Ben Stranahan: The Rise of a Producer
Ben Stranahan has had a career in Hollywood for ten-plus years now. He has had a number of roles such as actor, producer, and musician, but he mostly thinks of himself as a storyteller at heart, telling stories that would otherwise go untold. He is now a producer and partner with Tip-Top Productions. The company has seen a number of well-received releases in recent years. It appears that Ben’s hard work in Hollywood is being rewarded.
Even with all of his success, Ben continues to be a charming, personable, down-to-earth guy, brimming with a warm, grounded optimism. Despite the endless stress and uncertainty of working in the entertainment industry, Ben is committed to staying focused and goal-oriented. Ben attributes his hard-fought Hollywood success to his persistence, determination, and his appreciation for every opportunity given to him. Ben knows that, especially in the Land of Dreams, you should never waste an opportunity.
Ben’s long road to Hollywood runs all the way back to his middle school years in Aspen, Colorado. Ben remembers his first stage appearance as “exhilarating,” a moment that sparked his passion for storytelling and inspired him to pursue his dreams of working in film. “It was a wonderful experience; a defining moment in my childhood,” Ben recalls.
Upon realizing his life’s true purpose, Ben began to experiment with different modes of artistic expression. In high school, he continued his study of stage theatre and began to produce his first short films. I just picked up a camera and started making short films. It taught me a lot about working with actors and about what not to do. In other words, I made a ton of mistakes and learned what I could from each one,” he explains. He joined a band, for which he played drums and piano for five years until the end of high school forced him to live a separate life from his bandmates; as they were preparing to leave for the Music Institute, Ben was preparing to leave for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the mean streets of Los Angeles, where he could carve out a name for himself as an artist.
After spending multiple summers studying music at Berklee College in Boston and graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles, his Hollywood dream began to develop into something tangible. Ben spent the next three years learning everything he could about the industry. He enjoyed the acting class, breaking down characters, long-form improv, dialect work, including Southern, Standard RP, New England, and Irish, and excelled at both armed and unarmed stage combat. Upon finishing school, Ben began building his career as an actor, producer, and musician.
One of his rewarding experiences as a producer came in 2016 when Mean Dreams, a drama/thriller starring Bill Paxton, premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival and as a Special Presentation at TIFF. The film has since been released theatrically in over ten countries and sold in over fifty. Ben also produced the acclaimed thriller Calibre, released on Netflix in 2018. The film went on to be nominated for four BAFTAs, with star Jack Lowden taking home the award for Best Actor.
When Ben reflects on his success in Hollywood, he realizes that despite all the stress involved in producing, he is happy to be where he is in his career. He claims, “There are a lot of insanely gifted people out there, any one of whom could be sitting where I am today if things had gone differently. “I’ve always got more irons in the fire,” he says. “My mind is always running, envisioning the next film I want to make. I am truly fortunate to be able to make them and to be able to entertain an audience just like I always hoped I would.”
For more information on the production house, visit www.tip-topproductions.com.