October 27, 2021

Pour Passion Into the Process, Part 1 with Phil Wall

Episode 135:

Phil Wall is an award-winning filmmaker. He has written, produced, directed, filmed, and edited three feature documentaries, and is currently in post-production on his fourth. His documentary feature, THE STANDARD, debuted at #4 on the iTunes documentary chart in September of 2020. It’s currently available on Hulu in the US, and will have its international rollout in late-2021–most notably on Discovery+ in Latin America and Brazil. 

THE BOOK KEEPERS is his third documentary. It premiered with the Austin Film Festival in October 2020, where it won both the Jury Prize and the Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature. It’s an official selection for 10 other US film festivals, including SCAD Savannah, Napa Valley, and Twin Cities. The film will be available for special events in early 2022, with distribution to follow. 

His professional career began in 2008, when he began work on THE PASSING GAME, which is a documentary feature currently in post-production about the career and philosophies of legendary prep-school basketball coach, Fletcher Arritt. Wall played for Arritt’s Fork Union post-graduate squad in 2002-2003 before heading to Williams College (MA). 

At Williams, he played 4 years of varsity basketball, and was honored with the Matthew Godrick Award for Leadership in 2007. A coach’s son, Wall played for his dad at Roanoke Catholic High School. The team won 3 straight Virginia Independent School state titles, as well as back-to-back Virginia State Catholic championships. Wall traces his filmmaking journey back to creating highlight videos for those championship seasons. 

He lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he works on independent and commercial narrative content.

What you’ll learn in this episode:

  • How Phil discovered his passion for filmmaking when he was playing high school basketball
  • What his Mom’s experiences as a writer did to shape his expectations as a filmmaker and what it would take to be successful
  • Why playing basketball for his Dad in high school was so rewarding in addition to the three state championships
  • What did his Dad tell Phil were the three most important words a coach could say
  • What were Phil’s biggest takeaways from his work on the VCU Men’s Basketball Documentary
  • How his legendary prep school coach, Fletcher Arritt, taught Phil that to have the biggest impact you do not need to be on the biggest stage

Additional Resources:

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