder Records