Local cinematographer turns his focus to Ballard wildlife

A local videographer has taken up filming Ballard wildlife (and farm animals).

Ballardite Mike Geyer, who describes himself as an amateur cinematographer, started his foray into filmmaking during the pandemic. He told My Ballard he studied filmmaking on YouTube, practiced his aesthetic skills, and started to make his own short films using his iPhone and a drone.

Geyer’s background is as a technology consultant for Adobe and says he loves the intersection of storytelling and technology. He says he got into it when making short home videos about his kids.

“While I’d love to film my kids (currently Ballard High School junior and freshman), I’ll find more receptive subjects in our lovely and interesting neighborhood,” Geyer said.

“Louie, our 7-year-old labradoodle who sees my filming projects as a great excuse to walk together in Golden Gardens, Shilshole Marina, etc., and our two backyard/free range ducks (Joey and Chandler, both girls, both 3 years old, both pandemic babies!) tend to be the most frequent ‘stars’ in my films.  Not only are they, along with our location, visually interesting, they help carry a story along.”

Joey and Chandler are the stars of Geyer’s latest film, “How to Duck.”

Geyer said his inspiration comes from the notion that “art is the transfer of emotion of time and space.”

He says he’s inspired by the beauty of Ballard, “especially in the ‘nooks and crannies’ – those places where we tend to walk past and are only seen when you take a slower stroll and let your focus drift off for a moment or two.

“I look for unusual, yet perfectly acceptable, places to explore. Ballard’s alleys, our little parks and beaches, the gritty train tracks between Market Street and Salmon Bay, the glasses hanging at Kiss Café, the locks, Sunday Market, every single aisle in Ballard Reuse. I’ll walk around, as if I’m wearing a suit made of fly paper, and see what sticks. Maybe there’s a story, a something? So, I walk around. I’ll shoot a little something, tuck it into my pocket like it’s a found puzzle piece and hope to put it together and share it with you.”

Geyer says the storytelling desire is deep within him, almost primal.

“From what I have learned, this is as common human desire that goes back to cave paintings and telling stories by a fire.”

Geyer publishes all his work on his YouTube channel. His latest work? “A lovely red woodpecker” that he came upon at Golden Gardens Park.