Despite what my title says, I identify as a filmmaker. It is what has come to shape me. Define me. Challenge how I view the world. This wasn’t the case only in young adulthood, when I was training to be a professional in classical piano. Although my fingers touched keys and not cameras, this part of my life shaped my journey into film and undoubtedly impacted my filmmaking abilities.
I never technically went to school for film. So I like to say that my journey exemplifies the art of learning by doing. Around the age of 20, when I was really into music, I met someone in the industry and my first impression was pure excitement! Since I was composing music, I had something to offer, and so began my film journey. Eventually, I switched from audio and sound production to filming and story-telling with a camera. Then, around 1993, I started on my first solo assignment with the TV program called Norge Rundt. After one week of working on the project, I had impressed my superiors and officially fell in love with the art. Everything else was history.
Being a filmmaker has given me countless opportunities to travel the globe, experiencing different people, cultures, and ways of living firsthand. Learning about the world in such a manner has been one of life’s greatest gifts.
One thing I really enjoy about photography and filming is the aesthetics. There is something so beautiful about it, something that is different from music. Music is more so a tool for channeling feelings and emotions. But for me, images can do much more. Interestingly, film still needs music and sound to fully come alive. Lucky for me, this means I get to work with my two favorite subjects. This variation keeps my job buzzing with life. Capturing beautiful images, working with light, editing sound - no two days are ever the same.
One of the most memorable projects I worked on took me to China and the Tibetan Plateau. The company we were working with wanted to show how they invested in the communities their factories impacted. In this case, they had a fund for the local school, helping the children receive higher quality educations. My biggest takeaway was how people with very little could still be so happy. Out there, in the middle of nowhere, these nomadic people were some of the most friendly, genuine, and grateful people I have ever met. To this day, I try to apply their way of life my own, reminding myself that it’s not about what we have but the importance of community, relationships, and laughter.
If we were all better listeners, the world would be a better place. There is no right or wrong, black or white. Even if it’s your enemy, you always have something to learn.
If I could do anything, I would love to be making art films with an unlimited amount of shooting time for each scene. You see, creative videography is what really fills me up the most. I love documentaries that capture a time and place, with one-in-a-lifetime lighting, moments, and feelings. The TV program Chef’s Table is a perfect example; it’s not about the food, but about the people and their dreams. And the instrumentals in this series? Don’t get me started! Ultimately, I feel deeply blessed to do what I do. From work itself to my incredibly talented and inspiring colleagues at Splæsh, I hope to be doing this for many more years to come.