Bill Dill Named AFI Conservatory’s First-Ever Dean’s Chair of Visual Storytelling – American Film Institute
Photo of Bill Dill, ASC, AFI Conservatory Dean’s Chair of Visual Storytelling.


Bill Dill Named AFI Conservatory’s First-Ever Dean’s Chair of Visual Storytelling

This week, the AFI Conservatory named Bill Dill, ASC, the first-ever Dean’s Chair of Visual Storytelling. Dill has taught at the AFI Conservatory for over 20 years. During his tenure, he has served as Senior Lecturer and head of the AFI Conservatory Cinematography department. In his new role as the Dean’s Chair of Visual Storytelling, he will work together with Susan Ruskin, Dean of the AFI Conservatory and EVP of the American Film Institute, to provide a robust visual storytelling and critiquing throughline across Year 1 and Year 2 of the rigorous masters-level film program.

“With Bill’s deep knowledge and experience in the art of filmmaking and the visual narrative, along with his unparalleled teaching style, he is the perfect person to help us expand how the AFI Conservatory teaches Visual Storytelling across all disciplines,” said Ruskin. “This new collaboration with Bill will elevate our Fellows’ abilities to support each other’s projects, whether it is a Cycle or Thesis film, and lead to every filmmaker having an even more defined perspective.”

Dill taught for nine years at the University of Southern California, and for 18 years at Dodge College, Chapman University. He has taught Visual Storytelling to Directors at the Sundance Collab.

Dill holds a BA in Communication Studies from Oberlin College. He got his start in photography and then moved into working on music videos and feature films, winning two local Emmys® for Television Feature Stories along the way. His cinematography credits include SIDEWALK STORIES, which won the Prix du Public at the Cannes Film Festival, B.A.P.S., DANCING IN SEPTEMBER, the Showtime TV series SOUL FOOD and the American Playhouse production of FIRES IN THE MIRROR, based on the Pulitzer Prize-nominated play. Among many productions he has filmed for HBO are the Ace Award-winning children’s program MOMMY BUY ME THAT and comedy specials for Robert Townsend, Damon Wayans and Whoopi Goldberg. Dill also lensed a Clio Award-winning commercial campaign for Nickelodeon Television Network.

To learn more about the AFI Conservatory, one of the top film schools in the nation, visit

Comments (3)

Brenda Salter-Brown

Congratulations Bill! What an honor to know you and to say I credit your Mother Mrs. Shumpert for giving me my first song at Memorial B Ch. 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

John O'Shaughnessy

Couldn’t have picked a better person for the position.

Michelle J Thomas

Congratulations Bill! Hopefully this will put your name into Black History! You deserve it!

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