New Music Mixtape: September

This September, we had a new batch of artists roll in along with the changing leaves. Ranging from the experimental electro-pop of Totem to Electric Eye’s good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll, our newest additions to the roster add their own personal flare to Marmoset’s diverse catalog. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing track to sip cider to or feel like dancing away the cloudy-day blues with upbeat dream-pop, this mix -- curated by our Music Supervision Team -- has the vibes to soundtrack your fall season.

Posted on September 29, 2016 .

Dream, Create + Submit: FilmConvert Competition

We’re thrilled to partner with FilmConvert in an awesome opportunity for upcoming filmmakers to share their work and win cool stuff. The “Color Up Film Competition” is a chance for filmmakers anywhere and (pretty much) in any genre to showcase their work. Whether your film is 10 years old or fresh off the reel, it’s fair game (see entry guidelines here). The competition is open to submissions from September 27th through October 17th and includes prizes from Sony, Rode Microphones, Wipster, ATOMOS and yours truly, Marmoset. We’ve got up to $700 in music licensing up for grabs for contest winners, and 30 percent off a one-time purchase (Independent Filmmaker License) for anyone who enters. The contest categories include: Creative Storytelling, Music Video, Action, Documentary, Commercial and Wedding. Find the right category for you, submit your film and cross your fingers. We’re looking forward to seeing what the film community comes up with!   

Posted on September 27, 2016 .

Don't Sweat It: Secret Flips the Script

Our friends at Secret are encouraging women to flip the script on stereotypical gender norms, while promising to keep their pits dry in the process. Their advertisements have affected women around the globe far beyond influencing their sweat-shield of choice, with each spot garnering millions of views on YouTube. Set to soundtracks crafted by Marmoset’s Original Music Team, we were happy to aid in Secret’s efforts of empowering women, one sweetly-scented deodorant stick at a time.

A woman shocks her confused boyfriend by proposing via fortune cookie, and presents the ring accompanied by confident guitar strums and drums, awaiting what we hope is a positive response.

Pummeling, suspenseful percussion guides a determined young woman on her way to ask her boss for a raise -- after pitching a couple test runs to the bathroom mirror.

This spot humorously explores the dreaded three dots that appear after sending the risky, first “I love you” text message to a new flame, set to an intense soundtrack of impending doom...or not.

Posted on September 26, 2016 .

Field Notes Interview #98: Kerwin Kuniyoshi, Producer + Filmmaker

A still from Kerwin's independent film, Roman's Way, premiered at the 168 Film Festival, 2012.

A still from Kerwin's independent film, Roman's Way, premiered at the 168 Film Festival, 2012.

You are not defined by your output.

Behind every moving picture lies a producer who spent hours and hours putting the pieces together to ensure the best possible outcome. Kerwin Kuniyoshi is one of those people. A producer and part-time filmmaker, his work ranges from short films to major advertisements for the likes of Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter and has included time at agencies like Avocados and Coconuts and Eleven, Inc. We chatted with him about what it’s like being the person (behind the person) behind the camera, and how social media is changing the way to look at music in advertising. Enjoy.

What’s your story? How did you get into producing?

Kerwin Kuniyoshi: In high school when I went to pick a major for college, film seemed like the best thing for me, and once I owned that I was going to do this path, I was super passionate about it…Eventually, when I was doing my own short films, I needed someone to produce it and no one would step up to the plate, so I had to do it myself. Suddenly I had this new skill set and there seemed to be more of a demand for a producer than an editor or filmmaker.

Would you say there’s a specific skill or set of skills that you learned that have served you well as a producer?

KK: Yeah…. I can use an analogy. I used to play chess. The objective in chess is to be thinking at least ten moves in advance -- and that’s the essential element of producing. You sit at a project and you think it out until you’ve exhausted every possibility. A really solid producer is someone who is a Swiss-army knife; they do whatever they need to do to get the job done.

What would you say are some of the main differences between working in advertising and working on a film?

KK: In advertising, there’s a creative aspect, but you have to think about what’s best for the client. At the end of the day, it’s the client and the ad agency that have the final cut….With film, you’re making it for yourself and with commercials you’re making it for the client.

Are you working on any films currently?

KK: I had a script I wrote that advanced in the Austin Film Festival competition and I thought I was going to make [the film]… at some point I decided it’s time for me to move away from short films.  I’m ready to hop into the big boys, so to speak.  The short was a complementary piece to a feature that I’ve been considering making for a while and am ready to start working on soon.

Can you think of any projects or situations that stand out for you as a learning experience?

KK: Every project -- I’ve learned from every project, no matter how big or small.

You recently worked for a spot that was only broadcasted on Twitter. Do you think that the rise of social media has changed the way you produce or look for music?

KK: Oh, absolutely. It’s actually changed the fabric of advertising.  Before social media and YouTube, typically commercials were in the $250-500k range on average. The main outlets for video were broadcast, so a ton of resources were put into it to make sure it was the best quality. And then all of a sudden, we had this boom in the Internet, and you had a free platform to show your client’s work… But what happened was clients were like “Why are we spending money when we can do this?” and simultaneously we had the DSLR revolution that drove the cost down to producing high quality video content. So these two things together have driven down the price of video and content creation. As a producer, I typically get a lot of low budget projects…going back to that thing of being a swiss army knife,  [I’ll] go out with a DP and a PA and I’ll come back and edit the whole piece myself, because financially it makes more sense.

"As consumers of content we’re not that phased anymore -- there has to be something really interesting or unique to catch our attention.  I feel like a big way that’s done is through music."

Would you say this low budget mentality influences what music you use?

KK: Totally -- what seems sadder is some clients will suggest online, royalty-free music sites, because they know how much money they’re giving you and it somehow shapes the mindset of “well-this works” – but like, no.

I think the biggest challenge with all of this is there is so much content being put out there on a daily basis that a lot of it is just white noise. As consumers of content we’re not that phased anymore -- there has to be something really interesting or unique to catch our attention.  I feel like a big way that’s done is through music.

Speaking of music that catches your attention, do you have a process for finding that perfect track?

KK: In advertising, I’m like a waiter in a fine dining restaurant -- my job is to give the client the best experience possible. Yes, I bring my talents and capabilities, but what I really need to bring is my ear. I need to listen to what they want and need.

What’s some of the best advice you’ve ever been given?

KK: That I am not defined by my output.

Posted on September 23, 2016 .

Marmolabs: Introducing, Collaborative Mixtapes.

Marmolabs is our digital update that highlights any updates and improvements we’ve made to our website, so you can be in the know with what’s new. Here's what we've updated this September. Enjoy. 

Marmolabs is our digital update that highlights any updates and improvements we’ve made to our website, so you can be in the know with what’s new. Here's what we've updated this September. Enjoy. 

Collaboration is key.

Great news, music enthusiasts -- we’ve combined the excitement of music discovery with the beauty of collaboration to develop Collaborative Mixtapes. Collaborative Mixtapes allow users (you!) to open up access to your Marmoset mixtapes and invite others to contribute.

To open up a playlist  for collaboration, click the “Make Collaborative” icon (aka the one that looks like a handshake). Once you’ve set the mixtape to “collaborative,” you can share the mixtape with users by simply sending the link to the mixtape.

When your colleague or friend clicks on the shared link, the browser will open straight to the mixtape on the Marmoset website. To add to the playlist, users must first login to their Marmoset account (if not already logged in), and then join as a “Collaborator” by clicking the “Join Mixtape” icon. Anyone who joins the mixtape will be listed as a “Collaborator” and credited for any songs they’ve added.

Once a user has joined, the mixtape will then be visible alongside their other mixtapes in the “My Mixtapes” drawer on their account. Collaborative mixtapes are identifiable by the handshake icon visible next to the name of the mixtape.

That said, users can share the mixtape with any number of people, but keep in mind that anyone who receives the link and joins as a "Collaborator" has the ability to alter the tracks, as well as share the link with others.

However, you can turn off collaboration on a mixtape the same way you turned it on. Then, only you will be able to alter the mixtape, as well as see the mixtape in your “My Mixtapes” drawer -- but everyone who has the link will still be able to view and listen to the mixtape via the link.

To show you just how great Collaborative Mixtapes can be, we’ve asked our team of Music Supervisors to create a few mixtapes for you to check out. 

Happy listening!

Posted on September 20, 2016 and filed under Marmolabs.

Adobe Creative Residency: Bringing “Ghost-signs” Back to Life

Nothing screams “dream job” for an artist quite like the Adobe Creative Residency. Being the artist-driven company that it is, Adobe has established an annual Creative Residency, which enables selected artists to spend a year focusing on their passion project while documenting their process to share with other creatives. This particular installment is near and dear to us -- literally. This year’s Adobe Creative Residency artist, Craig Winslow, is combining the digital and physical worlds by using projections of light to bring “ghost signs” -- washed out advertisements on the sides of historic buildings -- to life in our hometown of Portland, Oregon. The New England-native and experience designer has traversed the country to bring his passion project, “Project West,” to life and immerse himself in the creative, quirky, and whimsical community that defines Portland.

See his full journey in the project featuring Marmoset tracks, "Paceface" by The Brow, "Green Fingers (Instrumental)" by Jupyter and "Sunday Morning Shopping With a Stroller (Instrumental)" by Lullatone below:

Behind Craig’s journey is a whole other team of creatives who helped share his story with the world. We chatted with Christian Bruno from Electric Park Films about working with Winslow and his process when choosing the music.

Did you have an idea of the general music direction that you wanted to take prior to filming, or was that something you developed throughout/after the film/production process?

Christian Bruno: Much of our work at Electric Park Films is in the documentary spirit -- meaning that we go into places we've never been before and allow ourselves to respond the milieu. It requires a little bit of improvisation and a whole lot of paying attention. In this case, really listening to Craig's thoughtful insight into his creative process and paying attention to his physical world, Portland.

What mood were you hoping the music would help bring forward?

CB: Stepping into Craig's world -- his workspaces, his city and to some extent, inside his creative process -- sparked so many ideas about how we wanted to present this story. Craig's work is about exteriors -- walls, surfaces, environments -- but when you meet and talk with him, you learn how thoughtful he is and how much he is conceptualizing all the time. We had some ideas about the types of music that would portray both the exteriors and interiors of Craig and his art, but it wasn't until we saw the footage we gathered, piecing it together, that ideas of sound and music began to take shape.

Why did you decide to go with the songs/artists you did? How do you feel the songs elevate your story?

CB: I'll let our editor, the talented Julie Caskey, answer this one: “As an editor, music is my best friend, and critical in creating the feeling of the story. Typically, I’ll first digest the footage, which, when well-directed as the Craig Winslow piece was, really informs the vibe. Then, I lean on music pretty hard as the piece finds its legs. The Brow, Jupyter, and Lullatone were perfect for helping set the stage for the urban, fun story we were telling about an interesting, creative person.”

But I will chime in to say that after seeing Julie's first assemblies of the video, I feel like she zoned in so well with her music choices. Pretty much all the final tracks were the first ones she picked. And though his interview drives the final piece, we would mute the narration, and man, the music and picture married perfectly. Music does a lot of work, but so do the images. But ultimately, it's the rhythm of the edit. It's the totality. Seeing it all come together like that? It's totally why we make movies!

Posted on September 19, 2016 .