Man hopes to inspire with backward journey over 35 years

Sam Klemke began filming himself 35 years ago long before the term vlogger even existed using Super 8 film and a separate audio recorder because his camera couldn't record sound.

He hoped that one day he would have the technology to merge the video and audio. He has been recording himself every year for the last 35 years, and last month he posted the edited clips in a single video that shows his life backwards.

The video has gone viral, racking up nearly 700,000 views online. Klemke now finds himself doing interviews with stations all over the world. He is even being called the first vlogger by some

"I've always had this fascination that you could capture time with a movie camera," he says to KVAL News. "I remember being fascinated that you could look at a film with Jimmy Stewart in the 70s. And then you could also look at one of him in the 30s and you could see, oh my God, you could see a 40-year span of his life right before your eyes with two separate movies."

Inspired by the Elvis Presley, Klemke set out to produce his video.

"I got to see Elvis the year before he died, in '76," he tells KVAL News. "So his death at age 42, it just kind of hit me, life is so ephemeral."

The end result, filmed in 17 locations all around the United States, takes the audience on a journey as Klemke grows younger. It starts with him as a white-bearded, larger man and travels backward through time. We see Klemke's hair getting darker, his glasses changing and his weight fluctuating.

The video ends with him saying the project is an "annual personal status report" with the purpose of stimulating growth and improvement each year. While he doesn't say if the project has simulated growth, he does states that, despite not making any money in his efforts, he's "having a blast."

Klemke says that based on comments, he thinks his backward journey is forcing young people to think about their own mortality, but hopes to inspire people to relax and have some fun.

He tells KVAL News, "You are never too old to experience joy. That's what I want to express."