I am a video journalist, a producer, an author, a director, an interviewer, a project organizer, and a skilled communicator. I look for the true story and tell it as clearly as possible. Underlying all my work is a conviction to improve the world, one story at a time. This site is the best way of introducing viewers to a summary of my creative work.
I’ve always considered myself a writer and have been making films and videos of many stripes since the late ’80s. I grew up in a small town in NC, graduated from Duke University with a degree in English, certificate in Film & Video, and earned a Master’s in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is when my own narrative finally made sense. (I do NOT pull for Carolina in sports, just to be clear.) Since 2007, I have been self-employed creating nonfiction (documentary) films and videos. I have now completed three feature-length documentaries about: my “through-hike” of the entire Appalachian Trail in 2001, my brother’s conversion to (non-fundamentalist, Sufi) Islam, and author Reynolds Price’s 50-plus-year career as a teacher. I worked for LookSmart (a dot-com) in San Francisco, during which time it went public, and then I got laid-off in 2001. Don’t ask about the stock. I have also been licensed as a massage therapist. I have a dog, no kids, very little debt, and a strong disdain for the Western status quo. Cycling, running, swimming, hiking, and many other outdoor activities help to keep me fit and sane and I love them all!
When we need a great-looking video with the highest production values, we turn to Wil. He’s competent and professional and an extremely good listener, which results in finished edits that perfectly capture the spirit of the story we’re trying to tell.”
-Karl Leif Bates, Duke University Science Journalist
I speak Spanish fluently, Portuguese and French conversationally. I’ve done documentary work (at least once each) in Chile, Peru, Honduras, Costa Rica, Spain, Senegal, and Republic of Congo. Being able to navigate deftly with minimal gear has allowed me an entirely new way to record and tell compelling stories.
My hope is that, through this site and these pages, anyone who may be interested in my work and passions will be engaged. It became clear during journalism school that my life’s work would not be filled with “hard news” or made-for-TV videos. Rather, my true purpose is to relate messages which may serve to make the world better — eliciting smiles, informing or educating about useful programs and technologies, entertaining in thoughtful ways, moving society forward — and nonfiction video is the vehicle to those ends. With a veritable smorgasbord of my work (not all of it) in these pages, I look forward to captivating and challenging viewers’ minds. Please: engage and let me know what you are thinking.