Mr Abe Kislevitz
We hit the slopes of Mammoth Mountain, California with GoPro’s very own downhill demon.
As senior production artist for GoPro, the weekend warrior’s camera of choice, Mr Abe Kislevitz’s job – if we can actually use the word “job” to describe such an enjoyable pursuit – is to craft the original, inspiring video content around which the brand’s image is built. To that end, the 27-year-old, San Francisco-based adrenaline junkie spends as much time in the mountains and the oceans with a camera in his hand – or strapped to his chest – as he does at a desk. The concept of a regular commute, even of a working week, is about as alien to him as freestyle skiing must be to your average briefcase-toting salaryman. This renders the question of what he does with his weekends rather redundant. After all, it’s not too different from how he spends his not-so-regular nine-to-five. Yes, we’re jealous.
Mr Kislevitz, who grew up near Portland, Oregon and skied Hood Mountain as a kid, first got his hands on a GoPro in 2008 when he was part of the University of Southern California ski team. “I remember thinking, this is going to change the way that people tell the stories of their lives.” He began posting videos to YouTube, and his work was soon noticed by GoPro, which recruited him to film a ski movie for the release of its upcoming HD camera. It was the beginning of a working relationship that would evolve into a full-time position when, after graduation from USC, he was hired as a production artist.
His timing couldn’t have been better. GoPro was still a relatively small start-up at this point, but thanks to its burgeoning love affair with the extreme sports community – of which Mr Kislevitz himself was, and still is, a member – it was all set to explode. In late 2012, after a couple of years of unparalleled growth, the Taiwanese electronics giant Foxconn invested in GoPro to the tune of a cool $200m – valuing the company at $2.25bn, and making a paper billionaire of its then 37-year-old founder, Mr Nick Woodman.
Mr Kislevitz, for his part, has been content to hang on for the ride. “I did what I love to do, as much as I could,” he says, reflecting on how he came to arrive in this enviable position. “I stuck with it day after day, weekend after weekend. Ultimately, it turned into my job.” And what a job it is. In our exclusive video, above, we ride along with Mr Kislevitz and his friends as they strike out north from San Francisco for a weekend on the slopes in Mammoth.
what mr Kislevitz is wearing
Film by Mr Antony Crook