Featured Colleague: Film Production Coordinator Wilmore Fowler is ‘The Guy Who Gets It Done’

Tuesday, May 20, 2021

By Claudia Zequeira

It’s impossible to describe Wilmore Fowler, film production coordinator, in a sentence or two. But if one had to sum up his character, “Moe,” as he is known to his friends and colleagues, is “the guy who gets it done.”

Moe’s role at Valencia College is unique, as he assists in the overall planning and management of the Film Production Technology program while also providing leadership to film production projects and activities.

“It takes a great amount of work to orchestrate our film productions, since they all run as a professional film set, where it’s not just one student with a camera and an actor or two,” said Moe.

“There’s creating budgets, schedules, determining staffing personnel with a crew of 20 -plus people, equipment, equipment trucks, locations, supervising of post-production, etc. There’s multiple moving pieces that happen simultaneously that I may lead, direct and/or manage.”

At Valencia, where he began his career a decade ago, Moe has helped streamline a process that has made filming on campus easier for students enrolled in Valencia’s film courses. He also traveled to Oklahoma with more than 30 students to produce a film, which gave them on-location experience.

And he’s exceedingly proud of having a hand in curriculum development, particularly in creating a workshop for students that incorporates practical business experience.

“In the past, the subjects have been lecture-heavy, but I, along with guest professionals, created practical exercises to better help the students understand the concepts, which ultimately increases their chances of getting employment after graduation,” said Moe. “I like teaching the business of film to the students … I get great feedback from students when I teach that workshop.”

Over the past four years, Moe has also provided oversight and acted as the lead in student teams charged with producing the Annual Film Celebration event, a showcase of short and feature-length films produced by Valencia students. The event, in its 26th year, also serves as a fundraiser for students to produce their short film capstone projects.

His favorite part about working here, however, is collaborating with students and giving them the right tools to succeed and grow as technicians and filmmakers during their time in their program.

“I love that our program combines education with real-world experience,” said Moe, who also routinely mentors students, recommends them for jobs and hires some of them, including five Valencia alumni recently to work on Season 2 of “David Makes Man,” a coming-of age drama that will premiere on the Oprah Winfrey Network later this summer.

“Our program is unique in that we produce various productions including student and industry partnership projects. All of those productions run like professional film sets, especially the industry partnership productions where students are working alongside industry professionals on a film production. Our students also get their names in the credits of those films when they’re released. We feel it’s the best way for students to learn, network with industry and prepare them for the workforce after they graduate.”

Here, Moe also enjoys interacting with colleagues, including working hand in hand with the School of Arts and Entertainment in its productions. The inspiration that drew him to Valencia and has kept him here is that sense of community and support he has received from co-workers and supervisors alike as well as the wisdom he’s gleaned from supervisors.

“Film is a team art and we foster collaboration throughout,” said Moe. “One person who inspired me the most at the College was my teacher and mentor Ralph Clemente, who helped start the A.S. in Film Production Technology and was the former program chair as well as a professor of film until he passed away in 2015. He was the very first person I met at Valencia. He helped enhance my craft as a filmmaker and gave me a greater appreciation for the filmmaking process. Because of him, I take great pride when I’m assisting with recruitment activities for our program, because that first introduction for students is everything when they’re determining if our program or Valencia is the right place for them. Ralph is what drew me to the College.”

His supervisor, Rob McCaffrey, interim dean, School of Arts and Entertainment (SAE), agrees Moe is an essential part of the College.

“If anyone remembers the character Radar O’Reilly from the TV series M*A*S*H, the corporal who has everything done before other people even know that there’s a problem, that’s Moe,” said Rob. “He’s supremely competent, good-natured, and one of the reasons working in the School of Arts and Entertainment is such a joy.”

This is such a nice honor for Moe. He is a remarkable individual. He cares so much about the students and the mission of Valencia College and our film program to provide a superb education for a diverse student body and prepare them for a fulfilling life and career in the arts.

Eric Fleming, professor, film production technology, also says Moe is essential and is a Valencia treasure.

“Moe is irreplaceable,” Eric said. “As Rob mentioned, he has this amazing ability to anticipate every issue, need and problem. I often try to answer a question or email before him, but I rarely get there quicker. He is a joy to work with and his incredible popularity with faculty, staff and students attests to that fact. Beyond Valencia College, we benefit from Moe’s professional relationships and reputation in the film and television industry. I can’t imagine our film program without his positive and encouraging influence and presence. Moe takes great pride and joy in the success of our alumni. He teaches great discipline, work ethic and positive attitude with only this admonition, ‘Don’t make me look crazy in these streets.'”

Eric added, “One other fun fact about Moe … each year with the arrival of a new class, Moe asks students (50-60 students in our advanced film program) to introduce themselves. Following these introductions, Moe moves through the room and repeats every student’s name — and never forgets for the rest of the year. He has, in my six years, never made one mistake.”

Before joining Valencia, Moe, who has had a wide range of roles in the producer’s unit of multiple film productions ranging from management to assistant directing, is also a graduate of Valencia’s Film Production Technology program. His expertise includes feature films, short films, commercials and reality with credits on productions such as “Tooth Fairy 2,” “Step Up 4,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “La Voz Kids” (The Voice Kids), and commercials for Culver’s, Adidas, Universal Orlando Resort and Mastercard.

He also enjoys Valencia because of what it means to the community: an affordable training ground for students and one of the best schools available to help prepare them to work professionally on film production.

In his free time, Moe, perhaps not surprisingly, loves to watch movies and TV shows. He’s also a self-described foodie.

“It’s funny because everybody knows, including students in our program, that if you’re going out for food, to let me know … even our SAE division office staff used to call me up sometimes to let me know that there’s events that have food on campus,” he said.

He also lists dancing as a hidden talent.

“One thing that people may not know, outside of my immediate family and close friends, is that I was a competitive ballroom dancer as a teenager and trained in ballroom dancing for seven years,” said Moe, who admitted to enjoying dancing in general and, more specifically, performing and choreographing hip hop routines.

“I’ve also done a theater show at Valencia, directed by John DiDonna, professor, artistic director, Shakespeare’s “The Tempest. It was my Orlando debut as an actor.”

Know of someone doing great work at the College, who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.

8 Comments

  • Lauren Z. said:

    Congrats on the feature! Great to learn more about you, Moe!

    PMTue, 25 May 2021 19:42:30 +0000Tue, 25 May 2021 19:42:30 +0000pm21,7:42 pm

  • Stanton said:

    Moe thank you for all you and your team provide Valencia. You are a joy to work with.

    AMWed, 26 May 2021 07:47:17 +0000Wed, 26 May 2021 07:47:17 +0000am21,7:47 am

  • Niurka Rivera said:

    Congratulations Moe! You deserve all the recognition for your dedication, professionalism, and the great positive attitude you always have. Working with you is a privilege and an honor. Thank you for the help, support, and service to our students, to your colleagues, and to the department. And thank you for remaining humble. Although, you have worked on amazing projects and everyone in the industry knows who you are 🙂

    AMWed, 26 May 2021 09:19:24 +0000Wed, 26 May 2021 09:19:24 +0000am21,9:19 am

  • DXavier said:

    Wow! Congrats Moe! Good job!

    PMWed, 26 May 2021 16:23:16 +0000Wed, 26 May 2021 16:23:16 +0000pm21,4:23 pm

  • Lauren R. Thomas said:

    This is AMAZING! Thank you for all you do for our students Moe! Valencia is lucky to have you.

    AMThu, 27 May 2021 01:10:46 +0000Thu, 27 May 2021 01:10:46 +0000am21,1:10 am

  • Moe Fowler said:

    Thanks everyone! Appreciate it. I really enjoy the work I’m able to accomplish here at the college with students, faculty/staff and film production partners!

    AMThu, 27 May 2021 07:42:20 +0000Thu, 27 May 2021 07:42:20 +0000am21,7:42 am

  • Kristol Bell said:

    Moe! Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition! You are truly the heart and glue of the Film Program!

    AMThu, 27 May 2021 11:56:02 +0000Thu, 27 May 2021 11:56:02 +0000am21,11:56 am

  • Lydia Copeland-McNeal said:

    Congratulations, Moe. You are doing great things at Valencia College. Your Grandmother Ree shared this article with me and I’m glad she did. I’m so proud of you.

    AMFri, 28 May 2021 02:15:12 +0000Fri, 28 May 2021 02:15:12 +0000am21,2:15 am

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