Bill is an owner/partner of Real to Reel Productions with a long, varied and successful career in the film industry as a First AD in feature films, TV Movies and Episodics, and for the past five years as a director, producer and writer in documentary and factual series genres. He also serves as head of development for Real to Reel.
Although he had a science degree in his back pocket, Bill’s ambition after university was to make films. He toughed it out in the fledgling indie film industry in Canada for a while, then honed his craft as a First Assistant Director in the drama department at the CBC, and then headed back out into the independent world to be Gordon Pinsent’s 1st AD on a Canadian drama feature JOHN AND THE MISSUS. He never looked back. His subsequent career has taken him around the world and allowed him to work closely with such talents as Terry Gilliam, John Woo, Jeff Bridges, Rod Steiger, Vincenzo Natali and of course Gordon Pinsent among many, many others. Working with such uniquely gifted individuals in the feature fiction world has richly impacted his approach to the documentary genre.
Bill directed ANIMISM: PEOPLE WHO LOVE OBJECTS which premiered on Global Television last Fall and has since sold to ten other countries including the UK, Australia, and Norway. It also recently garnered several festival nominations and awards, and he co-produced and story edited Real to Reel’s latest documentary A DIFFERENT DRUMMER: Celebrating Eccentrics, directed by John Zaritisky.
Bill co-wrote and directed, YOURS AL, an arts performance drama reuniting him with Gordon Pinsent who portrays Canada’s “People’s Poet,” Al Purdy. The film turned Purdy’s evocative poetry into a moving piece of art. Bill followed that by co-directing the feature docudrama IRIS CHANG, THE RAPE OF NANKING. This feature length doc, screened on History Television and released theatrically in Asia, told the tragic and horrifying story of the Japanese assault on China in 1937 through the eyes of young Chinese American author Iris Chang with the original victims of the Rape of Nanking telling their own stories. “Our objective was two-fold. To create a film that will impact the audience as a film. And secondly a film that reminds us that we all have the power to make a difference and speak out.”
In addition to these works, Bill has directed several prize winning dramatic shorts including A POISONED WORKPLACE: SEXUAL HARRASSMENT, POISONED WORKPLACE: RACIAL HARRASSMENT and BREAKING THE CYCLE, a short drama aimed at preventing child abuse.
As Head of Development at Real to Reel, Bill is working on more docs; one more with Academy Award winning Canadian director John Zaritisky on the final part of a trilogy on Thalidomide victims; a co-production with Germany on the boom in poaching in Africa; a WWII docudrama based on a Canadian book called TEN GREEN BOTTLES about one family’s journey of hope and courage from Hitler’s clutches in Vienna to Japanese occupied Shanghai, the only port open to European Jewish refugees in 1938; a natural history co-production feature in 3D plus TV 2D series and multiplatforms with Australian partners about the LEGEND OF THE ICE BEARS set at the edge of the arctic circle in the Yukon.
SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY as 1st AD – drama feature films:
Tideland – Director, Terry Gilliam
nothing – Director, Vincenzo Natali
Foolproof – Director, William Phillips
Three to Tango – Director, Damon Santo Stefano
Renegades – Director, Jack Sholder
Black Jack – Director, John Woo
Sing – Director, Richard Baskin
Company Man – Director, Vincenzo Natali
Picture Claire – Director, Bruce Mcdonald
Clearcut – Director Richard Bugajski