Business Q & A

Five questions with Bart Wilcox, vice president/writer/producer, Greteman Group

Bart Wilcox has been a writer, a creative director, an advertising professor, a network TV producer.

Recently, Sonia Greteman, his on-and-off colleague, persuaded him to become vice president/writer/producer for Greteman Group.

He heads the firm's iTeam, which works on conventional design and interactive media —"website designing as well as anything from social media to anything that has to do with communication with new media."

Wilcox started at Wichita State University as a drama major, got into creative writing on his way to an English degree and earned a master's in creative writing before working for several local advertising agencies.

In 1994, he formed Perfectly Round Productions, a creative multimedia company that created and produced "Algo's FACTory," a half-hour children's science show on United Paramount Network.

More recently, he has been working on his own.

1. After time on your own, why did you decide to go with an agency?

"Sonia and I had collaborated over the years. Recently, we were doing so much work together that we both sort of arrived at the same place.... I've worked very quietly for the last couple of years on my own. That was fun, but the more and more that I started working with Greteman, the old excitement returned to me. I kind of caught the agency fire again."

2. What was the first thing you ever wrote?

"The first thing I remember writing as a fairly young person was, I'd write new episodes of 'Gilligan's Island' and I'd storyboard them. Of course, I didn't know what storyboarding was.... I was determined to find those people a way off the island. Otherwise, how was Mary Ann ever going to find me and fall in love with me?"

3. What did you learn from doing a network TV show?

"The thing with 'Algo's FACTory' was that it was a kids' science show. ... It was part cartoon, part 'Saturday Night Live,' part classroom, part music. And it was all digital.... It was a million media impulses aimed at making one singular impression.... In the end, you always return to the big idea, the one thing, the right thing, the right word. That's where people learn and take action, and that's the heart of what I do here."

4. What's your biggest challenge, going forward?

"Keeping up with young, enthusiastic, talented people. That's my personal challenge. As far as the challenge for what we do... we have to provide design that compels you to look at copy that moves you. It's where the good agencies really compete and always have."

5. What's something most people don't know about you?

"I still want to be an actor. I left that a long, long, long time ago for reasons of circumstance, and I've always wanted to get back on the stage.... If the lighting is just right, I'm pretty good."

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