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
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.
This past November I had the opportunity to hang out with my Aunt Becky and Uncle Bobby Struve down in Monterey County. We hung around the beach for awhile in Carmel and took some photos with my Grandma Betty. After lunch at the Baja Cantina and Grill on Carmel Valley Road, we headed up Laureles Grade towards Salinas. There is something very special about this rough land which combining elements of the old West with the rugged and rocky coast. I can see why so many are attracted to the land that nurtured the author John Steinbeck. Here are a few of the images from our trip to Carmel California. Contact me at at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your wedding or portrait session. Be sure to “like” my business page on Facebook: <a href=”http://www.facebook.com/KlevenCreative?ref=hl” target=”_blank”>Kleven Creative Services</a>for updates on my projects and services in photography, video production and filmmaking. Let me know if you need the images printed at higher resolution. I am more then happy to comply!
Update 6/9/12: Thanks to all of the creativeLIVE viewers for visiting my website and checking out my blog. Day one on the show was really fun and informative. Skip Cohen has a wealth of knowledge that he has been so gracious to share. Good luck in your creative endeavors. On to day two!
(Original post) Okay, I’m not really an orphan. But I would like to be a student of Skip Cohen at the creativeLIVE studios on June 8th and 9th. No money is involved, all you need to do is watch and hit the like button on my very short video. After a lot of hard work I am finally gaining traction producing videos for business and corporations and work in film sets as a director, DP and sound recordist. But my long term strategy is to balance my work in the world of sound and motion with stills work. I’ve actually been a photographer for a very long time. I offer services as a commercial, event and portrait photographer. Even though I get a lot of complements for my work and am constantly upgrading my skills and gear I still have a lot to learn on the business side. Skip is known as a master of marketing and is sure to help me focus my energies in this area.
You can connect with Michael on the social media via the following links:
Seattle’s had been experiencing a very mild Winter until the epic snowstorm of January 2012. While maybe not epic to those outside of Seattle it was a welcome break from the regular. Now that rains has returned and slush flows freely in the streets I and many like me have returned to the norm. My response to the brief exposure to cabin fever was to double down my focus on creative pursuits doable in or near my home.
A Winter Road
The first project was a set of HDR photos of the farm up on 88th. It’s a lovely vista with a peak of Lake Washington in the distance. I hope that 10 years from now that it isn’t being converted to Apartments!
The Yellow Bird
The next project happened when I was getting ready to ride my mountain bike in the snow. I had the door open as I got my gear ready for the ride. I saw lovely yellow and black bird flying around the porch maybe looking for some shelter from that snow. Suddenly he was in the house. I grabbed my camera and shot some video before I attempted my rescue. Watch the short film to find out what happened next. Turns out he was a Townsend’s Warbler who had been fooled my our mild winter.
My other big projects this week were two days of Gaffing and Cinematography for the web series GLITCH and a portfolio set starring my bike in the snow. I’ll try to post that group soon. It includes an interesting 360 degree panorama of my bike in the snowy forest. I’ll search for a place to host it online.
Other good news this week includes 3 jobs in addition to GLITCH, includes documentary and portrait photography commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Dr Donald and Mary Malins, a promotional video for Dex One – Rooster Down Tattoo Gallery and a series of videos for an Eastside SEO guru. The week before I landed a gig to do work as a boom pole operator/sound mixer for a short film highlighting the treatment on Filipino veterans of WWII. 2012 is off to a good start!
This is Michael Kleven’s 1st music video. Ending to Dhoom is now available for viewing on both Youtube and Vimeo. The project was a collaboration between me and James Whetzel the lead singer of Seattle indie rock band Das Dhoom. James also appears in the video as “the boyfriend” and again singing and playing the traditional Indian instrument the sarod. Deepayin Archarjya appears in the video playsing the dhol and Sebastian Lange is seen in the video performing on the violin.
This work would not have been possible if not for the creative contribution of members of Seattle’s indie film, fashion, dance and photography communities. The video was shot primarily on the Canon EOS 7D. Leave it to say that I love that camera. My editor Sanjeev Tandle provided some interesting effects to the footage and some interesting creative choices, influenced no doubt by his experience working on Bollywood features. Lead actress Ronee Collins is a veteran of Northwest stages and Indie films including my award winning film MARCELL. The “other man” was played by Bjorn Whitney. Local model and actress Stephanie Raven was “the new girl”. My AD Patricia Bennet helps manage her husbands photography business when she isn’t working on film projects. Her husband Patrick helped out, with shooting on the fire sequence. Additional cameras for this sequence were provided by Mike Gurley of Canon Camera. Amalia Cuthbert was our principle dancer. Will Carson was our stunt coordinator and primary fire breather. Jennalee Evavold, (I know, quite the name), was our animator. For the scene where James enters the water this was necessary lest we forfeit our PG 13 rating.
The two versions differ slightly. The Youtube version can be viewed at full 1080 and has 10 seconds of additional credits. For the Vimeo version we cut the credits back a bit and did some extra effects work on the footage where James enters the fantasy with the dancer, (Amalia). The scene with James and Deepayin was filmed in the water tower at Volunteer Park. The scenes with Ronee and Bjorn were filmed on the monorail, outside of McCaw Hall at Seattle Center and in the conservatory at Volunteer Park. The silhouette scene with Sebastian on violin and Amalia belly dancing was filmed near Marshall Park on Seattle’s Queen Ann Hill.
In Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People, we are introduced to the power on unconditional positive regard, the golden rule or basic human civility on our public relationships. In retrospect it is odd somehow, that we must be educated into thinking that treating our peers with respect and decency is the way to go.
To our modern eyes that book might at first seem childlike and simplistic. It is divided into four parts. Part One: Fundamental Techniques in Handling People describes key social behaviors we can employ in getting others to help us while seeming to be helping themselves. In fact the key here is to develop a strategy by which both efforts are synonymous.
Part Two, Six Ways to Make People Like You, describes techniques that will improve how people respond to you and how to improve the impression you make. In part Three: How to Win People to Your Way of Seeing Things, we learn techniques we can employ to get others to do what we need them to do while helping them to complete meet their personal agenda.
Part Four, Be a Leader: How to Change People Without Giving Offense or Arousing Resentment describes ways in which empathy and compassion can be used to guide and support others in meeting a mutual end. This is so important in business as we hope to influence clients, employees and associates to match their behavior to the needs of a mutual enterprise.
My company, Aesthetica, Film, Photography and Video, deals with three or four offerings which together require a sophisticated approach to a potentially diverse client base. I’ll go through these areas one by one in order to describe the ways in which Dale Carnegie’s ideas may best be put to use in this context.
My company approaches Film in two distinct ways. One is as a company offering individuals to fill crew positions we need to emphasis client/contractor relations in contract negotiations, honoring of contracts and in supporting the overall health of productions within the roles we are contracted to perform. This means that we must achieve a relationship of mutual respect and support. Techniques for doing this include providing a supportive and attentive regard to details, while maintaining proper professional conduct and business professionalism.
Our other involvement in Film is in the development of feature narrative and documentary projects. This is where Mr Carnegie ideas become most important. Knowing how to create a positive mutual environment is crucial in every stage of the project, from planning meetings, to investor relations to cast and crew camaraderie production efficiency post production planning and follow through, to marketing and distribution. All these steps require a positive, trusting environment be nourish and maintained.
Photography can be very personal for people. We are all concerned about our image is perceived and how we ourselves perceive it. In retail photography we are often dealing as much with how we make people feel about how they look as with how they look. On the commercial side making clients feel that their wishes are being met, even while we express our vision. Along the same lines as in film is maintaining a professional relationship which allows for proper professional etiquette, payment and respect.
Video production can be complex. From preproduction planning, to production and then final delivery the clients needs intermingle with the professional and personal needs of the production company. Creativity and the creation of a commercial product lead to a complex relationship wherein artistic and commercial elements are intermingled inexorably.
From the creation of proposals, to script and storyboard approval, to the negotiation of contracts, to the recruitment of crew and the casting of talent the video producer must act as both the representative of the clients needs and the commercial and artistic needs of the professional staff. The bottom line remains customer satisfaction and professional relations. The production company must always guard against individuals and entities which will seek to defraud it of it’s real intellectual property. Dale Carnegie would argue that it is the astute business person that works in turning the potential enemy and adversary into an Allie and partner in business and creativity.