Welcome to 2016

It is important that we allow our passions and commitment to lead us.

Ballard_Locks_01_2016-3
Ballard Locks Long Exposure

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

Michael_Kleven-20151222-13-46-39
Mother Walking Through 100 Stones. Anchorage Alaska, Dec. 2015.

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.

 

Over Anchorage

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

 

Rugged Alaska Mountains
HDR image from the Chucach Mountains over Anchorage.

 

 

 

Over Anchorage – Images by Michael Kleven
 

Anchorage to Seattle

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.

20130107-174034.jpg

 

Alaska Airlines flight to Seattle
The friendly Eskimo prepares to fly me to my home.

20130107-174050.jpg

 

Ski Trip
Me, my brother Wayne and niece Carmie, having an excellent time at Hilltop Ski Area.
Ducks on an icy lake.
With warm December temperatures, these ducks decided to hang out at Reflection Lake in Anchorage.

 

 

Alaska sunset December 2012
I took this photo looking South from the Chugiak Mountains above Anchorage

 

 

 

WordPress App from Anchorage

Hello friends. I’m trying out this new WordPress App on my new iPhone 5. I’m hoping that this makes it easier to blog while I am out and about, which is most of the time.

This is my brother Wayne Kleven at his office. He works as a manager at a Native owned fuel supply company, Northstar Gas.He’s been doing a great job helping keep costs down and quality supplies available year round. I’m so glad to see him doing something he enjoys.

20121230-210004.jpg

This is my nephew Joren goofing around on Christmas Day. He’s a great kid and I love him a lot.

20121230-210731.jpg

I pulled off the side of the road in Palmer Alaska to take in some of the amazing scenery. The Alaskan sun in December stays near the horizon all day long. This makes for some dramatic light and photo imaging opportunities.

20121230-210851.jpg

This post is a test of both the WordPress iPhone App and the iPhone 5 photos on the blog. As you may know I work professionally with the Canon 7D and other higher end cameras. But since I’m on vacation now I will be interested in looking at these results. Hope you enjoy. Happy 2013! Let me know if you need wedding or portrait photography, or video services for business or production camera or sound services for film?

Michael-Peter Kleven (filmmaker and photographer)

mikekleven@gmail.com