about TIM WILSON

Let the beauty we love be what we do.

— Rumi

for samples of recent work,

click here

 
 

An award-winning writer, producer, host and director in radio, television, film and digital media, Tim makes documentaries for broadcast, web and theatrical release, and as private commissions.

He has interviewed, collaborated with or produced profiles of some of the most notable figures of our time. But he has also  — equally if not more rewardingly — done affectionate portraits of remarkable people closer to home

A former host on National Public Radio, and of CBC’s Arts Report, Tim is a contributor to that network’s flagship documentary series, Ideas. He was also arts presenter on VISION TV, the world’s first multi-faith television network.

His radio features have aired on public networks in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, his television essays on CBC-TV, Hallmark and The Documentary Channel, and his photography in National Geographic online.

His feature documentary Griefwalker, available at Amazon.com, is produced by The National Film Board of Canada, where it can also be viewed free, online.

Tim has guest-lectured, hosted or taught at the Banff School of Fine Arts, the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology (U. of Toronto), Acadia and Laurentian universities, and New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Thanks to Air Canada, FedEx and high-speed internet, he produces for major media while living an artist’s dream in a beautiful tidal village in rural Nova Scotia.



P.S.  Ok, the above profile, though entirely true, errs a little on the earnest side. Here’s what I wrote to introduce myself as a collaborating director with Journeyman Film Company in Halifax, a commercial house and an altogether fine bunch.




 

His film work is astonishing,
at once visually lush and scripturally poetic”

— The Globe and Mail

Title: Director, Cinematographer, Essayist.  Chief Cook and Bottle-Washer (my father's favourite self description)


How you describe yourself: Middling to Fine Filmmaker. Great Bottle-Washer.  Barely Novice Cook.


How others describe you: Thoughtful.  Deep. A tad Unkempt.


Years in the business: Well into the double digits

Your greatest achievement?

In my early career, to have done one of the first interviews with Hitler's architect, Albert Speer, on hubris and kitsch in the art and architecture of the Third Reich.  More recently, the subjects very close to home: my mother’s Alzheimer’s (Upright Grand), the dignity and hard work of local fishermen (The Last Weir), and a soul search about my ignorance of death (Griefwalker).

Your biggest ambition?

To come out relatively unscathed, maybe even faintly shining, from the moment when my three young sons realize that their father is not a god.  Actually, that was probably long ago, and they've kindly kept it to themselves.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

Gratitude.  And a sportscar-sized bladder.

What does “great” look like?

The opening slow tracking shots through the installations of the artist Anselm Kiefer, in Sophie Fiennes' luminous 2010 documentary, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow. Antithesis to Albert Speer.

Share something no-one knows about you (until now!)

I was nearly in the cast of Hair.

What did you study at school and why?

French, and Political Science.  I wanted to be like Pierre Trudeau.

What would you be doing if you didn’t work in production?

I'd either be Prime Minister of Canada, or a gas jockey in Rivière du Loup. But I love to teach.

What’s at stake for you in your work right now?

Can video truly touch the soul? It's a serious question.

What are some of your favourite travel experiences?

Dancing at the foot of Mount Everest on my 40th birthday. Singing polyphonic chant with a traditional men's choir in the Republic of Georgia.

How do you find rejuvenation and balance?
Almost invariably, in a canoe.

What was your a-ha moment?

Realizing, after making my film Griefwalker that I really am going to die. And that it isn’t a punishment for doing something wrong.

Personal mantra: Virtuosity, unless it moves the heart, goes at the head of the whole parade to dust. (Eudora Welty)


Most valued/valuable skill: Strong intuition. And a pretty good ear.


Current work challenge: Deciding whether I want to go very high-def, or very low, where the imagination has more room.


Languages: English, French, teenage slang (still learning), and a dash of Swiss German

                             photo: Susan Tileston   

“... a light that is both his own and that of the artist …. exquisite work”

— The Canada Council for the Arts

recording Tibetan monks nr. Thyangboche, Nepal, 1987

on Fogo Island, Nfld., in 2012

waiting for the frog to jump ...