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Profiles: Dave Wilkinson '67

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Dave Wilkinson '67
Director and Cameraman, Incredible Maine

Dave Wilkinson ’67 is a man with infinite interests and the guts to pursue every one of them. Dave has dabbled in music, photography, printmaking, even software development, and found success in nearly every genre. In fact, before he arrived at Bowdoin, Dave had already recorded an album with his band, Hangin’ Five, “probably the most immortal thing I’ve ever done in my life,” he says. He was sixteen at the time.

After arriving at Bowdoin “a callow, uninformed youth right out of prep school,” Dave took a basic studio art class with Professor Tom Cornell, and “got obsessed, as I often do in my life.” His passion for art continued to develop, and he left Bowdoin for Ohio University, where he studied with legendary photographer Minor White. Although he never received a Bowdoin degree, Dave credits the art department for getting him started on the right foot. “They handed me the keys to the kingdom,” he says.

The next few decades of David’s career saw him moving to Santa Fe on the advice of a psychic. He met his third wife, a Hollywood movie producer, there, and the two relocated to Washington, D.C., where Dave did some odd jobs while his music and photography careers were on hold. Eventually, they returned to Maine, where they met LC Van Savage and got involved with Incredible Maine, a public television show featuring “exceptional” people, places, and events in Maine.When his wife approached him with the idea, Dave was skeptical. “I’d never had a video camera in my hands in my life.” But the enterprise turned out to be a “beautiful adventure,” yielding three Telly awards in its first season, including one for camera work. In addition to directing and filming, Dave also provides the background music, which is taken from hours of improvisational recording with a friend. “[The show] has been a great marriage of the music, which was already there, with the cinematography,” he says. Incredible Maine recently made the move from cable access to public television (the first program in the nation ever to do so), and has become a hit with Mainers. But producing a public television series with a crew of two is more than a full time job. “It’s all I have time for,” says Dave.

For more about Incredible Maine, visit www.incrediblemaine.com.

Originally published in Vol. 79, No. 3, Summer 2008 Bowdoin Magazine.

Posted February 01, 2008