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RUNNER RUNNER Kicks It Into High Gear

Production company has a new EP, a new national ad campaign, a win in an international film competition—and a plan for bigger things to come.



expected big things when it hired Ian Bearce as executive producer—it just didn’t expect them to happen so fast. Within a month of the arrival of Bearce—formerly head of production at Los Angeles-based Partizan, one of the top commercial production companies in the United States—RUNNER RUNNER booked its biggest project to date, a new national spot for insurance giant Allianz and Minneapolis agency Campbell Mithun. Josh Thacker, one of the company’s bright, young directors, then took top prize in “

The Story Beyond the Still

,� an international film competition sponsored by Canon and Vimeo.
RUNNER RUNNER, formed in 2008 as an affiliate of the highly successful Minneapolis post house Fischer Edit/FX and original music company Modern Music, hired Bearce hoping to use his experience and high level contacts to boost its profile and compete at a national level for work producing ads and other creative content. “Ian has worked in the big leagues with A-list directors, so he brings invaluable experience and business acumen,� explains jMatt Keil, Vice President of business development for RUNNER RUNNER. “At the same time, he has a very grounded personality. I knew immediately that he was the right person to take RUNNER RUNNER to the next level.�

Bearce was equally enthusiastic about the potential of the young Minneapolis production company—enough to give up a secure position with a well established, high powered company and the limelight of working in Hollywood. He was impressed with the company’s young directors and he also thought that being aligned with a full service post-production house and a music company, gave it advantages that were nicely in tune with trends affecting the advertising industry.
“We have everything under one roof,� Bearce says. “At Partizan, it was often hard to find the right partners to do what we needed to do. That’s why a lot of companies are looking to add services and move to a one-stop model. To come here and find that it already exists is very exciting.�
The “everything under one roof� model was part of the reason that RUNNER RUNNER was awarded the Allianz job—just weeks after Bearce came on board. Thacker shot the spots in Florida, the project then returned to Minneapolis for post work and original music by Fisher Edit/FX and Modern Music, respectively.
Bearce says that Minneapolis in general and RUNNER RUNNER in particular provide an ideal environment for the development of new talent. The company’s young directors have freedom to pursue their creative vision, he notes, without the pressure and distractions that accompany working in Hollywood or New York.
“The young guys here want to do great creative work,� Bearce notes. “One of the things that I like about Josh is that he just does it. He doesn’t ask for permission or help. We have cameras and other gear in house, and he goes out and shoots some really cool pieces—directors in L.A. just don’t do that.�
Bearce points to Thacker’s short film,

“Job Security,”

that won Canon and Vimeo’s “The Story Beyond the Still� competition is a good case in point. Thacker wrote the screen play, secured the locations, assembled a cast and crew, directed and edited the 4-minute film—all in two weeks. “We had no budget,� Bearce observes. “It’s something we simply could not have done in L.A.�
The competition, which asked filmmakers to create a 4-minute film based on a photographer’s interpretation of a still photograph, drew more than 100 entries worldwide and was judged by a panel of professional filmmakers that included Vincent Laforet, Russell Carpenter, and Shane Hurlbut. For his efforts, Thacker won a package of Canon camera gear and the opportunity to collaborate with Laforet later this year. (Thacker’s winning entry, about a security guard and a mysterious trunk, can be viewed at

Keil believes that in pairing talent like Thacker with an experienced producer like Bearce, RUNNER RUNNER has created an offering attractive enough to put in on the radar of advertising agencies nationwide. “We launched the company in 2008, but it didn’t really become the entity that it is now until Ian came on board,� Keil says. “Now we have a great combination of experience, and talent that is hungry and scrappy—at a time of shrinking budgets and media convergence it’s the perfect formula for success.�
As a production company with post-production expertise, RUNNER RUNNER can smoothly execute your project from start to finish. Brian Slater (Editor/Creative) and Josh Thacker (Director/Creative) direct and edit national TV commercials, virals, music videos and other creative content.

jMatt Keil, VP of Business Development