Download Our "Fun + Youthful" Mixtape

GUEST DJ: Nathan Sage // Filmmaker

There's always something new to learn and discover in the world around us, so we might as well have a good time in the process. We present ten energetic tracks that are inviting and vibrant in our new Fun + Youthful mixtape. Each song bottles a sense of wonder and enthusiastic curiosity. 

Inspired by our interview earlier this week with filmmaker, Nathan Sage, we hand-picked tracks that can drive the mood of a story. These songs will fan the flames of inspiration in your picture.  Enjoy.

Posted on January 28, 2015 .

10 Questions With Photographer + Marmoset Explorer, Luke Gram

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We believe that travel feeds the soul and ultimately creates amazing art. We're honored to be partnering with travel photographer, filmmaker and good friend Luke Gram on his expedition to Nepal which encompasses the entire creative process.

For the next few weeks, Luke will be documenting his experience abroad through photography and film. We'll be sharing his travels on our instagram (@marmosetmusic) and unveiling interviews and updates along the way.

We caught up with Luke Gram while he was in Kathmandu, and chatted about his love affair for mountains, music and mystery that only exploration can bring.

M: Who are you? Where are you from?

LG: I’m a relatively simple guy. I fell in love with the mountains and have devoted my life to chasing them. I was born in Ontario, Canada, far from the west coast and the mountains they hold.

M: Why photography?

LG: I have a terrible memory to be honest. I started bringing my camera with me so I could remember the beautiful places I went with all the wonderful people I’ve met.

M: When did you start taking pictures?

LG: I started taking photos seriously when I was 18 and moved out from my home to the west coast. Like I said, I had a lot of great opportunities to explore nature and I knew it was the kind of memories I never wanted to forget.

M: What makes a good photograph?

LG: A good photo to many is color, composition and lighting. Simply put, a good photo to me is one which has emotion. Whether it conveys it, evokes it, or reminds you of it. Emotion is key to everything

M: How do you feel travel makes good art?

LG: Travel makes good art because without it, life would blend into a monotonous routine of the norm. You need to experience new places. New people. New cultures, new ways of life, new scenes, and new memories. Without it, what else is there to life?

M: Why Nepal?

LG: Nepal has always been to me the holy grail of mountains. I love them, I live for them, and to me I can not call myself a true lover of the mountains until I’ve been to the highest of them, and the place where it is so engrained in the culture.

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M: Where are you now?

LG: I’m sitting in Pokhara by the lakeside, looking at the Himalayas.

M: What's your favorite album right now?

LG: My favorite album would be Milky Chance’s “sadneccesary”.

M: How does music play a role in what you do?

LG: Music is a huge inspiration to me. It’s essentially a mental fuel which keeps emotions high, thoughts focused, and hopes high. It stimulates a creative factor in all people I believe. It’s so universally engrained in us to keep us mentally stimulated and energetic.

M: What's coming up next on your trip?

LG: Well, I’m looking at the Himalayas and planning our route into them, so that’s what lays in store.

Field Notes: An interview with filmmaker, Nathan Sage

When it comes to filming a scene, it's not just about visuals, it's about setting a tone. The films of Nathan Sage do just that. Sage's short films are interwoven visual and sonic tapestries of texture, sound and mood, creating an immersive world that sticks with you.

Often using the subject of food and culture in his work for culinary magazine Life & Thyme, Nathan Sage vividly captures and redefines the role of character in his films. The entire landscape that he shoots becomes a developing story while using music as a driving force. Sage's pieces set a strong and indelible aesthetic. 

In our conversation with Nathan, he opened up about his filmmaking process and the importance of having music help guide his visuals.

M: When did you know you wanted to be a filmmaker?

NS: When I first saw Steven Spielberg’s film “Minority Report.” The visions of the pre-cogs were so dream-like, scrubbing forward and back through the fabric of time, with such beauty and grit all mixed into one gripping scene. The image seemed to ripple with light at times, as if we were viewing the world through a river. Think about it—no other medium of storytelling can do that—not a novel, not a still photo—only a motion picture can do that.

M: What's your favorite moment of the filmmaking process?

NS: Getting the shot. Because that’s the thing we pull our hair out over, as filmmakers. We labor over what to tell, or *not* tell, the person in front of the camera (it’s so easy to jinx things), searching for just an instant or two when everything falls into place.

M: What do you think defines a filmmakers' "voice"?

NS: I saw this behind-the-scenes video of David Fincher scouting a location for one of his films—he walks around the location looking through a point-and-shoot camera, and then he gets down, way down, holding the camera just a foot or so above the ground. And it occurred to me that just that sensibility, about where to put the camera, is so indicative of voice. Fincher’s films are marked by this propensity to get down and see the undersides of things—the underworld of crime in a city, the backroom deals that made Facebook, the hidden stroke of wickedness in a marriage. And for Fincher, that’s his voice.

M: How did Life & Thyme come about?

NS: It started with a few friends around a table. My friend Antonio Diaz founded Life & Thyme, and I remember one night in particular he invited everyone over to his apartment and fed us a homemade dinner of pozole, and we sat around telling stories. In a way, that has been the spirit of Life & Thyme all along—food has just served as the perfect fabric to tie us together, the perfect subject to tell stories about. 

M: How do you feel food and culture intersect?

NS: I think the two are inseparable, and they are so indicative of a sense of time and place. If you go to the noodle bar at the Grand Central Market here in LA at lunchtime, you’ll find yourself shoulder-to-shoulder with cops and teachers and construction workers, many of them Spanish-speaking, dousing their won ton soup liberally with Tapatio hot sauce and limes. LA is this big brilliant cauldron, where so many cultures brush shoulder to shoulder, experiencing each other’s sense of viewpoint and taste. I love that.

M: Do you always have a clear vision in mind when filming?

NS: Yes. I have the image I see in my mind, and then I have the image I see through the lens. So much of what I do is in trying to reconcile the two—make the image on the screen look more like the image in my mind. Sometimes, though, it goes the other way.

M: Are there ever any happy accidents when filming?

NS: My first film with Antonio was on Handsome Coffee, a local roaster in LA at the time. We marched into Handsome planning to capture a stylized, close-up view of a pour-over method of brewing coffee, but were immediately disabused of that notion—it wasn’t going to work, because that just wasn’t how they made coffee there. So, in our scrambling to find a plan B, we ended up focusing more on the people behind it—we honed in on the story of Tyler Wells, and his own personal journey. That film blew up in a way none of us could have expected, and forced us to re-think our approach to food (in a good way). 

M: What role do you feel music has in film?

NS: I think music is the thing that sticks the film in your soul. It’s the thing I find myself whistling long after I’ve left the theater, or listening to as I walk down the street. It allows you to really enter the world of the story like nothing else does. I often find myself making music the first thing I seek out for a film, even before I’ve figured out quite what a film will look like.

M: When do you know that you have something ready to show the world?

NS: I tend to do many cuts of a short film, usually changing just a few little things slightly from cut to cut. And I have to sit on the cut for a while and watch it again and again, because often an edit that I liked on Monday will drive me up the wall by Wednesday. I find deadlines have as good a way as any to tell you when it’s time to close the door.

M: How do you feel music is misused in projects?

NS: Well, I’ll tell you this—it can really ruin your mojo to cut a film to music you can’t use in the end. Perhaps that’s one way to truly gain an appreciation for the effect of good music—it’s unique, textured, irreplaceable.

M: What's coming up?

NS: I’m working on a short film for Life & Thyme in partnership with Verve Coffee that crosses the line from documentary to cinema. So much of what we’ve done before has merely utilized a cinema lighting style and aesthetic, but in order to really capture a feeling, I find myself wanting to go further and further in the direction of the movies I love. So “Prelude” is a short film about coffee, but it’s really a short film about a city waking up.