At the same time, Will was approached by the SA Camera Guilds to become an apprentice film technician - his door into production. He assisted on set as everything from gripper to gaffer via camera assistant, earning his reputation as the Mr Fix-It of the film industry and was hired up by Velocity Films in 2001, after directing low-budget commercials.
Since then, demand from agencies for Will to direct has been relentless.
International recognition was confirmed this year when he scooped two bronze Lions at Cannes for "Apartheid museum", along with a D&AD book entry for his BMW Bi Xenon cinema spot.
"Apartheid museum" is one of Will's personal favourites. "The story was based on a journalist standing in front of a public swimming pool, covering the latest scandal involving the government banning women from local swimming baths. The set-up was used as a metaphor to show how ridiculous the government's segregation policy was," Will explains.
Finding the newsreader to make the ad authentic was his biggest challenge.
He chased down every celebrity newsreader in the country, and convinced South African household name Sally Burdett to participate. Will recalls watching his footage on the TV when he got home after filming Burdett.
His wife walked into the room and said: "I can't believe the news today."
Another favourite is a spot for the glass-fitting company PG Glass. "Movie" draws on European gangster films for inspiration, so Will filmed slapstick scenes of cars smashing through shop windows. "It was awesome. We created chaos with a wide-angled camera, zooming in and out."
After a string of car commercials, Will is often described as the technical man who knows how to pull off the perfect car chase. "My camera is my tool and I know exactly what I can achieve. But it's also important to learn about screen language through the history of film."
Clive Will was talking to Rachel Nouchi.