I began to record images on skid row in 2006. Then in 2007.. my buddy introduced me to a woman from Poland. Shortly there after, Alina and I started to chat about the enclave; she is a filmmaker, artist and an amazing director of documentary.
One day she asked me if I would help her finish a project..little did I know, that project would in many ways change my life.
I was first given a camera around the age of 4 or 5 years old, for birthdays my parents would give me photography books as presents. Most years they gave me Gordon Parks books, man I loved to look at the stories he captured .. the poetics he included was simply inspiring as a child.
A few years later.. my family sent me to a global boarding school run by monks.. my family wasn’t rich, but — they somehow felt it was important for me be exposed to a worldview early in life. New York City is a tough place to live as a kid, and so I went away to school. It was there, that I began to study photography with great detail, and even learned to develop and print my images.
Well, life has many twists and turns and they set me on a path from one end of the world to the other.. notebooks filled, bags of cameras strapped to my back. From wars, to riots.. then fashion to advertising; I was a photographer.
Somewhere along my journey, I saw too much..and quit calling myself a photographer; yes there where cameras around. Every now and then I would pick one up and snap a few shots. But it wasn’t until I met Alina.. that I began to find joy in the process again.
We became friends, I became her assistant and we co-produced her first feature documentary called “SONGS FROM THE NICKEL”
| http://songsfromthenickel.com/ | shown in over 40 international film fest, won some awards including: 2011 Humanitarian Award, Glasgow Scotland| Research Award, Sibiu Romania| Best Feature Documentary, Athens.
Alina was in Europe, and one day she called.. and said ” hey Will.e I think there is more work to do”
.. while we where shooting Songs From The Nickel..we had been speaking about a very special project and it centered on women. Well, I’m not going to share any clues..not just yet. But it is a feature length documentary about something you’ve never seen, and it takes place in the nickel.. skid row.. stay tuned:)
( email: documentarycine (at) gmail dot com )