Posts filed under Filmmaking

Jumping Up and Down with Freedust's New Music Video

Jump Up and Down” by Freedust beams confidence with its hybrid of jazz, swing and pop and contagiously upbeat rhythmic qualities. If possible to visualize the music notes radiating beyond the beats, the music group delivers exactly what we were imagining — pulsating creativity, the music video packs a punch with colorful stop motion graphics, moving illustrations and of course a dance routine that makes us want to jump up, down, and all around.

Check out more of Freedust’s music here and get your Friday started by clicking play.

Music Video Credits: Director / Producer - Stefano Ottaviano, Lead Design - Animation Martina Savoldelli, Design - Aria Ngimbi, Giulia Flamini, Stop Motion Animator - Dele Nuga, Virginia Fonderico, Stop Motion Dop - Efe Onikinci, Live Action Dop - Vlad Jako, Color grade - Nicola Bruno

Posted on January 11, 2019 and filed under Marmoset, Music, Filmmaking, Artist Spotlights.

Original Music and Filmmaking Come Together for A/VEC 5

Filmmaking and original musical composition are two creative worlds that intermix every day at Marmoset.

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With every notable film throughout history in the accompaniment of an outstanding soundtrack (or even sound design), we recognize this creative friendship, coming together as a community to celebrate Marmoset’s fifth installment of A/VEC. This year we brought together two talented artists, filmmaker Claudia Meza and Luz Mendoza of Y La Bamba.

Meza’s background in documentary filmmaking, her roots rest firmly in music. It was in this medium where Meza found another calling and natural obsession for video production. After working alongside She Shreds magazine, Meza began shooting content on the fly, naturally falling in tune with documentary style filmmaking.

Gathered at Marmoset headquarters, the short film shines a light on the unseen, backbreaking physical labor performed by migrant workers every day in the United States. It's a poetic testimonial transcending the general outlook of immigration, presenting an experimental yet informative documentary that never compromises identities.

“Trabajo pesado, what that means is hard work, it means heavy work,” says Meza. “And whenever your parents tell you to study, or tell you what they're doing for you so you don’t have to do — Trabajo pesado.”

The audio heartbeat of the film is within Y La Bamba's original music created just for this special event and scored live on the night of the A/VEC community screening; the purple light that cascades over Mendoza and her band is emotively symbolic of America’s aching, turbulent grasp of its immigrant issue. It’s an evening that pays homage to lineage, history, roots, culture and art — click PLAY on the video above to experience it yourself.

Migrant workers depicted in Director Claudia Meza’s A/VEC short film — premiered at Marmoset Headquarters.

Migrant workers depicted in Director Claudia Meza’s A/VEC short film — premiered at Marmoset Headquarters.


Posted on December 12, 2018 and filed under Community, Marmoset, Music, Shared Work, Spotlight: Marmoset, Filmmaking.

The New Festival Changing How Feature Films Are Being Made

Several StudioFest finalists from left to right: David Siev, Millie Rose Heywood, Rolv Lyssand Bjørø, Anna Mikami, and Daniel V. Masciari (Photo credit:    StudioFest   )

Several StudioFest finalists from left to right: David Siev, Millie Rose Heywood, Rolv Lyssand Bjørø, Anna Mikami, and Daniel V. Masciari (Photo credit: StudioFest)

When one thinks of the pristine Catskill Mountains, a film festival isn’t necessarily the first thing to come to mind. But at the quaint but humbly stylish Graham & Co. hotel five filmmakers and five screenwriters assemble as StudioFest’s finalists. The weekend would wrap with only one director and one writer teaming up to create a full feature film through the festival’s support.

Festival judges and attendees (Photo credit: StudioFest)

Festival judges and attendees (Photo credit: StudioFest)

The thing about StudioFest is they’re paving a new path for the film community, their mission being solely for the gain of the artist.

Quick insight to the existing festival climate — best case scenario for many struggling directors is to get their short film accepted into a notable film circuit then hope and pray the right producers are in the audience. From there? From there, the horizon is littered with endless logistical hurdles before securing enough funding to make a feature length film.

So when Marmoset had the chance to partner with StudioFest, we knew where we’d fit in — we’d have the privilege of working alongside the festival’s winners to create the ultimate soundtrack for their feature film.

Arriving Friday night, the festivities are already in motion. At the end of the gravel road, attendees are roasting marshmallows over a crackling bonfire. The heat mixes invitingly with the fresh upstate New York breeze, it’s hard not to feel at ease amidst the dense forest that meets all edges of the premises.

Tucked beyond pruned greenery, there’s an open field with a white tent and banquet styled picnic table in the distance. There’s bustling chatter as screenwriters, directors, judges, and organizers exchange stories over a candlelit meal. A projector plays Grease in the background.

The event’s co-founders Jess Jacklin and Charles Beale raise their glasses and make an introduction toast welcoming everyone, there’s a genuine warmness to them — it’s evident this festival is an extension of their generous, kindhearted nature. With industry experience and background in film production, both know too well the struggles and pitfalls of getting a film produced from start to finish, their advocacy then fueling the festival’s strides further.

No matter the conversation one is part of that night, everything comes back to the admiration behind what StudioFest is setting out to accomplish. There’s agreement how this marks a new generation for filmmakers, how this feels like leaping forward past common obstacles and arriving at the stage they’ve been ready for all along: making a feature length film and sharing it with others.


Congratulations to StudioFest winners Matthew Sorvillo and Anna Mikami, we’ll be working alongside their vision to craft an amazing soundtrack for their film. Stay tuned as we feature other upcoming filmmakers, their work, and the music behind their movies.

Posted on September 28, 2018 and filed under Filmmaking, Community, Marmoset, Music, Shared Work, Spotlight: Marmoset.

A/VEC 5: The Unfinished Portrait of Migrant Workers

Musical artist, Luz Mendoza (Y La Bamba) and documentary filmmaker, Claudia Meza at Marmoset Headquarters on the night of A/VEC

Musical artist, Luz Mendoza (Y La Bamba) and documentary filmmaker, Claudia Meza at Marmoset Headquarters on the night of A/VEC

When picturing the rolling landscape of wine country, picturesque leisure comes to most minds: people basking in a bounty of fresh air while clinking their glasses of wine, mumblings of salute exchanged wistfully. Many will fail to pose the question of how this wine came to be, blissfully unaware of the working hands that have constructed the perfect scene before them — erring in thinking magic is behind it all.

It’s not magic. Nor is it from nothingness. There’s backbreaking work surrounding each aromatic pour and tasting. It’s easy to overlook as this work occurs behind the scenes, commencing at an hour many are still in bed. It’s work that’s hidden in plain sight but should be recognized, discussed, even questioned — something that filmmaker, Claudia Meza sought to pose in the original film she created for Marmoset’s fifth annual A/VEC 5 showcase.

Meza’s mission was to offer insight into this generation of migrant laborers, following the story in a ‘day in the life’ terms — the film opens on an early morning backdrop, we’re visually introduced to unnamed workers who hustle in a way that’s unprecedented by what you’d commonly see in any office environment. There’s a ferocity and propelling drive that catapults the subjects forward, it becomes nearly impossible to focus on any single person. In a way this is intentional, Meza aspiring to present the facts while still protecting identities.

“The reason I wanted to make this, I wanted to know what a migrant worker does because we hear so much about migrant laborers, undocumented workers, Mexican immigrants,” says Meza. “But we have no clue what is actually going on. Trabajo pesado, what that means is “hard work,” it means heavy work. And whenever your parents tell you to study, or tell you what they're doing for you so you don’t have to do — trabajo pesado.”

Y La Bamba

Y La Bamba

As Marmoset’s A/VEC series is constructed around the premise of music and picture working together to create a single experience, there’s something deeply profound in they way Mendoza’s score (Y La Bamba) resonates seamlessly with the visuals. An impressive feat considering neither artist was allowed to communicate with one another leading up to the screening (naturally, part of the entire A/VEC premises).

While this unknowingness of one another’s identities throughout their individual creative process existed, there is an unshaken connecting thread of understanding — there’s clearly an unspoken recognition of the film’s weight and a shared compassion for what the visuals exposed that Mendoza registered. Despite Meza’s intentional decision to omit vocals captured on the day of filming, the context hits home through Mendoza’s lyrics within her original song titled, “The Screams.”

“It’s not so often that this gets to be presented in my music scene,” says Mendoza. “I feel like my life, my parents’ lives — and I know some of us here too that can also relate — how our lives and our stories are being magnified.”

Mendoza recounts her family lineage entwined with a similar kind of physical labor, her story is similar to Meza’s and to those featured in the film. And while neither artist knew who was on the opposite side of this collaboration, both shared a similar personal journey and appreciation of the previous generation’s trabajo pesado.

“We have always lived and carried this knowledge, this is part of living and breathing and surviving, and it’s something really rewarding but it breaks me in front of you to share this and actually exercise what’s been killing me for so long. It’s like this emotional awareness.”

“A well-incomplete story
that hides in a dark corner.
and the snake runs awake
feeling the heat that comes from the earth”
— Y La Bamba

As the event enters its Q&A portion, questions revolving around ‘what’s next’ fill the room. A stirring statement is made by a member of the audience thanking Meza and Mendoza for sharing art that speaks volumes within our rugged political landscape. The attendee reverses the ‘what’s next’ inquiry, prompting fellow audience members to ask themselves what they can do rather than placing the weight of responsibility solely on the artists.

Marmoset commends these artists for allowing their art-form to speak for those who often go without a voice. In an effort to assemble in what we can do together, we’ve listed resources and references in support of America’s migrant workers.

Posted on September 26, 2018 and filed under Filmmaking, Community, Marmoset, Music, Spotlight: Marmoset, Spotlight: Artists.

Tonight's A/VEC Events Brings Together Both Musician and Filmmaker

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The fifth installment of A/VEC is tonight at Marmoset headquarters. Need a reminder of what A/VEC is? We’ve got you covered. Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

Last year’s A/VEC installment brought together the talents of filmmaker Jennifer Reeder (whose film, A Millions Miles Away was screened at Sundance Film Festival) and Marmoset artist, Secret Drum Band.

The two artists’ identities were kept a secret until the night of the reveal — it’s a true testament of how art can be interpreted so vastly differently based on one’s personal experiences. With Secret Drum Band creating an original score to accompany Reeder’s finished film, the finish line entails the mergence of a single cinematic experience.

You’ll want to catch our recap short film highlighting the collaboration. Check it out here —

A reminder this event is RSVP only so don’t forget to get your name on the list before time runs out. Can’t make it? We’ll miss you but stay tuned for our behind the scenes film capturing the creation process and premiere.

Posted on September 25, 2018 and filed under Shows, Spotlight: Marmoset, Marmoset, Community, Filmmaking.

Love Music? Love Movies? Welcome to StudioFest

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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!

Posted on September 17, 2018 and filed under Filmmaking, Community, Marmoset, Music, Mixtapes.