Archives For Educational

We are very sad to hear of the passing of Legendary Documentary Filmmaker Albert Maysles. We’d like to share our story of when we met Albert in 2008 at the Dallas Video Festival.

Albert Maysles and Angela Walley, 2008 #WalleyFilms
Albert Maysles and Angela Walley

Our short film Picturesque Joel was an official selection of the festival, but we were really there because we knew Albert would be there. We had fallen in love with Salesman and Grey Gardens, and we were particularly interested in Maysles Films’ series following artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude. We made the trip to Dallas and were thrilled to attend our first Film Festival wearing “Filmmaker Badges”.

Albert Maysles, 2008 #WalleyFilms
Albert Maysles at the Dallas Video Festival, 2008

Albert Maysles, 2008 #WalleyFilms
Albert Maysles graciously signs a Grey Garden’s Film Poster

Our badges gave us access to the Filmmakers Lounge, which we nervously attended. We found Festival Director Bart Weiss and told him what big fans we were of Albert. He told us that Albert was very approachable, so we should just introduce ourselves. There were several other Filmmakers waiting to take photos and talk with Albert.

Albert Maysles and Angela Walley, 2008 #WalleyFilms
A conversation with Albert Maysles

Albert Maysles' Socks, 2008 #WalleyFilms
Albert Maysles’ Yellow Socks

He was very kind and gracious with each encounter. He gave everyone his full attention and even flirted a little with a young woman who revealed her love for Grey Gardens. When we had a chance to talk with Albert he remarked to us, “Documentary, that’s the way to go”. At the time we were making narrative and experimental short films, but documentary would soon become our genre of choice.

Running Fence, Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Running Fence

Dallas Video Festival screened Running Fence, with a brief introduction by Albert and Bart. Mark remembers the way Albert described working with Christo and Jeanne-Claude. Albert had such a deep love and respect for the subjects he followed, which we would later emulate in our own work.

Albert Maysles and Angela Walley #WalleyFilms
Albert Maysles and Angela Walley

Things began to fall into place for us as we continued our early film work. We didn’t make the connection immediately, but when we reflected on it we realized that with just a few words Albert had helped us fuse our love for Contemporary Art and Storytelling.

Albert Maysles and Mark Walley, 2008 #WalleyFilms
Albert Maysles and Mark Walley

Jimmy Kuehnle Documentary #WalleyFilms
Still from our film Jimmy Kuehnle’s Big Red and Walking Fish, 2009

The following year we attended the festival with the hopes of meeting Albert again. Our short documentary Big Red and Walking Fish following performance artist Jimmy Kuehnle was an official selection and we’d hoped to tell Albert how big of an influence he had been for us. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to make it that year, and we never had a chance to tell him how important meeting him was for the course of our work as filmmakers.

Albert and David Maysles
Albert and David Maysles

Now seven years later, we have produced over thirty short documentary films and are currently in production on our most ambitious documentary film to date. When we married in 2010 and formed our production company, the name “Walley Films” was in homage to “Maysles Films” and the dynamic duo relationship Albert shared with his brother David. There have been many influences in our work, but it all started with Albert Maysles.

Albert Maysles, 2008 #WalleyFilms
Albert Maysles, November 26, 1926 – March 5, 2015

As a documentarian I happily place my fate and faith in reality. It is my caretaker, the provider of subjects, themes, experiences – all endowed with the power of truth and the romance of discovery. And the closer I adhere to reality the more honest and authentic my tales. After all, the knowledge of the real world is exactly what we need to better understand and therefore possibly to love one another. It’s my way of making the world a better place.

– Albert Maysles

We want to say thank you to Albert. Thank you for your incredible work and for your kindness.

Mark and Angela

Advertisements

MOSAIC at Blue Star

We began following Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum’s MOSAIC program in January of last year. MOSAIC is a free after-school arts program for high school youth led by Studio Manager and renowned Artist, Alex Rubio. The crew had started working on what would become the largest handmade tile mosaic mural in San Antonio. They invited us into their studio at Blue Star and we began documenting their process.

MOSAIC at Blue Star

MOSAIC at Blue Star

Each student artist has the opportunity to learn all the steps in creating a mosaic tile mural. From coming up with a concept of featuring San Antonio’s Eastside landmarks to installing the handmade tiles on H-E-B’s wall, the students can all say they had a hand in making the completed mural possible.

MOSAIC at Blue Star

MOSAIC at Blue Star

The unveiling of the mural at H-E-B was an exciting event. There was a great turnout of supporters and members of the Eastside community. All the time and effort Alex and the student artists put into the project culminated into a single moment when the cover was lifted and everyone could see what they had created.

MOSAIC at Blue Star

MOSAIC H-E-B Mural

MOSAIC H-E-B Mural

The mural features well-known Eastside landmarks, including the Cameo Theater, Carver Community Cultural Center, Watson Fine Arts Center, Carver Academy and the Ella Austin Community Center. Visit the completed mosaic tile mural at the East Houston Street H-E-B located at 415 North New Braunfels Avenue.

MOSAIC Chuck Ramirez Print

The film features other collaborative projects including a steam roller print portrait of the late artist Chuck Ramirez and an outdoor fence piece with artist Gary Sweeney for his Retrospective exhibition at Blue Star. It was important for us to show the diverse range of projects MOSAIC student artists have the opportunity to work on as part of the program.

MOSAIC collaboration with Gary Sweeney

Thank you to Alex, the student artists, Blue Star, and all the people who made this project possible!

-M&A

 Mark and Angela Walley at PechaKucha San Antonio Vol X – Video Still of artist Jennifer Ling Datchuk

In case you weren’t able to attended our presentation at PechaKucha Vol X last month, it’s now available to watch online. The PechaKucha 20×20 event format invites participants to share 20 images, each for 20 seconds. We were inspired by Texas Public Radio’s Nathan Cone who shared video clips instead of images. Our presentation included 20 second clips from 20 of our short artist documentary films. It was a real challenge to select a 20 second clip that could represent a 5-15 minute film. We hope our presentation is a glimpse into the work we’ve made and encourages you to watch our films if you haven’t already. Thanks to everyone who makes PechaKucha San Antonio possible and to all the other inspiring presenters.

Watch all the presentations on PechaKucha’s Youtube Channel.

-M&A