It’s not surprising to find Will Galperin, 24, in the midst of Hollywood glitz.
By Georgetta L. Morque
It’s not surprising to find Will Galperin, 24, in the midst of Hollywood glitz. The Rye TV award winner, typically seen with camera in hand, seemed destined for the world of film. Yet, beyond the glam, there’s been a lot of hard work that’s now paying off in his career with an L.A. ad agency and life as an independent filmmaker.
Currently, Galperin is the in-house broadcast coordinator, a job created for him, at TBWA/Media Arts Lab, the ad agency that services Apple. He spearheads the research for the production of Apple commercials, prototypes ideas for new ones and coordinates all internal video production. The agency recently won a 2014 Emmy award for best commercial.
Yet landing a job was no easy feat even with Galperin’s talent and experience from internships in New York. After graduating from Hampshire College where he studied film, he interned with the ad agency Weiden + Kennedy in Portland, Ore. But transitioning from internship to job was challenging, so much so that he packed his bags, left friends and headed for L.A.
For six months, without a car or income, he surfed the creative capital of the world for work, armed with an excel spreadsheet of targeted companies. “It was a humbling experience,” said Galperin, who wasn’t alone in his quest but one of many talented young artists trying to break into this highly competitive industry. His advice for new college grads: “You have to show people what you can do and start at the bottom.”
Galperin continues film making on the side. He was the cinematographer for the film, “Our Blood,” produced by a former college classmate, Max Chan. The film made it into the Cannes International Film Festival last May which the pair attended and finessed their way into the after party at the Ritz Carlton where they ran into Ryan Gosling, among other luminaries. The fictional film is about a 19-year-old girl who learns she has a long-lost brother on a bison farm.
Early on, Galperin knew he wanted to be involved in the arts and thanks his parents for indulging his creative sensibilities. His mother, Sallie Mars, an advertising professional, would bring him to her office, and always had paper on hand for drawing. His father, Jeff, a lawyer, would share from his movie collection on videotape, and museum visits were part of life. His older brother, Ted, also benefited from the family’s arts-filled nurturing and now works with Partners & Spade in Manhattan where he designs stores.
Galperin is also grateful to Rye schools for supporting his creative endeavors, particularly the theater department where he performed in productions. He ultimately zeroed in on film since it encompassed so many of the arts. Galperin especially loved the Rye TV studio, where he was known to frequent most days at 2:37 p.m, middle school and high school dismissal time, and often remained until 10 p.m. “I logged in hundreds of hours at Rye TV and built my work ethic there. I found my creative identity there and learned the tools.” Nicole Levitsky, Rye TV Access Coordinator, remembers Galperin as very talented and a hard worker who would come to the studio to learn all the software and then experiment. “Will’s work was of a different caliber; it was intellectual.”
One of his most significant projects during his high school years was a documentary about the Uganda water crisis, which earned a Rye TV Margie Award in the teen division for outstanding individual achievement. He traveled to Uganda and was very moved by seeing children pumping water out of the ground. He captured what he experienced in the film, which was well received by the Rye community at screenings at the high school and the library. “People in Rye were so open to what I had to say.” Galperin produced DVDs and sent the money from the sales to a Uganda charity.
Galperin’s current project in L.A is a film entitled, “In the Privacy of Your Own Home,” based on a true story about the relationship between two strangers, a widower and a young woman. The film is his own personal project, which he wrote, directed, and produced. One of the top talents in the film is Bill Smitrovich, who currently stars in “The November Man.”
“It’s been a long process, 15 months, but a labor of love,” said Galperin. The film is nearly finished and Galperin expects a trailer to be out soon. Stay tuned for this and more.