Our Friday column asks our members about their favorite tool, software, article of clothing, shoes on set, favorite scriptwriting software, etc.
Nan Gill-Wilson – Producer
By Jean Criss
Nan Gill-Wilson is a proud member of NYWIFT and a seasoned professional with banking, artistic, and legal skills. Nan attended UAlbany; was born in Queens, NY; is co-owner and President of Willy-Gilly Productions, Inc.; and is Executive Producer of the feature film Collar. She has working on various TV shows supporting women’s empowerment and educational shows for young adults.
Nan is also the President of the Board of Directors of The Academy of Film, Television and Stage Performing Arts, Inc., an educational entity established with David Patrick Wilson, committed to providing a well-trained, highly skilled professional workforce for the American entertainment industry. And she is previously the founder and co-owner of Educational Video Productions, Inc. (EVPI) and The EVPI School of the Performing Arts in Warwick, NY.
Nan shared with us the path of her varied and successful career, the story behind her personal and creative partnership with David Wilson, and how she is coping during COVID-19.
Nan, what is the one thing that drives you to begin your production day?
I wake up every morning with a driving passion to end cruelty, hatred, and indifference in our world. I want to shed a light in all dark places showing that we can work together to make a planet that works better for everyone; produce films that are entertaining, enticing and enlightening; live in a world where no mother will have to put her child to bed hungry.
What drove you to transition from owning a title insurance company to starting a dance production company, now leading film and TV production?
I started my career in performing arts and moved into modeling with Ford (in the 1960’s). Then I ran a dance, gymnastic and film production school in Warwick, NY (in the 1980’s). After a divorce, I started a Title Insurance business out of the necessity to support my family.
In 2007, I re-connected with David Wilson at our 40th High School reunion. Later we joined forces to co-produce the feature film Collar and got married. At the time, this film was very controversial, shedding light on issues of teenage prostitution, abuse of power against our Black brothers, animal rights, and sexual abuse. Prior to the #MeToo and Black Lives Matter movements, no one wanted to address these issues. The film lends voices to those who shout “No more.”
How did the name WillyGilly.com come about?
David and I formed Willy-Gilly Productions, Inc. in August, 2009. I asked David “Don’t you have a small picture that we could produce here together?” We formed Willy-Gilly Productions, Inc. by combining our last names. David is a prolific writer and graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse who studied under Sanford Meisner and Bill Esper and voice with Seth Riggs. We formed a not-for-profit 501(c)3 to train others these skills, The Academy of Film, Television, Stage and Performing Arts, Inc. aftspa.org
What are you doing to promote your new films and to empower women everywhere?
We attend the Cannes Film Festival virtually and are seeking investors through Investors.com and The Film Portal. We pitch and seek coproduction partners around the world who have qualified funding to support our mission.
Do you find it peaceful living in upstate New York? What things have you done to de-stress during COVID-19 as a film producer?
Goshen, New York is a beautiful community, serene countryside, however, our hearts reside in Manhattan with the arts. I was scheduled to co-star in a Broadway Comedy Club back in April as “Darilyn,” a “want-to-be Marilyn,” before the city shut down pre-COVID. Now we are working on Pulitzer Prize-winning play Gin Game and two original stage productions. Our fav de-stress is to dance, pray and meditate daily.
Has Zoom increased your productivity at work during the COVID pandemic?
We are teaching acting classes, rehearsing plays, attending networking events at FilmPortal.net, Cannes Film Festival, and NYWIFT all virtually with the amazing Zoom.
If you had time to work your dream project, what would that entail? Envision anything.
My dream project is to produce When Summer Comes, an epic film that sheds light on the horrors of war, the hope of world peace, and the power of love to overcome all obstacles.
Learn more about Nan’s work at www.willygilly.com.
Happy Black History Month! At NYWIFT we are celebrating the Black creators and artists in our membership, while honoring Black culture & cinema throughout history. Today’s spotlight is on our member Taylor Re Lynn, an actor, singer, producer, and philanthropist.READ MORE
Happy Black History Month! At NYWIFT we are celebrating the Black creators and artists in our membership, while honoring Black culture & cinema throughout history. Today’s spotlight is on our member Brianna Seagraves, an actress, writer, and award-winning producer. Brianna shares her acting inspirations and her directorial debut at the Billie Holiday Theater.READ MORE
"Flower Punk," Alison Klayman’s film recently released on The New Yorker documentary site, delights visually and aesthetically with the bonus of illuminating Japanese cultural traditions regarding the natural world. We recap our conversation with Alison following the NYWIFT screening of the film.READ MORE