Posts tagged #Vimeo

The Artists Behind Music Licensing

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Wesley Jensen hails from Denton, Texas. Like other musicians, he creates music to share across the internet and for live performances — it’s a way of life for many working musicians, to record, share, tour and repeat. Oftentimes it can feel like a labor of love, to invest so much of one’s musical craft, to be so committed to something with not a ton of fiscal reward (at least not right off the bat).

This kind of scenario isn’t uncommon for many musicians and it’s one of the reasons Marmoset sets out to improve the music game — focusing on supporting real, touring musical artists through music licensing. Whether it’s collaborating for original composition or placing our artists’ music on viral campaigns, we’re focused on strengthening our community through sustainability.

Every dollar you spend to license a song or invest in original music for your project goes toward a musician’s lifestyle, toward a working artist’s income — so they can focus more time on creating amazing music.

Looking at the journey of the Marmoset dollar, we sat down to chat with Wesley Jensen and learn more about how music licensing has impacted his musical career over the years.

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Marmoset: Can you tell us a little bit about your journey in music in general and how you came to Marmoset? 

Jensen: My interest in music started back in Jr High and it hasn’t ever stopped; I feel like I’ve been in some sort of band ever since. My first release under my own name came way back in 2007 and Marmoset reached out to me in 2011 about being part of the artist catalog. To be honest, I thought it was spam and ignored it for a bit. Ha! It took a strong pursuit by Ryan Wines to wear me down and he finally won me over after I played a Marmoset Music Fest NW Party. Meeting everyone and seeing how great they were, I knew I had to hop onboard. 

M: We’d also love to learn about some creative projects you're most proud of, how do you think they helped define your purpose and desire to pursue music?

Jenson: The music business can be really brutal, so it’s all about the small victories. Ha! Anytime I’ve noticed myself grow as a musician has been important for me. From my first show, to my first album release, to my first national tour, etc, it’s all encouraging and has helped me want to continue on.

As far as specific moments, I’d say around the time I met Marmoset was an exciting turning point for me. That year I had put out my first full length record in which I produced, engineered, and mixed all on my own (which was a lot bigger deal back then as compared to now). It turned out good and was nice to be validated by folks like Marmoset who took it and put it to commercials, etc. 

M: What did your introduction to music licensing look like? What do you think are some common misconceptions about the licensing game? 

Jenson: Licensing has been amazing for me, it’s opened a lot of possibilities musically. I always try to encourage people to to get involved with it if they have the opportunity. In fact, I think I’ve been a bit of an unofficial spokesperson for Marmoset over the years. Ha!

I think there are quite a few common misconceptions, the first being that it’s scary in any way. As musicians, we’re so protective of our craft that it’s hard to sign contracts and think that your music might be used for something weird. The reality is that there’s nothing to lose, especially if your involved with an agency like Marmoset, it’s only beneficial and full of rewarding possibilities. I’d say that the other misconception is that it’s easy — you make music and it gets licensed, just like that. Ha! It’s not true. There’s a lot of work involved in finding the perfect song for each project so it takes patience to see results. You never know when something’s going to land, but it feels like Christmas when it does. 

M: What was your reaction when you first saw your music licensed for a project? How did it compare to something like performing in front of a live audience?

Jenson: I think my first few big licensing hits were commercials. It was weird honestly, but it was cool. It felt good. It’s definitely fun to have family and friends reaching out saying they just heard your music on TV. It’s hard to compare live music to licensing, both are very rewarding I’d say, but different. Live music is very emotionally driven, lots of energy, very in the moment, etc. Licensing is more behind the scenes as opposed to being front of stage, but it’s cool to know you that something you created was picked out of a myriad of options. It’s always fun to win things. 

M: What something you would say to an artist new to the world of licensing or just starting out, is there anything helpful you wish you had known? 

Jenson: If they’re on the fence I’d tell them to go for it. I’d tell them it’s fun and rewarding and they’ve got nothing to lose. If they were on board I’d tell them not to worry about anything at all, the hard part (making the music) is over, now they get to sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Trust in the people they’re working with and let them find the right opportunities. And if they’re lucky enough to work with Marmoset I’d tell them to say “yes” to anything and everything they’re asked to be involved in. 

M: What new projects are you working on right now?

Jenson: I am ALWAYS working on new projects. I just finished up 2018 releasing a 4 part (16 Song) EP collection Something Old, Something New, Something Else, Something Blue, three of the four are produced by Marmoset’s Brian Hall. Currently, I’m back in the studio working on a brand new project that will wrap up later this spring. All good things!


Journey of the Marmoset Dollar

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If growing up in the era of strip malls, one may recall those plastic funnel donation “wells” where someone tosses in a coin, watching as it gracefully spins multiple laps until spiraling to the bottom. But what exactly was the coin’s final destination, the overarching impact of these donations?

To know where one’s money is going — where it actually ends up — is the ultimate consumer superpower. Digging deeper into what a business stands for, a purchase could mean casting a vote, exercising a voice to advocate for change, positivity — or the opposite in a lot of cases. For example, buying an outfit at Wildfang not only supports their day to day operation costs, it contributes to their $400K giving to organizations like Planned Parenthood, ACLU, RAICES (and many others).

This is the type of transparency Marmoset is all about, because licensing a song for your video or hiring us to compose original music doesn’t mean just paying for the music itself, it’s a contribution to the community. It means supporting real working musicians, filmmakers and artists while advocating for the nonprofits we partner with, admire and support.

And so, we’d like to share with you the journey of a dollar at Marmoset. It’s a journey we’re proud to be living — it means staying connected through art, music, compassion and creativity. It’s the kind of journey we’re proud to keep going.


Interview with Filmmaker, Richard Card

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Field Notes Interview #88: Richard Card, Filmmaker

We chat with Director, Richard Card, about his acclaimed film, Zawadi, where he found inspiration for the soundtrack and how he prepared for filming in a country and culture other than his own. 

 

Where fiction meets reality. 

There's a lot of unknowns in any given project, and the element of filming in a different country adds both literal and figurative uncharted territories. Director, Richard Card, welcomed the opportunity and challenge in his striking film, Zawadi. Crossing language barriers and time zones, Card gleaned a story the inner confines of Kibera, Kenya, one of poorest areas of the world. This is a distilled story of life, family and connection, all surrounded by the dense environment and cultural context of Kenya. 

We talked with Card about how he came to this project, what went into filming on the road, and where he got inspiration to create the unique soundtrack. Enjoy.


Marmoset: Have you noticed any shift after the release of the Zawadi and it being a Vimeo Staff Pick?

Richard Card: Vimeo Staff Picks are always a bar for what I would consider quality content, so of course it’s amazing to be selected for that. Also the fact that you now have 100,000 creatives looking at your work -- that in itself is worth so much. It went from 15 views to 50,000 views in a matter of a couple days. The Vimeo community is a very strong art community. These are all filmmakers, content creators, people that are extremely involved in the industry in some way.

M: Did this come as a surprise?

RC: Yes and no, I guess. The film first got into Seattle’s International Film Festival last year. At that event, a lot of people from Vimeo were there -- they’re big sponsors of that festival. I met with some of the people there and was able to learn about the staff picking process and how you can better suit your film to make it through. So, like you would do with any short film in any festival, I also took the time to send over blurbs to Vimeo, treating Vimeo Staff Picks like any festival and trying to get a submission in that regard.

M: So there was an intentionality in pitching the film to them directly?

RC: Absolutely.

M: Is this your first Vimeo Staff Pick?

RC: It’s my first as a director, but as a director of photography I’ve gotten a couple of other things out there.

M: How did you assert yourself into the role of director? Did you always know you’d be a director?

RC: I would say I’m first and foremost a director, and that’s always been my end goal. I started making movies -- like a lot of people in this industry -- when I was in high school. I started out as a skateboarder making skate films with friends, which led me to taking a film class in high school, which then led me into making a short film for the final project and then realizing that I loved it so dearly and wanted to do it again and again and again. There’s two ways you can answer the question of “can you do this for a career?” A person can say “yes, it’s very hard,” and “yes, here’s how to do it,” and I had a teacher who did that.

M: Have there been any major shifts in how you make films over the years?

RC: I have a lot of films I’ve shot over the last 10 years -- and when I say “a lot” I mean, like, five. Two I’ve considered legit and the other ones are me learning as an artist. The thing I’ve taken most from my experience is simplifying the process in a way that boils the story down. Literally breaking the story down until it’s in its absolute bare necessities to convey the emotions you’re trying to get to. There’s been an evolution in my cinematography style, with more complex camera movements and overall better image quality. However, the biggest thing that’s evolved is my ability to see the story's meaning from the beginning and then going forward, rather than shooting a bunch of stuff and then never using any of it. I’ve gotten very far from that -- I never want to do that anymore.

M: So enter with a story instead of going in and seeing what happens during a shoot.

RC: Yeah, I would say that. I’ve gone into shooting short films with a script that could’ve used another five passes of removing excess scenes and dialogue. With Zawadi, I really spent a long time working with the writer. The original script came back at 20 pages, and there was all this elaborate stuff that was not true to what the story was. So we spent a lot of time refining, refining, refining and got it down to an 8 page script. That brought the heart of the story out. All of the other parts would have made it feel contrived or just not as true to form.

M: Going into filming Zawadi, why did you choose this story over other stories?

RC: There’s a couple ways that I can approach this. First and foremost, I was in Kenya working on a documentary as a cinematographer. We spent about a week in Kibera, which is the landscape you see in the film. Kibera is seen as one of the largest slums in the world. Most Westerners go into the slums with a little hesitation, fear and anxiety because you don’t know what to expect. The first day, you’re just terrified. The second day, you become more calm. And after spending a week in the slums, you realize that although it’s a terrible living condition to endure, people are just living life. It’s not all depression and depravity. People are happy and smiling and they go to the movies. The movie theater might be a room with six chairs and a TV, but they still go to the movies. So I was really struck by that.

After being inspired by this experience, I wanted to take some kind of story and tell the side that I had seen that I was very surprised by. One of the producers of the film pitched a story about a guy who collects bottles to get a girl a gift on her birthday, and I thought this was a beautiful idea -- so perfect and so simple. The other producer and writer, David Kinyanjui, started building the narrative. I’ll say one of the things that I found really shocking and loved about the story was that we would be spending a lot of filming with bottles -- they’re part of the story in how the main character gets the money to get the gift. The moment we would walk away from the bottles to film them, someone would try to pick them up and we would say “No, no, no, please, we need those for our shot.” So it’s a very true story.

Photo by Richard Card

M: How did you get to know the actors in this film?

RC: The production company that I teamed up with out there put together a series of casting sessions. We sat down and had a lot of people come in -- probably about 50 people -- for many of the roles. Except for the children. We only had about 8-10 kids come in. It was very tough. And then Jeremy Prince Kamau and Peitrah Wanjiru Mwaura came in and everything just clicked. That’s really how I came to know them. Jeremy, as any kid, wants to be playing, and doesn’t want to be doing work. But we managed to have some fun and some laughs and pull something beautiful out of him.

M: In what ways was it tough for Jeremy?

RC: He was a theatrical actor without a background in film, so I had to coax his performance and keep reminding him after his lines to stay in those moments -- to continue being present the whole time. Keep in mind that all of this was done through a translator. Although Kenya is a bilingual country -- they speak Swahili and English -- they speak a hybrid of the two. English alone would not get the more detailed points across. So all of this was done through my script supervisor, and we would throw direction back and forth. I would look at Jeremy and give him the direction directly, then the script supervisor would repeat and reinforce it in Swahili.

M: As a filmmaker, how do you prepare to film in a different country and culture?

RC: Experience is really the only thing that preps you for it. I’ve been extremely fortunate that ever since I’ve been in the film industry, I’ve been traveling on jobs that have gone to other countries. I’ve experienced the process of walking through how other productions make it work, so I knew what I had to bring to the table. So how do you prepare? You find the local resources you can get to. I read up on cultural things and learn as much as I can. I like to be a chameleon and a sponge anywhere I go. Any time I travel, I try to learn the language with the people -- it brings a bond. I’m never going to speak Swahili, but I can learn 15-20 phrases and make people laugh.

M: How did you land on the music for this project?

RC: You’d walk by these record stores in the slums blasting this amazing music and I’d walk up and buy the CDs right then. I’d use these CDs to influence the type of sound I wanted to get to.

Lukas Behnken, one of the producers of the film, introduced me to the composer, Zachary Ross. His forte is eastern-African music and instrumentation. We sat down and started talking about the music, he threw ideas my way and we went through a long process of playing with different instruments and plucking sounds. He would put something together and we’d try the same melody on different instrumentation, like the kalimba, or the djembe. I would give a tone and a mood that I wanted and then he would come back with something. I’d listen and give notes. He very rarely missed it -- we got a lot of it on the first pass.

He took a lot of the visual representations of the film -- it’s very industrial. You hear a lot of these sounds that are textured in -- grinding metal and things being dragged across metallic surfaces. That, along with the driving beat of trying to maintain the true sound of African drums in some way, really helped suture the visual and the score.  

M: How do you balance work and personal projects?

RC: It’s a very tough balance. In all sincerity, just don’t take time off. When I’m shooting a movie, I’ll be on five days a week for three weeks straight, 12 hour days. Then you also have to do your laundry. You just don’t take time off if you really want to do these things. After shooting the documentary in Kenya, I was going to take a vacation and backpack around east Africa to explore. I was so drawn to make a story, that I did both at the same time. I was on a tiny island called Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania taking phone calls and giving script notes. It was very odd. I found myself thinking “I should be going to this spice farm, but I gotta get notes out, phones calls and I gotta wire money.” It was a nutty project. 

M: What’s coming up next for you?

RC: I’m in development on a couple different shorts and evolving them into feature roles. I’m always looking for new scripts to read. Cinematography is very important to me. Directing is the end goal, but I also need to honor the integrity of my other passion for cinematography and see how that part of my career grows. 

 

The Importance of Pre-Production In Your Projects

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Field Notes Interview #29: Preston Kanak, Filmmaker

Spontaneity doesn't always mean not having a plan. Sometimes planning ahead can give more room for unintended and adventitious moments in any project you're working on. Filmmaker, Preston Kanak drives this point home in his recent film Embargo.

While filming in Cuba and telling the story of "home," Preston and his filmmaking partner Brent Foster captured the unique landscape through visual storytelling. He used the track "Anchor" by Glass Wands as a driving force in conveying the mood of such a complex and beautiful setting of Havana and its rural outskirts. This is a strong and powerful piece, and a lot of it has to do with approaching the project with pre-planning. 

We chatted with Preston Kanak about his process of filming and how music plays a role in his projects. Read on.


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

PK: The desire to be a filmmaker came late for me. I started my education wanting to be an optometrist but never felt passionate with the schooling. I switched gears and enrolled in a media production and studies degree program. It was here where I started to learn more about filmmaking. In my third year with the program, I started a film a day project and it was during this project that I became hooked.

M: What's your favorite moment of the filmmaking process?

PK: My favorite part of the process is in meeting all the people along the way. Each person has such a unique story to tell and it excites me to see others passionate about what they do.

M: How did this Embargo come into form? What's the story behind this project?

PK: Last January, Brent Foster and I headed to Cuba to tell the story of home. We wanted to try showcase that unique feeling that comes with this idea. For ‘Embargo', I wanted to reinvestigate this story but through visual storytelling rather than rely on a voice-over to drive the story.

M: What do you think defines a filmmakers' "voice"?

PK: That is a tough question. For me, that voice is what wakes you up every morning and keeps driving you forward. It is the passion that drives and connects to the world around you. This voice may or may not be attached to a specific style of storytelling. Everyone has a unique story to tell based on their life experiences and this voice is what shares it with the world.

M: Do you always have a clear vision in mind when filming?

PK: Through my film a day project, I have definitely developed systems and processes with the work I produce. Regarding the clear vision, this is visible through the pre-production I do with every project. For me, a clear vision up front is critical to ensure the success of a project. I know that projects evolve through each step of the creative process but by having a plan up front, it is much easier to gauge whether or not I want to work on a project as well as how I want to approach it if it is a project I indeed want to work on.

M: Were there any happy accidents when filming?

PK: Happy accidents happen all the time when you are prepared from the start. If you are not scrambling to make things happen, happy accidents are inevitable.

M: What role do you feel music has in film?

PK: Music plays an integral role in any project. Much like the other audio elements, it can affect the way in which people interpret your message. 

M: When do you know that you have something ready to show the world?

PK: My work is never 100% complete. I use deadlines for releasing content to the world. Because I am a perfectionist, I have to do this or nothing would ever get released. I think that by producing the film a day project, I was able to let go of the fact that nothing will ever be perfect. I focus more on the idea of ensuring that my last project is always my best and I am able to do this as I am always pushing myself to learn something new.

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

PK: Music is misused when it is used as a crutch. If the film changes the intended purpose of your film, it shouldn’t be used.

M: What's coming up?

PK: My next 6 months is pretty crazy. With my business, Cinescapes Collective, we have just opened up an office locally and have some commercial work taking us across Canada. Beyond this, we are committed to shooting a personal short a month spanning many genres to continue to push our creative side. The next of the series is slated to fire up the end of March in NYC with others being filmed in such places as Canyonlands and Peru.

 
 

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Have your story to tell? Share your recent film with us at sharing@marmosetmusic.com. We'll feature our favorite on the journal and the winner will receive a Marmoset shirt and Field Notes notebook. C'mon, Share the love!

Field Notes: An interview with filmmaker, Ryan Booth

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Ryan Booth is living proof that there is always time to find your passion.

Equal parts music and film lover, Booth has been a driving force in showcasing some of the best of both worlds. Hailing from Houston, TX, the strong moods and emotional impact within his films speak volumes, while galvanizing the viewer to take action and pursue their own vision. Currently debuting his new project: SerialBox, he celebrates and supports his local music scene by sharing musicians stories, while featuring intimate performances, all creating an amazing collaboration of sight and sound. Booth's work is a catalyst for creativity and that is a powerful element in creating good work in the world.

We chatted with Ryan about developing his voice in filmmaking, finding fortune in happy accidents while filming and the power of music as a vehicle in picture.


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

RB: I’ve always, always, always been a fan of movies. I’ve always been interested in who made what and with whom. But, honestly I didn’t have a sense of how I could be involved in making films until I was much older. I knew that I wanted to do something “creative” (a term I hate), but wasn’t sure if it was music or acting or photography or writing. I ended up working in Nashville for several years as an audio engineer, then as a photographer. I ended up in Houston for my wife’s grad school and while there, the 5Dmk2 came out. I bought one for photography and was curious about the video capabilities. It was the first non DV tape video camera I’d seen and I was curious how I might be able to use it. I entered a contest in 2010 called The Story Beyond the Still which was a Canon and Vimeo partnership. It was a multi-chapter narrative story. Each chapter directed by a different filmmaker. I made a short film for the contest and amazingly, won my chapter. It was the first short I’d ever made. The “prize” was that all the chapter winners were flown out to LA to write and be on set for the final chapter. It was a real shoot. 5-6 Semi trucks worth of gear, 100 people on set, the whole thing. I was absolutely mesmerized. I had no idea this was what that world could look like and I was instantly hooked. 

I came back to TX from that experience and quit everything else cold turkey. No more audio, no more photography. I knew I wanted to be a filmmaker. 

M: What's your favorite moment of the filmmaking process?

RB: There is a moment, when you’re making a film, when the pieces all align and multiply and for just a moment you can feel the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. It’s this tiny moment of transcendence, being able to experience the story, for a brief moment, as the audience will. Those are fleeting moments, but are great guideposts as you put films together that signal you’re on the right track. Plus, it’s a beautiful thing to experience all by yourself, before anyone else will. I love those culminating moments.

M: What do you think defines a filmmakers' "voice"?

I’m not exactly sure, because it’ll be different for everyone. When I was in my early 20s, I got accepted into this photojournalism workshop in Cambodia. A dozen of us were invited to create photo essays under the mentorship of a hugely famous photojournalist. We would work all day and at night, we would bring him the images and he’d help us craft the narrative. I remember on the last day of the workshop (I still had no idea what I wanted to do) I was asking him if he thought I was good enough to get in to a good grad program in photojournalism. He told me, “Ryan, I can sift through this pile of images right now and pick out which one’s are yours. It’s not a style I see much of in photojournalism. DO NOT go to grad school. They’ll take it from you. You have the tiny beginnings of your voice. DO NOT let anyone take it from. Just keep shooting…” 

It’s stuck with me all these years. You have to fight that battle with yourself…to not let other people define the way that you see things, the way you want to say things. It’s hard. Current style can be persuasive, lucrative gigs can be persuasive, but ultimately, you’ll have to stay true to yourself no matter what it costs. I truly believe that’s the only way you’ll ever have a “career.” (Which just means that you don’t have to quit doing this and go get a “real job”) 

M: How did SerialBox come into fruition?

RB: SerialBox is my completely naive attempt to learn filmmaking. When the 5D came out and I was dabbling, I called some friends who already had been doing video and asked them all to come to a studio I shared with a few guys. We set up a bunch of  cameras. I knew some musicians and knew how to engineer, so I invited a band to come play some tunes, my other buddy put some lights up, and I used that time to learn. Coverage, lighting, movement. That first session we shot was with a band called Paper Route and it instantly told us we were on to something.

M: Did you have a clear vision in mind? Or do you allow things to unfold when you film?

RB: I have a clear vision as to what I want the audience to feel. How we get there, is definitely open to the way the set moves on the day. I’ve found that a “plan” is very necessary and critical to begin the journey of telling your story, whatever it may be. However, it’s 100% likely things you didn’t anticipate will come up and you have to be willing to let the plan go. Just keep a firm grasp on what you want people to feel, and the meandering way you get there will be full of happy accidents.

M: Favorite moment off the screen?

RB: I want my sets to be memorable, safe places, where people feel like they can be themselves and try new things. I’m not too rigidly interested in the outcomes. I feel like if you can focus on the process of making these things, the byproduct will be good work. Meaning, if my crew walks away from the day thinking I was a total jerk or that they didn’t feel like they had something to contribute, I don’t care if we end up winning an Oscar, it will have been an abject failure. The ends do not justify the means on my sets. So, all that to say, many times, the majority of the favorite moments are off screen. Or the moments it takes off screen to get a real moment on screen. That’s the real work.

M: Were there any happy accidents during any sessions?

RB: We are in the middle of shooting a pilot for SerialBox that we’re calling SerialBoxTV. We’re doing an hour long show with each episode being about one artist. We shot the studio portion of the episode with Noah Gundersen a few days ago. I had pulled some images of old 60s recording studios that I was using as a reference when we were building sets. We were using sheets of pegboard and were distressing them. The thought being that we would bring in some old gear, and it’d feel like Dan Winter’s version of an old studio. 

Except, when it came down to it, it was terrible. Just not coming together at all. It felt hodge podge and sloppy. We painted the pegboard a slate color to try and change the tone, but it only got worse. We’d just successfully funded a kickstarter to do this project and I was freaking out. “Everyone is going to laugh at us and how bad this is. And they’re going to want their money back.”

I had a big HMI up on a combo behind one of the set walls and was going to raise it up over top to use as a backlight. I kicked it on and then walked back around front to wait for it to warm up before raising it. I had a couple other guys up there helping out and we all turned and looked. The HMI kicking through the pegboard was incredible looking. Like, incredible. It looked kind of like an LED wall, but the paint had globbed up some of the holes. And you could see our framing and the stuff behind the set. It looked weird and totally awesome. We all looked at each other. Ok, previous plan out the window. 

We completely re-approached the set and ultimately the lighting. It was terrifying to change plans so drastically, but it was the right call. It just felt like I wanted the session to feel. Those kinds of happy accidents are waiting for you all the time, if you’re willing to look for them. 

M: What role do you feel music has in film?

RB: Music is everything. Think about the most moving, lasting images you have in your mind from the most iconic films ever made. Is there a single moment in your mind that isn’t punctuated by music? I’d bet that there’s not a single one. Music is the thing that takes you there. It’s the vehicle. It can’t be underestimated.

M: When did you know that you have something ready to show the world?

RB: I know it’s ready when a handful of things have happened: 1. I’ve had that moment I described above, that transcendent moment on my own. That’s partly how I know it’s ready for an audience. 2. After I’ve shown it to a handful of friends, there is almost always incredibly glaring things to fix. Things I brushed aside when it was just me watching are suddenly glaring. After it’s passed those two tests, it’s time to ship. 

Which, all of that is not to say that I’m happy with the final product. I’m almost never happy with it. I see the seams. I see all of the things I could have done better. I see all the ways I was being derivative or scared or lazy. I see my shortcomings, my areas of improvement. But, that is all irrelevant to actually shipping. If I waited until I was perfectly happy with my films or projects, they would absolutely never get seen by anyone. I’d never ship. And I’ll tell you this. That’d be a supremely arrogant thing for me to do. It’s never going to be perfect. That’s not the criteria for deciding if it’s really ready to show to the world. Work hard, trust some friends to help you see the forest for the trees and then for the love of god, put it out there.

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

RB: I feel like music has to be earned. You can’t rely on music to do the heavy lifting for you…it should be enhancing and bolstering what you’re already accomplishing with the cinematography, the acting, the script, the pacing, the cuts, the film. You can’t just slap a song on it and hope it does the work for you. I tend to like a lot of music in my films, but I can tend towards overuse. Nothing is worse than a piece of music emotionally dictating a feeling you haven’t earned. 

I DPd a feature a couple years ago and when I finally saw the cut at the festival when it premiered, I was amazed. There were only two music cues in the entire 90 minute film. The directors were incredibly restrained. It was a deep, complex, emotional story and they felt like they would be heavy handed to have any more music than that. I’ll tell you what; they were 100% right. Not a dry eye in the theater during either of those sequences. They’re incredibly memorable as a result. 

That’s the trick, I’d say.

M: What's coming up?

RB: I’m currently at an airport heading to Oklahoma for a big multicam live event that SerialBox is producing. Then off to Charlotte to DP a music video. Then off to Seattle to continue production on the SerialBoxTV pilot. Then to Austin for Masters in Motion, then off to LA for a couple days on a TV show my friend is a writer on. It’s been a crazy year and one I’ve been very, very thankful for. I’ve got a short film that I’m sitting on that I really want to direct. That’ll be what I start out 2015 working on. 

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Music + Picture // How "Our Summer's Reach" bottles the essence of a season

We might be a little biased, but Oregon summers are the best.

As today marks the official start of fall, we take a final look at the last days of summer with "Our Summer's Reach." The new film from our friend and filmmaker, Josh Brine from Story & Heart perfectly captures the feeling of our favorite time of year.

In a series of inspiring footage, Brine bottles the sense of adventure, travel and friendship without saying a word — he lets the images speak for themselves.

Our anthemic original composition "The View From The Top" follows along this epic journey. Driven by electric guitars and oohs & ahhs, this composition reaches revelatory heights, while telling a youthful story of triumph and empowerment — a story of summer.

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