Lakes Wales Director Living Dream Of Filming Feature Movie
by James Coulter
Growing up, Willie Young loved making up his own stories with his action figures. Now he’s filming his stories behind the lens of a camera.
This Lake Wales director recently started his own film company, Brave Eagle Production. He previously filmed three short films, and he is currently working on filming a feature-length movie.
Growing up in Lake Wales, Young loved watching movies by Steven Spielberg and Christopher Nolan, mainly action movies starring actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was always a storyteller at heart. The stories he saw play out on the big screen inspired him to create his own stories. He wanted to tell these stories as an actor and later as a director.
“There are so many great stories out there that haven’t been told yet,” he said. “Everyone has a story to tell, and if I had the opportunity to help people tell that story or to give to them help bring that vision to life, come up with an idea for that vision, that was pushing me forward to just see the smiles on people’s faces or see their reaction when they see my work.”
For the longest time, Young had been running track and field. His athletic prowess made other people, including himself, initially assume that he would become an athlete. However, upon careful self-reflection, he decided to give up track and field and become an actor instead.
While attending junior college, he wanted to be a voice actor. His friends admired him for his character and considered him a comedian, yet he was too shy to put himself in front of a camera. So, he decided to share his talent from behind the microphone instead, he explained.
“I was not comfortable yet to try to put myself in front of a camera or an audience because I had a lot of stage fright,” he said. “I always get nervous [about speaking] in front of people…so I wanted to take up voice acting.”
His career path soon shifted from voice acting to actual acting through his college’s theater program. He often performed improv, and he acted in a mini-series and even a horror movie. However, his career path took another change when his love for film shifted from acting to directing.
“Things were not hitting what I wanted to with the acting, so that is when I decided to retire from acting and decided to direct my own stuff and put out my own work,” he said. “That is what really launched me to direct my own stuff.”
Young received a scholarship to attend a two-year college. He attended Arkansas State University. There he started his work on his initial project filming a documentary. However, things did not work out as he had planned, and his project evolved from a documentary to three short films.
He officially launched his company, Brave Eagle Production. Through his company, he released his three short films. They were initially filmed for practice, and the experience he gained filming them he is now using to direct a feature-length film.
Though he is tight-lipped about it, he explained that “Slim,” his new short film, was born from 18 pages of an unused script from his previous projects.
“I figured out a way to turn it into a short film script,” he said. “I sent it to a few scriptwriters to get it reviewed, and one of them is an award-winning writer. She absolutely loved it, [told me] don’t change anything. This is something that needs to happen, something needs to be talked about, and that is where I am right now.”
Through his career, he remains diligent working with his staff. He has shown that he loves working with the people he works with and the films he works upon, explained one of his staff members, Donisha Hayward.
“With everything that he does, everything he writes about, you can tell he is really into it,” she said. “We can tell that he loves what he does and he is friendly with other people…He is a passionate person, and the stuff he does, he wants people to see his vision for his projects, no matter what they could be.”
Currently, Donisha is a college student attending Valencia College in Orlando. She has lived in Florida since 2015, and she has known Young since 2016. She has worked within over the past five years and helped him launch his company back in 2019.
“When he first started off, it was hard because of support, but once he got off the ground, it has been good for him,” she said. “There is a lot…[to] the way he can tell a story and make it seems realistic, in the way he brings it to life, writing it, speaking it, putting it out there for people to see.”
His love for storytelling keeps him motivated in his work, even during a pandemic. He has so many visions that he wants to share with other people, and he hopes to do so through his films.
“That has been what has been driving me,” he said. “I had a lot of people applaud me for the work I have done, and that really keeps me moving forward…I have been really blessed, I have been reaching out to other people, and other people have been noticing my work.”
He expects to see his production company grow and expand. Upon releasing his trilogy of three short films and working on his new short film, he plans on filming bigger and better projects.
“[My big short film] has my full attention right now,” he said. “It is a project I am willing to share with the world, and for young men and women out there to be inspired…I look forward to my other projects.”
For more information about his upcoming movies and projects, visit his website at: https://braveeagleproduction.com/