Guerilla Wanderers Present Double Feature of the Summer

By Jeanne Carbone Lewis

Times Media INC.

The wait is finally over for devotees of the film “Raging Cyclist.” Guerilla Wanderers Films will present their double feature of the summer with the August premier of “Superhero” and “Boxed Up” at Camera 7 and Camera 12.

Guerilla Wanderers Films is the brainchild of Sean McCarthy, 26, who in three short years is becoming a major player in Bay Area film and commercial work. But his passion for cinema started 15 years ago.

By the time he was 19, the prolific McCarthy had created more than 50 short and feature films of spec commercials, comedies, experimental movies and music videos. He honed his craft acting, directing, writing, producing and cinematography. “Raging Cyclist” was the culmination of this passion three years ago.

“Sean McCarthy’s video-comic film is in the vein of Sam Ramni’s ‘Evil Dead’ trilogy,” wrote Metro film critic Richard von Busack in a 2003 review.

“‘Raging Cyclist’ is seriously funny and technically top drawer.”

Since “Raging Cyclist’s” release,” McCarthy has continued his cinematic quest through Guerilla Wanderers Films and a core group--art director Ephraim Joseph, visual effects Jared Forman and assistant producer Dustin Strocchia. The troupe is adept at all phases of movie making as well as performing.

The philosophy behind Guerilla Wanderers is to constantly think outside the box, from conception to execution of every individual project. The film and studio divisions are intertwined using the same teams of technicians and artists, from designers to visual FX. Their approach to moviemaking whether short, documentary or feature film is to create films in the truest form, thought provoking, technically top-notch work and original in vision. “Doing something passionately breeds originality,” said the driven McCarthy.

That passion and originality has procured Guerilla Wanderers Films with over 30 pieces of commercial work including Hitachi, Comcast and music videos for Danny Aiello, German pop star Patrick Nuo, metal band Red Sunday and Krobarmayn [all shown at the double feature of the summer] working with a cast and crew of well over 200. Many are Bay Area residents like McCarthy and Joseph who hail from Almaden, or Forman who resides in Cambrian or Strocchia from Santa Teresa.

Home ties run deep, McCarthy and Joseph’s Leland High School principal Bob Setterlund [“he was very good”] appears in one of the films. Extras were hired for local filming on location at the Oakridge Mall, Sushi Factory, Safeway Shopping Center and local streets. Even the filmmakers’ fathers Dino Joseph and Dermott McCarthy appear.

“A lot of my colleagues and I started as teenagers and we’ve all grown as filmmakers, actors, musicians, designers, art directors,” said McCarthy. “I am unique in that I started this very young and turned it into a profession with many of the people I started with.”

When “Raging Cyclist” was shown at Cinequest, Telluride and other film festivals, Guerilla Wanderers Films gained momentum. Martial artist Frank Shamrock signed on as “Boxed Up” co-producer and actor. Actress Iris Bahr [“Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Friends” and “Larry the Cable Guy”] stars in “Superhero” along with McCarthy.

“Superhero” is a fictional documentary highlighting the struggles of the troubled main character [played by McCarthy] as he tries to make sense of his life and the world around him. The closer he looks at himself and those nearest to him, the more confused he becomes in this comedic character study. McCarthy loves to showcase the Bay Area and made the film in Almaden Valley, Los Gatos, Santa Teresa, Blossom Valley, Cambrian and San Francisco.

“Boxed Up” features sister Syra McCarthy as a troubled young girl who finds a mysterious object that sets her on a frenetic journey. Director McCarthy likens the dramatic action thriller to “Thirteen,” “Alias” and “24.” And again, he filmed in and around Almaden, Blossom Hill and Santa Teresa.

“In Los Angeles, there are a lot of glamour people in film,” said art director and actor Ephraim Joseph, who gained kudos acting in “Raging Cyclist.” “In the Bay Area you have people doing it for the art.”

And as is the essence of Guerilla Wanderers Film, McCarthy and company will present the double feature of the summer premier of “Superhero” and “Boxed Up” Aug. 15, 20, and 23 at Camera 7 in the Pruneyard and Aug. 18 at Camera 12 in downtown San Jose. Sponsors include Sonoma Chicken Coop, Sushi 85, Barefoot Coffee Roasters, Victoria’s Dance Theater, Michi Sushi and the Branham Lounge.

“Before the showings [of “Superhero” and “Boxed Up”], we are having a mini-film festival of other San Jose, Bay Area and New York filmmakers,” said McCarthy. “There is a 20 minute pre-show before each film with a different theme.”

McCarthy believes in mentoring and provides internships, training and education to young filmmakers. Guerilla Wanderers’ double feature of the summer will display some of their work including local talent Sean O’Hare’s “In a Dry State,” Syra McCarthy’s “Zombies” music video and Dustin Strocchia’s “Fight Scene 1 & 2.”