Starting From the Bottom, Has Producer Will Packer Made It to The Top of Hollywood’s Food Chain?
With a new two-year deal with Universal TV, Will Packer is reaping the fruits of his grind. With seven films debuting at number one at the box office, Will Packer has leaped into the upper echelon of film producers. After a 20 year career in which his films have combined to gross over $700 million, Will Packer has manufactured a mega successful brand. It goes to show one can never despise small beginnings.
With partner Rob Hardy, Packer founded Rainforest Films in 1994. Their first taste of success didn’t come until 2000 with the release of Trois. Made for only $250,000, the erotic thriller grossed $1.1 million. Specializing in making small, independent genre films for Black audiences, Rainforest Films began to see high box office returns.
Moving up from the Trois series, Packer struck pay dirt with Stomp The Yard, his first film to debut at number one. Packer’s approach to filmmaking isn’t unconventional or unusual; he emphasizes creating low cost, high profit films featuring primarily Black talent. He’s continued to distill this formula, perfecting it to exceptional potency. He’s become the definition of the quintessential film producer, forging relationships with big stars like Idris Elba, Ice Cube and Kevin Hart and producing multiple films in which they have starred.
Packer’s other hit films include Takers, Think Like a Man, Think Like a Man Too, About Last Night, Obsessed, No Good Deed, Ride Along and The Wedding Ringer. After all the figures are added up, it makes sense that Packer has joined the ranks of prolific Hollywood producers such as Harvey Weinstein, Scott Rudin and Reginald Hudlin. Will Packer’s success is a testament to planting seeds and working overtime to harvest the crop.
Packer has synthesized his formula to perfection and the best part is that its applicable to all up and coming Black producers. Packer graduated from Florida A&M University with a degree in electrical engineering. He learned the business from the ground up. In this digital age, production grade equipment is affordable, and the media is accessible. Whether it’s getting a project out through Youtube, Instagram, or recording something with an iPhone, this is the ideal time for the next Will Packer to step up.
The harvest is plenty and the workers are few, but all someone has to do is pick up the plow.