Get to know more about Kevin Wilson Jr., the director of ‘My Nephew Emmett.’ Below are facts about the director including his overall net worth.
Who is Kevin Wilson Jr.?
Kevin Wilson, Jr. started writing scripts when he was a young boy growing up in Durham, North Carolina. He attended Hillside High School where he developed a love for both acting and writing. Upon his graduation from high school, Wilson was admitted to North Carolina AT&T State University where he received a B.S. in Journalism. After receiving his Journalism Degree he moved to New York where he was accepted to New York University and The Tisch School of the Arts, MFA-Film Production. Wilson is now best known for his works based on the life of Emmett Till, a fourteen-year old boy that grew up in Chicago but died a tragic death on August 28, 1955 while visiting family in rural Mississippi. If you don’t know the story of Till, a civil rights icon, we highly suggest you watch the film ‘My Nephew Emmett.’ He decided to bring Till’s life to the big screen in order to bring forth the brutality of racism that was alive and well in the south during the 1950’s. There are currently just a handful of African-American directors currently working in Hollywood and Kevin Wilson, Jr. just happens to be one of them. His film ‘My Cousin Emmett’ was so excellent that the Durham, North Carolina native was nominated for an Oscar 2018. He currently resides in New York, where he is a filmmaker and a producer. He is also an MFA Candidate in the New York University Graduate Film Program. He first gained attention in 2009 when he directed several sold-out performances of his first play “The Emmett Till Story,” which was a brutal depiction of the 1955 cold murder of Emmett Till. Since then Wilson has become the director of a number films and documentaries that have earned him several awards. Wilson’s most recent project is “My Nephew Emmett,” the film based on the play, based on the story surrounding the death of Till.
Facts About Kevin Wilson, Jr.
His Career has been Influenced by Watching Two Films a Day
During an interview, Kevin Wilson Jr. revealed that he watches two films a day, sometimes three if he isn’t busy. Wilson has watched so many films that he isn’t able to name them all but he pointed out a few that he was able to remember. ‘Yasujiro Ozu’ is one of the most memorable films he has ever watched while ‘Tokyo Story’ was the one he called “the most emotional.” His mother had just been diagnosed with cancer and the film affected him in a profound manner. The film also made Wilson realize just how important it is to capture human emotion and to make films and documentaries that the audience can connect and relate too.
He Wanted to Explore Pain and Helplessness with ‘My Nephew Emmett’
Wilson tries to make the films as personal as possible. To him, making a film is about exploration and self-discovery in a variety of ways. Wilson finds questions from the world around him as well as within himself that he feels he needs to answer. The results of those questions are what motivates him to research and writes a script. “My Nephew Emmett” had Wilson asking himself what a protector must feel like when faced with the impossible; searching for justice for the one who harmed their loved one. All he wanted was to explore the pain and helplessness of the people who lost a young child under unfair and tragic circumstance. Wilson also wanted to explore the strength that Emmett Till’s uncles and mother had to go through during those trying times and to determine if he could be as strong if he went through a similar scenario.
‘You think this is fun for me?’
Many people who watched the film think that the line was in the script, but according to Wilson, it was written on set. They were shooting the scene, and the actors were quite emotional. So emotional in fact, that the director suggested new movements and lines in each take. Wilson gave every actor freedom to breathe like the character they played while allowing the to speak the words the actual characters may have said. Dane Rhodes played J.W. Milam in the film while Ethan Leaverton played the role of Roy Bryant. Milam and Bryant were two white men living in Mississippi at the time and they thought nothing when it came to the punishment of black people. Ironically, one asked the victim, “you think this is fun for me?”
His Greatest Triumph is Getting the Approval of Till’s Family
The greatest challenge of every filmmaker and director who works on films based on real events is the approval of the family of the one affected, especially if the story has a tragic ending. Kevin Wilson Jr. took a copy of the film to Till’s family for them to watch. After they did, the approved it, and it was Wilson’s greatest triumph. Whenever Wilson makes a film, he always makes sure he is respectful to the people the story affects directly. Wilson also tries to create work that is compelling and personal to him. His other goal is to narrate the story in a way that it reflects his voice. He tries to strike a balance between making something personal and respecting those who were actually involved in the story. He finds it both challenging and rewarding all at the same time. Now that Wilson’s work has been recognized, he has won several awards and has been nominated for several other. His success has had a positive impact on his net worth.
Kevin Wilson Jr’s net worth is still under wraps, but he has undoubtedly made some serious net worth from his sold-out films.
Wilson is working on another project this year, but he didn’t reveal what it was. We hope this young man, of an unknown age wins the Oscar 2018. You can find and support him on his Instagram and Twitter handles.