Meet The Filmmakers

Will Hawkins (Director)

Having gone to school for photography and film I somehow ended up landing a nice career in the high tech world. However, I have always kept film and photography by my side as more of a hobby.

Now some 12 years later I find myself creating films that are as good if not better than projects I see on TV and video.

I have spent too many years watching videos, films and documentaries thinking to my self "I could have done that better". So watch no more, I now create.

Rico Sharqawi (Producer)

I recall sitting on my dad's shoulders during my first air show ever! I was watching a solo pilot perform an elegant dance in the sky maneuvering his Pitts magically! I also remember my first visit to an air museum where I got to sit behind the controls of a war bird of some sort.  

Those are some of the experiences which inspired me to become a pilot!  Our goal with this film is to educate and inspire the next generation of pilots and astronauts.  Those kids you see on their dad's shoulders at air shows and the kids who look up to pilots as if they were super heros.  We want motivate individuals who dream of flying and the unlimited possibilities which come with being a pilot.  


The following individuals provide professional skills and experience to the producers of A Pilot's Story.  Will & Rico are thrilled to have them on board.

Stephen Tupper:

Steve Tupper is a technology and aviation lawyer, pilot, and new media producer.  Not necessarily in that order. As a member of the Dykema law firm ( in its Bloomfield Hills, Michigan office he, heads the Privacy, Data Security and E-Commerce Practice Group and is the firm's primary aviation transactional counsel.He is an instrument-rated single- and multi-engine pilot and he is type-rated (SIC) in the mighty Douglas DC-3/C-47.  He is a captain in the US Civil Air Patrol, is qualified as a CAP mission transport pilot, and is the Asst. Judge Advocate for CAP's Michigan Wing (GLR-MI).

Steve started Airspeed, an aviation and aerospace podcast, in 2006 and has since amassed more than 110 episodes and built a loyal following for the show's up-close, impeccably researched, and intensely personal coverage of everything aviation and aerospace. He is a multi-instrumental musician and composer. 

In addition to writing and recording most of the music featured on Airspeed, Steve is presently scoring and recording music for the upcoming independent feature film, A Pilot's Story. He is married to non-profit and education consultant Mary Buday of The Wilshire Resource Group (  He and Mary have two children, Nicholas Tupper (7) and Eleanor Ann Arroway Tupper (4) (named for the protagonist of Carl Sagan's Contact).

If you have seen Apollo 13, Fly Away Home, Contact, any IMAX film featuring a rocket launch, or the aerobatic sequences of One Six Right, or heard California Guitar Trio's Punta Patri, Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait, or David Kneupper's The Future of Space, and not been moved most or all of the way to tears, you will likely find Steve pleasant enough to be around but are unlikely to become friends with him. 

Porter Gale:

Porter Gale, VP of Marketing for Virgin America, is an innovative marketing strategist and out-of-the-box thinker with nearly 20 years of experience working in marketing, advertising and independent filmmaking. Prior to Virgin America, Porter ran the Porter Gale Group where she spearheaded a diverse array of projects. Her clients included Country Music Television, Blue Shield of California and Delta Dental.

Porter also held the post of General Manager at Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners where she worked with a variety of clients including, Coach, Snapple Natural Beverages, Van Cleef & Arpels, Judith Leiber and Grand Marnier to name a few. In the independent film world, Porter has produced or directed documentaries that have aired on Lifetime, PBS, Channel 4/England and in film festivals around the globe.

The project that launched Porter's filmmaking career was "2Chicks, 2Bikes, 1Cause"(1998) a multi-media campaign that included a 5,000 bicycle trek that was documented and turned into a 66-minute documentary to educate young women about breast health. The successful outreach effort raised over $100,000 for breast cancer organizations and taught many young women about breast health. The Rosie O'Donnell Show, CNN Headline News, Newsweek, Self, Harper's Bazaar, New York 1 and over 100 press vehicles all featured stories on the "2Chicks"

Porter's recent film work has been honored by the Directors Guild of America, The Academy of Motion Pictures & Sciences and an issue of Filmmaker Magazine cited her as one of the top 25 up and coming filmmakers. Porter has a BSBA from Boston University and a Masters in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University. Porter loves running, traveling and has a beautiful daughter named Rylee Eleanor.

Hal Bryan:

"Hal Bryan, formerly of Microsoft’s acclaimed Flight Simulator team, is a freelance writer and aviation consultant living in the Pacific Northwest. An officially self-proclaimed “Super Genius”, Hal is a second generation pilot whose parents met as crewmembers on a United Airlines DC-6 in about 1960.

Hal grew up on a private airstrip, and started flying the family’s 1944 Cessna T-50 (think “Sky King”) when he was 4 years old, and had to sit on a stack of phonebooks just to see the artificial horizon. He wouldn’t be tall enough to see the real one until he was a few years older. Since then, he’s amassed time in around 35 types – the older and more unusual the better - including his long-standing love, the de Havilland Tiger Moth. He’s an aviation buff through-and-through, an amateur historian, and a notary public.

When he’s not flying, Hal spends his time writing aimlessly and consulting on various aviation-related projects. He’s an avid networker, a professional common denominator, and loves to be known as “…one of those guys who knows everybody.”

He’s an advisor to the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum and the National Aviation Hall of Fame, and serves on the Education and Learning Advisory Board at Seattle’s Museum of Flight. He’s also recently joined the BRAVO 369 Flight Foundation which is developing educational content around a planned flight from Washington State to Russia, tracing the Lend-Lease routes from World War II. Hal is also a consultant to Topgun Simulations, an online competition-based organization that recreates the challenges of modern-day U.S. Naval aviation.

Hal lives in the outskirts of Snohomish, Washington on a quiet lake with his wife Muffy, some fish, and two cats named after Beatles’ songs. "

Len Duncan:

Founder and CEO of the Duncan Group, a Silicon Valley based consulting and staffing firm, founded in 1991. Most recently served as Chief Operating Officer and a member of the Board of Directors for Vortex Intellectual Property Exchange.  He has also held senior executive positions with Hitachi Data Systems, Andor, and Orchesys where his responsibilities included Sales, Marketing, Professional Services, Operations, and technology management. Len began his career at IBM, following a tour of duty in Viet Nam as an air defense artillery officer. (HAWK missiles) He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from the Ohio State University.   He serves on the Board of Advisors of several technology based firms as well as the Board of Directors of West Valley/Mission Community Colleges Foundation, where he has served as President twice over his 12 year tenure with the Foundation.

Len Duncan’s leadership has created multi millions of revenues for the companies he has served, while creating relationships that are long lasting and mutually beneficial.  He has combined industry, business and organization knowledge, innovation, a passion for success, strategic thinking, and absolute integrity to establish and grow businesses successfully.

Roger Bishop:

As an Aerotainment Visionary with more than thirty years in the media technology arena, Roger Bishop has earned accolades and credentials in both the news and entertainment industries. Most notably Roger has worked for the broadcast divisions at NBC, FOX, and Tribune Television. He has been responsible for supporting and planning events ranging from the Olympics to the Super Bowl and coverage of some of the most significant news stories of the last three decades. In addition, Roger also serves as a consultant to the National Football League, is an officer in the Society of Broadcast Engineers, and is a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.

In the midst of all this, Roger maintains and elevates his passion for aviation while serving on the boards of the Indianapolis Air Show, the Indianapolis Aero Club and Wilco Films “A Pilots Story”, and is a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. He has also founded the Indy Transponder website as he recognizes the need to communicate and share Aerotainment News throughout the aviation industry.

copyright ©2009 Wilco Films (831) 239-6436 | wilco films privacy policy