Bill Thompson, who passed away earlier this week, was a true mensch. I first met Bill in 1977, when we both worked at Cinema 5, and we remained friends over all these years. Through his long career, as Bill went back and forth between being a film buyer for various theaters, and a film salesperson for various distribution companies, he never lost his capacity to be one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. This, in spite of how vicious and competitive the indie film business can be. It’s hard to get across how special that quality was, and how much his presence in our world will be missed.
Bill was one of the stars of my film “Searching for Mr. Rugoff,” and here is an outtake where he tells us a little about his own origin story in the film business.