Bill Vincent may not be a household name. But the longtime actor, producer, writer, and English professor in Michigan State's film studies program taught—and inspired—many of today's filmmakers who are.
In fact, Sam Raimi—perhaps best known for directing the "Spider-Man" trilogy—and his longtime producing partner Rob Tapert were students of Vincent during their days as MSU film students. The pair would later enlist his help in making their first feature film, cult classic "The Evil Dead." Vincent even appeared as an extra in the film.
"I learned a lot from them," says Vincent. "Not only about how to make films but about how to make a company. That's what I'm constantly telling my students. You should make contacts now. Here, put together a team of good people and make films together and go on. If you want to do it, do it."
As a tribute to their former professor, Raimi and Tapert invited Vincent to film a cameo in June 2012 on location in New Zealand for the remake of "The Evil Dead."
It's not a typical role for a professor, but one Vincent assumed with pride.
"I think that goes along with being a teacher," says Vincent. "I think most good teachers are actors."