We had the good fortune of connecting with Kalyne Lionheart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kalyne, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe taking risks in life/career is imperative for growth. Naturally, we as humans are afraid of taking risks. We may fear failure, rejection, and uncertainty. Taking risks allows us to explore outside of our comfort zone. Without the unfamiliarity that taking a risk provides, we may struggle with adapting to change. Consistency in the ability to recalibrate and try again is imperative to one’s success. Earlier in my career, I took many risks. (I still do to this day) Some risks are larger than others. However, each one has been a stepping stone towards my success. (Whether or not I succeeded, I still learned a valuable lesson, and to me, that is a different kind of success) I’ve taken on film and editing projects that were above my skill level, and in doing so, it made it a must to learn the skill required to execute. I personally thrive in putting myself in those types of situations because it puts pressure to learn the skill faster than if there weren’t any real-life consequences.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a director, DP, and editor. I have a production company called Lionheart Creative. Lionheart Creative is an alliance of creative resources, talented individuals, and production capabilities from Music Videos, Dance Content, and Digital Content. My videos combined have reached 200 million views and counting. Some of my clients include Capitol Records, Interscope Records, Warner Brothers, BET, CocaCola, T-Pain, Delta, American Eagle, Serena Williams, Alex Aiono, and many more. I have a background as a dancer, which actually helped transition to my new identity as a filmmaker. At the time (2015-2016, I believe), I saw a few people filming and editing dance projects. This piqued my interest in working on these projects myself, not as the talent but as the creator. Not knowing how to edit at the time, I decided to teach myself how to use Adobe Premiere. As a dancer, I believe my knowledge and perspective helped me translate the importance of musicality and match it with the beauty of cinematic footage. Editing to me is choreography with the footage. I quickly became an editor for the majority of these dance projects with a company at that time. From there, I dabbled in producing, filming, and directing over the next few years. Afterward, I started a company with a business partner for about two years before branching off and starting my own production company Lionheart Creative. Was this process easy? Of course not. At the start of my new career, I had to overcome many trials and tribulations. Some people didn’t take me seriously as an editor or filmmaker because they knew me as a separate identity. (Not to mention being a woman in a male-dominated field is never easy.) That was their set perspective. I had to work hard and stay consistent to show the doubters that this was a field that I could succeed in. Anyone has the ability to change their identity any time they desire. I believe if you want it bad enough and you’re dedicated to your new craft, you will make an impact. Don’t be afraid to start; every artist was once an amateur. “Learn by doing” has been my motto. As a director/DP, I’m constantly trying to find the deeper meaning, or at least approach things from the infinite possibility of perception. I think a lot about how we perceive things and how that plays with people psychologically. Perspection is a slippery slope. It is, by definition, subjective. That, to me, is what’s exciting about the medium of film. It allows you to direct perception and emotion. There’s tremendous power in that, and it’s also a lot of fun!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh, man. This is a terrible question for me. One, I’m kind of a lone wolf. Two, I would convince my friend visiting the area to leave the country with me instead. I’m a Los Angeles native, and because of this, places here don’t excite me much. I’d much rather travel out of the country and explore places I haven’t seen yet: Thailand, Japan, Belize, Greece, Rome, etc. However, I also believe it’s not where you are or what you’re necessarily doing but the company you have around you that makes all the difference. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I certainly wouldn’t be where I am today if my parents didn’t instill a hard-working, thick skin, and adaptable mindset. At an early age, my father taught me how to play chess. Looking back, I realize playing chess with my father had taught me valuable mental strategies that I could apply to my life and business. Both my parents taught me the value of hard work, dedication, computer skills, and communication. They have always been supportive in whatever interested me. Allowing me to be free to discover who I am and what interested me built a strong foundation for my identity. When it comes to my career as a filmmaker, I am grateful for those who saw my potential and took their own risk in hiring me when I was first starting to film in the dance and music video industry. There are far too many of these people to list them all. So if you’re reading this, you know who you are. Thank you!
Ryan Feng Drew Dizzy Graham