Sometimes on my production sound gigs, I get to learn new things and meet very interesting people. Leatrice Eiseman is one of those.
I had the pleasure of working as a sound mixer for this Hue For You project for Fruit of the Loom featuring Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. The project was produced by Plus Productions out of Boulder Colorado. We shot the videos all in one day at the Bainbridge Art Museum back on February 24th, 2016.
Sometimes my job allows me to learn new things and meet people I otherwise might not meet. It is always a pleasure to visit Bainbridge.
Hue for You – Energetic Colors
Hue for You – Colors of Confidence
Hue for You – Colors of Attraction
Leatrice is an amazingly informative woman. Although I was primarily focussed on recording great audio, it was great to think about color in a new and interesting way. It was a pleasure to work with director/DP Steve Capstick, producer Nathan Fulbrecht and fellow locals, gaffer Ryan Middleton and PA Katheryn Goddard. The trip over on the Washigton State Ferry was a joy.
Here is a link to Leatrice Eiseman’s website. If you need a sound mixer for your corporate, documentary or narrative project please get in touch. I have some state of the art sound gear, a nice resume, am a problem solver and a great addition to the community on set. At least in my own humble opinion, (I’m sure my mom would agree as well).
It is important that we allow our passions and commitment to lead us.
2016 has been an amazing year so far. When I graduated from film school I took on the risky proposition to not only attempt to make my living as a freelancer in the competitive film/video industry but also to continue to pursue a breadth of professional roles both in film and as a photographer. There is a pressure in all industries towards specialization. But particularly so in film/video. Yet I continue to hear anecdotal stories of people doing their own thing, such as directors who edit their films and others who have forged their own professional identity. In school, I had worked as a producer, a director of photography, a director, and an editor. It wasn’t until after school that I began to get hired regularly as a sound mixer. My first job was unpaid, but my second one was paid and others followed. People seemed to like my work and enjoy my personality on set and so I began to feel like maybe I had found my niche.
At the same time, I continued to pursue my other creative interests, gaining experience as a camera operator and DP on ultra low budget narrative projects, working as a one man band shooting and editing videos for local businesses and taking photographs at family events and of our unique NW environment. I have always worried and will probably continue to worry that practical career interests will compel me to focus on sound. It is the one thing I have the most experience at and the most specialized equipment for. But I continue to find that as long as you are passionate and committed to your craft, you can indeed forge your own unique path. I think it is important to young people and to those starting out in a new field, to consider what drove your interest there in the first place. We all must consider long-term financial impacts our decisions may have on our careers. But it is important also to consider what we love doing. It is that love, that passion, that will drive our careers forward. If you are charging for something, you must be very good at it. And to move forward we must continue to hone and improve our craft. By this, we reap the benefit of rare skills and unique abilities. The good money comes after we have committed ourselves to something or some “things” we truly love. Passion and commitment are the pathways to success
What I continue to find is that if you have passion and commitment for your craft, even if it is in multiple areas, you will succeed if you apply yourself seriously and continuously. If you are a young person or someone starting out in a new field, consider what drove your interest there and hold onto that above all else. I think the worsed thing you can do is to settle for doing something you don’t love, or don’t love doing all the time. A diversity of talents can lead, not only to synergy but to practical skills in communication and problem solving.
The good money will come after we have committed ourselves to become really good at doing things we truly love. Passion and commitment are the pathways to success
In 2016, (and 2015) I’ve found myself working not only as a sound mixer but also as a director, DP, camera operator, producer, editor, and photographer. My goal for 2016 is to not only advance my craft as a sound mixer but to push myself to bring my skills in other roles up to a similar level. If I can do that successfully I might add acting and screenwriting into the mix. If it stimulates me professionally I say why not. Hopefully my peers and those who hire me will feel the same way.
I just purchased the Zaxcom ENG wireless system for sending broadcast quality sound and frame accurate timecode to camera. The audio signal is encrypted to ensure secure transmission of the signal for productions where security or secrecy are essential. On productions where time is of the essence, the high-quality signal sent from the sound mixer to the camera can allow syncing in post-production to be skipped. This can be essential in broadcast news and streaming applications. On narrative projects, the director and producers can review sound quality and performance on set during video playback. This can provide the production with confidence that a scene is, “in the can”, thereby avoiding expensive and risky ADR. The units are the Zaxcom TRX900s and RX900. I’m looking forward to using these units in the field in 2015 and beyond. (Photos by Travis Jordan).
Feb 2015: Gear list for Kleven Creative Services. As a creative freelancer working in film and video, I am constantly evaluating and upgrading my kit. I needed to upgrade my camera from the old 7D so I went with the new Canon 7D Mark II with it’s higher bit rate recording and 1080/60p slow motion ability. In the lens department, I’ve added the Canon 24-105 f/4L lens, a Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 Art lens, the Rokinon 8mm t/3.1, Rokinon 16mm f/2, Rokinon 24mm f/1.4, Rokinon 35 f/1.4, and a Rokinon 85mm f/1.4. I also picked up a Merlin II Steadicam and a car mount and cage for my BMPCC.
Much of my freelance work comes from my work as a production sound mixer. To better aid my work on set I’ve added a 3rd Sennheiser G3 transmitter/receiver and a Sennheiser MKE 2 Gold Series lav mic. I also added a Remote Audio breakout cable for sending sound and time code to high-end cinema and ENG type cameras. Here is a fairly complete list of the gear I have available at Kleven Creative Services. Please inquire re. current day rates and kit fee. Available for Cinematography, Sound Mixing .
Here is a fairly complete list of the gear I have available at Kleven Creative as of Feb 2015. Please inquire re. current day rates and kit fee. I am available for work as a sound mixer, DP and producer/director on smaller projects.
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Kleven Creative Services
Gear Inventory 02/24/2015 CAMERA
Canon 7D Mark II
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera
Canon 24-105mm f/4L
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 Art
Canon 18-135mm 3.5-5.6 STM
Canon 18-135mm 3.5-5.6
Canon 28mm f/1.8
Canon 50mm f/1.4
Canon 85mm f/1.8
Rokinon 8mm t/3.1
Rokinon 16mm f/2.0
Rokinon 24mm f/1.4
Rokinon 35mm f/1.4
Rokinon 85mm f/1.4
Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 M43
Panasonic 14-45mm 3.5-5.6 M43
RJ Speed Booster For Canon EF to M43
FotodioX Vizelex ND Throttle Adapter for Canon EF to M43
Sound Devices 633 Mixer/Recorder
Rode NTG3 Shotgun
Audix SCX/HC1 (interior boom mic)
AKG Large Diaphragm Studio Mic
Electrovoice RE/50B handheld reporter mic
Sennheiser G3 transmitter/receiver (A band)
Sennheiser G3 transmitter/receiver (B band)
Sennheiser G3 transmitter/receiver (G band)
Sennheiser MKE 2 Gold Series Lav Mic
Voice technologies VT500 Lavalier Mic
Countryman B3 Lav Mic
Countryman EMW Lav Mic (XLR Type)
Gitzo 9′ Carbon Fiber Boom Pole
Rode 11′ Aluminum Boom Pole
Rode Wind Blimp
Rode Dead Cat
Remote Audio Breakout Cable with Timecode
Lemo 5 Pin to Lemo 4 Pin Timecode Cable
Lemo 5 Pin to Lemo 5 Pin Timecode Cable
Lemo 5 Pin to BNC Timecode Cable
Filmtools Deluxe Slate
ARRI 650 with Softbox
Mole Richardson 2K Super Softlite
Ephoto 640 LED Ringlight (Daylight, high CRI rating “95”)
YN600 LED (Daylight, Battery)
Ephoto 320 LED (Daylight and Tungsten, Battery)
Fancier 500 LED (Daylight)
3x Impact C Stands
Matthews Combo Stand 11′
Macbook Air 2014
Zacuto Z-Finder EVFMerlin II Steadicam
Merlin II Steadicam
Manfrotto 561BHDV-1 Fluid Head Monopod
Indisystem Ultra Compact Shoulder Rig
StudioFX 48” Camera Slider
Varavon Armor Cage for BMPCC (w/ high capacity battery, 6 hours)
Gripper 3025 – 6″ Suction / Vacuum Cup Car Camera Mount
Earlier this Spring actress and model Melinda Raebyne contacted me about doing a photo shoot paying homage to the movie icon Marilyn Monroe to enhance our mutual portfolios. I’ve been trying to decide when I should share some of these creative images with the world. Then I recalled that one of our images might be especially meaningful to veterans and their families. This photograph was created at my home studio in Bothell Washington, a suburb of Seattle. Be on the lookout of more from this shoot here.
Melinda is currently seeking new projects as an actress. You can contact her through me if you like. She is great to work with and a true creative force.
Michael is currently seeking new photo projects for weddings, events, portraits and portfolios. He also is a freelance filmmaker producing projects for business and the arts. On set he works as a director, cinematographer and production sound mixer.
Contact me at 206-307-7588 or Mikekleven@gmail.com
Hello everyone. I’ve just created a new sound reel. Often producers request to see samples of my sound work. So I’ll go online, collect links and send them off. After another recent request I felt inspired to collect some recent samples of my work and cut them into a promotional video reel. Although we are all impressed with the stunning visuals, try watching them without the sound! I’ve been really excited to be doing more audio work in the past 12 months. Exciting projects have included Love in the Year 2000, The Painted Mara, f5 Lasercats, TEKsystems Thrift Shop parody and most recently A Damn Dirty Night. Next week I’m off to Roslyn Washington to record sound for Frink.
As the sound picked up I added a Tascam DR-680. My Zoom H4N is now there as a backup. I purchased the superior Rode NTG3 shotgun to my kit alongside my Rode NTG2. To me 9 foot carbon fiber boom pole I’ve added a 12 foot aluminum pole. The short one I use for indoors and the long one for out. I also purchased a windjammer and blimp for recording audio in high wind situations and a Petrol sound bag.
So this week added wireless. I pulled the trigger on the Sennheiser ew 100 ENG G3 Wireless Deluxe Kit which includes the Voice Technologies VT500 Lavalier Microphone, Electro Voice RE50/B Omni-Directional Handheld Mic and the plug in transmitter for handheld mic or transmission from a sound board.
This reel includes clips from Causality, f5 Lasercats, Love in the Year 2000 , The Painted Mara and TEKsystems Thrift Shop. Although I am certainly available as a production sound mixer and boom operator I am still active and working as a director, editor, cinematographer and photographer. All creative and professional inquiries are welcome!
Two weeks ago I was running camera at the Dempsey Indoor facility for the Huskey Indoor Classic. This weekend I continue the adventure for the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation indoor Track and Field meet. The long shifts behind the camera are grueling. But the excitement of helping cover these talented young athletes is exhilarating. Some of the most talented in the country.
I’ve included some images from the event, taken with my iPhone 5 and edited with the Camera Awesome App from Smug Mug. Enjoy!
My new friend Scott setting up one of the additional cameras.
My professional Sony camcorder for streaming.
Some if the amazing athletes at the Dempsey. From one of the last races of the day. The Mixed Distance Relay.
Here is a link to find out more about the race. Or potentially view it live on Feb 23th. On Feb 24th I will also be helping stream the Brooks Invitational featuring some of the best High School track athletes in the Nation. Live video stream at and archives from Flotrack.
The project was set up by the folks at Northwest Audio Visual Productions out of Portland Oregon. You can like there Facebook page here. I took a few more fun photos. I have to get up early for day two on Saturday. But come back soon. They will be here.
Contact Michael Kleven if you need a camera operator, sound recordist or photographer. Mikekleven@gmail.com
On the second day of my December journey to my parent’s home on Anchorage, I borrowed the truck and trekked South onto the windy roads which snake into the Chugach Mountains South of town. The low slung mountains, once a haven for miners seeking gold, offer wide vistas from which to capture images of the Cook Inlet, Anchorage, The Alaska Range to the North and the valleys and ridges of the Chugachs. Here is a set of HDR images from that trek. They are available to purchase and enjoy from my sister website at Photoshelter.
All photos were taken with the Canon 7D and processed in Lightroom and Photoshop. Contact me for custom cropping of the images. I am also available for weddings, portraits and events. Contact Michael Kleven at 206-307-7588
I am really excited that McMenamins is renovating the historic Anderson School in downtown Bothell. My home town Bothell is about equal distances from Seattle, Bellevue and Everett. This will be great news for the economy and culture of Bothell and the nearby region but also for lovers of good beer and the off beat atmosphere that McMenamins is famous for. The new facility will bring a hotel, restaurant, spa, live music venue and a stage for theater and off beat films. It seems already that they are trying to reach out to the local community with a contract entitling local residents to 15 years free use of the pool and other community spaces. I’ve been to their venue in Centralia and it was truly a great time. Reminds me of the Beer Tooth Cinema in Anchorage. But maybe a whole lot more!
As a filmmaker, it would be great if there were some way that some of the spaces could be used for filmmaking. Maybe even as a production sound stage. I imagine the old gym might be perfect for something like that. That is something the film industry in the Seattle area really needs. I’ll be happy to have a place near my home, to watch a film or concert, grab a beer or a meal and hang out with friends.
For photography I can imagine the space being perfect for weddings and community events. I’ll look forward to the opportunity to document some of those events. It will be exciting to see what comes!
Bothell and surrounding communities benefit from their nearness to the urban hubs of the Puget Sound region. On the other hand we benefit from a lovely landscape, quiet nights, nearness to Lake Washington, forests, parks, and regional recreational assets such as the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River trails. I started my life here and began my education at local schools. I’m happy now to be producing video and practicing my craft as a photographer in the local community. I think what I like best is the opportunity to recharge after adventures in the city or in the nearby wilds.
If you need video production services for your business or corporation or photography services for your wedding or family please get in touch. Samples, references and a quick quote are always available.
From the McMenamins website: “The first McMenamins pub opened in 1983 in Portland, Oregon, followed two years later by the first McMenamins brewery in the same city. Now, we proudly own and operate more than 50 popular establishments throughout Oregon and Washington. Customers return to our pubs, breweries, hotels and movie theaters because they trust the quality of our food and beverages, and because they know “McMenamins” means have fun in a casual, relaxed atmosphere. Children are always welcome when accompanied by their parents in our pubs, which are almost exclusively non-smoking establishments.
An appreciated signature of the McMenamin brothers is their incorporation of their love for historic buildings and artwork in many of their establishments. Several of the McMenamins’ businesses are long-storied structures honored by their inclusion on the National Historic Register. Each pub, whether historic or not, displays outstanding paintings on ceilings, doors and walls, as well as offering other visual surprises.”
I’m on the plane preparing to depart Ted Stevens Airport in Anchorage for my flight home to Seattle. Anchorage is a hotbed for film and culture. Or is at least well on it’s way. The folks in the Alaska film office are really friendly. I registered with them as a director, sound and camera guy. Sometimes in helps to have parents on Alaska. But heck, I sure miss them most of the year. I’m hoping my networking efforts will lead to work in the growing production industry in Alaska and throughout the Pacific Northwest.
I also enjoyed the lively theater in Anchorage. In particular off Broadway hit “Freud’s Last Session” at Cyreno‘s Off Center Playhouse in Downtown Anchorage. Me, my brother Wayne and niece Carmie all took in a day of skiing at the municipal ski area “Hilltop”. The slopes were mostly gentle which suited us just fine. It was the first time on a lift for Wayne and Carmie and my first time since 1985. At the end of the day we were all swooshing down the slopes like pros.
I really enjoyed the photo ops in the Chugiak Mountains near my parent’s home, at Hatcher Pass and on the frozen lakes. Hopefully I will have some more of those to share with you here soon.
As always Alaska, you offer so much and always leave me wanting more.