William Hylton Calder Collinson is a South African cinematographer and director who, at age 30, made his film directorial debut with Double Echo, written by François Bloemhof (to be released in 2017), for which he executed the dual roles of Director and DOP (Director of Photography).
William is a member of the South African Society of Cinematographers and in 2017 he won their highest honour – the Visible Spectrum Award for Best Cinematography in a Feature Film for his work on the movie Last Broken Darkness which was also accepted into numerous film festivals, including the Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival, the Little Rock Film Festival and the Cape Town International Film Mart & Festival.
William has worked as DOP on a number of South African feature films including Durban Poison, which won Best South African Feature Film at the Durban International Film Festival, as well as a number of other film accolades; Die Ballade van Robbie de Wee (on which he worked with Oscar and Emmy-nominated and Peabody Award winning director Darrell Roodt), which was nominated for Best Cinematography at the South African Film and Television Awards (SAFTAs)/ “Golden Horns”; and Dis Koue Kos, Skat, which was nominated for Best Cinematography at the KykNet Silwerskerm Film Festival.
William got his start in cinematography through the advertising industry and in 2011, he was both Director and DOP for the ad campaign Wimpy Braille Burger. The innovative ad campaign (which William also edited) went viral and also was recognised with a number of prestigious international awards, including both a Gold and Silver Lion at Cannes, a Gold and Silver Loerie Award and a Gold Clio.
William has lived in South Africa, Australia, Madagascar, Botswana and Namibia, and is now based in Cape Town, but travels often for both national and international projects and films.
Looking for Love, a romantic comedy which William shot in 2017, will be released in movie theatres in 2018.
In early 2018, William also completed his work as DOP on season one (13 episodes) of a new TV series Agent, which was filmed in both Mauritius and South Africa. Agent is set in the glamorous, high-stakes world of African soccer and tells the story of a former soccer star working as a high-powered agent, managing egos and chasing talent as he struggles to escape his tragic past. The series will be broadcast on Canal+ Afrique and on the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) in 2018.
William recently finished writing the screenplay Cold Stone Jug, based on Herman Charles Bosman’s autobiographical account of his time on death row, and is currently in the fundraising phase of this movie.
In 2009, William directed and shot Paulina’s Story, a documentary about a domestic worker living under the poverty line in Diepsloot, one of South Africa’s most dangerous townships, which won a Gold Loerie.
William has also worked as DOP on a number of Afrikaans films in South Africa including Seun and Verskietende Ster (working with director Darrell Roodt on both of these films), the latter which was nominated for Best Cinematography at the Kyknet Silwerskerm Film Festival; Die Laaste Tango (written by Deon Meyer and also Deon’s film directorial debut); and Alles Wat Mal Is.
William also has worked as DOP on the popular Sotho language South African TV show Skeem Saam, and was nominated for a Golden Horn (SAFTA) in Cinematography for his work on this show.
Education and Training
After finishing his secondary schooling at South Africa’s National School of the Arts, William graduated cum laude from the National College of Photography in Pretoria and then became a lecturer there. William then studied cinematography and directing in Australia at the International Film School of Sydney’s APA (Academy of Photogenic Arts) and later, William completed the Cinematography Master Class at the ASC, American Society of Cinematographers in Hollywood, California.