In a most unusual blending of the Arts, Wilyman was the DP for a presentation of Shakespeare productions as interpreted by different directors. That in itself would not be unusual but the Shakespeare Shakey Show for Canada’s Comedy Network involved re-imaginings of the iconic playwright’s works that were heavily bent to the creativity of the directors. Produced entirely in a period of fifteen days (that’s 15 days total for all ten), Cory was on set each day with one director while meeting with others at night for the upcoming shoot. He recalls, “Each director had very unique ideas. I understood and appreciated that but it also tested me. If I was working on a TV series, we would have common threads which would mean I could plan for certain situations in the production and then return to them. There was no template for these because everything was so diverse. It was fun but it was also a lot of work. Because it was produced for the Comedy Network, they were all funny. In one, King Lear was a comedian. ‘Exit, Pursued by a Bear’ was filmed in black and white and looked like a 70’s TV show ala Barney Miller. Titus Andronicus starred famed Canadian comedian Sean Cullen as a murderer cutting up people. James Cooper directed one that paid tribute to Hannibal Lector and we filmed it at a place called The Distillery. It was in a creepy looking basement area that was made to look like a prison. We had no power and needed to have the set created and supply power for everything on the production…in a short amount of time. These are the challenges that keep it interesting to me.” Cory worked with director Pete Henderson on the Shakespeare Shakey Show as well as Beauties and spots for Ford and others. Henderson declares, “Cory is a totally original thinker. He has a very unique take on every facet of a production no matter how small the detail. I have tried on many occasions recently to collaborate with him but he always seems to be busy working with one of my contemporaries, which makes competing with them difficult.”
Wilyman worked on a production series for Madd Films which resulted in the achievement of a Gold Addy in San Francisco. The ten spots were a mixture of stand-up comedy, performance art, and advertising; featuring a wise cracking puppet interacting with people. While some incorporated professional actors, one spot in particular showed actual participants in a speed-dating scenario. A curtain pulled back and revealed the puppet to actual participants resulting in some very unscripted moments.
Cory himself is amazed when he considers how events led him down this path. He relates, “Some of my first jobs as a DP were doing a series of five spots for Dodge. It was a Fever Films production that I worked on with Richard D’Alessio directing. Back then we were still using film. There was a different approach in using film and I was excited to be working in cool locations with all of these cars…I mean; what guy doesn’t like that? I’ve travelled and seen so much of the world while making a living. I’m always thrown some type of new challenge and yet I’m allowed to be creative. Who would have thought the cover to a Pixies album would lead to all of this?” One wonders if a young writer might see the Shakespeare Skakey Show or a painter might watch a Razor painting and think the same thing someday. You never know where and when inspiration will inspire someone’s path.