April 11, 1974
St. Petersburg, Florida, United States
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William Packer specialized in producing films and TV for the African-American market. While studying Electrical Engineering at Florida A&M University Packer completed an internship with producer/director Warrington Hudlin. Taking on producer and even acting roles for a hands-on debut feature written and directed by fraternity brother Rob Hardy. "Chocolate City" (1994) was a modest direct-to-video success but more importantly it helped Packer and Hardy set up production company Rainforest Films. Their next feature, "Trios" (2000), again directed by Hardy and co-written by Packer, quickly grossed over one million dollars. Followed by sequel "Trios 2: Pandora's Box" (2002), and "The Gospel" (2005), alongside direct to video titles such as "Puff, Puff, Pass" (2005), before their first big breakout hit "Stomp The Yard" (2007) which topped the U.S. box office on release. The company was on a roll with other hits including "This Christmas" (2007), "Obsessed" (2009), "Takers" (2010) and "Think Like a Man" (2012) which also won the 2013 BET Award for Best Movie. Packer launched his own production company, Will Packer Productions, in 2013. In 2014 shareholders voted to dissolve Rainforest Films but they went out on a high with "About Last Night" (2014), a remake of the 1980s comedy which grossed almost $50 million in the U.S. alone, before Will Packer Productions took over with "Think Like a Man Too" (2014), "No Good Deed" (2014) and the Kevin Hart vehicle "The Wedding Ringer" (2015). The company also expanded into TV signing a deal with Universal Television to develop a number of series, early proposals included a TV reboot of much loved '80s comedy "Uncle Buck" (2016) for ABC and a series based on Packer's own childhood, "Like Father, Like Son" (NBC).