“Living in Southern California, the impact of the drought is inescapable. We definitely can’t ignore what our environment is shouting as us to pay heed to!” exclaimed Will Allen, Founder and Creative Director, Never Without A Picture. “Doing what we can about how to be more sustainable, and how we can save water, is essential.”
It’s with this same passion about the environment that Allen approaches his work as a filmmaker, and what moves him when viewing young artist’s projects.
“Film is a powerful medium where you can make a statement, present an issue or a story, and bring ideas found in the script to visual life on the screen,” said Allen. “With contests like ‘Water: Take 1’, it’s especially exciting for me to see how young filmmakers approach and present the serious issues, such as the water crisis, which directly impacts our society’s sustainability.”
Allen found his path to filmmaking after participating in a college production of Arthur Miller’s award-winning play, The Crucible, which dramatizes the Salem witch trials that took place in Massachusetts from 1692-1693. During his research for the play, he discovered that even today, children in Angola, Africa, were being accused of being witches. As a result, these ‘witch’ children continue to be incarcerated, tortured and even murdered.
“Looking for a way to bring the story of Angola’s witch children to film, as well as my work on a number of other projects, led me to found the media company, Never Without A Picture in 2012,” said Allen.
In several short years, Never Without A Picture has garnered an appreciative client base and develops and produces TV spots, short and long form documentaries and branded corporate videos for businesses and multi-national brands.
“We work primarily in Asia and Europe,” said Allen. “Our specialty is finding the ‘story’ for our clients and assisting them in telling that story in a compelling, creative way to engage their audience.”
Allen enjoys working with “Water: Take 1,” and for the third consecutive year of the contest, his company offers production consultation services as one of the prizes in the “Best Student Film” winner category.
“For a short film, there are a few essential elements,” said Allen, offering advice to young filmmakers. “Rather than just give ‘information’ filmmakers need to engage their audience with a story that has an arc — a beginning, middle and end — with characters their audience can relate to.”
“I’m impressed by many of the ‘Water: Take 1’ filmmakers storytelling and technical skill,” said Allen. “There’s a lot of hard word and dedication that has gone into the making of some of these films and that does not go unnoticed.”
However, Allen also wishes to underscore that in the world of filmmaking and entertainment, “it’s not just about hard work — but more importantly, working smart. “
“Time is valuable. Young filmmakers need to observe and learn quickly how they should be spending their time. Ask ‘will doing this get me where I want to go?’ ‘How long will it take if I do it this way vs. that way?’ Think creative and out of the box when considering a project and when taking a meeting. Also remember, just like with any business — you are the business, you are your own brand. So make sure you are presenting the brand you want to be.”
Will serves as Creative Director and Business Strategist for his company. His partners include Joseph Sousa, Head Writer and Creative Associate, Derek Deems, Lead Cinematographer, Kurt Rodeghiero, Writer and Director and Garrison Patrick, Post-Production and Animation Lead.