The ultimate journey to StudioFest begins now. As we make the trek from Portland, Oregon to the Catskill Mountains of Phoenicia, the upcoming weekend will be filled with non-stop music to the multifaceted sides to filmmaking (need to catch up on what StudioFest is, check it out here).
Our Creative Licensing Team assembled the ultimate playlist to get you amped up. Follow the link below to get listening and stay tuned for more information about the winning filmmakers & screenwriters!
As active members of our community, Marmoset isn't only focused on making advances in the music world — instead, we see the world as just that, a big place with an array of opportunities waiting for others to step in to make a difference. Being socially responsible and aware of our physical impact (hello, carbon footprint) means doing our part, not just twiddling our thumbs as others lead the way.
After all, we are an office of 50 or so employees of whom are operating busily from electronic devices; whether that means our onsite original music studio (guess how many electronic fueled instruments and gadgets are in there) or the everyday computers plugged into an outlet.
Being responsibly energy-wise means a lot of things for Marmoset, it's not an easy feat as we continue to grow but it's something we can't choose to ignore. Doing our own part, like composting, using office lights sparingly in summertime (with great natural light, we really can't complain) and installing hand dryers in the bathroom to replace paper towel usage.
These elements pieced together in conjunction with our efforts toward creating a remarkable workplace for each Marmoset employee means looking at our mission from all angles. It's one of the many reasons we've decided to participate and speak at the upcoming Shades of Green forum (produced by Prism Point) on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018. Marmoset CEO and co-founder, Ryan Wines and other keynotes will dive into the topic of inclusivity and spotlighting hiring practices toward underrepresented individuals.
The initiative is a somewhat unique for Shades of Green as the program typically invites companies that contribute to the energy industry more directly. However, with Marmoset's initiatives toward building a progressive workplace (through how we impact our environment and workforce), the conversation will be anything but lackluster.
"The mission of Shades of Green is to bring awareness to some of the actions that are needed to build diversity in the energy industry," says Linda Woodley, Principal and Senior Director. "This is the inaugural year for Forum and outreach has been extended throughout the industry to include energy regulators, HR professionals, program designers and implementers, marketing professionals, legal professionals and industry executives and legal professionals to name a few."
With attendees traveling from across 20 different states, the event is expected to stir up a conversation for Portland's growing and evolving industries. And the conversation while tough, is overdue for Portland, a city where gentrification and urban changes are happening right now.
We'll be showing up for our community, ready to speak on the topics we do understand while also seeking out knowledge for the areas we can do better.
Last week we introduced our sponsorship and anticipation for Pickathon Festival. As we set up our tents and camping gear on Pendarvis farm, we nestled into our home for the next few days. It's an unforgettable experience to many who were in attendance and a journey best described from a first-person perspective from a long time admirer of Pickathon (and other festivals). And so, we asked Jamie McMullen, one of Marmoset's Music Licensing Coordinator to capture her experience in her own words.
In this special edition of this journal takeover, Jamie guides us through her story with music and her arrival at what festivals like Pickathon mean to her. Read below to discover more:
I remember my early adolescence in Providence, Rhode Island. I would have sleepovers at my friend’s house on the east side of town. We would walk across the city and pay $5 on a Friday night to see live music at either Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel (the Westminster St. location) or the non-profit artist residency, AS220, that still stands strong today. I remember attending the free summer concerts that Brown University's radio station, WBRU, put on each year at India Point Park.
My love for music has been strong since I could walk and this was the first experience of seeing it in my community. In front of me. Experiencing live music at this age was so crucially important to me and has helped shape who I am as a musician, music lover and the chosen career path I am on today.
It does not go unnoticed to me that Pickathon brings this experience to children, adolescents and adults of all ages. Unfortunately, Portland has lost a handful of all ages venues and DIY spaces (shout out to The Artistery!) due to the inevitable gentrification of the city the last handful of years. I am relieved to know that Pickathon is here to stay and gives an opportunity to help shape our youth’s love for music. And It is here to revive every adult's love for music as well — including myself.
If you aren't young already, you will feel young again when at Pickathon. When there, you find yourself charged up with an infinite amount of energy to catch as many music sets as possible, to take in the experience with the people around you. It's a time to feel inspired and recharged spiritually over and over again. I even overheard people calling it "Tenderfest".
For one small weekend, the worry and hardships I all too often carry around, disappear into the woods. People really do come together for the sake of music, nature and humanity’s bond — 20-year-old hipsters, families with tiny babies and children, and couples in their 70s are all in attendance. Almost every artist I saw perform mentioned how incredible the opportunity was to play at this magic festival.
A few clients of mine soon became friends this weekend. Five of us girls spent an entire day and night running around like teenagers — it felt so freeing. Together, we explored the psychedelic installations hanging from the trees and the light show that was displayed over the white canopy of sails that decorated the sky at night. I felt the Mali group, Tinariwen, put me in a trance with their hypnotic rhythms. I was captivated by The Weather Station's Tamara Lindeman, as I related to the stories in her songs. I laughed a lot. And you bet I cried my eyes out when Phosphorescent played "Song for Zula" to a congregation of people in the forest.
There were many more perfect moments in between the ones I mentioned, but I will keep them to myself. My soul needed a weekend such as this — it needed camping, being surrounded by music and other souls who were equally filled to the brim with all of the good vibes. Hopefully next year, you can join me in this memorable kind of journey at Pickathon.
Every filmmakers' dream is to secure enough funding and grounding to adapt their short film into a feature. After all, the longer format is more or less the standard for mainstream movies, so if an artist can create content on this kind of scale, it's proof they can hold their own.
In a way, it's a calling card not only for a filmmaker's creative prowess but it's a tangible qualification in the film industry — it's indicative of endurance and resourcefulness.
In case you missed it, we've teamed up with StudioFest this year, sponsoring their one of a kind festival that's setting out to reward winning filmmakers + screenwriters financial contribution and support in adapting a short film idea into a feature length movie. And in case you missed it, here's more about our sponsorship of the fest.
In anticipation of the festival's last call for entries this week (late deadline: August 3rd, 2018 — $65), we reached out to co-founder of StudioFest, Jess Jacklin, to learn more about what makes the fest a pioneer within the traditional festival circuit.
Marmoset: Could you tell us a little bit about your background in filmmaking and your experience with the festival circuits? Was there a defining moment where you realized how much of a need there was for something like StudioFest?
Jacklin: I started out producing for a big agency in New York and during that time I spent four years working on and off making a documentary film about my grandfather and the Chesapeake Bay I grew up on.
When I got onto the festival circuit with the film, I realized pretty quickly that a lot filmmakers were searching for a way to turn their shorts into a feature. One great aspect of festivals is networking and I did get a sense for this pretty quickly.
So many festivals seem to be about ticket sales and are for movie-goers. They might not always be offering the most to filmmakers themselves looking for financing. My partner Charles Beale and I came up with the idea that we should really find a way to help emerging talent to make the leap from short to feature.
There are real barriers to go from a short to feature. The costs, even for a micro-budget project, are difficult for someone starting out. It was clear that there was a lot of talent but not a ton of resources. StudioFest is the first of its kind, a new take on the traditional model, and we hope it’s going to meet a real need for the filmmakers of today.
Marmoset: What's your vision for the future of StudioFest?
Jacklin: To start, we want make a film a year with the winning writing/directing duo. Right now we think it would be really cool to take the festival on the road. Perhaps the West Coast next year and maybe even a Europe fest someday soon.
Marmoset: What's something you're most excited about for StudioFest?
Jacklin: I’m excited to see our judges, finalists, and sponsors together over a bonfire talking about movies. We are so thrilled with the caliber of talent we have on board for this year. I am probably most excited for the moment when the dust has settled and we have our winners locked in prepping the film.
Marmoset: What would be some advice you'd pass along to someone submitting their short film or screenplay to the fest?
Jacklin: We are looking for sensibility. Show us what you are capable of as a writer or director. We also want to see an understanding of micro-budget filmmaking.
If you wrote a film that requires extensive CGI or a period piece, it might be harder to imagine. That said, we are looking for your talent. How do you write dialogue? How do you use a camera to tell a story? How well do you work with actors? Do you use little resources well and are you inventive? We really want filmmakers who are down to get in the mud with us, roll up their sleeves and have a lot of fun in the process.
The last deadline to submit an application to StudioFest is August 3rd. Learn more and apply here.
When you wanna rock 'n' roll, you'll find a way to do it. It's one of the reasons why Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls has launched into the success it has — with its focus and mission to remove hindering barriers, others can learn and play music freely.
The premise behind the program is to provide education, encouragement, even guidance for young individuals who love music but may not have had an opportunity to explore the making of it all. There's no doubt female musicians can shred just as much as anyone else, but there's still a lot of overcoming to do — in and out of the music world.
When factoring how most media industries are still dominated by the male counterpart — we're especially talking about the ratio of male to female producers, executives, record label managers — programs such as this aim to level the playing field. It's a designated place where young girls can seek mentorship, ask questions and just express themselves. It's something Marmoset believes in full-heartedly, so there was no second guessing when extending support to their mission.
Sponsoring Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls means partaking in a more hands on way within the community. It means sharing our commitment for making music to a whole new level — branching out and sharing the stage with others. Kristi Balzer, the camp's Executive Director shared with us why she believes the program has been so successful nationwide.
"I believe the mission of Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls continues to strike a chord with women, girls, and gender expansive folk across the globe because there is still a real need for safe spaces," says Balzer. "Where you not only can explore your creative endeavors, but also where you feel like you are part of community that supports you and encourages an open dialog around and tools for combating social injustice. Rock Camp is a revolution, empowering it's community to amplify their voices to create a just and safe world for everyone, and that has a powerful impact on all of us."
Another great quality about the program is how attendees don't even need to admire rock 'n' roll music; from hip hop to folk, all genres can be pursued and are explored freely. And no instrument? No problem. The camp is equipped to lend campers the necessary tools to participate and learn — no one is left out.
The camp might seem unimportant to those who never have faced any sort of societal pressure to be or act a certain way due to their gender. Or perhaps some reading this may be lucky enough to have never had to prove their worth due to being a minority in a group/classroom/team/career field. But just because someone hasn't experienced such an obstacle firsthand or can't identify with such experiences, doesn't mean their neighbor hasn't. It's a legitimate cause for why Rock 'n' Roll Camp continues championing change in the community; Balzer even notes the real impact she's seen occur with attendees.
"I hear from parents every summer how transformative this camp has been for their kiddos," says Balzer. "I hear the phrase 'she really came out of her shell this week' a lot. Because we've been around nearly 20 years, we also have adults who are involved with Rock Camp today, who essentially grew up attending camp, and their lives too have invariably been shaped by their experience in Rock Camp."
So how can you contribute to the program's initiative alongside Marmoset's sponsorship? Balzer mentions the camp is currently in a growth phase, meaning, there's a huge focus on launching new programming to serve the youth beyond the Portland Metro area. With their goal of setting up a permanent residence in a building of their very own, the program is always seeking donations through their Donor Drum Circle.
Those interested can sign up to make an automatic monthly donation via the camp's website at www.girlsrockcamp.org/donate. It's the support from the community that helps programs such as this flourish, therein extending opportunities to those who otherwise wouldn't have this kind of access to creativity and education.
"As a parent of two girls myself, I can also personally attest to the power of what we do at Rock Camp," says Balzer. "I truly believe my girls will grow up to be strong advocates for themselves and for others, be more tolerant and more likely to try new things because they are a part of the Rock Camp community."
(*Rock 'n' Roll Camp for Girls welcomes all campers who self-identify as female, trans, or gender non-conforming to apply to be a camper at Rock’n’Roll Camp For Girls.)