Buoyed by Twin Passions of Surfing and Running Her Own Video Production Company, Redondo Beach’s Marci Klein Is Riding High
- Written byNancy Sokoler Steiner
- Photographed byJeff Berting
It’s a Friday morning, which means Marci Klein is catching the waves in Redondo Beach. There’s plenty of work waiting for her at the office, but Friday mornings are reserved for surfing, which feels as vital to her as, well, water.
“Surfing grounds me,” says Marci, who lives with her family in Redondo, 12 blocks from the beach. She lived on the Westside only a year before realizing she needed to be closer to the water. “It refreshes me and helps me be my best self. Half my ideas come to me in the water.”
She learned the sport while attending UC San Diego, where the campus overlooks La Jolla’s beaches. “The boys were doing it, and I love the beach, so I would surf with the guys from school,” says Marci, a self-described tomboy who played tennis in high school and learned to fly-fish from her father. “I was one of the few female surfers at the time.”
“Surfing grounds me. It refreshes me and helps me be my best self. Half my ideas come to me in the water.”
Smitten, she gave up tennis to spend more time in the water. “Some people go to church or do yoga. For me, surfing is a spiritual experience where I can connect with myself,” she says, noting that she can adjust her work schedule to accommodate her passion.
Marci, who has taken solo surfing trips to Bali and Costa Rica, gets in the water whenever she can. “If the waves are good, I go,” she says.
Her video production company, Klein Creative Media, creates promotional videos for businesses and individuals. A recent job took her to Laguna Hills to film vignettes of therapist Chandra Baylor describing her nine areas of specialization.
There, Marci and her camera operator replaced set lights and a chair to take advantage of the natural light in the room. They tinkered with Chandra’s angle and the items in the background, taking photographs to get the framing just right. “Small adjustments make big differences in the picture,” Marci says. She instructed the cameraman to shoot 23.98, referring to the frames per second. “It’s more cinematic.”
With the teleprompter ready, Marci coached Chandra before beginning to shoot. “You’re going to be looking directly at the camera. I’ll have you do two takes so we have a backup. Be yourself and have fun.”
Marci’s work benefits from her background in television production. Starting as a production assistant, she climbed the ranks to roles of director, supervising producer and senior producer. She worked on E! Entertainment Television, Dr. Phil and Inside Edition and directed Greg Kinnear’s first network television show, Best of the Worst. She is a member of both the Directors Guild and the Producers Guild of America.
A career highlight involved working on Dick Clark’s Your Big Break, which she describes as “American Idol before its time.” Marci produced videos about the contestants—all hoping for their big break—which aired before they performed. She traveled around the country to film the vignettes.
She left television production to raise her two sons, now 17 and 18, with her husband, Ken. In time, she started making videos for friends and acquaintances. There were bar mitzvah and vacation videos, and a video for a plastic surgeon performing a pro bono makeover.
In 2017 Marci found office and studio space five blocks from the Redondo Beach Pier and formally opened her business. Working with real estate clients, she decided she needed a drone, which at that time required users to be licensed pilots. Despite her fear of heights, Marci became a sport pilot at the age of 50. Drone piloting has come in handy for many shoots, including the San Diego-based launch of a newly built ship for a major shipping company. Her footage aired on the local news.
She is currently working on Fly Girls, a documentary about five flight attendants learning to become commercial pilots through a program with a major airline. The women have become a support group for one another. Marci has followed them for a year and will track them until they interview for pilot positions with their airline.
She has embraced her South Bay community, serving as a public arts commissioner for the city of Redondo Beach and the member services chair for the Redondo Beach Chamber of Commerce. She sits on the board of Waterfront Education, a nonprofit designed to educate students and the public about ocean stewardship through hands-on programs, classes and summer camps.
Marci and Ken belong to the King Harbor Yacht Club and last year purchased a 35-foot motor yacht, which they named the Mar Sea. “It’s like having an oceanfront house,” says Marci, who recently took the vessel on a girls’ trip to Catalina with two friends.
The South Bay lifestyle clearly agrees with her. “I’m really grateful because I’m living my best life,” she says. “I can’t believe I’m so fortunate.”