Posts tagged #Film Festival

Let's Make a Movie! Marmoset Sponsors StudioFest

Marmoset StudioFest Sponsorship Filmmakers Music

Centered around music licensing and creating original music, Marmoset is no stranger to helping filmmakers license and/or compose original music for their creative projects. It's something that goes hand in hand with our overall  initiative — equipping visuals with the best soundtrack imaginable, all while having our artists' backs along the way.

Our effort to stay involved in lending our services to filmmakers (and other creatives) is why we jumped at sponsoring StudioFest, an event that's reimagining how festivals operate to better support its artists. 

Think of it this way — with most festivals centering around short form mediums, it's challenging for filmmakers to figure out what happens next once the festival circuit finishes. Even if a short film is well received, the hurdles for branching into feature filmmaking are endless. And we're not even brushing the topic of budgeting for a 90-minute movie. 

This all being said, there’s often no place for artists to flex their creative muscles between this transition from short to feature length filmmaking. It’s a big leap for many (unless you have industry connections). Identifying such an industry gap, we knew we had to contribute to the cause, which is why we're joining forces with StudioFest.

The groundbreaking festival’s mission is to support filmmakers and writers in developing their debut feature. It's a one-of-a-kind experience for newcomers to dream larger, being able to bring their art to life on the feature length scale. StudioFest is set to host five short filmmakers and five feature-length screenplay writers  at the Graham and Co. Hotel in the Catskill Mountains in Phoenicia, New York. At the end of the festival, one film director and one screenwriter will receive the opportunity to partner with StudioFest in making their first feature film. 

Where does Marmoset come in? Music being our expertise, we’ll work alongside the winning filmmaker by licensing music to incorporate within their feature film.

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What do you need to know:

  • Finalists must be able to travel to Phoenicia, New York for the festival. All 10 finalists will need to attend and participate if chosen.

  • To enter, candidates must be new to the feature filmmaking game — this means to be eligible, filmmakers cannot have made a feature  film or written a feature script in the past. It’s strictly an opportunity to newcomers and a way to even the playing field.

Deadlines:

  • Regular deadline: July 8th, 2018 — $50. Late deadline: August 3rd, 2018 — $65

Where to Submit Your Application:

Want more information? 


Want to read more on Marmoset's community outreach? Read more below!

Posted on July 3, 2018 and filed under Filmmaking, Community, Marmoset, Music.

From Mountains To MountainFilm Festival: The Busy Life of Filmmaker, Stash Wislocki

Photo by Ben Knight

Photo by Ben Knight

Field Notes Interview #62: Filmmaker, Stash Wislocki

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Right at this very moment, there's a good chance that Stash Wislocki is up to something really interesting. Whether he might be climbing up an epic mountain or documenting the political climate in Colorado, this Telluride-based filmmaker is intentional in everything he does. Wislocki steps away from one side of the camera lens and is the Festival Producer for Telluride MountainFilm -- a wonderful festival nestled in the mountains of Colorado. The aim is to bridge the gap of ideas to an audience. Each film he chooses to work with, whether his own or the films in his festival, they always have a vision of community at the core. And that's exactly what he's been able to achieve. 

Stash answered some of our question amidst his busy schedule about his creative process and how he handles the constant variables and challenges within every project.


M: Why film? What compelled you to be a filmmaker?

SW: I call my parents liberal extremists. They brought my sister and me up in a house that was politically charged. Nothing could be watched or read without a family debate in which it seemed we were always trying to out liberal each other. I guess that’s why I moved toward film and, more specifically, documentaries. Docs don't have to abide by a strict journalistic code; filmmakers can have opinions. "DamNation" and "The Cove" are great examples.

That's why I also work for Mountainfilm. It's this powerhouse of a film festival that combines activism and film. We screen docs and invite speakers, artists, scientists and activists to present throughout the festival. My favorite part of Mountainfilm is the audience questions, which are always about the film's topic and how to effect change. I've been to a lot of film festival and that's not always the case. We strive to get the audience to do more then just appreciate a film. We want them to activate.

M: What's the most rewarding and frustrating part about being a filmmaker?

SW: In 2012, I worked for FilmAid in northern Kenya at the Kakuma Refugee Camp. We held outdoor screenings for upwards of 5,000 refugees at a time around the camp. The refugees came from all over Africa and spoke many different languages. The films ranged from educational (public health) to cartoons and comedies. It was amazing to see how film had a positive impact, even under bleakest of circumstances. It was truly rewarding work.

I work for a film festival, so I guess it would be unfair to say deadlines because I impose so many on filmmakers. But damn—I hate meeting deadlines. As a filmmaker, I'm also frustrated when I'm editing and know what I'm working on isn't great. I want it to be great, but either the story hasn't come together or it just doesn’t feel the way it should, which means I have to keep working on it. Really it may just be insecurity, never being sure it's as good as people say—and almost everyone will tell me its great, except for my parents. They always give me honest, feedback. A co worker calls them Statler and Waldorf, from the Muppets.

M: How do you feel music has a role in film?

SW: I love the way music can change the mood of a scene or interview. If it’s done right, it's powerful to watch and can show a subject in a much different light. I when hear scores from films and it puts me into the mood of that film. It can be very powerful and I love the feeling of transformation music can have on you. 

M: How do you feel music is misused in film?

SW: It's the manipulative factor that kills me. If you want me to feel a certain way, the music should enhance my feelings not dictate them. 

M: What do you hope your audience will take away when they watch your films?

SW: For Mountainfilm, the hope is that the audience is more than simply inspired. We aim to motivate people toward action because of what they saw or experienced at the festival. We spend a lot of time encouraging our audience to take the next step. The same goes for the last film I made, "Dear Governor Hickenlooper”  an anti fracking film composed of shorts from Colorado filmmakers that were then merged into feature film. We had a goal to not only inspire people, but to get them to stand up for our state, Colorado, and tell the governor not to frack.

M: What's the most recent album you've listened to?

SW: Everything by Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats. 

M: How do you know when you're finished with a project?

SW: I never feel finished, but when it plays at its first festival then its in the can and hopefully I don’t have to reopen it. When I re-watch a film a few months it kills me. I can’t remember why I made certain cuts, the moral of that story, don’t watch them again.

M: What makes a good story?

SW: I think anything can make a good story as long it has an arc. I honestly believe that. I see so many brilliant films with stories that don't sound interesting until I see them. Look at Ben Knights’s short "Denali": He made the story of a dog and a man in 8 minutes yet it gives you such insight to their time together. I am a cat person, so he had to move me past that hurdle too. Also, think if someone pitched you Man on Wire, the doc about a Frenchman tight rope walking the World Trade Center 35 years later. On the surface it would sound flat, but when you watch it, it seems bigger then life.

M: What's coming up on the horizon in your life?

SW: I'm working on two docs and producing Mountainfilm for 2016, but, more importantly, I’m getting married in October and wide open for any music suggestion at the wedding. 

 
 

Filmmaker Interview: Rebecca Hynes on hunting for the right story

There's not one single way to tell a story, sometimes they're told with twists and turns, leading you to a different place than you expected. When finding your story, take time to allow room for fortuitous moments of inspiration. Filmmaker, Rebecca Hynes found herself capturing the experience of a small town rodeo show and it took her to interesting places. 

Hynes' upcoming documentary "Rodeo Dog" is an amazing portrait of a town and its unexpected heroes. We had the pleasure of collaborating on the soundtrack and are excited to announce that the film is screening at this year's BendFilm Festival. We caught up with Rebecca about her project and she shed some light into following the story wherever it takes you.


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M: When did you start filming?

RH: I began my career in commercial film production in 2000 as a production assistant intern.  I worked two jobs on the side to support myself, and did the classic climb up the film production ladder, one rung at a time. 

M: When did you know you wanted to be a filmmaker?

RH: When I was about 15 I knew I wanted to work in media in some capacity.  I was enchanted with everything from the Olymipcs on TV to articles in Outside magazine.  I studied communications in college and my school had a really strong radio program so I worked as a program director and DJ which gave me a lot of tangible experience.  It wasn’t until I started PA’ing and gaining experience on set that I truly set my sights on this path.  I gravitated right away towards the role of Producer, and so I followed that track until I became one. 

M: What was the inspiration for Rodeo Dog?

RH: In 2011 I was at the Redmond, Oregon rodeo on a storybook summer night. They always put bullriding at the end of the rodeo because its the biggest draw.   After about the third bullrider got bucked off, the bull ran out across the arena rather than back through to the gate to the holding pens behind the chutes.  When this happens there’s men on horseback that go out and rope the bull or chase it back to the gate.  But before that could happen this little black dog came racing across the arena, circled around behind the bull, jumped through the air as if it was going to bite the bull’s tail, and sent the bull running back towards the gate into the chutes.   The whole crowd yelled, gasped, and clapped.  It looked like the dog had gotten loose and was chasing the bull, but it quickly became clear it was working in the arena just like anyone else out there.  I had been on the hunt for the right story I wanted to tell in a doc short, and I thought this little dog would make for a great 4 minute sort of film.  Two years later I met the dog’s owner when I arrived at their ranch to begin filming, and literally within minutes of being on their property and meeting the family I knew there was a larger story to tell. 

M: What's usually your favorite moment when working on a film?

RH: When there’s a moment on set when you witness people’s emotions on a deeper level, when you drop below the surface and really touch at something deeper, honest and ultimately more authentic.  Whether it happens on or off camera. One of the favorite elements of my job is the diversity of places and people I come in contact with on a monthly basis.

M: Were there any happy accidents when filming? If so, what's one that stands out?

RH: Principal filming happened at the Spray Rodeo, a town of 100 people in a valley on the John Day River with no cell phone service, no large hotels or grocery stores.   The nearest hotel with rooms was a 2 hour drive away, so I ended up renting an RV trailer for me and my crew after the film’s principal character invited us to camp with their family.  Sleeping in a one room trailer with three guys you don’t really know is quite an intimate experience that a lot of people probably wouldn’t do.  But because we were jammed right in the center of the family, we were there for so many life moments we never would’ve been able to capture.  And when we woke up on the first morning the family matriarch Delene was  inviting the boys out for camp pancakes, fried eggs and bacon…and my crew in the RV said “is this real?” because it was like something out of a movie, while we were shooting a movie. 

M: How do you feel music plays a role in filmmaking?

RH: It sounds cliche but I believe that music is the engine that carries a viewer through a film, whether its a :30 TV commercial or documentary.   Its the vehicle that can transport someone from beginning to end, and while doing so set the pace, establish the emotion and become the glue that connects all the pieces.    

In RODEO DOG I wanted the music to be a bridge between the rodeo world which is based on age old tradition and the modern world.  The matriarch in the movie rides on the same saddle she received for her birthday in 6th grade and she’s now in her 60’s.  But she does so with an iphone in her pocket, and its that melding of history and timeliness that I wanted the music to help capture.  I also wanted to break down stereotypes and insert some songs that were intentionally juxtaposed against the footage you see.  The “Blue Pyramids” song is one of the best examples, as its kind of quirky and a little bit weird and your hearing it over shots of bulls bumping heads, kicking up dirt and groaning.  It works, its just unexpected, which is great.

M: What was your process for finding a soundtrack to Rodeo Dog?

RH: I started with an initial batch of songs I had been foldering away over the course of the development and production cycle of the film.  My editor Chris Jones also picked a song.  Many of those initial songs worked, but many didn’t, so as chapters of the movie started to take shape I’d find a placeholder songs for the edit.  When I watched a segment or chapter in the rough cut come together I would know what kind of song I wanted for that section.  Then once I had a complete rough cut we reached out to the labels to inquire about licensing for the film.  Almost all the labels came back willing to grant usage, but even with favor indie rates it added up really quickly because there’s 10 songs in this 13 minute film.   So I sat with Eric and Kat at Marmoset to strategize on what was possible.   Then the Marmoset team proceeded to post folders of options for each chapter and I would usually know in the first :05-:10 of a song that it was the one.  I could just hear it right away, it would have the right tone, feeling, pace, arc, instruments, all of it.  I feel strongly you should never try and talk yourself into a song being the right one, its something you know in your gut and you have to trust that. 

M: How do you feel music can be misused in film?

RH: I think its really hard to set aside your personal taste while you select and critique music for placement. Its easier said than done to remove your filter and listen to a song with the lens you have to put on it - does it support not overshadow, does it sync with whats happening in the footage, does it elicit the right emotion?

M: What are you working on now? What's a project you're excited about coming up?

RH: I just wrapped a branded surf movie in Hawaii.  I’m blessed to call so many beautiful places my office day to day. I’m prepping a commercial project thats a live event stunt which is shaping up to be really fun. I want to work on more long form projects, both in producing and directing…thats what I’m most excited about. 

Stella Artois: The Life of Sundance (Part 3)

Check out the Stella Artois Facebook page for the last two videos in their four-part series on the Sundance Film Festival titled "The Life of Sundance." Part three, "Day," highlights the daytime activities of the festival-goers. When the sun is out in Park City, the town is alive with skiing, street music, and movies. The two writer/directors of "The Words," a film featured at Sundance, are interviewed about their creative process. The whole scene is soundtracked by Drexler's "Ball Point Pen" instrumental track.

The last video, "Night," highlights the brew-fueled nightlife of the mountain town. The soundtrack keeps it classy with "Vicera Capere" by Ill Mondo.

Stella Artois: The Life of Sundance

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Head to the Stella Artois Facebook page to check out parts one and two of a four-part series on the Sundance Film Festival, the American mecca of up-and-coming cinema. Both clips feature licensed music from artists on the Marmoset roster. Part one, titled "The Arrival," sets the scene with the Stella crew landing in Salt Lake City, driving to Park City, and getting the bars all fired up for a heavy flow of smooth lagers. The soundtrack to the scene is the retro-classy "Sound Sharp!" by Ill Mondo.

Part two, titled "Morning," profiles Daniel Joly, a chef who aims to approach food with the same creativity as a director approaches a film. His way of achieving this: Beer for breakfast. As an ingredient of course, not the main course. The sleepy-eyed aura of the clip is aided by "Terminal Seat" by Big Spider's Back.

Both Ill Mondo and Big Spider's Back are featured on the Marmoset roster, so give us a shout if you'd like to use their music in a project. Shout out to our friends at VML in Kansas City for making things happen.