Posts filed under Shared Work

Music for Film: Finding Music for Tribeca Film, Clementine

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When making a movie, music inspiration can arrive at any stage imaginable — maybe it’s when using temp music while editing. Or maybe it’s getting hooked by a timeless vintage love ballad and upholding the song as the film’s inspirational axis.

In the case of Tribeca film, Clementine music inspiration struck early, Writer & Director Lara Jean Gallagher working closely with Marmoset’s Film & TV Music Licensing Team early on to find music for her independent film.

While Clementine was still being filmed, Marmoset’s Jackie Westfall stepped in as the movie’s Music Supervisor. In the midst of production, earnestness fueled the music searching process, Gallagher’s clear vision for the film’s narrative—and how it would sound via its musical components—the compass for Jackie’s music supervision.

Clementine being Gallagher’s first feature film, the writer/director is no novice in grasping how music’s presence (or lack thereof) can shape a scene — her past work includes a slew of music videos she’s directed, showcasing at SXSW and published on Pitchfork. One look through Gallagher’s portfolio is telling of her recognition of both art forms, a usage of compelling visuals and music/sound to tell a unified story.

”Gallagher had a very distinct vision for the film, how she wanted it to sound and look like,” says Jackie. “One of the interesting things is she wanted music to only play in scenes organically. So if you saw a radio or if you were in the car or somewhere you knew that music could play out of — that was an original idea that she had.”

Like any creative project, there’s an unlimited number of ways production details can go awry. Getting music rights for a film doesn’t have to live in the same vein. Jackie at the music supervising helm and Marmoset’s Jamie McMullen offering support as music coordinator, the collaboration kicked off with an in-depth spotting session. It’s the kind of channel for getting filmmaker and music supervisor on the same page, to dig deep into the philosophy behind music placement in film.

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“There’s nothing like sitting in the room with the creator, writer, director to really get a peek behind the curtain of what would you like to say?” says Jackie. “It’s a lot of exploring what the characters are thinking in a scene or asking what do you want the audience to know and then making suggestions through music.”

Forging ahead for licensing the right music for the film, Jackie applied her previous film supervision experience (a music coordinator for two Noah Baumbach films) to deliver the best undiscovered music songs for commercial use to Gallagher. There’s a harmonious balance within this kind of creative exchange, Jackie mindfully inquisitive within her communication style, leading in her music expertise but never imposing on the filmmaker’s vision.

This kind intentionality and awareness in upholding creative integrity is what any filmmaker can expect when collaborating with Marmoset’s music team. There’s an active understanding between art forms, visuals and music mutually integral to one another.

With Clementine and other notable films, music supervision can punctuate the story without losing sight of what’s unfolding visually. Experts like Jackie note the importance in knowing how to exercise music as a tool in aiding any narrative.

“It’s about elevating the art that’s already there,” says Jackie. “You don’t want your film or project to sound like a music video. It shouldn’t be that the story is in service to the music, it should be the other way around.”


Clementine premiers at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on April 24th and is being showcased through May 5th. Learn more about festival times and the film here.

The Music Behind Givenchy's Spring Summer Campaign

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Givenchy’s Spring + Summer 2019 Campaign is a blend of avant-garde and retro culture — a crisp black and white landscape, where the characters look as though they were plucked out of Andy Warhol’s studio, the Factory.

Alongside the androgynous collective, Givenchy features Marmoset artist, Damon Boucher’sK I N” as its musical backdrop. Electronic synth beats, the music ensures the seasonal campaign reaches full circle. To learn more about Boucher’s musical journey, the fashion undercurrent of his LP — N K I and where he’s headed, we connected with the artist earlier this month.


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Marmoset: Could you tell us a little bit how you first got into making music?

Boucher: I grew up taking classical lessons, and performing contemporary music in a Pentecostal Christian church. In church, I learned to improvise pop music, although church also kept me closeted. But, I’ve been writing music since that time. I played and wrote music all throughout college; then began to produce music after I graduated in 2008.

M: Listening through NKI, your music has such a dreamy kind of presence along with an energetic pulse to it. How would you describe your music to listeners? What kind of visuals come to mind?

B: I try to make it watery, but clean. Clean can sometimes mean dry and airy which plays off the watery thing. Visually, I always think of clean, stark contrasts; light and dark meeting in balance. I think of an ocean horizon, fashion runways or queer nightlife culture.

M: Do you collaborate with your work or do you tend to flourish more as a solo creator? Yes! Most of my work is collaborative. My main project for the past few years has been producing music for Chanti Darling. I’ve also worked with The Last Artful, Dodgr, Maarquii, Natasha Kmeto, Nafisaria, The Portland Cello Project, Ripley Snell, Neill Von Tally, DJ Sappho, Pocket Rock-it and many more. (Click here to listen).

I’ve also had a chance to teach and collaborate with several of my students over the years. I’ve taught piano and composition at School of Rock since 2010 and have directed over 40 shows there; and since they let me keep my studio inside their building, all of my projects are made out of there. I call that studio Zip Zap Studios.

I’m super proud of the work I’ve done with others. However, even though I’m often in collaborative environments, I find that I work best alone. When producing music with others, I oftentimes meet to record, then polish the songs when I’m by myself. There’s less pressure when I’m alone so I find those times to be more experimental and fruitful.

M: Who are some artists you've been listening to this year?

Current new stuff from: The Internet, Roisin Murphy, Against All Logic, Travis Scott.

Older stuff from: Missy Elliott, Gary Numan, Four Tet

M: What went through your head when you heard your music being featured on the Givenchy Spring/Summer campaign?

I sincerely wanted that music to be used for fashion so I was excited to see it used in that capacity! A lot of the track names on N K I have fashion related titles, all for the reason that I imagined this record being used just as you now see it.

M: What inspires you about the Portland music scene?

Someone once described Portland to me as a great “incubator” for creative ideas, which I think is both bizarre and accurate. It rains forever so I want to stay inside and work on music until the weather’s good. I am completely privileged to be able to work on music with the setup I have in Portland and I am forever grateful for that. I would not be able to do that in a variety of other places or lives.

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The Spring Summer 2019 Campaign

Electric Party Pop for Broad City's Season Finale Trailer

The bodacious women of Broad City are delivering their final and highly anticipated fifth season to fans, with the first episode of the closing chapter premiering just last week. And with this bittersweet goodbye to the show’s two queens/kweens (if you haven’t seen the show, what are you even really doing), their finale trailer is explosive with neon color and a punchy musical soundtrack.

One of the three songs, “Soda Pop” (feat. Hot Air Balloon) by Stony Pony is purely electronic, party pop bliss. The song catapults viewers through the video’s quick intercutting, reminding fans this seasons the epic New York journey isn’t over just yet.

To learn more about creating a song that delivers this kind of energy and vibrancy, we hit up Stony Pony and Hot Air Balloon with some questions on their collaboration with “Soda Pop.”

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Marmoset: Can you tell us a little bit about the constructing of “Soda Pop” — it feels sort of like an electric party anthem, what did the process look like with incorporating the zany lyrics by Hot Air Balloon? 

Stony Pony: Yeehaw! I was getting my pump on at the gym one day and it hit me: water is great for hydration. I took a few swigs from my bottle and realized the hair metal playing at the gym wasn’t cutting it. I really needed something that could make me sweat and realized what we all need in life is something that can make us sweat.

So I did some math with Hot Air Balloon and we figured out how all the best workout music exhibited three iconic qualities:  1.) The lyrics are always about getting stoked to do meal prep; 2.) The tempo is always intense like a pre-workout face burn; 3.) The beat is always crispy, straight out of the tanning bed. I know you may be thinking ‘Pulitzer Prize’, but really our purpose on earth is just to perspire and inspire.

M: How would you describe Stony Pony's work and what can listeners expect next?

SP: Stony Pony produces hot workout music that’s also sauna and bowling alley friendly. I’m really excited to release the new material I’m working on. While I’m not at the gym, I love to make videos and do photo shoots, so you’ll see more of that. You’ll hear more workout music!! Loud, bouncy, and sincerely fun!! 

M: What’s a go-to party song you play to get pumped up? (Can be a guilty pleasure!)

SP: I absolutely love CRANKING Nobody Rides For Free by Ratt. It takes you on an emotional journey with terrible grammar, but showcases one of the best riffs before their mid-90s hiatus. 

M: Who would you rather go on a NYC adventure with — Abbi or Ilana?

SP: I’m positive Abbi would be able to show me all of the places Oprah has visited around town. We would listen to Eye of the Tiger, take pictures of all the stairs Oprah has climbed in NYC, and post them on our insta stories.


Marmoset: Can you share a little insight into what the lyrics writing process looked like for "Soda Pop?" 

HAB: Two simple steps: I went shopping for ingredients and then I followed the recipe.

M: Where did the food theme come from (crunchy, toasted, sautéed, snacking, etc.) and does it make you hungry when listening to the song now?

HAB: My dude Stony Pony is always rocking the protein shakes, and meal prepping for his workout flow.

Me, I'm a total chip chomper. I love finding new snacks and new bevs to try. The crunch of chips, or the carbonated crack of opening a fresh beverage sounds like beats and music to me.

Also, if I'm being really real I was raised in a soda family. My Dad worked for Coca-Cola my whole life. It's bubbling throughout my blood. 

M: If you were marooned on an island with cases of soda pop, what would it be? 

HAB: I'm especially a fan of regional or rare sodas. When traveling I have to try that soda you can only find there. I narrowed it down to three — 1.) So. Cal's and the Southwest's Cactus Cooler, which is an orange pineapple soda that puts off the perfect party vibe. 2.) There's a ginger & citrus soda that comes out of Kentucky called Ale 81 (or "A Late One" if you're local) that provides just enough spice. 3.) Gotta throw it back to the 90's Gen X soda, OK Soda that was the perfect Bev for the disillusioned. Shoutout to the 1-800-IFEELOK hotline

M: Who would you rather go on a NYC adventure with — Abbi or Ilana?

HAB: So tough. They are both so amazing. I'm kinda more of an Abbi, and have always been in awe by Ilana's boldness. She's a nonstop party machine, and if you saw the first episode of the final season she's pretty amazing at documenting a day to last forever. Also, Abbi would be down with me stopping at all the bodegas checking for fun chips.

Credits: “Soda Pop” produced by Katy Davidson // Creative licensing by Jamie McMullen and Jackie Westfall.

Follow Stony Pony on Instagram @realstonypony


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, Shared Work, Music Licensing.

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.