Shelby Wilson Succeeding as a Filmmaker

Shelby Wilson is a successful filmmaker and photographer from Canada who’s made a name for herself through per passion, camera and film. Currently Shelby is working on a music video to raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada. Wilson has joined forces with singer/songwriter Liam Priddy for this project to film a Telus Storyhive music video for Liam’s single ‘Silver’. In the following interview filmmaker Shelby Wilson talks about her career beginnings, current projects, and her artistic journey. 

Meet the Artist: NY Elite Interview with Director Shelby Wilson 

NY Elite: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your career beginnings.

Shelby Wilson: I was raised in Surrey, Canada, just outside of Vancouver. Ever since I was six years old and had an imagination, I would pick up my father’s 1990’s Sony Camcorder, and fall in love with the idea that I could create my own little films. At first, I would put myself in front of the camera, only soon to realize I loved being behind the camera more.

I started to test out shots, and even though I had not a clue at the time how shots go together and angles, I was slowly testing out what looked good. Growing up, my parents never really censored me from too many movies, so while my older sister enjoyed Disney movies, I was pumped to see horror films and thrillers. Through my high school years, I never doubted the fact that I wanted to become a filmmaker. And though it really isn’t the most ideal and “safe” career choice, I chose it because it’s what makes me happy. I ended up at Capilano University, studying in the Motion.


Directing my latest project for the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada.

Picture Arts Program, where I studied for 4 years and made several short films, some successful in festivals and awards, and some that didn’t make the cut.

In the past couple of years I have been successful in a competition called Storyhive funded Telus. They have given me X3 $ $10K grants to make my projects, and I couldn’t be more grateful for their support. If I’m not writing, directing or producing anything, I am usually working my part time job as a soccer coach in my community, coaching children ages 2 – 8 years old. I enjoy photographing Youtubers and creating video lookbooks for them, it’s kind of new thing on the side, but it’s been a lot of fun to work with all sorts of people. I love films and photography, there is something about capturing moments in pictures and in films that makes you feel inspired. It only fuels me to create more, to capture more life moments and use the world around me as my canvas.

NY Elite: If you had to define all that you do in a few words, what would you say?

Shelby Wilson: I like to capture things that I have experienced, felt, or observed.

NY Elite: How would you describe your philosophy in arts and design?

Shelby Wilson: A frame within a frame, creates the perfect balance.

NY Elite: Are there any new exciting projects that you are working on?

Shelby Wilson: I am currently making music video for an upcoming musician, and the music video is being used to raise awareness and funds for the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada.

Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 12.36.39 PM

A still from my latest project

NY Elite: Can you tell us about a memorable moment you had during your artistic career?

Shelby Wilson: When the fire department came when we were filming a shot of a cigarette.

NY Elite: What type of photography do you do?

Shelby Wilson: I do fashion, lifestyle and beauty photoshoots with Youtubers, and my films are mostly dramas, typically to do with what I’ve experienced, felt or observed in my world.

NY Elite: How would you describe your style? 

Shelby Wilson: I describe my style as realistic and sometimes a little surrealistic depending on the subject that I am shooting.

NY Elite: What is it that interests you most about photography and filmmaking?

Shelby Wilson: Photography and film kind of go hand in hand for me, they both appeal to me because you can tell some sort of story through them.

NY Elite: Where do you draw your inspiration?

Shelby Wilson: My inspiration comes from anywhere, people, life events, songs, soundtracks to movies, food, location, pretty much anything that makes me feel something.

Screen Shot 2016-12-04 at 5.54.39 PM

An image from my project Drift Softly

NY Elite: How do you approach your projects?

Shelby Wilson: I approach my projects cautiously, and spend as much time before I shoot examining what I feel inside so I can develop the project into what it will be.

NY Elite: If you could take your art in any direction where would it lead you? What new thing would you try?

Shelby Wilson: My projects lead me to find some inner truth about myself, and I would hope that would shine through to other’s who look at my work. If I could try anything new it would only be expanding on topics I haven’t worked with.

NY Elite: How has photography and filmmaking influenced you as a person?

Shelby Wilson: Photography and film have influenced me to push myself, to shape my outlook and culture and as well give me more empathy in life.

NY Elite: Favorite project so far and why?

Shelby Wilson: My favourite project so far, has to be the music video I am doing right now. Doing this project for a cause lifts my spirit and makes me believe that in small ways I can make changes and impacts, if I work hard enough.

NY Elite: Favorite architectural work and why?

Shelby Wilson: My favourite architectural work is an old building in Steveston, Canada. Not only do I have roots there, but there is a mural painted on the side of it that is so important to me. It has these beautiful orcas painted on it and it humbles me because my spirit animal is an orca.

NY Elite: Can you share a little bit about your city, culture? If one were to visit, what would you recommend? Any favorite places?

Shelby Wilson: I grew up in Surrey, and although it doesn’t have a very good reputation I am trying to represent it in my work and in myself in a positive way. If you were to visit it I would say check out Mud Bay or Crescent Beach, they have a lot of character and I love them because I spent a lot of my childhood in those places. As for my heritage, I am so mixed that I find it’s so hard to pin point what I should represent, I think being me and the fact that I am Canadian is what I am proud of.


Behind the scenes photo of me directing my second film, Sunnyville Security

P1110963 copy

Shelby Wilson’s lookbook work


Shelby Wilson’s lookbook work



*This article was featured on the Cover Story of July 2017 Issue 10 of NY Elite Magazine

July 2017 Issue 10 NY Elite Magazine Cover


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s