We caught up with the super talented Guy Williams recently. Guy has just come off a feature in Australia and has many other projects in the works. He gains inspiration from creating opportunities and works to inspire others as well.
Enjoy this interview with our friend and alum Guy Williams.
We know you to be extremely motivated, and you never stop working or creating. What keeps you going?
The drive to “create” or to keep pushing forward so to speak can only come from a place that is grounded in being your true self. That is inherent to any profession not just the entertainment business. Once you find where you want to be the effort to move forward becomes part of the whole and not a singular chore that must be done. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to work your butt off! But the work that you do has a relevance to the journey and to yourself as a person first and then a relevance to the industry second. Also, not being tied to a timeline or the classic phrase of “Once I get this role it’s all going to happen” etc. etc. is a perspective that I’ve always taken. Once you are content to move forward knowing that this business is the thing you are going to do for all time then there is no pressure there is only the work you need to do that’s right in front of you. It’s not sexy or glamorous but it will make all the difference in the long haul because that’s what you are in it for right?
What drove you to Hollywood Immersive? What did you want to gain?
I saw HI as a great opportunity to learn and grow. For me within this business it has always been about brutal honesty and evaluating where you are at. HI is brilliant for that as you are learning from the industry’s best and most experienced operators in their chosen fields. It was also getting a little direction of figuring out where I fit within the market place and how to move forward towards that.
You have an incredibly positive attitude. How important is attitude in achieving your goals?
Attitude is everything. You and you alone are responsible for your own attitude and perspective on life. Life most definitely can be difficult especially in the entertainment business but how you view those times and how you learn from them is what’s most important. Personal responsibility is everything. Win, lose or draw it’s on you.
You have many skills, including fighting, weaponry, and of course acting. What is your discipline for learning and practicing?
Discipline is about doing the stuff that’s required away from the “bright lights”. In simple terms, no one can do the work for you. To have the freedom in front or behind the camera takes thousands of hours of accumulated work. I really don’t have an answer to why some people get up and do the work and others have to be pulled kicking and screaming out of bed to get it done. A simple question though to ask yourself is “Would I want to do this anyway if all of it wasn’t associated with acting at all? “If there was no pay day, no premiere, no recognition, nothing, nothing at all but your own personal growth and the positivity and value that you can contribute to everyone around you. When you can answer “yes” and you would still do it all then the work is just a part of your everyday life. This comes back to a point I made earlier. What you do in life must not be the thing that makes you whole. Acting cannot be the thing that defines you as a person….it must always be a pathway to enhance who you are.
What advice can you give those who are looking to break into the business?
Just jump right in!!! Be target specific. Seek out great teachers and mentors and go and learn and be open to learning (there is a difference). Be brutally honest with yourself and your work and be PATIENT. See this as a lifelong pursuit (that should give you immense joy and growth). A very important point for actors is to find where you fit within the market and run with that. The best thing you can do is be you. The roles will come along or you will create your own. I’m not saying turn down roles that you want to do but follow your instinct and once again find out who you really are. You are your own business and you should act accordingly. I see too many actors give away everything to an outside entity in the hope that they will get them work or make the stars align. Once again YOU are responsible for all that you do or don’t do. Don’t be afraid to say no and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s a cliché but surround yourself with great people that will be honest with you and drop anything or anyone that is an unnecessary drain on your energy and just be useful!!! Always look at what you can bring to a project or situation not what you can get out of it. Give without expecting something in return. I would add as well to be as financially viable as you can with your “day job”. You are doing yourself a disservice if you cannot pay your rent or put fuel in your car. Having a day job does not mean you are giving up on your dreams you are enhancing them. The job you are doing is giving you the freedom to have the resources to chase down what you really want to do. The balance will slowly shift over time. Desperation is not a good thing in this industry…take care of your home life and your acting life will then take care of itself.
What inspires you to keep going?
Inspiration is a funny term for me. You either want to do something or you don’t. Actors and those in the entertainment business have a real knack of over complicating things. Inspiration for me simply comes from having an opportunity to do something that creatively fires new neurons and also offers so much growth in so many different ways. And let’s face it it’s fun as hell!!! The fact that I even have that option in this life is a massive source of gratitude and therefore a massive source of inspiration that is not to be wasted. I also draw great inspiration from anyone who just gets out there and has a go no matter what the industry. In film, it is all about doing and forward momentum (or sideways ha!). The more you move the more you will create and the more opportunities will present themselves and be created. If you sit and wait for the “best” time to do what you want to do then it will never happen. The availability of technology and the platforms that go with it means that in this day and age we are unbelievably fortunate to be able to create something with virtually nothing. So, go out and get going you might just inspire someone else to do the same!
Please tell us about your upcoming projects, and when we can expect to see more of you.
I just wrapped on a feature film titled “The First Detectives” which is a period piece crime drama set in the early-mid 1800’s. It’s scheduled for an early 2019 release. I have a short film that is due out very soon which is part of a trilogy of films titled “The Devil May Care” which was one of the most amazing projects I have been a part of to date! It covers the rise and fall of an Irish American Crime Boss through three interconnected short films of which I play the lead character in the second film entitled “Lust”. I also had a great meeting very recently with a writer/ director about a very cool feature film/ series that is rolling along nicely toward the start line which I am extremely excited for but can’t say too much more about! The thing I am also most excited about is the film we shot a couple of months ago which is a precursor to some great projects that we have in the pipeline. I also had a hand in co-writing this film with a great friend and mentor James Richards (who also directed it). I also produced and acted in this one and we had the brilliant Josh Hoareau shoot it! We brought together an amazing cast and crew for this one and it’s looking fantastic!
Fast forward 5 years – what should we expect to see from Guy Williams?
More of the same I think! More films, more producing, more writing and I think a move into directing at some stage as well.
What would be the legacy you would like to be known for?
To be remembered with a smile and as a man who always gave more, cared more and contributed more to those he came into contact with.
Guy’s tips on what you can do to further your career!
Producing your own content is King!! The more you have a hand in creating your future the better. Great story and performance will always shine through so let that be the base of your creative journey. Too many people go for the window dressing of flashing lights and expensive cameras and add ons etc. etc. etc. The list can go on!! Everything always comes back to a brilliant narrative executed well. You can have a $200 000 000 film that is terrible and you can have a $100 film that is remarkable. It is very difficult to dress up something that has no substance. So always start from your foundation which should be an epic script/ story!! Everything will flow on from that.
Have an eye to contain your process. What I mean by “containing your process” is keep as much of the work flow of making your project in house. Seek out great operators that can move a project from start to finish i.e.: DP’s that can shoot, edit, colour and do sound. The more times you have to “farm “ out your project to other entities to get work done the harder it is to control and the more time it takes. So, from the start ensure you have enough in the tank to get the right operators on board to finish your film!! If your team is small then you can move and shake with ease and keep everything moving toward where you want it to go. By nature, film is an extremely wasteful industry. Look to where you can be more efficient and to where you can get the right people involved that will benefit all aspects of a project. It’s not rocket science and it always comes back to management of people. So, get great at managing and leading your team and leading by example.