Catching The Storytelling Bug With Alex Williams

All the expensive equipment in the world can’t make a compelling film without a good story. “You can have the best lighting and sound equipment, but if you don’t have true stories, you just have pretty imagery, and it’s kind of dead in the water,” says Alex Williams, owner of Videotrekker Films. For Alex, it was a lesson he learned at his first Adventure Film School, and it’s made all the difference in his career.

Alex Williams at the Adventure Film School in PeruAlex grew up in the outdoor world and had always had a passion for film, but in 2008 he joined an AFS course in Peru that altered the course of his life. Surrounded by people with such a passion for life, he learned how to find and tell stories and honed his personal style—which he describes as “edgy and fun.” He was asked to help out with a backcountry skiing AFS course the next year, and then again at the Dominion Riverrock course in 2001.

Now he works full time as a filmmaker, producing travel and adventure pieces, as well as corporate and business projects. He’s filmed in Papua New Guinea, post-earthquake Haiti and on Kilimanjaro, but the undercurrent in his work is always people. “I make human interest stories,” he says.

Just this year, Alex is working on a project in the Amazon, a corporate gig in Budapest, and a four-month documentary project in Southeast Asia.

His best piece of advice to aspiring adventure filmmakers? Persevere. “I have a lot of people who reach out to me because they can see photos online, and want to do what I do,” Alex says. “But what they’re not seeing is the incredible amount of work that goes into everything.” A filmmaker’s job isn’t finished until he or she gets exactly the shot they need, and then it’s edited and shaped into the final form. But if you’re willing to put the time in to learn the skill and develop yourself in an artistic and technical way, the sky’s the limit, he says.

BASED in New Jersey and New York, working in South Florida for the winter
ATTENDED AFS in Peru, 2008
PROUDEST PROJECT yet was filming doctors and nurses in post-earthquake Haiti