Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Check us out on www.shootingwall.com

Loyal Soldiers and Cinephiles,

We have updated our website at www.shootingwall.com and our blog and most up to date event calendar will be found there effective September 19, 2012. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Shooting Wall Fall Screening Series at PhilaMOCA

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

Shooting Wall is happy to announce our Fall 2012 Film Screening Series to be held at PhilaMOCA. We will be holding screenings one Monday a month between September and November. We will be screening a mixture of short film and feature all made completely independently and mainly local. The last feature screened, in November, will also feature a live musical score! As always, the screenings are completely free and open to anyone. This series will act as a precursors to our 2nd Annual Film Festival to be held again in May. We also hope this series gives local and independent filmmakers a space to screen their films and a place for local cinephiles to see new and cutting edge cinema that they won't be able to see anywhere else. Also, we are finishing up Shooting Wall Issue #5 now, which should be out shortly. Stay tuned! The list of the films and the dates are below. Be sure to look for our booklet which should also be out shortly for more information about the films.

Shooting Wall Fall Screening Series at PhilaMOCA

Monday September 24th at 7pm
Vacant Guillotine Blues by Joe Kramer, 4 minutes
Episodes from an Investigation by Joshua Martin, 115 minutes

Monday October 22nd at 7pm
Early Mourning Dream by Jonah Stern, 24 minutes
Deprave by Andrew Wimer, 17 minutes
Midnight Heat by Dan Dickerson, 10 minutes
Aporia by Jess Hock, 7 minutes
The Mud by Rob Malone, Brooke Bundy, Nigel Defriez, Kira Pearson, 15 minutes
Look At You by Karl Starkweather, 24 minutes

Monday November 12th at 7pm
Raptor by Marc Dickerson, 30 minutes
Birthday Wedding and a Funeral by Rob Marvin, 75 minutes 
with live musical score by Brandon Can't Dance

PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St., Philadelphia, PA 19123

Friday, August 17, 2012

Chris Marker Films Tomorrow Night at Wooden Shoe

Tomorrow night at 7pm, the Wooden Shoe (704 South Street) will be hosting a night of Chris Marker films! There are sure to be some Chris Marker gems that aren't normally screened. .

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Seeking Contributions for Shooting Wall Issue 5

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

It is that time of year again; Shooting Wall is preparing a new issue. If you are interested in contributing a piece to Shooting Wall Issue 5, please send us an email as soon as possible with your ideas. The deadline for article submissions is August 20th and we hope to have the issue out by mid-September. We are focusing more on theory for this issue, but are open to any other ideas people have. If you have a piece, we want to read it!

Be sure to continue to check back here for more updates and be sure to look for Shooting Wall Issue 5 in September.

Friday, July 6, 2012

New Shooting Wall Film

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles.

We have a new film up on our Shooting Wall Vimeo. Karl Stakrweather's Look At You. Check it out and spread the word of the cinematic revolution!

We haven't updated the blog in a while, but stay tuned for some updates about our next issue and, hopefully, some new events and screenings for the fall.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Shooting Wall Festival

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

We just wanted to take a moment here to again thank all the filmmakers and everyone for coming out on Sunday to make Shooting Wall's first film festival a great success! I think this shows that there are people who are hungry for more adventurous cinema than what they are being given by Hollywood, the Ritz, and other local film festivals. Shooting Wall is committed to continuing on this path towards making the most progressive and advanced cinema, while keeping everything as free and accessible for audiences and filmmakers as possible. We really hope we can do something like this again. And a big special thanks to Eric and PhilaMOCA.

Everyone should stay tuned this summer for lots of news and announcements from Shooting Wall. We will be hard at work on a new issue for the fall, which is going unleash upon the film world our new ideas for a new cinema. This issue will be our best yet, so stay tuned. We also hope to reveal some new programs for the fall and continue to expose Philadelphia to the best in truly independent cinema (not IFC, Sundance, or SXSW "indie" film but true independent cinema). We have some exciting developments for the future.

Over the next few weeks we will also be posting several of the festival films on our VIMEO page in case you missed them or just want to rewatch something. Right now, we have two posted: Jon Seidman's Glimpse and Joshua Martin's Struggles in Opposition. Be sure to check back for more films soon.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Shooting Wall Film Festival Tomorrow

Hello Everyone,

This is a reminder that the Shooting Wall Film Festival is happening tomorrow, Sunday May 6th at PhilaMOCA. The doors open at 3pm and the films start at 4pm. It is, as usual, completely free to attend. We will have some light refreshments and a ton of great films! The schedule is posted on the blog below and on the Facebook Event page. We hope to see everyone tomorrow for an afternoon of great cinema!

3pm. Free. PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St. 267.519.9651. PhilaMOCA

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Shooting Wall Film Festival

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

Shooting Wall's first ever film festival is only a couple days away! We hope everyone is excited, as this is going to be an incredible day for Philadelphia and for cinema. Remember, doors open at 3pm and the films begin at 4pm. There will be no set times for when the particular films play, instead this will play like a program: it begins at 4pm and the films will play one after the other with perhaps a brief intermission. If you haven't accepted your invite yet on Facebook, please do so. Also, be sure to check out the write up about the festival in this week's Philadelphia Weekly here or in print (it's on page 23). We also have a write up in City Paper both in print and online (pp 36-37). Below is a list of the films we will be screening. We hope to see everyone there!

3pm. Free. PhilaMOCA, 531 N. 12th St. 267.519.9651. philamoca.org

A Basic Human Problem by Alex McCarron, 5 minutes -
I worked on this film like one works on a sketch book, usually alone with my subject in my room. Its form takes after Picasso's studies of bull.

Video Inquiry: Time/Space/Labor by Ben Webster, 25 minutes -
Time/Space/Labor is a series of short videos on the question of work and political subjectivity. Each video proceeds from an initial encounter to an experimental collaboration between the film-maker and a friend or acquaintance. Structuring the encounter are two initial questions: How is your movement through time and space determined by your forms of labor, both compulsory and voluntary?; and, how does this shape your sense of political identity and possibility?
Several episodes of this work in progress will be screened.

Semicolon; by Nick Weingartner, 7 minutes -
SEMICOLON; was made in a fit of passion and some sort-of internal obligation towards my movie-making tendency. Looking back on it, I think it really represents a certain time in my life and how I was feeling - things that can't really be put into words and things I'm still figuring out from watching the film now. SEMICOLON; was made with a group of friends who were having fun -- and my hope is that some of you out there will respond to it in some way or another and it will stay with you.

Dream State by Derek Scull, 2 minutes -
I came up with the general idea and shooting style of my piece after watching Maya Darren's "At Land". So, myself and my actor set off over the course of a few of days to capture the images of my movie. I wanted to touch upon the journey people go through to have sex, but have the connection to that be quite ambiguous. And, non-diagetic inserts and sound scapes are used to push the narrative along.

Puppy Whistle by Marc Dickerson and Robert Malone, 26 minutes
Puppy Whistle" features Alan Steadman, a world-renowned youtube artist who uploads photo montages of puppies underscored by Mannheim Steamroller-style synth techno orchestrations. Alan and his roommate, Dean - a businessman who enjoys whooping pre-adolescent kids in pickup basketball games - are throwing a last minute loft party for Alan's brother, Jeff, who's going to Australia. When Alan's semi-celebrity status attracts a harem of adoring women to his pad, his calloused indifference to their worship and praise causes the party to go awry. Between here and there all kinds of hijinks ensue. Will Alan and Dean salvage Alan's reputation as an artistic force to be reckoned with or will they be deemed a couple of silly gooses by the underground youtube elite? As Brett Michaels once said, "Every Rose Has Its Thorn".

Motherload by Derick Crucius, 3 minutes -
Man and woman meet. They have sex. Women gets pregnant, and man leaves woman. This film is about the act of sex, creation and the life of abandonment.

Glimpse by Jon Seidman, 3 minutes -
A man gets an idea; he will worry about its future.

Struggles in Opposition by Joshua Martin, 45 minutes - 
“Struggles in Opposition” is a film about both the need for individual intellectual growth and cinematic innovation. Utilizing highly stylized cinematic lighting, Brechtian alienation techniques, absurdity, experimental images, and dense soundscapes, “Struggles in Opposition” tries to think about ways in which cinema can progress. The film is an attempt to open up a dialogue about new possibilities for the cinematic future.

American Gothic by Judith Redding, 3 minutes -
Based on a short story by Linda K. Wright, this brief and telling study of violence and emotional dysfunction in American families follows an elderly pair of parents as they wait for their son, who has escaped from an unspecified institution, to return home.

Sports by Erich Hamil, 7 minutes - 
After being mistaken for a burglar and having a gun pointed at him, a student develops an adrenaline craving and seeks danger throughout Philadelphia.

Look At You by Karl Starkweather, 25 minutes -
Although this film involves a character development, three acts, etc., it also starts to break with such static cinematic forms. It is a initial formulation of a thesis about a new cinema and a new humanity. This thesis is thought out over an anti-realist BDSM narrative contrasted with the deconstruction of the cinematic production itself.

Friends and Good Conversation by Ben Slater, 10 minutes - 
A young man who had been leading what he assumed to be a boring, normal existence decides to make a change. He thinks he knows what it will take to be a better man. All that stands in his way are his wayward friends and his mid-western girlfriend's quest for the American dream.

The Wind Blows Where It Wishes by John Gross, 32 minutes - 
The Wind Blows Where it Wishes is a film about a filmmaker who makes a film about the funeral of a poet. Shot in color and black and white in English and Hebrew. In the traditions of Bergman, Dreyer and Jodorowsky. Art-house melodrama and tragicomedy.

Let's Get High on Medication and Bomb Shit by Jill Hackney, 7 minutes
A film about limerence and literature.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Shooting Wall Film Festival Update

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

We wanted to give everyone an update on our upcoming film festival. The event will be held May 6th at PhilaMoca (12th and Spring Garden). The doors open at 3pm and the festival will start at 4pm. We are hard at work reviewing submissions and helping filmmakers finish their brand new films for this event. This festival will be jam packed. We hope to have a full list of films and filmmakers up within a couple of weeks. Please tell your friends about this event! We also still have our Indiegogo campaign going and have already gotten some contributions. If you have a moment and have some money to spare, please give what you can. Below is also a link to a story about the festival on campus Philly and a link to the event page on facebook. We hope to see everyone on May 6th for an amazing film festival!

Article on Campus Philly:

Indiegogo Campaign:

Facebook Event:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shooting Wall Film Festival

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

Shooting Wall is proud to announce our first proto-film festival. The event will be held on Sunday May 6th at PhilaMoca on 12th and Spring Garden (time and additional details will be provided soon). We have been hard at work talking with the best local filmmakers to produce brand new films for this event. All films will be premieres of new works by the most interesting filmmakers working in Philadelphia. The event will be completely free and open to the public. The event will feature short and medium lengths films. This is Shooting Wall's first steps toward creating an alternative film festival to what many independent filmmakers have been accustomed to. This is a film festival without any corporate sponsors, no costs, and only about good and cutting edge cinema. We want to create a space for filmmakers who don't normally get their films into the cookie cutter, take no chances film festivals that steal your $50 and probably don't even watch your movies. This is a place where filmmakers can take chances and get their films screened. We hope to use this year as a jumping off point for a festival that will continue to grow every year and feature independent films not just from Philadelphia but from all over the country.

In conjunction with this festival, Shooting Wall has also launched an Indiegogo campaign in order to raise funds for the filmmakers participating so they can submit their films to other festivals worldwide to try and get their names out there and their films played. The money earned in this campaign will be split evenly among all the filmmakers whose films are screened on May 6th. Not one cent will go to Shooting Wall or will be used for the cost of putting on this event. This is our way of trying to work around the system. If you have a few bucks to spare or know anyone who does, please contribute. The link to the Indiegog campaign is below. There are incentives at each level of giving. Shooting Wall wants to keep all of our filmmaking and all of our events completely free and completely independent and we would rather ask people for donations than get corporate sponsors.

Continue to check back here and on facebook for more updates concerning the festival. We hope to have the times and a list of films and filmmakers up soon. We hope to see everyone on May 6th for an exciting event!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New Shooting Wall Film on Vimeo

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

Another new Shooting Wall short film is now up on our VIMEO page. The film is A Great Personality by Karl Starkweather. Check it out. We should also have another new film up in the next few days, so stay tuned.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Reminder: Radical Form and Content Discussion Tuesday Feb. 28th at 7pm

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

This is a reminder that tomorrow evening (Tuesday Feb. 28th) at 7pm, Shooting Wall will be presenting a talk on the history of film theory, form, and radical cinema. This talk will be an overview of the history of film theory with an emphasis on radical form and content. We will also be discussing some of the possibilities for the future of filmmaking, distribution, and criticism. The talk is aimed at those with little or no knowledge of film history, who are interested in learning more, but can also be appreciated by those who already have an understanding. The talk will be punctuated by film clips and we will be providing lists of recommended films for viewing and theorists for reading. This talk is Shooting Wall's attempt to re-open the public discussion about film form and film theory, which we see as virtually non-existent in the mainstream or in the pages of newspapers and magazines. We want to take these discussions out of the academy and place them back into the world of cinema. We hope this talk will lead to further discussion in the city and a growing community of people interested in watching, discussing, and then making great and new cinema. The talk begins at 7pm and will be held at the Wooden Shoe on 704 South Street. Please see the link below for more information. We hope to see everyone there!


Friday, February 24, 2012

Film Screening Sunday at Wooden Shoe

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

The Wooden Shoe (704 South Street) will be hosting a night of anarchic short films this Sunday (Feb. 26th) at 7pm. The program will feature Black Panthers by Agnes Varda, The Specimen by Ulrike Ottinger, and Beppie by Johan van der Keuken. As usual, the screening is free and open to the public. This should be a great night of interesting short films.

Also, a reminder of Shooting Wall's talk at the Wooden Shoe this Tuesday (Feb 28th) at 7pm on the history of film theory and criticism, as well as Radical cinema. You can see more information about the event at the below link or you can check out Raymond Simon's brief write-up about the event in this weeks Philadelphia Weekly.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

New Shooting Wall Film on Vimeo

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

There is a new Shooting Wall short film called The Power Couple by Karl Starkweather up on our VIMEO page. Check it out!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Reminder: Radical Form and Content: The Scenic Route

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

This is a reminder about Shooting Wall's screening on Tuesday Feb, 21st at 7pm of Mark Rappaport's The Scenic Route. The event will be held at Girard Hall (527 W. Girard Ave) and is completely free and open to the public! There will be a Shooting Wall short film before the movie and free beer! Rappaport is one of the most interesting and unfairly neglected American filmmakers, so come and check out one of his best films tomorrow night. 

Also, a reminder of our talk on Tuesday Feb. 28th at the Wooden Shoe. The talk will focus on Radial Form and Content; we will offer a brief history of film theory and radical cinema. This talk will also be completely free and starts at 7. 

We hope to see everyone at these events!

The Scenic Route:

Radical Form and Content Talk:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Issue 4: Shooting Wall Zine

It's finally here! No, not our official statement on the death of pop legend Whitney Houston, but ISSUE 4 of our film zine! In Issue 4 we are bringing you the most relevant and real time analysis, theory, and instruction from our top films of 2011 to a piece on how to light your films on the cheap without sacrificing style. We hope that you will find this to be a diverse issue with some real time and pratical advice about how to get your films made and where and how to see the best that is being made.

We welcome your feedback and as always we are looking for contributors for future issues.
Issue 4

Monday, February 13, 2012

Two New Shooting Wall Films

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

There are two new Shooting Wall films posted on our Vimeo page: Birthday Party by Rob Mugge and Mittagspause by Jill Hackney. Check out them out!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Jill Hackney's "Mittagspause" Screening Tonight

Greetings Soliders and Cinephiles,

Shooting Wall member Jill Hackney will be having her film "Mittagspause" screened tonight at Pifva - Philadelphia Independent Film and Video Association's Cinema Speak Easy at L'etage at 6:30. Please attend if you want to see a really great and unique film.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Omnibus Film on Vimeo

Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,

Our first omnibus film, This is Shooting Wall, is now available for viewing on our vimeo page. The film is a collection of six short films on the theme of Sacco and Vanzetti by Michelle Schuler, Karl Starkweather, Jonathan Seidman, Ben Webster, Carrie Love, and Joshua Martin. Check it out!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Shooting Wall is putting on a month of free screenings that will culminate in a discussion. We want to bring people to where we're at in terms of film-form. So we can embolden the local film community and start making revolutionary cinema in our small city.

All the films we're going to play have radical examples of film-form and narrative. We chose them due to their obscurity, dynamism, humor, and revolutionary qualities. We will do Shooting Wall member short films before each screening. Screenings will be projected with a high definition digital projector and will have a decent sound set up. Food will be provided for free or at low cost at each screening.

We're going to play clips from arthouse films, some of them being from the Shooting Wall camp, that advance film-form. We also will do an overview of Left cinema and how they need to get beyond the boring, talking head documentaries or preaching to the choir melodramas. To be truly revolutionary they will need to have revolutionary film-form to coincide with their politics. Our aim is then to suggest that revolutionary things can still be done with the medium. And that the Left needs to look back to film history to take from and then advance film-form if they want to actually make successful propaganda. 


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Reflections on a Year of Filmmaking

At the beginning of 2011, I created a project for myself in an attempt to push my filmmaking and my creative capacities as far as they could go. The project entailed me making at least one short film every month of 2011. And to make it a bit more challenging, I imposed a few rules on myself so that it would be difficult to cheat. The rules were one, I could not be the only person in the film; I put this rule in place so that I wouldn't feel inclined to simply turn the camera on and have myself act out something in front of it and call that a film. Second, the film had to be at least one minute long; again, this was so I didn't allow myself to make the most simple and unoriginal thing possible. Three, the film had to be shot, edited, and posted for viewing on vimeo or youtube within said month; so, for example, November's film had to be filmed, edited, and posted all within November. I allowed myself the cushion of being able to write and plan prior to the month of filming, which was a practical decision because I do not think I would have been able to complete all twelve films had I not allowed myself this little bit of leeway.

It may seem like an odd and difficult project to give oneself, but at the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 I was feeling at an impasse as a filmmaker. I had been making short films for roughly five years up to that point, but it had been in a somewhat undisciplined way, which simply means I would let myself off the hook if I abandoned a project I wanted to make because I lost an actor or if the dates I wanted to film didn't work out. What this project made me do was make something regardless of whatever problems presented themselves. So, if I had a script written with three women and found I only had two actresses available for said month, then it forced me to retool and/or rethink the projects as necessary so that a film was completed and it did not let me abandon films due to technical issues. It is true that many of the films changed dramatically from conception to realization due to schedule conflicts, actors and crew availability, and other technical issues, but it kept me on my toes as a filmmaker. I had to think, adapt, and work with whatever I had to make the best possible film I could. I can say that I might not think all of the films completed as part of this series were completely successful, but I feel confidant in saying that none of the films were a complete failure. That in itself is a triumph. I believe that every film in this series has something interesting in it and though I may like some more than others, I am proud of every film I made in 2011.

This experiment, if nothing else, made me a more confident and disciplined filmmaker in an intellectual and in a technical sense. In an intellectual sense because making so many films allowed me to try new things all the time. I didn't feel like I had to make a film any one way or about any one thing and, in fact, when I was feeling stale or uninspired, it forced me to think about my work in a different way. The rigidity of the project, in a way, left room for me to breathe, to experiment with a wide variety of styles and ideas knowing that perhaps I would be forgiven a failure due to the restraints of the project. And yet, surprisingly, all the films turned out well. In a technical sense, this project acted as a kind of DIY film school. I never went to film school and, even though I have been making short films for some time, I was always struggling with feeling confident in myself as a filmmaker in a purely technical sense. I have always considered myself more of a theoretical filmmaker than a technical filmmaker. This means that I have ideas and theories and approaches to filmmaking from an intellectual level, but was never the craftsmen that others are. I always made the best possible films with what I had, but I knew that I still had a lot to learn, and this year I feel like I have grown quite a bit on the technical side. I feel more confident about how my films look and sound. I even became confident enough to try more complex set-ups that had more difficult camera movements, intricate blocking, and stylized lighting. The project pushed me into being a better filmmaker technically, which is something that I think I needed.

This film a month project also forced me to think about everything cinematically. For the first time, I think of myself primarily as a filmmaker and am always thinking about what my next project will be. I think this is an important step in the evolution of a filmmaker. One must think of oneself as a filmmaker in order to think cinematically and push oneself toward new cinematic ideas. The more films I made in 2011, the more I wanted to do as a filmmaker. It left me wanting to grow and radicalize my cinema. Though a difficult and demanding project, it ultimately made me into a better filmmaker. In a way, these films are almost like sketches; they were a way to try out various cinematic ideas as they occurring to me. Theory in practice. It gave me a chance to see what worked and what didn't work; to see how I liked making films and how I didn't want to make films. I became more confident and with that confidence, a style and a way of understanding myself as a filmmaker emerged, which has been beneficial.

Perhaps a project like this isn't for everyone, but I do believe that sometimes giving oneself a strict set of guidelines and a difficult project which you make yourself complete can be a good thing. If anyone else was thinking about anything similar to this, I would encourage them to give it a try. I would also like to hear from other filmmakers who have done or are doing any similar projects and what their experiences were.

I do not write this piece in order to glorify myself as a filmmaker or this particular project, but instead I wanted to use this space to reflect on my year of filmmaking. We have always wanted Shooting Wall to be a place for filmmakers to reflect on their own works and be able to talk about their films as they feel fit. Shooting Wall is, after all, a place for filmmakers as much as for cinephiles. In 2012, Shooting Wall wants to extend our reputation as working filmmakers who are trying to create something different and, hopefully, new. We are going to be giving more space to pieces about local films and filmmakers both on the blog and in the pages of our zine. Those filmmakers associated with Shooting Wall are making the best in local cinema. We are filmmakers and the revolution is happening now. Shooting Wall will be the mouthpiece for these filmmakers.

Below is a list of the films included in my film a month project of 2011. They are all available to watch on my VIMEO page.

Jan - DUEL
September - SWAMPS


Monday, January 2, 2012

New Shooting Wall Film

Greetings soldiers and cinephiles,

The next in our ongoing series of Shooting Wall films is now available for viewing on our vimeo page. The film, "Girls' Night Out" is the first short film by Emma Karina and Jill Hackney. Check out the film and share with your friends. The cinematic revolution continues!