West Van producer shares Oscar glory

Category: Shattered News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: March 8, 2006 | Publication: North Shore News (British Columbia) | Author: Erin McPhee
Publication/Article Link:http://www.nsnews.com/

Capote producer kept belief in project when others did not

The work and dedication of a North Shore resident was honoured onstage at the 78th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday.

"I'm overwhelmed. I'm really overwhelmed. I would like to thank Bill Vince and Caroline Baron and Danny Rosett. The film wouldn't have happened without them."

Those were among the first words uttered by actor Philip Seymour Hoffman when he accepted his Oscar for performance by an actor in a leading role in Capote at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Calif.

The film was nominated for five awards including best picture for its portrayal of American writer Truman Capote's endeavours to tell the true tale of a set of murders that rocked a Kansas town in the mid-20th century. Capote's story, In Cold Blood, changed society's perceptions about the genre of non-fiction.

In his speech, Hoffman drew attention first to one of the film's producers, Vince, who has lived in West Vancouver for all of his 42 years, and his mother last.

Vince laughs while speaking with the North Shore News Tuesday morning on his cellphone when this is pointed out.

"People are picking up on that, his mother is an amazing mother," said Vince. "Why it means a lot more in this circumstance I think is that Philip (Hoffman), his bullshit meter is zero."

Not one to buy into undeserved compliments, Hoffman tries to maintain a sense of groundedness by keeping real people around him, he said. "I think he just appreciates me backing him and believing in the project when I would say pretty well everybody else did not," said Vince.

Capote was also recently honoured with a Golden Globe for best actor as well as other prestigious awards.

Being a part of the film industry was not a childhood dream of Vince's. Growing up, sports was his clear focus. Struggling with dyslexia from an early age, the Hollyburn elementary and West Vancouver secondary student excelled at hockey, and sports was where he thought his life was headed.

"One thing I definitely realized about the North Shore, as a lot of people do, it's a very unique environment both in beauty and safety, but it also has a lot of interesting and creative people living in it," he said. "With that there's tons of opportunity to be a musician, to be a brain surgeon, to be in the film business . . . the doors are wide open to do whatever you want to do."

Vince's involvement in the industry happened after his brother started dating a girl in high school whose father was a film producer. "That was the introduction to our family about the film business," said Vince. He and his brother soon entered the industry. The first project Vince produced was in 1992, a film called Cafe Romeo.

Vince originally partnered with his brother and sister in a company called Keystone Entertainment and they made the Air Bud movies. About eight years ago, he separated from the company and joined Infinity Features, an independent, feature film production company in which he is a producer and partner, often known as William D. Vince in film credits. Infinity is based in Vancouver with offices in Los Angeles. His life is centred on the North Shore, as his three children attend West Vancouver schools. Recent films include The Snow Walker, Just Friends and Ripley Under Ground.

Vince said his work on Capote follows the success of his work on Saved, a satire about Christian fundamentalism starring Jena Malone, Mandy Moore and Macaulay Caulkin. "The same person that gave me that script gave me this script," he said.

While Vince said he has had a lot of successes, working on Capote was a particularly special experience. "Philip Seymour Hoffman is such an exceptional person and an amazing talent," said Vince. "I learned a lot from him." Vince said the film felt different from Day 1, evident in every frame through the emotion portrayed by Hoffman.

Vince said he was most surprised by Capote's best picture nomination. "We came out quite early, which we had to because we're a small movie, but you knew that (Memoirs of a Geisha) was coming, you knew King Kong was coming."

They expected one of the bigger films of the year to catch the audience's imagination much easier than Capote, a $7.5 million production.

This is the first film Vince has worked on that has received an Oscar nod. "When you get to this level people start to expect you to keep that quality up," he said. "You have to be careful not to lend your name or do something shortsighted. I'm not at all about the money, so for me, I can step back and say, 'You know, I'd rather wait for something else to happen.'"

The high of his recent experiences has given Vince the confidence to dive headfirst into his next projects, he said. Fresh off the plane from Hollywood, Vince is starting work Saturday on his new film, a thriller called Butterfly on a Wheel starring Pierce Brosnan, Gerard Butler and Maria Bello.

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