Advertisements

Interview with Willy Adkins, of Breaking Fate Entertainment

Mr. Willy Adkins is an American Actor, Director and Producer. He is the President and CEO of Breaking Fate Entertainment (formerly known as “Spook Show Entertainment”) and a “jack of all trades” in the entertainment industry. He is also very well know for his paranormal investigation ventures with The Illinois Ghost Hunters in which he also founded in 2006. His paranormal ventures have taken him all over the country. Willy is also known for his life long passion of dark arts and photography. He has been heavily involved in professional photography (Breaking Fate Photo, formerly known as Deviant Desires Photography) since 1996 and is best know for his alternative model portfolio production and horror themed art. The name has grown to be internationally recognized. Present day Willy is staying busy directing, producing, writing and acting in independent film.

Please tell our readers a little about your background. Where did you grow up, and what was the formative influence that fueled your interest in the more macabre side of life?

I was born in DeKalb, Illinois and spent all of my school years in the small town of Leland, Illinois. Leland had a population of under 900 people at the time of my living there. Growing up, I was bullied a lot by kids who would often do so out of peer pressure to appear “cool”. Growing up in such a situation, I often found myself involved in the arts such as music, industrial Arts, and photography as a method of expressing myself without facing people.

As I got into my high school years, I really started to self educate and study more alternative styles of art. It was a time of change and finding myself. I pushed myself to open up to people a little bit more, despite battling anxiety that I feel stemmed back to being bullied. And then for several years it felt like I was surrounded by death. I took on a job working at a hospital in DeKalb, IL around 16 or 17 years old. During that time I really grew up some and witnessed many morbid type things as well as a huge variety of real life emotions in people around me.. I was also involved in transporting bodies to the morgue after people passed away. It is then I started taking an interest in the paranormal, morbid fascination and darker genres.

My employment there wasn’t lengthy at the time, as I went on to work an internship painting cars through my last year of high school… But many other things happened to keep my interest peeked and surrounded by death… I found myself engaged to an undertakers daughter and in the funeral home several times a week… A very close friend who was only 8 years old was killed by a train… And I ended up returning to work at the same hospital for quite some time a few years later in Security, again putting bodies in freezers and also attending to patients acting out in the ER or Center for Behavioral Health. All of these people fascinated me and often (mixed with personal life struggles I’ve personally encountered) greatly influence my work in all genres still today.

You are a bit of a jack of all trades, involved for a long time in the Midwestern photography, independent film, paranormal, and event scenes. What interest do you feel most passionately about, and why? What area has caused the most frustration?

After high school, I went to Nashville Auto Diesel College and completed their Auto Body Trades program with the intention of painting cars for a living. I did extremely well in college with a 3.8GPA and Craftsman Award. I went on to work at a European specialist shop in St. Charles, IL on some extremely high dollar cars. Coming out of high school, that was the art that I had intended to do with photography as a side hobby. Sadly I had a cancer scare after being out of college for a year and my career plans painting cars was extremely short lived as a result. I would have to say that my health taking me out of painting cars was the most frustrating artistic loss of my life.

It is very hard to say what personal interest I feel most passionate about, because I take great passion in everything that I do. It is my driving force to continue on through many struggles that come with each. If forced to choose just one media, I would have to say filmmaking for one simple reason, filmmaking involves all of the arts. It involves photography, writing, videography, drama, set design, make up.. It is a huge variety of artists of different types coming together to assemble one project. And the ability to work with so many talented individuals passionate about their own trade is probably what I take the most passion in myself.

With over two dozen films under your belt, like Headline News (2011), What they Say (2011), and Bacon (2012), to name a few, which are you most proud of, and why? Which film has received the most positive/vocal feedback? Which was the most surprising?

Loving-Betrayal-ImageHmm… Well, it is always hard to choose what film I’m most proud of because they all mean something different to me and I’m proud of them all. However, one film that hasn’t had to much press or feedback at all has always stood out to me somewhat. That film is called Loving Betrayal. It certainly isn’t my best film by a long shot, but it is a film that Kelsey Zukowski and I brainstormed on a yellow note pad spur of the moment at random one day. We came up with the idea, filmed it, edited it and had it published to the web complete in just under 6 hours. For that reason, mixed with the great people involved it certainly stands out to me and is one I’m very proud of.

The films that have received the most positive feedback I would have to say are What They Say and Gordon Finn. And this all comes from the die hard efforts of every single person involved in both projects. Behind the scenes huge battles take place and people are ready to kill each other… But in the end, when these amazing films hit the screen everyone involved is family and happy. It becomes clear that all of the battles are simply for the best possible product in the end and I feel that these battles are what makes these films get the positive feedback that they do when they are complete.

The most surprising film, I would have to say is one I was cast in by 4 Lizard Productions called The House of the Degenerate Brain-Eating Mutant Fog Insects (Teaser Trailer). It was a film done in tribute to Ed Wood and every scene was literally shot in 2 takes or less. Bad / Overacting was highly encouraged, continuity was messed up repeatedly on purpose, unrealistic sound design was incorporated and funny stunts like a 6 shooter revolver being shot around 16 times in a row without reloading. It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on a film set and I would have never guessed at the time that it would go on to win several awards.

Since founding the Illinois Ghost Hunters in 2006, you seem to have stepped away from the paranormal scene. What do you think has changed about that scene over the years, and why have you decided to shift your focus to other areas?

GordonFinnPoster1When I got involved in ghost hunting and investigating the paranormal, it was an interest that stemmed back to my youth as mentioned in an earlier question. I started out as a hardcore skeptic who simply loved to pick apart magic tricks and illusions, while at the same time keeping an open mind to real paranormal things actually being possible. And as they say, if you go looking for something long enough, you will eventually find it. That is what happened to me. I won’t get to far into specifics, but I’ll say that paranormal found and effected me so bad that police, paramedics and doctors were involved. I have permanent scars physically, emotionally and mentally from the paranormal. And when these extremely traumatic things happened to me, all I could think about is how in the past I had walked into peoples houses who were legitimately scared by what was happening to them with a team of people who would come up with an explanation for why some things might be happening. In most cases we would help them feel better and in other cases they were not feeling better at all when it was done.

My personally belief system changed dramatically, my personal morals changed dramatically and my views on the “paranormal industry” had also changed dramatically. This is because, when things involving the paranormal got out of control for me personally, it wasn’t something that anyone else could ever understand unless they were experiencing it with me. I was fortunate to have a couple individuals help me through it, who did know and feel what I was experiencing. In the end, my lesson was that I had to fix it for myself. I’m still involved in paranormal adventures present day at various historical locations across the country. Not to discredit others who are involved in the paranormal industry today, but my morals will simply not let me do investigations at private residences anymore because none of us know exactly what it is that we are experiencing and trying to explain to someone else what they are experiencing without knowing for certain is wrong to me.

My paranormal adventures (as I now call them rather then investigations) are not to make anyone else on this planet a believer or to explain to anyone what they are experiencing. My present day paranormal adventures are simply for my own personal understanding and beliefs development. They aren’t for photographs or videos.. They aren’t often shared or publicized at all anymore.. The reason for it is simple… I could have the 3 million dollar video of a full body apparition dancing and singing sent off to all the major TV networks and posted on the web and no matter how authentic it is or is not, nobody on the planet would truly believe it. It wouldn’t be solid evidence to anyone, the paranormal community (being very cut throat) will rip it to pieces as fake or false. I don’t mean to shed negative light on the paranormal community, because I’m the exact same way. For me to believe in any paranormal story or evidence, I myself have to be there to experience it. In the end, I don’t see much point in sharing any of my encounters or stories anymore. I just go for the adventure and personal experience rather then as an “investigator.”

What are some of the challenges you face organizing events like The Chicago Horror Film Festival? What do you say to amateur filmmakers who are frustrated when their films are not chosen?

Producing film festivals is what I work on more then anything else. It is the foundation of my company and like any other business it faces many challenges. Every event that I do is like building a house… You want it to be the biggest most amazing house ever built with the best brick and wood, held together with the best hardware, packed with the most comfortable furniture and shared with the best of friends and family with the most amazing pictures on the walls from the most amazing artists in the world. Then you look at the money you have to build this house and you have to start prioritizing your materials and make compromises to fit your budget and hope that your friends and family will still come have a seat if you have a wooden bench rather then comfy couch because they believe that you did your best and they want to support all of the others who were kind enough to bring a yummy dish to pass.

It is a very stressful job and some events are better then others. The greatest payoff for me is seeing as many friends, family and new acquaintances come together to support art and each other as possible. Our challenges are not screws, nails and drywall however… Our challenges are finding sponsorship, layout logistics, appealing to vendors, technical issues and finding those things that will encourage people to get out of the house to see some great independent films while meeting those who made them. As simple as it might sound, it is harder then you would think sometimes. It is often hard to get filmmakers to attend events to support their own film screening sometimes, much less that of other filmmakers. But those who have true passion in their craft and do attend to support themselves and the work of others as well are why I do what I do.

What projects are you currently working on? Can you give us a taste?

As always, I have several irons in the fire. In 2015 my company is expanding our film festival events into new regions outside of our long standing Chicago home. In Gatlinburg, TN we are starting two new film festivals, Horror in the Hills and The Smoky Mountain Film Festival. We are also working on relocating our Afterlife Paranormal Conference & Film Festival to Gettysburg, PA.

On the film front, the largest project by far this year will be finishing production on our feature length psychological thriller Sister of the Wolf staring Wolf McKinney & Clarisse Behr. Several short films are in preproduction including Day 7, Did I Scare You, The Greenies and Gordon Finn 2. Beyond that, I’m preparing to work on some new photo series at Deviant Desires Photography but can’t quite release too many details about them just yet outside of the fact they will be very fun, some sexy and many shocking.

How can our readers get in touch with you if they would like to know more about your photography, films, and events?

My official website is WillyAdkins.com. I can be reached via the contact page there or on my Facebook Page www.facebook.com/willyadkins. For those interested in learning more about my company Breaking Fate Entertainment you can visit www.breakingfate.com and my Deviant Desires Photography can be found at www.facebook.com/deviantdesiresphotography

Sorry guys, this page is copyright MysteriousHeartland.com, 2015. You do not have permission to copy this for any reason. Please learn how to cite your work. Unless otherwise noted, all photos are courtesy of Willy Adkins.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: