Archives For Vimeo Staff Pick

Happy New Year’s Eve! I started a tradition in 2012 when I posted our Favorite Moments in a “Best of” blog post. Well, it’s New Years Eve again, so it’s time to take a look back on 2015. This year was a great one, we celebrated 12 years together, released two new short documentary films, our films received over 240k views online, and we made a lot of progress on our debut feature film following the late artist Chuck Ramirez. From January through December, here are our top five favorite moments from 2015, enjoy!

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1. Creatives of the Month, The Department for Culture & Creative Development
In May, we were selected by the DCCD as Creatives of the Month. It was an honor to be recognized and featured in their weekly newsletter Atmosphere. Read our full interview on GetCreativeSanAntonio.com.

Vimeo Staff Pick All Stars
2. Vimeo Staff Pick All-Stars
We couldn’t believe we made this amazing list of Vimeo Creators! Jason Sondhi, Sr. Manager, Curation at Vimeo said of our work, “Husband and wife creative duos are the epitome of cute. Amirite?? Texas-based, this couple has found their niche in creating delightful artist-profile documentaries. With a careful eye and effective interviewing style, they somehow manage to find that deeper layer in an artist’s work and manner, the space beyond the surface gloss so many profile documentarians get hung up on.” Thanks Jason and Vimeo for being such great supporters of our work over the years. Read the full article.

Rueben Singleterry #WalleyFilms
3. Rueben Singleterry: Made of Steel
This summer we released a short documentary unlike any other we’d produced. The film follows the inspiring story of my young cousin Rueben. We followed Rueben as he battled encephalitis, a rare virus which causes seizures, and as he pursued his passion for basketball. He hopes to inspire others to never give up, no matter how difficult the circumstances. Watch the film. Read more in a previous Blog Post.

Intersections - Anila Quayyum Agha
4. Intersections by Anila Quayyum Agha
In September we visited Rice Gallery in Houston for our 9th film in our series following their space for dynamic site-specific installations. We were absolutely floored by the beauty of Intersections by Pakistani-American artist Anila Quayyum Agha. The completed film received lots of attention online including our 10th Vimeo Staff Pick and features on Colossal, National Geographic Short Film Showcase, and The Atlantic Editor’s Pick. We loved working with Anila and following the story behind her work, thanks to everyone for watching and sharing! Watch the film.

Behind the Scene Chuck Ramirez's Broom Series #TiaChuck
5. Tía Chuck , In-Production
This year has been busy with research, editing, and filming for our debut feature documentary following the late artist Chuck Ramirez. We’ve posted 7 Production Updates, which detail the work that’s kept us busy. We still have lots of work to do before it’s ready for release, but we’ve already had positive outcomes from our work. In August we met with Dya Campos, Director of Public Affairs at H-E-B in our research process for the film. We presented our project and discussed the connection between Chuck’s 14 years working in Brand Development at H-E-B and how it impacted his work. Not only did we receive a grant from H-E-B to continue production, but they also selected artwork for Chuck’s Broom Series for the new H-E-B South Flores Market! Dya states, “We knew we wanted to work with an artist for the opening, but we didn’t know who, and then the Walleys called to talk to us about Chuck’s work here and we knew immediately it would be a perfect fit for the South Flores Market”. Learn more about the film at TiaChuck.com

Those are some great memories to look back on, thanks for reading and watching. Here’s to a productive and inspiring 2016!

– Angela Walley

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Meet the WALLEY POS-86

Last fall we were invited by curator Hills Snyder to create an exhibition at artist-run space, Sala Diaz. We knew that we wanted to take the opportunity to step outside of our comfort zone and create work that was more than just video. After weeks of brainstorming, Mark came up with the idea of inventing an impossible camera. His idea would challenge us to build a camera sculpture, but allow us to stick to our strengths designing poster artwork and producing videos to promote the completed camera. We discussed how to approach the camera and then began coming up with features it would ideally include.

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Collecting parts for the WALLEY POS-86

We began by collecting materials we owned, such as a broken handy cam, LED light, microphones, and vintage camera lenses, before visiting recycling centers and resale stores for low price electronics. We had a lot of fun rummaging through our local recycling center for visually interesting computer parts. Another great resource was Havel Camera Repair Services, who gave us a box of scrap camera parts to use.

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An old TV device switcher became the Compact MultiChannel Recording Unit for the QuadOptic™ Lens System

After collecting all our materials we spent time tearing them apart, matching the pieces to camera functions, and designing how all the parts would all come together. The main body of the camera is an old computer tower which we painted black and filled with found electronic parts.

WALLEY POS-86 Camera Manual Diagrams (2 of 4)
WALLEY POS-86 Camera Manual Side Diagram, 1 of 4 Digital Prints

Angela’s favorite aspects of the camera are the ones that are subtle but took a lot of time to get right. There is a red light ON indicator and QuadOptic™ Lens Switcher that she made “function”, meaning the light turned on and the buttons pushed in. There is also an 8-pin Retractable Transfer Cable that actually retracts, a record button you could press, and a Power ON / OFF Toggle Joystick you could play with on the back of the camera. These details weren’t featured in the completed promo video, but they made the camera feel more “real” to us.

WALLEY POS-86 Camera Manual Diagrams (3 of 4)
WALLEY POS-86 Camera Manual Back Diagram, 1 of 4 Digital Prints

WALLEY POS-86 Camera Manual Diagrams (4 of 4)
WALLEY POS-86 Camera Manual Top Diagram, 1 of 4 Digital Prints

After spending two weeks inhaling adhesive, we had the majority of the camera completed. With help from Mark’s brother, we attached our four 8mm camera lenses to the front the camera. The lenses suddenly made a computer tower a believable camera. Since the camera was near completion, we started writing our promo video script. After watching a series of Apple promo videos, we knew we needed a combination of cool guy and technical guy to sell our camera. Our friend, artist Mark Menjivar was the perfect for the role of “Senior Marketing Director”.

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Mark Menjivar, WALLEY POS-86 Senior Marketing Director

Mark knew exactly what we were talking about in terms of delivery and enthusiasm. As a professional photographer, we’re sure he is very aware of the endless production and marketing of cameras. He kept us laughing throughout the entire “interview”. Next we needed the perfect couple to demonstrate the power of the camera. Our friends John Totman and Sara Frantz fit the role perfectly.

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The most marketable couple we know, John and Sara

Sara and John let us chase them around the Japanese Tea Gardens on a rainy, cold afternoon. The public park gave us a beautiful backdrop for our film. We had access to a large open-air pagoda, exotic vegetation, sprawling koi ponds, charming bridges, and a picturesque waterfall.

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This shot made us very nervous, but John is a pro

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John films the koi ponds at the Japanese Tea Gardens

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Japanese Tea Garden Waterfall, as filmed by the WALLEY-POS 86

Our second location was Roosevelt park which gave us access to a public basketball court and playground. Those scenes were written so the audience could see just how versatile and fun the camera is.

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It was freezing cold and that camera really is 25 lbs, Sara is the best

Our third location was Sara’s home studio. (Check out Sara’s incredible artwork on her portfolio site). We hadn’t completely planned the scene, but the natural lighting and space worked out perfectly. It gave us a chance to feature one of our favorite aspects of the camera, the TIVO Keypad system.

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Sara working in her studio, as filmed by the WALLEY-POS 86

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Soft Skin Filter, just one of the 700 4-Digit code commands on the TIVO Keypad System

The ideas behind this project were inspired by Mark’s research for our most recent camera purchase, the Canon C100. There is a whole world dedicated to the technical side of filmmaking that can become overwhelming. Technology has made our work possible, but at the same time, we feel that story telling is the most important aspect of our work. Yes, the technical specifications of products and productions are important, but making work that you believe in should always come first.

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One of the POS’s more popular features, the State-of-the-Art Media Capture Hard Drive

Our exhibition at Sala Diaz was entitled “Creation to Consumption” and ran from December 13th, 2013 – January 17th, 2014. We had a wonderful reception and enjoyed some great feedback from the San Antonio art community.

Creation to Consumption Statement:

Filmmakers Mark and Angela Walley dive into the worlds of video camera invention and commercial marketing for their upcoming exhibition Creation to Consumption at Sala Diaz. The gallery space will be transformed into a product showroom to unveil and demonstrate the WALLEY POS-86, an impossible video camera that represents a reverse trend in consumer electronics. Through the use of sculpture, video, and design, Creation to Consumption satirizes the seemingly interminable production and distribution of new retail electronics.

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Promotional Poster for the WALLEY POS-86

Two days ago, we released the WALLEY POS-86 Promotional Commercial. The film has already been featured on Vimeo Staff Picks, No Film School, FStoppers, Cinescopophilia, Premium Beat, and Studio Daily.

We’re so grateful to be part of such a supportive online creative community. Thank you to everyone who has watched, liked, shared, and commented on our video!

Check out more images on our WALLEY POS-86 Flickr Album.

-M&A