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  • Writer's pictureElaine Thompson

Behind the Lens: Shooting for Success with Tony Williams

Videography has revolutionized the art of storytelling, giving us the power to witness events and places beyond our own lives. And at the heart of every great video is a skilled videographer who brings these stories to life. Tony Williams is one such videographer, having worked with industry giants like National Geographic, BBC, Disney Plus, and the Discovery Channel. Whether capturing the serene depths of the ocean or the ferocity of sharks, Williams has produced breathtaking footage that has captivated audiences worldwide. An advocate for growth and perfecting one’s talent, Williams firmly believes in cultivating valuable videography skills exclusive to each individual.

“Everybody has a unique creative eye. Don’t try to copy and paste but hone your own craft and trust yourself,” he shared.

With a passion for storytelling evident in every frame, Williams' career is proof that there is undeniable power in creativity and talent. Join us as we go behind the scenes and discover the secrets of Williams' remarkable talent and incredible career path.

“I hadn’t always wanted to be a videographer. I initially thought I wanted to be involved in computer work. So, I originally pursued Computer Information Systems,” he shared.

Williams’ journey proved to increase in excitement as it unfolded.

“Once I moved on to Taylor University in Indiana for my second year of college it changed from Computer Information Systems to Computer Science. That was a whole different world dealing with Computer Programming, etc.”

Little did Williams know, the twists and turns in his path would intertwine eventually leading him to what his heart now truly knows as, home.

“In my second semester at Taylor, I changed my major and moved fully into Media and Film Production. I originally thought I would be dealing with more radio and audio, but they had more video courses than audio courses and I fell in love with video.”

Williams shared the excitement of experiencing those videography courses. His passion for this newfound venture was fueled by his creative nature and natural talent. For Williams videography felt authentic and genuine, well aligned with his artistic ability. After much hard work and enthusiasm, it wasn’t long before Williams began to work with industry titans like National Geographics.

“I worked with National Geographic in two capacities. For the first project, I was a camera assistant. We were on a research boat about seven miles off Nassau. I was assisting the main Director of Photography. We were on that boat for about seven days. It was a feature for National Geographic’s Shark Fest Week.”

Williams’ skills once again led him into National Geographic’s territory a second time when he was needed for his drone skills.

“The second time, I was a drone pilot for National Geographic and Disney Plus. I traveled to Andros with the crew and additionally did some shots in Nassau. It was a light job especially because I had been doing drone work for a while with my own drone. I was able to bring that on and it was easy. The show was National Geographic’s Cooking with Big Moe Cason, and it was really cool.”

He allowed his enthusiasm to guide him during that project, making him comfortable and confident in his execution. More opportunities to produce and deliver good work gave Williams the chance for even more growth within his portfolio.

“A project I was honored to be a part of was the awards show called Earthshot Prize for BBC and the Discovery channel. It dealt with the environment, and they had lots of nominees.”

He was humbled the moment he saw his name in the credits and was grateful for the opportunity.

“A team based in Freeport showcased the coral reefs in the Bahamas. Prince William hosted the show. I was the Director of Photographer for the Bahamas part of it. I was getting lots of shots in Freeport for about two or three days.”

Providing support and being a part of an excellent team allowed Williams to have an extraordinary and memorable experience. His experience is proof that our goals persevere if we remain dedicated and proactive.

“This was during the pandemic, and everything was done remotely but we were able to get the shots, and seeing the finished product with famous wildlife names on the screen was really cool. And the team from Freeport won the prize!”

The pandemic did not stop Williams from being able to execute and deliver exceptional work. Williams hopes to continue to grow a more diverse portfolio by working with a variety of industries in the future.

“I would like to be more established as a Director of Photography not only locally but also internationally and regionally in the Caribbean whether it be commercials, music videos, documentaries, etc. I just want to continue to be able to produce and deliver.”

He mentions that his love for music and music videos has motivated him to pursue opportunities within that arena in the future.

“I’m just trying to hone my creative eye. I’ve been trying to dabble in passion projects with music producers and artists. My love is music. I can’t play instruments, but I love music. I originally jumped into sound and radio because I love music so much.”

There are several creative artists that Williams looks up to. Williams mentions the two specific shows he found to be inspirational were The Last Black Man in San Francisco and Atlanta.

“It proves that you really could shoot darker skin tones and make it look amazing. A lot of camera films were made with lighter skin tones in mind. Just seeing films now and how people are filming darker tones and truly showcasing them as authentic, organic, and radiant as we see it to be in person inspires me to shoot more. Those are the styles I try to mimic when I shoot films.”

He shares that film is another aspect he has placed in the pipeline for himself.

“Ultimately, I want to make my own short film. I’ve been thinking about it for years now and there is no better time to do it than now.”

Williams has grown in leaps and bounds since finishing college at Taylor University. He shares his secret to gaining knowledge in his field.

“I’ve learned from different directors of photographers, videographers, etc. I try to learn from everyone on the field and crew so that whenever it’s time to take on whatever position is available, I’m of value. So, I've learned a lot between school, the field, and YouTube.”

Even though he is still growing Williams’ knowledge has helped many of his colleagues and peers.

“I know some shooters who say I inspire them with my camera choices and even some of the shots I have been able to get with my camera choice. I’ve inspired them to get the same camera or something similar and to shoot in the way they shoot.”

This motivates and encourages him to continue to grow and develop so that he can continue to pave the way for others wanting to choose a career within his industry.

“Things like that are usually really inspiring to hear. I’m usually thinking about trying to get the shot and just trying to make it look as good as possible but to hear I’m inspiring others is a whole different level that I’m very proud of. I only hope to get better from here. I’m still learning and growing. My advice is to just keep shooting and just trust your eye. You’ll eventually see results when you do this,” he stated.

Tony Williams has truly mastered the craft of videography. His stunning visuals have taken viewers on journeys that have inspired awe and wonder. Williams has dedicated his career to telling compelling stories through the lens of his camera. His unwavering passion and commitment to excellence have allowed him to work with some of the biggest names in the industry, and his work continues to influence and inspire a new generation of videographers.

With his incredible body of work, Tony Williams continues to leave his mark on the sands of the Caribbean as a giant, creative in nature and exceptional in capacity.


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