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Master of the moving image: Swedish DP Carl Nenzen Loven
It's always interesting to look at how someone discovered their passion for working in the film industry and the path they traversed in order to make it happen. For Swedish cinematographer Carl Nenzen Loven, who served as the cinematographer on the music videos for "The Light" by Sailli and "Keep" from Philadelphia's celebrated indie pop duo Twiceyoung, his initial interest in photography was the spark that lit the match and ultimately sent him off on a lifelong love affair with visual storytelling.

"I started still photography at the age of 15, and I must have been 20 when I decided that I felt the medium was limiting me. I was craving for three dimensional movement in my photos and struggled how to express it," Loven admits. "I am by no means an expert photographer, I am still learning every day, but I felt it was hard for me to tell the story I wanted to. And like most people my professional career just started with someone giving me a rare opportunity."

 

That rare opportunity came when he was asked to come on board the production of the music video for indie Korean artist Sailli's song "The Light" directed by Haansol Rim. With an already proven track record for shooting on film thanks to his history with photography Loven was the perfect choice as the cinematographer for the video.

 

"The director Haansol Rim wanted to shoot 35mm mixed with Super 16, and using only natural lighting? it all just came together on a San Franciscan rooftop," recalls Loven. "Haansol's idea just blew my mind in pre-production, and I loved that he wanted to shoot it on film."

Loven brilliantly captures the music video's visual story, which depicts a dancer (Danielle Derisse) on a rooftop whose body we can see moving to an emotive interpretation of the music, but whose face is hidden by an commingling of different, constantly changing, body parts. The music video, which is intended to 'portray an existentialist struggle of one who seeks individuality,' earned great praise upon its premiere at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.

Haansol Rim says, "Carl was a vital part of the creative process in the making of the music video for The Light and the final product wouldn't have been the same without him. His creative eye and expertise were a necessary part of the video and the production would've been severely lacking without Carl."

 

Using only natural light and drawing upon his experience in photography Loven captured the eerie vibe the director was after using film stock with finesse. While the intensity of the sun on the San Francisco rooftop on the day of the shoot posed challenges, Love?n was there to meet them.

 

"Meter, meter, and yet again meter," explains Loven. "The sun was blasting that day and using a video assist on a film camera is impossible to use for lighting. I took out my light meter and just got crazy metering every possible thing I cared for. And with several rehearsals we eventually managed to get it all together."

With the success and praise earned from his work as the cinematographer on the music video for Sailli's "The Light" it was only a matter of time, and a rather short time at that, before Loven's next cinematography project presented itself. Soon after the release of "The Light" he was tapped to come on board as the cinematographer for the official music video for Twiceyoung's  "Keep."

 

From Twiceyoung's 2017 Uneven Kind EP, "Keep" offers up an ethereal and melancholic vibe with breathy vocals and a gentle building electronic rhythm. Soundwise "Keep" generates a feeling of yearning for a love that is on the brink of fading out, an idea that comes across perfectly in the music video.

 

"It is a music video showing the struggling love between two individuals, and the love between them," explains Loven. "This one was such a fun ride to be on. The first thing the director said 'So I want them to come straight out the white. Like milk in a bathtub'."

From the bright white shots of the body slowly emerging out of a bathtub full of milk to the two lovers engaging in a dance that brings them together and takes them apart and the shots of a single hand moving in honey, each scene is carefully captured through Love?n's lens. It's easy to see how his early beginnings in photography has led him to build his career as a cinematographer.

Though Love?n has earned wide success for his work as the cinematographer behind popular music videos, he's no stranger to shooting narrative films as well. In fact, he recently wrapped production as the cinematographer on the upcoming film "I Will Make You Mine," which is due out next year and  is the third installment in the "Surrogate Valentine" trilogy.

"For me it was was a calling sort of? I liked the idea of art, but couldn't draw a straight line. When I picked up a camera it all made sense," recalls Loven. "It was those early mornings on the way to high school, when I got stuck daydreaming to whatever tune that was on my iPod, that's when I realised that was the way I saw life. Like I was third person, observing myself. To me, I don't think I could do anything else."

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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