For Bret Nielsen, executive producer and owner of Fueled Creative, all he needed was a spark—to defy the odds, grow, succeed, and in turn, give back.
Fifteen years ago, Nielsen was used to being in the forefront as he raced motorcycles semi-professionally. At the precipice of making a name for himself, he suffered an injury that took a toll on his racing career. But, he took with him a knack for persuasion and an infalliable drive. With an unapologetic ambition, he was able to convince a production company to take a risk on him to participate in the creation of an independent movie about the Northwest bike scene.
Through the process, Nielsen discovered a deep appreciation and skill for behind-the-scenes production work and quit his job as a seasonal racer and bike salesman. After learning the ropes through stints at a casting company and ad agencies, Nielsen decided to take his dreams into his own hands in 2001 by starting Fueled Creative, a video production company based in Seattle. The business has thrived, earning Fueled Creative a reputation for excellence, professionalism, and innovation. Success with Microsoft partnerships and producing a Superbowl commercial—the only company in the Northwest to earn the coveted opportunity—allowed Nielsen to utilize his immense resources to give a hand to local, talented hip hop artists. And in typical Fueled Creative fashion, this philanthropic venture has ambitions, too.
“Fueled Creative wants to own the independent music video scene in the Pacific Northwest,” says Nielsen. This drive grew in Nielsen from the day he was born. In a situation where others may make excuses for their failures or become down-trodden in life, Nielsen refused to allow an early misfortune in his life to define who he was.
“I was found in a rolled-up paper bag on the steps of a Seoul police department,” says Nielsen. “Chosen out of a thousand babies in an extremely blessed situation, I was adopted from Korea just before adoption abroad was closed off. That’s a gift I don’t take for granted, so I push to live life to the fullest and absolutely get up in the morning and do what needs to be done. I work really hard … and owe it to my supportive family who gave me that chance to give back.” This appreciation for his personal history drove him to extend fortune to others.
Fueled Creative, a company that specializes in producing and directing commercials, corporate videos and independent film, gives back through independent efforts to support local underground hip hop artists and their dreams.
By offering professional grade services to emerging artists, Nielsen hopes to perpetuate the scene through his enthusiasm, and with the use of the latest and greatest editing tools that provide the opportunity for quality music videos that local artists may not otherwise have.
“I want to give Seattle people a chance,” says Nielsen. “Yell at the top of my lungs that there is a [music] scene here. There’s talent here … I believe in our artists.”
Equipped with ambition, tenacity and motivation, Nielsen’s ability to inspire, and his continued belief in the success of others, has allowed him to reach his own dreams while giving others a chance to fulfill theirs.
“Success is no longer defined by fame, fortune, cars and money like when I was younger,” says Nielsen. “Success is the admiration of people that believe in you because you believe in them equally … I’ve learned that it’s not the size of your wallet or the cut of your suit but the relationships you keep that are important. No producer is at their caliber without the trust of the people around them.”
Nielsen is the first to admit he can’t do it all on his own.
“I’m fortunate to have found a wonderful collective team of ambitious and supportive, honorable misfits who blessedly see me as a worthy leader,” expressed Nielsen.
“Fueled is like a family, a family of people that really enjoy working with each other,” says Christine Aguiling, Fueled’s make-up artist and talent. “They love what they do and the quality that they consistently put into their work regardless of what type of shoot they do is something Bret has helped establish within the company.”
With a solid team backing their body of work, Nielsen and Fueled Creative have taken on the endeavor that allows his team the artistic outlet they desire while giving back to a community he loves.