Finding Music for Film with Little Moving Pictures Studios

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Filmmakers come from all walks of life, their journeys shaping the stories they tell. So what happens when someone from the advertising world steps into the world of filmmaking? Engaging content that leaves behind the epitome of commercialism is put out into the universe.

Little Moving Pictures is the perfect example of implementing this certain kind of integrity even within their ad campaigns. There’s a good reason for this, as co-founders Jeremy Summer and Nathan Petty began with years of agency and editing experience as their background. From the get-go, the studios specialized as a post-house operation, quickly moving onto creative shoots for music videos to TV shows. Their collaborator circle widened, bringing to the table actors, filmmakers and music houses to help score their video projects.

“When people ask me why we make the music videos and short films we do at Little Moving Pictures, my simplest answer is that we do those things because we said we would,” says Summer.

Actor Steve Talley and California Summer on set of  How It’s Goin’

Actor Steve Talley and California Summer on set of How It’s Goin’

As a means of getting friends together to make something fun, Summer brought the inkling of an idea to fellow filmmakers Adam Callahan, Irene Chin and Kurt Vincent (of 26 Aires). It all started from some footage Summer had captured of a 420 event in San Francisco from two years prior, which led to the making of How It’s Goin’ — a bittersweet comedy about a young dad reeling from his recent divorce.

Featured throughout the film is background music composed by Anthony Ferraro (Toro y Moi’s keyboardist). Beyond the original score, the the film was in search of authentic reggae, landing on Running In and Out by Dwayne Ellis.

Check out Vimeo Staff Pick and short film How It’s Goin’ below and stay tuned for an in-depth interview with Jeremy Summer of Little Moving Pictures — we’ll dive into their approach for using music in videos while highlighting some of their other cool work you’ll want to pass around to your friends.


Little Moving Pictures is a San Francisio based production studio. Their work has been featured by Rolling Stone, Vimeo Staff Pics, Pitchfork, National Geographic and Radiolab among other partners like The Museum of Modern Art, Fox Sports and Sony Music have commissioned their work.

The Art of Getting Paid Through Sync Licensing

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Finding music for licensing isn’t something that occurs in a vacuum. The search, the process and results greatly impact those working behind the scenes to generate the art itself — the musicians.

In an industry of supporting artists to garner another revenue stream through commercial music, sync licensing ensures artists get paid for their work whenever their songs are put to use. That’s right, when a song plays over an ad campaign or in the background of a movie, a sync license is what grants someone the music rights for that film.

At Marmoset, there’s intentionality that goes into ensuring our artists’ music go from being catalogued on our roster to being placed to picture. Because securing a sync license means getting our artists paid for their work. Like that never-ending train standing in the way of you and a timely arrival (a plea to spot its caboose for signifying its final departure), when it comes to pitching music our team is in it for the long haul; from ensuring music is easily searchable on the Marmoset site to staying knowledgeable on updates to the continually evolving music catalog.

So what can artists do on their end to ensure they’re not holding anything up with a promising sync license? Marmoset’s Marissa Hernandez, Music Licensing Creative chats with Kill Rock Stars’ Portia Sabin on the final installment of The Future of What’s Get Paid series — follow the link below to listen.

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.

Launching New Record Label, Infinite Companion

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Remember the era of making mixtapes or burning CDs for your pals? Yeah, we kind of miss those days too. The thrill of finding music you couldn’t wait to share, then compiling songs into perfect order.

The music itself was great, but sharing it was even better.

Because it wasn’t just about passing along a song, it was an invitation to dig into something with each other. It’s pretty much how we feel in announcing our new record label, Infinite Companion — an artist collective where unabashed individuality, diversity and damn good music live together under the same roof.  

We’ve already kicked things off by inviting Pure Bathing Culture, OMA and Frankie Simone to our label’s roster. We’ve even made a special mixtape featuring their music. Call us nostalgic, but we just wanted to share it with our friends.

You're Welcome Here — Partnering Against Discrimination

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Basic rights should be just that, inherently expected and granted to every individual. Because this isn’t the case and discrimination is still very much a reoccurring issue many face in their lives, any opportunity to stand together is a step toward progress.

Marmoset is partnering with other business and community leaders on Thursday April 25th, joining the annual Oregonians Against Discrimination Business Leaders luncheon (learn more here). Showing up means a renewed commitment in fostering a business we’re proud to see interacting with our community — because what happens inside the Marmoset walls stems outward to our artists, clients and collaborators.

The space and place serves as a reminder to do more while also celebrating workers’ rights milestones. So whether you’re someone we work with day in and day out or if you’re a new prospective connection, you’re welcome here at Marmoset.

Posted on April 24, 2019 and filed under Community, Marmoset, Music.

Music Around Town and April's New Music Mixtape

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Spring’s warm weather is the fuel we needed to break free of winter hibernation mode and check out more touring artists and bands. While our collection of music is full of vintage gems (like The Jackson 5), our catalog’s music for licensing overflows with talented musicians actively on tour. And since our clients who license music for video and film are scattering about the country, we’ve created a lineup of shows around town in Portland — and in other big cities too . Which one will we catch you at?

While you’re at it, check out April’s New Music Mixtape for some freshly added music. Click below to listen.


Portland

John Vanderslice

Mississippi Studios

April 23

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Emancipator

Star Theater

April 26

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Propaganda

Aladdin Theater

April 27

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Blossom

Doug Fir Lounge

May 1

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Orquestra Pacifico Tropical 

Mississippi Studios

May 5

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Pure Bathing Culture

Mississippi Studios

June 1

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Matthew Logan Vasquez

Mississippi Studios

June 29

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August Burns Red

Roseland Theater

July 14

 

Seattle

Kuinka

Jazzbones

April 27

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Caspar Babypants

Neptune Theatre

April 27

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Emancipator

Crocodile Cafe

April 28

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Jeremy Enigk

Chop Suey

May 11

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Tomo Nakayama

Chop Suey

May 11

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Kuinka

Neumos

May 18

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Pure Bathing Culture

Columbia City Theater

May 31

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Kings Kaleidoscope

Neumos

June 2

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Anberlin

Crocodile Cafe

June 20

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Matthew Logan Vasquez

Sunset Tavern

June 28

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August Burns Red

Showbox SoDo

July 13


New York

Kings Kaleidoscope

Gramercy Theatre

May 3

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Nicola Cruz

Knockdown Center

May 10

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August Burns Red

Starland Ballroom

June 22

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Dead Poet Society

Arlene’s Grocery

July 2

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Anberlin

Irving Plaza

July 6

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August Burns Red

PlayStation Theater

August 11

Los Angeles

Polyrhythmics

Bootleg Bar

May 2

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Jeremy Enigk

The Roxy Theatre

May 4

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Balto

The Love Song Bar

May 6

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Kings Kaleidoscope

Yost Theater

May 17

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Nicola Cruz

Echoplex

May 18

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Balto

The Love Song Bar

June 3

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Pure Bathing Culture

Bootleg Bar

June 5

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Anberlin

The Wiltern

June 15

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Matthew Logan Vasquez

The Wayfarer

June 20

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August Burns Red

House of Blues - Anaheim

July 19

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Ozomatli

The Wayfarer

July 21


Posted on April 23, 2019 and filed under Marmoset, Mixtapes, Music, Shows.