For more, visit www.goochthemovie.com
At the age of 18, musician Ryan 'Gooch' Nelson was paralyzed in a terrible car accident. In the decade since, he has developed special techniques for playing the guitar with his physical limitations.
On top of Gooch's technical innovations, his music looks toward the future by fusing a number of different genres--including rock, country, blues, and hip hop--into cohesive and moving songs.
In October 2014, Gooch started working with 9-time-Grammy-Award-winning producer Joe 'the Butcher' Nicolo to produce his new band's first album. "Comin' Home" by Gooch and the Motion was released in February 2016 and received very positive reviews.
This documentary, created by Jonah Stern, tells Gooch's remarkable and inspiring story. To buy Comin' Home, click here!
WARNING: Full movie not appropriate for younger viewers.
To see more, please visit www.swollenfeetmovie.com!
Swollen Feet premiered at the 2014 New York City International Film Festival, where it was nominated for Best USA Narrative Feature Film.
It was later screened at the International Movie Awards in Jakarta, Indonesia, where it was given a Gold Award for Best Newcomer. The movie also earned an Award of Merit for Best Newcomer at the World Film Awards, also in Indonesia.
Swollen Feet was created as Jonah Stern's senior thesis project for his undergrad major at the University of Pennsylvania, Visual Studies. The film, which is 75 minutes long, is silent in that it has no spoken dialogue.
With the help of his Cinema Studies adviser, Meta Mazaj, Jonah researched movies from the Silent Film Era and the methods they used to communicate narratives visually. He also explored the use of sound, both abstract and literal, in those early movies as well as in later movies that utilized sound creatively outside of audible speaking.
Then, with the help of his Fine Arts adviser, filmmaker Ellen Reynolds, a budget of around $1000, and feedback from his fellow majors and major advisers, Jonah applied the principles, ideas, techniques, and philosophies to a new movie; which was conceived, constructed, and created with every accessible innovation in filmmaking and filmmaking technology in mind or in use.
As Jake dies from a gunshot wound to the heart, he reflects on the events that led to his demise. Every one of Jake’s choices and actions seems to have pushed him towards death. From losing his job to losing the love of his life, Jake questions whether he could have ever escaped from his tragic fate. His memories—warped by biases, emotions, and preconceptions—create a world of contradictions and inconsistencies that seem to defy logic until everything is revealed in his last moments alive.
Written, directed, shot, and edited by Jonah Stern
Posters designed by Jonah Stern
All films were shot, directed, and edited by Jonah Stern
Stranger Danger (2013): After borrowing money from strangers to make a questionable investment, T does whatever she can to pay back her threatening and aggressive loan sharks.
One Last Fight (2012): An unfortunate young couple is tested as the physical nature of their relationship quickly turns from passion to violence.
The Check Mate (2012): Art, an obsessive and egotistical amateur chess player who struggles to deal with losing to a complete stranger, tries to track down his adversary for a rematch.
The Check Mate screened at Shooting Wall's Views from the Underground Fall 2013 show.
Early Mourning Dream (2011): A young woman goes on an intense and emotional psychological journey as she tries to heal from two devastating and coinciding losses.
Early Mourning Dream screened at Shooting Wall's Views from the Underground Fall 2012 show.
All of these videos were created by Jonah Stern for animation classes at the University of Pennsylvania, including a hand-drawn animation class co-taught by renowned animator Paul Fierlinger.
Shot Man Mistaken for a Bear was a finalist in the 2012 Penn Student Film Festival.
The Three Men of Reason (2014) is a short film that uses a simple metaphor to depict how three seemingly disparate and fundamentally different ideologies about reality are actually just different ways of looking at the same thing.
Goodbye Sweet Clementine and a Box of Bones (2013) is an experimental short that was inspired by the generally-overlooked violence of eating a delicious piece of fruit. I wanted to illustrate this violence through image and sound, while contrasting it with an attempt at beautifying the more explicitly violent act of tearing apart a fried chicken. You can read more about the video in this blog post.
These Six Walls (2011) was a class project at Penn for which I had to depict a poem with video. The poem is one I had previously written, and it essentially deals with an existential crisis. The sound in the video is difficult to understand, so I've provided the text directly below the video.