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Meet a Fantastic Fest DIE HARD: Will Sullins

Will Sullins - He's a DIE HARD, you see...
by Jason Whyte

In our ongoing series peering into the lives of dynamic Fantastic Fest attendees, Will Sullins is a long term Fantastic Fest DIE HARD traveling from Casper, Wyoming to attend Fantastic Fest, 2011 Edition.

“I’m a 27 year old from Casper, Wyoming. I work as the morning newscast Director/ Executive Producer for a local news station. I like to practice magic tricks, and then not show anyone them. Once, I caught a fly with my bare hands and, hopefully, when I die my tombstone will state this fact.”

What makes you travel from your home town to attend Fantastic Fest in Austin every year?

Fantastic Fest is the best thing I’ve ever found to do for a vacation. Getting to spend a week at the Alamo Drafthouse is guaranteed to be the best week of my year. This might make my life a little sad but it really is a good time.

So what makes you a Fantastic Fest DIE HARD?

I had been attending SXSW for several years when I first caught wind of Fantastic Fest. The SX Fantastic programming at the 2009 SXSW drew my attention to what was going on at Fantastic Fest. I attended that same year and have since wondered how I ever put up with any other film festival. So, for those who think that the influx of people attending Fantastic Fest over the last couple years is ruining your experience… my bad.

How do you explain Fantastic Fest to someone who is not familiar with the film festival? What would you do or say to get them to attend the following fest?

I usually describe Fantastic Fest as, “I’m going to go watch kung fu flicks and monster movies for a week.”

Every attendee experiences Fantastic Fest differently, so I'm curious as to what a day is like for you at the festival..

I go to Fantastic Fest with full intentions of having breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the movies. I usually hold off on partying ‘till the closing party. Down time between movies is when I hang out with fellow attendees, check out the Fantastic Arcade, or wonder aimlessly up S. Lamar trying to remember where that doughnut stand is.

What are you looking forward to the most at Fantastic Fest, 2011 edition?

The thing I’m most looking forward to is seeing Jason Whyte…okay, maybe I’m looking forward to some of the horror films being offered this year a little more; no hurt feelings I hope (Author’s note: they were.). I am excited by the opportunity to see The Human Centepede 2, Extraterrestrial, all the weird stuff from Asia, and Zombie on the big screen.

Would you say that you have a particluar genre or filmmaker that you follow at the festival every year?

I tend to stick to horror films. I like action films too but they have to be bad ass, lots of stunts & little CG, movies for me to get too excited.

What is your favorite food/drink combo at the festival's key venue, the Alamo Drafthouse? Better yet, do you have any favorite area places to get food and/or drink inbetween films?

Hot cookies with a glass of milk are hard to beat at a midnight show. Second place, Beer and anything is a good choice. Whataburger is open 24 hours, for that 2 a.m. walk back to the hotel. You can eat the burger before you pass out for the night, and in the morning you get cold fries for breakfast.

What has been your favorite non-film related event of past editions of the fest?

2010’s closing night party was a blast. There was lots of free food and drinks to enjoy. Ghost Town was a great location and offered lots of fun things to do. That wooden maze turned into a death trap after a few beers. I got lost for an hour or so, and think I cock blocked some kids who were trying to get lucky when I drunkenly stumbled into them in the dark.

Looking to the future, Is there anything you wish the festival would try out for the 2012 edition?

For the most part Fantastic Fest gets everything about perfect. More food and drink specials would be nice. Getting a working, online ticket system would also be nice, but I’m not sure how that would work out. Another thing, Trevor Trujillo needs to shave that mustache. I’m glad I spend so much time in a darkened theatre, where it can’t be easily seen.

What has been your favorite moment or experience at any previous FF that you have attended?

Seeing Nevermore live at the Drafthouse last year was a very cool experience. Other standouts have been: seeing George A. Romero in person for the US premiere of “Survival of the Dead” and the “RoboGeisha” Q&A, which was so bizarre that it actually made me a little concerned for my mental and physical well being. I wanted to run but couldn’t look away.

What is the single, greatest movie that you have seen at any Fantastic Fest?

That’s a tricky one. If I had to pick one movie I’d have to go with Rec 2. Just when I thought I’d seen everything a zombie movie had to offer, a movie like Rec 2 came along and made it all fresh again. This was not an easy task but this film, by creating its own rules and style managed to make a thoroughly original and terrifying zombie film in one of horror’s most well traveled subgenres.
An honorable mention goes to House of the Devil for being super retro cool.

And finally, what is your all time favorite movie and why?

George A. Romero’s Creepshow is my favorite film of all time. I’ve always loved horror anthology films and this one stands as king of them all. Stephen King’s scrip nails a variety of clever horror stories and Romero’s direction is at the peak of his career. EC comic style oozes from every star filled frame, as the cast of notable actors give great performances. I’ve loved this movie for damn near my entire life and don’t see it falling from my top spot anytime soon.

For more information on Fantastic Fest including programming, ticketing information and updates, point your browser to

Be sure to follow my updates on Fantastic Fest via my Twitter page which can be found HERE.

Jason Whyte –

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originally posted: 09/27/11 19:30:26
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