It took seven years for Billy to get an opportunity to become a member of the Guild. One day his phone rang. Herb Aller, the business agent for the Guild, was on the other end of the line. He told Billy to come to the Guild immediately and to bring a $300 check (for his initiation fee) with him. Billy came right down, but he had to borrow the money! After becoming a Guild member, his career began in earnest, starting as a camera loader at General Services Studio, where he worked on more than 300 episodes of The Lone Ranger and various other episodic series. Billy worked his way up through the ranks of the camera crew system on Here Come the Nelsons. He began as a second assistant up to the camera operator over a seven-year span.
Billy carefully used the doorway to frame her sitting on the bed, artfully lit through a window on the set. Billy told the students that he proudly asked Polanski to look through the viewfinder and see how he set up the shot.Then, he quoted the director as saying, “No, no Billy. Move the camera left until you can just see her feet hanging over the edge the bed.” Billy said that he thought Polanski was wrong until they watched dailies with members of the cast and crew, and everyone leaned left as if they were trying to see around the edge of the doorway. On that night in Houston, Billy went on to explain that filmmaking is a collaborative art, which is what he loved the most about his life’s work.