Industry-Insider Marley Hansen on Submitting Standout Work

We talked to Marley Hansen about her career path, words of advice for filmmakers, and what she’s expecting from this year’s submissions.

RSA Films Directors Rep, Marley Hansen

As a former programmer for the global arts and culture platform NOWNESS, she’s acquired and curated some of the best short-form content from around the world. She’s served as a jury member and panelist at various film festivals in the worlds of art, fashion, and dance: straight 8, Bucharest Fashion Film Festival, and the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA), to name a few. 

Now she’s putting her extensive film industry experience as a director’s representative for RSA Films, a global commercial production company behind 50 years of award-winning campaigns. She’s also joined this year’s panel of fellow industry leaders to judge this year’s Musicbed Challenge.

Hear what Hansen has to say about her career path, words of advice for filmmakers, and what she’s expecting from this year’s submissions.

Musicbed: Did you always want to be a director’s representative? 

I’ve been in the entertainment industry for a while, but the director’s representative role is a relatively new one for me. Supporting and championing talent has been a steady constant in everything I do. From being fresh in the industry and producing friends’ work because I really believed in their ideas, to watching hours and hours of content at NOWNESS (where I worked for five years as a programmer/senior editor) to help provide a platform for new and exciting voices. This repping role feels like a natural follow-on from everything I have done so far, and I am looking forward to seeing where it takes me.

I’ve followed RSA Films and their sister company Black Dog Films closely for a while. The talent on the roster is immense and I knew the team from supporting the directors on various releases with NOWNESS. I jumped at the chance to join them and all the amazing things they are doing. 

In terms of RSA directors, whose work are you most excited to see? 

RSA has just signed the amazing Jared Malik Royal, so I am really looking forward to seeing his work and growth with the company. I also love anything Neels Castillon does. He adds a lovely poetic touch to the work he produces, so I’m always excited to see what he dreams up.

What’s your favorite scene in a movie or TV show where music elevated the moment?

Music has been a huge part of my life since day one. I have parents who are super into music —hence the name Marley—and for me, music is something I latch onto in films and TV. 

I remember one of my favorite assignments during my undergrad degree was to soundtrack a fictional film. My group was assigned the rom-com genre, and we had to come up with a playlist to hit certain moments in the film. It was really interesting having to put taste to the side and focus on how the music made us feel—especially with no real visuals.

Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused and Sophia Coppola’s Lost in Translation are big hitters for me in terms of music in film. Dazed and Confused has such a sound of the ‘70s and every song on the soundtrack works so well. The opening track, Aerosmith’s “Sweet Emotion” paired with the amazing cars and outfits as we are introduced to the school and characters hit a real sweet spot for me. 

I will always watch anything Mica Levi scores. Seeing Alejandro Landes’ Monos in the cinema was an amazing experience—Mica’s score was almost a character in itself and kept me absolutely hooked and on the edge of my seat.

License any song in the world.

Let’s switch gears to Musicbed Challenge. What are you looking for in submissions?

I am looking for an unexpected but perfect blend of music and visuals. I am keen to see people take risks and really play with the storytelling through music.

Why should filmmakers enter short film competitions?

You never know who is going to be judging or watching competitions. It’s also an amazing way to meet other filmmakers and creators and so wonderful to see your work reach new audiences and platforms. 

Last question for you — what is a piece of career advice you wish you’d heard sooner?

Sometimes things that feel like setbacks in the moment are actually the beginnings of new and exciting paths. 

Enter Musicbed Challenge

There’s still time to get your work in front of Hansen and the rest of this year’s panel of judges. Submissions close on March 31 at 12 PM CST. Download the Musicbed Challenge Starter Kit and submit your work today.