Larissa Rhodes and Mark Crawford
Emmy Award Filmmaker and Composer, The Social Dilemma
Larissa Rhodes - Emmy Award winning producer, Chasing Ice, The Social Dilemma
Larissa Rhodes and Mark Crawford are an up-and-coming film industry “power duo,” with a passion to create film and music that makes a positive impact on the world. To put it in their words:
We create films, music, and other art about things in the world that keep us up at night, but we also get really excited (and need to stay optimistic) about working with people who care about how to address the problems in our world.
“Mark: Most of my days are spent at my home studio, creating music that compliments various projects, mostly documentaries. When the time comes to record, I work with our local music recording studio Wind Over the Earth to assemble a team of musicians and bring the score to life.” - Mark Crawford
"When I began playing piano and percussion, I noticed my mind would wander off the sheet music and I’d start fiddling around to create new pieces. […] Because I’ve learned about all aspects of film production, it’s helped me have a full picture of where my music can fit in the process and in the final product." - Mark Crawford
Partners in marriage as well as business, Larissa and Mark’s passions have taken them all over the globe, often for months at a time. It was on one of these trips that they first learned about the benefits of Scientifically Better clothing from a friend and colleague:
“We worked together in 2013 for a project called Unreasonable at Sea, where we directed a team of 10 incredible filmmakers as they sailed around the world for 4 months, documenting the stories of 11 entrepreneurs. Being on a relatively cramped ship with limited clothing options, we were impressed by [friend and co-worker] Daniel’s ability to always have a professional, clean, wrinkle free shirt in every port we stopped. Later we found out the secret to his wardrobe: Ministry of Supply.” - Larissa Rhodes
Interest piqued, we asked them about their favorite pieces.
Mark: My favorite [...] are the dress shirts. I really haven’t found a great wrinkle-free versatile dress shirt that I enjoyed wearing until I tried out Ministry of Supply. I sweat a lot, especially at networking parties.[...] I like how breathable the Ministry of Supply clothing is, and how well it conforms to my body.
Larissa: I am most excited about a carbon neutral shirt that is coming out soon! [Editor’s note: It’s out now!] That gets me really hopeful for the future of fashion. For now, the fact that recycled fibers are being reused, and carbon footprint to manufacture the clothes are reduced along the production pipeline mean that strides are being taken to move toward 100% sustainability, which we desperately need. The Apollo Shirt Dress as a filmmaker has been functional, and is fashionable, timeless, plus it has pockets!
Rhodes and Crawford appreciate Ministry of Supply’s sustainability initiative, as it is a balance they look to strike in their own daily lives.
We try to walk the walk when it comes to sustainable living as much as we can so that we are in line with the values we express in our films. This means installing solar energy on our house […] reducing food waste, choosing more plant-based diets, composting, recycling, growing some of our own food, eating locally, driving less, and carpooling more, using public transit, biking, walking, and on and on. We even installed a filter on our washing machine to reduce microplastics from entering into our water supply. [...] I hope that Ministry of Supply will continue to make strides and inspire others to do their part in our fight to save our planet. Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse, is a mantra for clothing manufacturing and also a way of life.
Questions with Larissa and Mark
We sat down with Larissa and Mark in between projects to get a better sense of what drives their limitless passion and creativity.
How would you describe yourself in 10 words or less?
Mark: A restless soul creating art to positively shape the world.
Larissa: Optimistic, realistic, cautious, curious, happy, loving, thoughtful, creative, tree-hugger (literally).
Who are your influences/role models?
Mark: The composer that first inspired me to write music was Danny Elfman. I think my family bought me a CD of a mashup of all his movie scores, and I was that weird kid in middle school that listened to that instead of Blink-182. The soundtrack to Beasts of the Southern Wild by composer Dan Romer was a huge inspiration for me, and he became one of my favorite recent composers. Then in 2017, I got the incredible opportunity to write additional music for the Netflix original Chasing Coral to compliment his score. It was an incredible feeling to meet the person whose music I had been listening to for a long time.
Larissa: I look up to a lot of people. My parents & family, the film producers who helped me get my start, the coral scientist Dr. Ruth Gates whose indomitable spirit and optimism inspires me to keep going, my husband, Mark, who is my biggest cheerleader, and all the creative people that I work alongside who help make dreams come true.
What music do you listen to?
Mark: I do a lot of music research for various projects, so I tow the line anywhere from Athabaskan fiddling music to retro 8-bit video game music. Out of work mode, I absolutely love soul music, which to me means music that reaches down inside you and makes you want to move and sing.
Larissa: *I love listening to Mark’s music, and on Saturday mornings when we routinely make pancakes, we love listening to Norah Jones, Melody Gardot, and Jack Johnson’s pancake song.
How do you take your coffee?
Mark: Dark roast, french press, little bit of cream and sugar.
Larissa: I don’t drink coffee, I drink hot chocolate.
What’s your favorite place?
One of the most magical places we visited was Bagan and Mandalay in Myanmar. That was in 2013, and it’s incredibly sad knowing some of the atrocities that have occurred since.
What’s one place you would love to visit?
We heard about a walking path through the forests of Japan south of Kyoto called the Kumano Kodo. It’s an ancient pilgrimage that visits important sites for Shintoism and Buddhism in Japan. A peaceful walk through the forests away from civilization sounds pretty nice these days.
What have you discovered that has surprised you?
Mark: At the beginning of 2019, Larissa got a minor concussion while we were riding our bikes. We soon realized that every time she looked at her phone or watched a movie, she’d get a headache. So we adjusted our life while she’s been recovering, and it’s been surprising how beneficial some of the changes have been. We don’t look at our screens or watch TV as much in the evening, so we go to bed earlier. We’ve been reading a lot more, and we feel more creative as a result of using more of our imaginations. It’s been surprising how much of our life is inundated with screens and technology, but by turning them off a little more, we’ve been able to take back just a little more of our lives.
How do you balance everything?
We have a corkboard in our clothes closet where we have posted small paper squares with our goals, hopes, and dreams scheduled out by year. Every morning we can look at the things we truly want to do in the next few years, and make sure we’re making small adjustments in our daily life to achieve them.
What’s one thing you wish you had more time for?
If we had more time, we would love to be more involved with the policies and policy-makers that are developing our neighborhood and city so that it’s more sustainable. Change starts at a local level, and while we spend the majority of our time creating work that inspires others to make positive changes on a big scale, we’d love to be more involved with local policy and activist groups who are helping make our town more resilient, healthy, and ready for the challenges ahead of us. This, and a little more time to read books would be nice.
Anything else we should know?
The future of our world depends on creative people, imagination and thoughtful solutions that are at the very core sustainable for us and our planet.