Today we’d like to introduce you to Kyle Pahlow.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I got my start making surf and skateboard films with my friends on the east coast. With the movement towards digital video and non-linear editing, opportunities to make things became more possible for young people starting out. I went to film school in Philadelphia, PA and wasn’t exactly sure where my focus should be, but I always enjoyed shooting. While in school I did a lot of reading and research on my own, in addition to being exposed to some wonderful teachers and mentors who inspired me. It wasn’t long before I fell in love with the craft of cinematography. I was captivated by the unsung heroes behind my favorite films who all seemed like such down to earth and wise people. I’ve been pursuing a career as a cinematographer ever since.
I have always tried to find the balance between documentary work and narrative as I am fascinated by their interplay. Especially as it applies to handheld camerawork as a visual language in commercials and narrative films. By no conscious design of my own, I came up through documentary work and yet have always prided myself on being focused on the craft of lighting. My ethos is that which has been maintained by many brilliant cinematographers before me: everything must be done in the name of the story. If you aren’t serving the greater good of the story than your efforts are lost.
I am obsessed with getting better and being challenged by the people I work with. I am honored to be a part of a journey and a realization of one goal.
Please tell us about your art.
I believe that craft comes first and that the craft allows you to be artistic. I am hired for my eyes and my taste; so much of what I do is instinctual. How I do something is always going to be different than another person and that is what makes what we do as cinematographers special. I am brought onto a project to realize the goal of the director.
The takeaway is two-fold for me: My hope is that the audience feels something and is moved by the work, and I aim for my crew to feel good about what they are doing and the people they are working with.
What do you think about conditions for artists today? Has life become easier or harder for artists in recent years? What can cities like ours do to encourage and help art and artists thrive?
Artists have always had a tough road. On a very basic level, they often cultivate and build communities that then go on to be so expensive that they must move to the next place to cultivate. I believe it is a great time to be an artist as there are so many avenues to express your voice. Communities can support artists by going to art shows, attending screenings, and realizing the value in what artists offer as a whole.
- Website: www.kylepahlow.com
- Instagram: @kylepahlow