Walley Films rolls camera, takes action, and visits Tía Chuck

Mark Walley on location - COURTESY PHOTO
Courtesy photo
Mark Walley on location

Meet Mark and Angela Walley, the dynamic dyad of arts advocates and documentarians professionally known as Walley Films. After studying film at Northwest Vista College, they received an emerging filmmaker fellowship from the Houston-based Southwest Alternate Media Project and decided to pursue their craft seriously. The Walley's work ranges from documenting the curious comedy of the Mono Show, to capturing the art-making process in the studios of Ken Little, Chris Sauter, Sarah Sudhoff, and Houston's The Art Guys, as well as creating films for nonprofit organizations in San Antonio.

The Walleys documentary style is inquisitive and quirky, reminiscent of the hunky-dory narrative format used in the 1950s, but their shorts are interjected with the farce and absurdness that is associated with filmmaking. 

"We work together on film shoots with the artist, normally with Mark filming while I capture audio, or run a second camera," said Angela Wally. "We make all the major decisions together and trust each other's judgment along the way."

Their most recent work, Excerpts for John (released in November and created in association with the arts site Glasstire.com), is a profile on artist Vincent Valdez. The documentary centers on Valdez coming to terms with the loss of his childhood best friend, Army combat medic John Holt Jr., through a series of paintings and the production of a large-scale portrait.

Coming up this year, the Walleys will take on an experimental documentary about SA's gone-too-soon artist, photographer and designer Chuck Ramírez, titled Tía Chuck.

"Chuck, to us, embodied the welcoming spirit of the San Antonio art community," said Angela. "He was interested in collaborating, and we quickly became friends."

The Walleys were set to collaborate with Ramírez, but the project was never completed due to his sudden death in November, 2010. Ramírez's life and work will be told through artists, family, and friends in the San Antonio community. The film is scheduled for completion this year, with screenings held in 2014. View their current work at walleyfilms.com. – Veronica Anne Salinas

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