After being laid off from his full time teaching position at Trillium Charter School in 2011, Will Watts took the small settlement he received as a result of his wrongful termination suit, and enrolled in the multimedia program at Portland Community College to pursue his dreams of becoming a music video producer and director. There he took as many classes as he could at any one time, while interning for the Emmy nominated Portlandia Art Department, Lance Bangs’ production house ‘Field Recordings’, and Cash Music. When his funding ran dry, Watts dusted off a few of the web design skills he developed during his time with Beto O’Rourke’s firm Stanton Street Design, and helped to launch websites for Rapgrid, Co-Sign, Capita Snowboards, and Union Bindings.
By 2013, Watts was out on his own, exercising some of his newly acquired skills for local businesses and record labels like Kill Rock Stars. Through his connections there, Watts began his four year stint as the video producer for the American Association of Independent Musicians annual Libera Awards. That same year, he reprised his role as production assistant for Portlandia’s Art Department — this time receiving pay and credits. During this fruitful time, Watts also started producing live comedy videos, which led him to work with Cameron Esposito, Hari Kondabolu, Ian Karmel, Rhea Butcher, W. Kamau Bell, and several others.
In 2015, Watts began his foray into podcast production with The Future of What, a weekly show hosted by Portia Sabin (current president of the Music Business Association), that was designed to help artists and musicians gain a broader understanding of how the music industry works. Within a year, the nationally syndicated show landed on many “must listen” podcast lists, and by 2019 it was winning awards like “Best In Show” at the X-RAY.FM awards. Concurrently, Watts also helped produce “Girl Germs,” a short podcast series about Bratmobile’s “Pottymouth,” and stand-up albums by the likes of Dana Gould, Emily Heller, Frangela, and Amy Miller.
In the past two years, Watts has continued on his chosen career path, and has produced fistfuls of music/lyric videos, album trailers, and audio visualizers (e.g. Spotify Canvas, YouTube art tracks, etc.) for artists like Elliott Smith, Filthy Friends, Kinski, Horse Feathers, and Second Letter, several of which can be seen above. In the coming year, Watts plans on producing even more video content and animation than he has in years past, while maintaining his keen sense of loyalty to ongoing projects.