Will Reid has wanted to work in film and television for as long as he can remember. Growing up in Mississauga, a city just outside of Toronto, Canada, Reid was fascinated with popular culture. As he got older, he became more and more curious about the inner workings of the entertainment industry. When he would watch a movie or TV series, he had to know who worked on it, what their roles meant, and how they got to where they were. By the time he was a teenager, he knew he would one day be a part of that world as a career, and never had another dream.
Now, an acclaimed producer, Reid is a well-regarded leader in the Canadian entertainment industry. His resume includes highlights such as Big Brother Canada, The Bachelor Canada After Show, and years on Entertainment Tonight Canada, which this year took home four awards at the Canadian Screen Awards, the country’s equivalent to the Emmys, including Best Talk Program or Series for ET Canada Presents Artists & Icons: Indigenous Entertainers in Canada, which he shared with his team and a moment he calls a highlight of his extraordinary career.
“Not only was it a thrill to win Canada’s most prestigious award for television, but it was even more significant because it drew attention to Indigenous peoples in Canada,” he says.
Reid remembers the moment he felt he had hit his stride. It was back in 2016, when he was sent to the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards in New York City. It was his first time producing on a red carpet on his own, and he still remembers the mix of excitement and nerves he felt arriving at such an iconic cultural event.
“I’ve been on dozens of red carpets since then, but that one will always stand out to me, because it reminds me to treat every project with the same level of care as I brought to that shoot,” he says. “When I started my career, I told myself to take as many opportunities as I could and always bring my best, so that I could enhance my skills and open new doors as I navigate my professional path. To have worked on such internationally recognized franchises as Entertainment Tonight, The Bachelor, and Big Brother is a feat I could have only dreamed of when I entered the industry. Through these and the other projects I’ve been associated with over the years, I’ve grown tremendously, not just on a professional level, but on a personal level as well. The skills I’ve gained and the experiences I’ve had in my career so far have impacted the way I see the world and expanded my scope of what is possible to accomplish in my life.”
Reid has a very thoughtful approach to his craft, always focusing first and foremost on the people. He says that content may be king, but you only get good content when you have a good team behind you. Therefore, he prioritizes the time, energy, and needs of his team, getting an understanding of their work style, and he strives to bring out the best in them in order to create the best content together.
“Perhaps the biggest key to a strong team is healthy communication; even in a time crunch, it’s possible – and important – to communicate respectfully while also conveying urgency. I firmly believe a team that trusts one another on a human level will always make better content on a creative level,” he says.
No two days are the same for Reid as a producer, and that is what excites him so much. There is so much versatility required to do what he does that he finds, even at the height of his career, that he is always open to learning. For those looking to follow in his footsteps one day, that is what he says is the key to success.
“My biggest advice to someone looking to be a producer is simple: be teachable. No one starts their career with all the answers, and everyone makes mistakes along the way – myself included. What I’ve found, though, is that a lot of my success has come from being open to feedback, asking questions, and bringing a positive attitude. When people enjoy working with you, you’ll always be an asset to any production,” he advised.