Lights, Camera, Andrew


Kelly Pu

As Pink Floyd’s “Nobody Home” plays in the background, a lone man travels across the nation surveying piles of wreckage. What is he doing? Why is he alone?

Thus begins Obliterate, the film that won the Golden Waffle Iron Film Festival, EPHS’s annual film festival, Best Picture award last year. Written and directed by junior Andrew Nosal, its plot leaves viewers guessing until the last moments.

Nosal has been making shorts and other films with his family and friends since he was around 7 or 8 years old. He always enjoyed watching movies when he was younger and was inspired to tell his own stories through films.

“I love storytelling,” said the filmmaker. “I love the idea of making something and then everybody watching it, entertaining people.” He particularly enjoys being able to bring out different emotions in people through his films, whether it is making them scared, laugh or cry.

For Nosal, the filmmaking process can be long. First, he brainstorms a story idea. This usually takes around three months. It starts with choosing two or three genres, which he combines. Then he builds the story and characters, often getting inspiration from other movies.

Although many of his ideas have been comedy, Nosal has been experimenting with other genres. Obliterate was a science fiction drama-thriller with a twist ending. “I think it’s very interesting to build up suspense all the way to the end and to keep people questioning,” he said.

Creating the story is his favorite part of filmmaking because of the creativity involved. He enjoys being able to create anything he wants, and if he gets a story he likes, he can spent two or three years just on that one idea.

Filming can be difficult because he must find actors who can play the roles written for them. He usually films with friends and family, and it takes a lot of work to get all the actors in their roles, capture the correct shots and edit it all. Junior Carter Aakhus, who has acted in Nosal’s films, agrees that finding actors is hard. However, he also said, “[Nosal] knows what he wants his actors to do, and it’s a lot of fun.”

In addition to his own film projects, Nosal is president of the school’s Young Filmmakers Club, where he can share his passion for filmmaking with his peers. He wants club members to learn the filmmaking process and grow as filmmakers.

He always tries to apply his filmmaking talents to his everyday life. He is a part of Eagle Vision News (EVN), the school’s student news broadcast, where he uses his skills to bring news to his peers. Although filming for EVN is different from his own films, they both involve working in a team and creating a final project. Aakhus, who also works with Nosal in EVN, said, “He’s hardworking and even if he doesn’t understand, he will ask and learn and work his hardest to get the job done.” Also, when given the freedom in school projects, Nosal chooses to create videos instead of written works.

His ultimate goal is to pursue a career in filmmaking, but in the short-term, he is working on a suspense-thriller film.

Nosal stresses dedication for success in filmmaking. “People may have all these ideas but they just never just get down and write it and film it.” He himself has written about fifteen scripts but has only created three complete films. He encourages other to pursue their passions in any capacity. “You need to just take that vision; you have and go for it,” said Nosal. “People will tell you [that] you can’t do it and your idea is too big, but never say never.”

To watch Obliterate, click here.