Norton Dill is a commercial film director, musician, playwright, documentary filmmaker and storyteller.
Dill grew up in Birmingham and attended Woodrow Wilson Elementary School. In high school he put together a folk trio modeled after Peter, Paul & Mary called Two Hits & A Miss. In the 1960s, while studying at Birmingham-Southern College, he performed banjo with another group, the Hilltop Singers, that headlined "The Porch" in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Later that decade he began teaching at Wenonah High School.
Dill founded Dill Productions in 1986 and has directed hundreds of commercials for national clients as well as for local companies like AmSouth Bank, Baptist Health Systems, and UAB Health System. Through his involvement with Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church's Parable Players theater group, he directed a local production of "Smoke on the Mountain" which drew large crowds. He continued to stage it with a group of musicians he assembled, at Virginia Samford Theater and Central Alabama Theater at Steeple Arts Academy, soon adding the sequel "Sanders Family Christmas" to the repertoire. The group began touring as The Dill Pickers, bringing various proportions of musical performance, storytelling and drama. Dill has also written several other musicals.
When he decided to branch out from commercial filmmaking, he was inspired to document the music of Sand Mountain and the resulting film aired on Alabama Public Television. When looking for anothe subject, he consulted with famed storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham, but soon decided that she herself would be the best subject for a film. Through her influence he began to perform as a storyteller himself.
Dill and his wife, Lani, have four children and eight grandchildren.
- Music in Their Bones: The Music and People of Sand Mountain (1999)
- Kathryn: The Story of a Teller (2004)
- Williams, Emily (July 26, 2016) "A String of Stories: Cat’s Newest Production Brings Director Norton Dill Back to His Roots." Over the Mountain Journal