When Jess Jacklin and Charles Beale kicked off StudioFest last year, their mission was to redefine traditional film festival processes—to award the winning filmmakers not just with a temporary status or accolade, but with means of creating their first feature work.
“Independent short filmmakers and screenwriters desire one thing: to make their first feature,” says Beale. “We have aimed to align the skew, bringing talented filmmakers straight to their first feature. The project has grown to include so much talent and enthusiasm and we can’t wait to share the film.”
Winning director, Anna Mikami and winning screenwriter Matthew Sorvillo walked away from the festival experience with a newfound professional partnership. With Mikami in the director chair and Sorvillo spearheading the script, Souvenirs was the product of creative collaboration, perseverance and a tried-and-true indie kind of resourcefulness.
Produced under a 1M micro-budget, the StudioFest collaborative proved it’s possible to churn out a high quality production even when a big studio isn’t at the helm. Partnering up with Marmoset to equip the production with the music rights for their feature film, a dream soundtrack was no longer out of arm’s reach.
Proving it’s possible to find songs for commercial use on a budget is what Marmoset’s music licensing team does daily. But when partnering up with other community organizations like StudioFest—to help outside projects license music for video—it’s a commitment to our community; to give what we can from our side, while always ensuring our artists receive their share and exposure for their work.
Thanks to the pioneering film festival that’s examining the leaps and hurdles every filmmaker faces, Souvenirs is no longer an aspirational idea—it’s a film slated to premiere in Fall 2019.
“The winners we chose compliment each other in a way we are very excited about. As we get into our second week of filming, there’s an air of enthusiasm shared with everyone involved,” says Jacklin. “Although we’re working with a micro-budget, the caliber of talent from cast, crew and sponsors adds a tremendous amount of value and we couldn’t do it without their dedication and vision.”
Stay tuned as we cover the release of Souvenirs and the making of its soundtrack.
Marmoset presents miniature music concerts — a new series where we invite talented, touring and local artists into our space to capture a stripped down performance of their music.
Currently on tour, Ceschi and his 7 Piece Band came through Marmoset headquarters following their Portland performance at Bit House Saloon. Their springtime jam-packed tour means coast to coast performances, from Portland, Oregon to Portland, Maine (and so much in-between).
When we started this mini concert series, we knew here lied an inherent opportunity to feature the gems within the Marmoset music roster through a live performance medium. Kicking off the series with the endlessly talented Mree, we looked to Ceschi for a kinetic shift, a drastic contrast and variation to Mree’s floating vocals.
The Connecticut based artist is widely known for utilizing rap styled lyrics with acoustic instrumentals—the artist’s miniature concert is truly a voluminous showcase, the video a glimpse into artistic exuberance that can only be fully absorbed when witnessed in real life.
Watch his performance of “Daybreak” and “Ojala” below, then scroll down for a one to one interview with Ceschi.
Marmoset: Hi Ceschi! Can you share with us how you got into making music?
Ceschi: I’ve been making music since I was a child. A free school program when I was seven got me started on violin. Within the next year I was messing around with raps. Eventually went onto guitar & beat-making.
The kind of music I make is simply the product of a lot of my influences, everything from experimental underground hip hop to ‘90s indie rock & hardcore punk to Latin American folk. I create because it’s my therapy, one of my reasons for existence & because of the many beautiful personal connections that music has brought me.
M: Your style of rap is really engaging in how you incorporate a lot of acoustics. How would you describe your approach toward experimenting with your music and do you have any advice for artists trying to be more genre fluid?
Ceschi: I feel like I have the unique privilege of studying with some of the masters of freestyle & jazz rap in my youth. Elders from that world taught me techniques, styles and tools since my teen years that essentially brought my skill level beyond amateur. Still, I never felt like just a rapper. I’m a songwriter first & foremost. My goals were never to be the best rapper nor best guitarist or whatever. Since an early age I’ve only wanted to present an honest version of myself.
I don’t think anyone should fight to try to be genre fluid or whatever—if it doesn’t come naturally to you—don’t force it. That’s my advice.
M: Who would be your dream collaborator—dead or alive?
Ceschi: At the moment I have to say Andre Benjamin of OutKast. Frank Ocean Or Joanna Newsom. I’m picking living people that excite me musically & lyrically.
M: How would you like your music to evolve or what do you envision for your music a few years down the road?
Ceschi: I plan on focusing on non-rap based music, instrumental composition and more acoustic work in the upcoming years. I envision myself playing quieter shows, haha.
M: Do you have anything in the works right now that you'd like us to be loud about?
Ceschi: Yes! I’m wrapping up a trilogy of Ceschi albums all coming out this year. I believe it’s my best work yet. Sad, Fat Luck came out in April. Sans Soleil will come out summer. Bring Us The Head of Francisco False comes out in the late Fall.
Night Pass is Pure Bathing Culture’s third and highly anticipated album. Vocalist Sarah Versprille and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Hindman mark their resplendent return with a body of work exemplifying free-floating, energetic renewal. Night Pass’ lyrical skeleton wouldn’t be complete without the menagerie of earthy and astral imagery; the album is surreal romanticism at its finest — from flora, ocean to land, and ornamental crystals, Pure Bathing Culture portrays wandering prose that’s tender and meditative without sacrifice to being electrifyingly rhythmic.
The album’s overarching message aligns with persevering and championing love of all varying degrees — whether this be toward one another, one’s work, or an introspective gratitude and self-care. This palpable energy comes from the duo’s approach to their creative work, Hindman embracing his instruments as companions. He explains, “I don’t plan, I just think of each part as a different person. I'll name them, think of the clothes they're wearing, where they're from... this helps me feel like we’re creating our own world.”
In between their second album, Pray for Rain and the upcoming release of Night Pass, the indie pop duo embarked on an array of tours with Death Cab For Cutie, Chvrches, Lucius and The Shins. This soon led them to team up with producer Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, REM, Spoon) for the creation of this record. Bold collaborators within the realm of indie music, Pure Bathing Culture resiliently upholds their defining musical traits and DNA: alluring synthy guitar pop framing Versprille’s dynamic voice which radiates earnest depth and strength — the album is telling of just what Pure Bathing Culture represents, affirmation of how deep their waters run.
Night Pass is a mesmerizing voyage from start to finish — rooted in a patient, nurturing kind of devotion (“Devotion”) and through facing doubts, burgeoning out of resiliency (“Joyous Lake”). Finally, the sun sets on ultimate transcendence, celebrating one’s ability to overcome when accepting life’s new offerings, whether positive, negative and everything in-between.
Pure Bathing Culture’s weighty symbolism and conceptualization feeds into the meditative quest of Night Pass; at closing with “Violet A Voyager,” everything suddenly feels transcendent and lighter. Melodically cohesive, the music’s arcs and rhythmic qualities are like a tide rolling up and retreating in perfectly timed succession — it’s entrancing to fixate and relish one’s attention on. “Black Starling” embodies this very essence, steady synth-pop with reverbing moments, Versprille’s guiding voice echoing in and out.
Whether diving into the subtextual layers of Night Pass or swaying back and forth between its sterling pop rock riffs, this record beams of good vibes and expressions. Vacillating between the album’s dreamy nature and its deeply observant undertones, Pure Bathing Culture cultivates a musical experience that feels uniquely personal. There’s an element of empowering discovery that feels open and welcoming — in passing, it’s encouragement to look closer at what we hold onto, and what we let go.
Creating or finding music for your next film is something every filmmaker can attest to within their filmmaking career. And for some filmmakers, music enters the equation as early as setting up a scene — before the film is even complete.
In an interview with Criterion Collection and music composer, Jon Brion, Brion offers up his approach toward creating rhythms for director Paul Thomas' Anderson’s PUNCH-DRUNK-LOVE.
“He’d [Anderson] put on music when he’d set up a shot because even if the music wasn’t going to be there in the end it helped give a sense of rhythm, a sense of poetic pacing to the shot.”
Brion and Anderson’s collaboration is a testimony of using music that integrates to how a scene unfolds — using musical tempo to compliment how a character’s actions are captured or depicted through camera movement.
Inspired by Brion and other memorable movie soundtracks, our A&R Team curated a mixtape inspired by similar musical compositions and scores. From the bright and bouncy instrumental masterpieces of Lullatone — to imaginative orchestral rhythms of Pretty Pizzi — these songs are pensively sweet, rooted in lightness and whimsical tones.
Click the link below to find more music for your videos.
Criterioncollection. (2016, November 14). Jon Brion on the Rhythms of PUNCH-DRUNK-LOVE. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJNhxSFdrVQ
Little Moving Pictures creates and produces everything from commercial advertisement to film & TV. And everything they make sounds great too.
From the disco-inspired studio captured in the one million viewed music video they produced for Toro y Moi to the melancholic comedy about a young dad reeling from a broken marriage (How It’s Goin’ ) — Little Moving Pictures is taking off visually and musically. To find out more about what they’re up to and their approach for using music in videos, we caught up with studios’ co-founder Jeremy Summer.
Marmoset: Hey Jeremy, can you tell us what drew you to produce How It's Goin'?
Summer: 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.
Working at an agency, everyone always has these side hustle ideas but they rarely get executed—a pitch comes up or a big campaign or whatever—it’s hard to carve the time when you’re working for someone else, where as here we can come up with an idea and do it without asking anyone’s permission.
How It’s Goin’ actually started a few years ago on 4/20/2016—I asked one of our collaborators Noe Chavez to come to golden gate park on 4/20 and shoot some portraits—we made this thing and put it out the next day. I had an idea for setting a story inside of it, something we’d film guerrilla style with the built in production value of thousands of extras—my first idea was a catholic nun traveling from Europe who accidentally comes across the 4/20 gathering and has a transcendent experience.
But my friends 26 Aries (directors Irene Chin & Kurt Vincent) came back with the script for what eventually became How It’s Goin’ and had their friend Steve Talley (the lead actor) attached. It’s the first scripted narrative thing we’ve done—think of it as our student film. We just wanted to try to do something new and thought that the novelty of making a film inside an actual event could result in something unique.
M: At what point do you guys sit down to talk about music the films or videos you create?
Summer: Music is a big deal to us across all of our projects and over the years we’ve developed a lot of relationships both with music houses like Marmoset and with labels/licensing entities. Earlier cuts of How It’s Goin' had a lot of different things happening musically that are very different than the final cut.
On this one, it really all came together toward the end. We brought on our friend Anthony Ferraro to do the original score bits—he plays keys in Toro Y Moi, we had just done a music video together for their single “Ordinary Pleasure”—and he nailed it in three-four days between tours; we wanted some warm Fender Rhodes stuff that helped connect the scenes and carry the picture, we are so happy with what he did for us.
M: What are some of the bigger challenges for filmmakers when it comes to creating music for their film?
Summer: One of the biggest challenges was finding a great piece of authentic sounding reggae music. Our rough cut had a great dub track from Trojan Records and even though we have a connection to the folks that license for that label, our timeline and budget weren’t going to work.
We looked at some stock libraries and were extremely disappointed with the “reggae” options. We were so thrilled when looking through Marmoset’s roster to come across the Dwayne Ellis song—in addition to having the sound we were looking for, it also had lyrics that tied in nicely with what the character is going through in the film and it sounds authentically Jamaican/vintage which is what we were going for.
We were playing around with a bunch of ideas for the song that ends the film and runs over the credits and had been listening to a lot of SF bands—Girls, Kelley Stoltz and Sonny & The Sunsets and came across "Children of the Beehive” which has lyrics and a feeling that ties back to the film in such a special way it’s almost as though it was written into the script.
I think the music we ended up with is a huge part of the quality of the end product—without the score and especially the songs, I don’t think it would have gotten the attention that it’s getting (Vimeo Staff Pick!).
M: What's something that really sets Little Moving Pictures apart?
Summer: I think the volume and quality of stuff we’re doing outside of advertising is something that differentiates us — though of course we have lots of peers we admire who are doing something similar — and the kinds of teams we can spin up without having to have everyone on a “roster” or a contract.
We also have a focus on post-production that I think might be a bit unique even amongst full service production companies, the editor is essentially a creative director on our projects from the moment we get a brief, not just there when we edit.
Because we’re so small (three of us full-time) and our over head is so low as a result, we get to be selective about the projects we take on so most of the work we’re doing is stuff we’re genuinely happy to be doing whether its for brands or for fun—either the budget is there and we can treat our crews properly/pay promptly and put on a good show for our clients or the creative is something that we’re excited enough about that we can rally the troops and make it happen regardless of budget.
Our hope is that eventually the passion projects and branded content will start to intersect more- feature length documentaries for brands, music videos that are sponsored, that sort of thing.
Also, my dog Beatrix. No one else has a Beatrix.
M: Your studios create everything from music videos to ad campaigns — what's the type of creative project that you're always excited to dig into?
Summer: We’re so lucky to do a blend of work for brands and work for ourselves. Aside from paying the bills (thanks brands!), working on commercials and branded content has helped us develop relationships with the directors we collaborate with and also the crew community and folks who are instrumental post production partners—colorists, sound mixers, music houses etc.
We leverage those relationships when it comes time to do the music videos and short films— people are down to lend their craft for little to no money on those things because we keep them busy and treat them well when we’re working for brands. Doing the music videos and short films is almost a gift to ourselves. It becomes material we can use to market Little Moving Pictures but in a lot of ways, we do art simply for the sake of doing it—and to learn and grow from the experience.
We love making commercials (especially when the budgets/timelines are reasonable), but there’s nothing like getting all our friends together to make some art.