Filmmaker Josh Brine Talks Being a Fish Out of Water, Music and More

The Fish Out of Water offers some very familiar feelings that most adults can relate to — the wry complacency of day to day life. Here, Director Josh Brine poses the idea, what if you just did want you wanted instead?

Australian, Portland-based filmmaker Josh Brine

Australian, Portland-based filmmaker Josh Brine

Protagonist, Charlie, is a guy who works in a call center and loathes his job. But most importantly, he can’t quit because he's in love with an oblivious co-worker. Like someone frozen in place, Charlie can’t move seem to move in any given direction, instead choosing to retreat into the barricades of his imagination. It’s a story that thrives on an innate fear of rejection, to opt for comfortability over taking a chance on the unknown.

Such existential themes don’t fall far from the tree of Brine’s own personal story.

“My life, one of the main themes in my life, is struggling with identity and moving to America,” Brine says, who being born in Australia, relocated to the states at the youthful age of twelve. After attending three different high schools in the span of four short years and collectively moving around nine different times, the wandering filmmaker finally found his home in Portland, Oregon.

Fitting in, while finding one’s confidence and purpose in life are constructs Brine deeply cares for throughout his narrative — it’s an extension as common ground for others grappling with life’s many directions. And with Brine himself not sure which career path to set his sights on for years, the filmmaker originally pursued music as a skilled drummer. Looking back, there’s a immense appreciation for this period dedicated to his musical craft, memorializing it as a creative stepping stone toward becoming a filmmaker.

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“Something that I’ve been learning is that you don’t have to see the end of the road to begin,” says Brine. “Just because you don’t know where it’s going to end or go doesn’t mean you shouldn’t begin in pursuing that path.”

Brine’s approach to music production also carried over into the collaborative writing process with co-writer, Jacob Cowdin. “Writing is very similar to playing music, one person might have a guitar riff and one person might have a drum idea,” Brine says. “Then after hearing it all played together, you kind of hash out what you like or ask, ‘what if we do this’ and starting offering up more ideas. It’s like chipping away until you get what you want.”

Music being the undercurrent to Brine’s creative process, he mentions how listening to specific songs, especially during the writing process, can have a huge influence and long-lasting impact on a movie — even before it’s been filmed.

“When I’m writing, it’ll actually help me visualize the scene,” Brine says. “I essentially let the music inform the visuals, not so much a dialogue but the music can place you in the a mindset of how you want something to feel.”

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His appreciation for film scores and soundtracks that pack a big emotive punch extend to choosing music for his own film. Consisting of all music licensed from Marmoset’s music catalog, Brine incorporated songs based on how scenes work collectively as a whole, rather than singularly.

“Maybe I got this from making music videos or my background from playing music, but I can see what I want and then hear the music accompanying it,” Brine says. “Maybe it’s not an exact song but if for instance, if there’s a scene with a car chase and I know the tone is comedic, I can easily search for music using the [Marmoset] site filters.”

Atop creating the ultimate custom soundtrack, Brine worked with in-house music composer, Graham Barton to perfect the film’s sound design. “Graham is just a genius, a joy to work with,” Brine says. “For the film’s sound design, I would just have to cite an Edgar Wright film and he’d get it. There’s just an ultimate trust between us.”

While The Fish Out of Water marks Brine’s debut as a filmmaker, it’s currently working its way through the 2019 festival circuit — its world premier will be at Manchester Film Festival this upcoming Sunday, March 10th; the North American premiere will be at Portland’s 42nd International Film Festival. Brine will also be speaking on MANIFF’s Filmmaker Panel, sharing more about the making of his film with audiences.

Now with a clear understanding of which direction to take, there’s no question of how filmmaking will fit into Brine’s life — only which film to make next.

“I want to add to the conversation and be a part of how people think and feel,” Brine says. “I want to create items, pieces of actual substance, things that have weight.”


Josh Brine has directed his fair share of music videos for musicians and bands like Blitzen Trapper, Dear Nora and Frankie SimoneThe Fish Out of Water marks his debut as a filmmaker.

Feeling cinematic? Check out Brine’s top five soundtracks and film scores here!

Behind the Music Service: Customizing a Song from Start to Finish

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Ever find a song that sounds perfect on first listen — only to discover after pairing to picture how it's not quite hitting the cuts on cue? Don’t worry, that’s something the art of customization can help you fix.

Apart from partnering with and collaborating with our talented roster of artists, we also dabble in creating original music in-house for feature films, creative campaigns and more. Need sound design, customization or an original score? Nothing makes us happier than jumping into the studio to bring our clients’ creative vision to life (in an audible medium of course, wink).

While you may already be familiar with what scoring music entails, customization may not be as comprehensible to some. So we sat down to chat and learn more from our in-house Creative Music Editor & Composer, Greg Jong.

Find out what it takes to customize a song from start to finish — click play for a behind the service customization breakdown!

Say Hey to Jené and Diana: Talking Diversity and DJing with Noche Libre

Creative Music Coordinators, Jené Etheridge and Diana Suarez — photography by    Kale Chesney

Creative Music Coordinators, Jené Etheridge and Diana Suarez — photography by Kale Chesney

Jené Etheridge and Diana Suarez are two of Marmoset’s Creative Music Coordinators by day, swooping in to support clients with music searches and clearances for every kind of project under the sun. By night, the two host one of the most buzz-worthy dance nights in Portland —Noche Libre.

Assembled of Jené, Diana and six other DJs, the Latinx collective’s mission challenges Portland’s mainstream nightlife scene, where typically only a small demographic is made to feel seen, welcome and safe. Instead Noche Libre cultivates community, creating space for Black, Brown and Indigenous groups.

Illustration by Noche Libre collective member,    Yuriko Xolotl

Illustration by Noche Libre collective member, Yuriko Xolotl

Spinning everything from cumbia and quebradita to dancehall and perreo, the inclusivity starts with the collective’s music selection. “We’re not super genre specific,” says Jené. “We definitely have a vibe but we’ll still play hip hop and a lot of different genres, there’s really something for everyone.”

It’s a reflection of their own musical tastes, everything they enjoy jamming to while also encompassing and honoring their Latin heritages and upbringings.

“I think what's really cool about something like Noche Libre is it’s just part of Latin culture — to get together and listen to music with your family and friends,” says Diana. “I really feel like it just feels like family get-together, everybody's just here for each other and here for a good time.”

The importance of Noche Libre’s presence — other than hearing mixes en fuego — is its movement toward building opportunities and spaces for artists of color within the music industry. With Jené leading Marmoset’s internal Diversity & Inclusion Team and Diana supporting the team’s overarching initiatives, their mission is to disrupt problematic systems to pave way for new processes.

From redefining how composers are brought onto creative projects to integrating diversity focused mixers into marketing trips — the team leads objectives that not merely benefit the underrepresented, but the entire company. It’s endless work, but indicative of genuine desire for positive change within an industry that upholds barriers for those who are non-binary or people of color.

Jené and Diana daily facilitate interpersonal conversations with other teams, including music producers and members of leadership (among community leaders). There’s a lot of work to be done, but it’s mindful development toward progression.

A floral shrine created by Diana (IG photo credit: @    stoneanvil     )

A floral shrine created by Diana (IG photo credit: @stoneanvil)

When not attending workshops and programs like Partners in Diversity’s Say Hey night or DJing around town as Noche Libre, Jené and Diana keep busy with their side creative missions. Diana being an experienced florist, she’s responsible for cultivating Y La Bamba and Sávila’s dreamy stage designs — the floral arrangements while laborious, only add to the feat of strength that both Latin American musical groups deliver through their performances. You can also catch Jené co-hosting Everyday Mixtapes on XRAY.FM every Saturday night from 5:00-6:00PM (PDT) — listeners will be pulled in with a mix of throwbacks from R&B, hip hop to funk and vintage gems.

So if passing through Portland and catching Noche Libre in action, what can one expect when out on the dance floor?

“We find a way to fit it altogether. Like I’ll play an Asian psych song and then a chicha song, which leads to a cumbia song,” says Diana. “Because we’re all so different and made up of so many different experiences, that’s what makes it interesting.”

Part of Noche Libre’s mission statement is “to celebrate our family’s roots and rituals by carrying on the tradition of puro pinche pari” — it’s an embodiment of finding strength in identify and to not only live in it, but to celebrate it.

The Ultimate Music Glossary

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Navigating music licensing terms and definitions is a breeze when you have the ultimate music glossary on hand — so we created one just for you.


License

Licensing from the Marmoset catalog of music entails obtaining rights to use the song(s) for an agreed upon time period. Music licensing gives you the ability to use a song in almost any kind of creative project — like building out a stellar soundtrack for your feature film or creating a signature sound to your podcast’s intro.

Custom License

Marmoset can tailor a license to your project’s specifications — does your creative project have some tricky variables or broadcasting terms, or are you considering using a specific kind of vintage song but not seeing the “Buy Song” button? A custom license best ensures you’re covered, fill out our custom license form to get started.

End Client

The end client is the person or company the content is made for — if you’re a videographer hired to film and edit an ad campaign for Nike, the end client would be Nike. Swoosh!

Employee Count

This is is the number of employees who work for the project client’s company. For example, if you were creating a video for a large company like Amazon, the employee count is the number of employees employed by Amazon.

Internal Use

When music is licensed for content such as internal presentations, meetings, intranet or internal email blasts. If it's not being publicly shared or released, we consider this internal use.

Industrial Use

This refers to licensing music for media showcased in trade and sale shows, conventions, institutional meetings, retail dealers/in-store use, kiosks, PR use and B2B facing videos.

Instrumental

If a song is absent of lyrics (vocals), the song will be labeled as instrumental. Commonly, Marmoset has both instrumental and lyrical versions of a song — here’s an example of how an instrumental song is labeled on the search page.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property covers intangible content and creations — it covers anything from trademarks to copyright. When you see intellectual property, this indicates that content belongs to that content creator. For example, a song, while not tangible, is still an artist’s intellectual property.

Lyrical

Lyrical indicates a song with lyrics (the inclusion of vocal melodies). Sometimes the lyrical versions of a song will contain lyrics. While browsing the roster, click the three vertical dots and select Lyrics to see more.

Monetization

Using on one’s content to generate revenue can be categorized as monetization. When it comes to music licensing, streaming sites or any platform that incorporates pre-roll ads is a monetary opportunity for the content creator.

Non-Permitted Content

This is content that goes beyond the limit of what the license terms cover. Using the previous example of a Personal - Single Use Podcast License — if the podcast is hosted on a commercial or website, this scenario would fall into non-permitted content. Not quite sure and need to double check? We can help.

Perpetual

A perpetual license means forever, ever. With perpetual licensing, you don’t have to worry about the hassles of renewing a license and its terms. An indefinite (perpetual) music license means you can keep your YouTube miniseries online without the song’s license expiring.

Performance Rights Organizations (PRO)

Performance Rights Organizations support artists and songwriters in getting paid for the usage of their work/music through royalties. While Marmoset focuses on helping our artist community get paid for their music, we are not a PRO but instead a sync licensing agency and original music production studio.

Permitted Content

When purchasing a license, you’ll want to review what exactly the license covers. For example, a Personal - Single Use Podcast License’s permitted content covers a single 12 month audio podcast series posted by a non-commercial place (i.e someone’s blog). Read up more on a license’s permitted content here.

PR Usage

Licensing music for promotional purposes or for your company’s PR campaign? This is right up your alley. We can help with licensing music specifically for PR use, just ask.

Renewal

In the case of licenses that are nearing their expiration date (non-perpetual licenses), once the license reaches its entire duration period you’ll have the option to either extend/renew said license.

Web (Paid)

When a song is being used in material where you’re generating revenue (think YouTube videos with sponsored or promotional ads, such as Hulu pre-roll or even social boosting) . Keep an eye out for this one especially if it falls within a license’s non-permitted content description.

Web (Unpaid)

Content with no ad dollars behind it or if being shared on a personal website. If your film was created outside an actual studio system and is being shared in a standard festival circuit, this is considered Unpaid Web. In the chance your film is picked up later for distribution, get in touch with us to revise your license conditions.


We're Hiring! Music Licensing Coordinator

Marmoset Now Hiring

Marmoset is seeking a Music Licensing Coordinator — the ideal candidate is someone who demonstrates keen attention to detail and processes. Core responsibilities entail outreaching to our community of filmmakers and creative clients, managing invoices and quotes, and other admin support for the Business Affairs Team.

For more information about this position and to apply, please click here.

The closing date for this position is Friday, March 1, 2019. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis as they are received, so the sooner you apply the better. Applications that do not strictly follow the guidelines may not be considered.

Learn about opportunities here at Marmoset, following the link below.

Marmoset is a proud Equal Opportunity employer, celebrating a diverse, inclusive community of people, cultures and stories.

Posted on February 14, 2019 and filed under Marmoset.

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