Like many college students, Cam Andrews, who grew up in Fayston, found himself back home learning remotely during the spring of 2020. He was studying film at Boston University and returned to The Valley when in-person classes were put on hold. Fellow Harwood grad and Boston University student Phoebe Pacheco texted Andrews and said, ‘What if we made a movie?’
Andrews started to write. He ended up with a 77-page semi-autobiographical film script about the summer after high school in which the main character takes a gap year before college, as Andrews did, and is grappling with his future and maintaining friendships. Along with Andrews, Pacheco co-produced and starred in the film, which features several of the pair’s college friends and both of Andrews’s parents. Around 12 people were involved in creating the film, which was mostly shot throughout The Valley. It took 20 days of filming in the summer of 2020.
“It was a lot of me just driving around The Valley with a camera,” Andrews said. “It taught me how to actually be a filmmaker.” He’d previously made short films, but this was his first feature-length film, which runs 65 minutes.
“I came out knowing what I wanted to do,” he said. “It taught me not to give up when things went wrong. It taught me I want to keep making movies.”
He and a group of friends spent last fall studying in L.A., where Andrews plans to return to pursue a career in film. He has written eight feature-length films, though says some of them are not doable with little to no budget. He is currently working on the second draft of his next film, which a former professor is helping produce. He’s also been sending out scripts for other films.
Having grown up in The Valley, he credits spending time exploring outside and having a supportive family with setting him on his path. “I’m very fortunate my parents allowed me to never stop imagining I could do this,” he said. He also noted that he had teachers at Harwood who encouraged his creativity, for which he is grateful. “I grew up around a lot of people who never told me [a career in film] was not viable.”
The film, “Holocene,” premiers at Big Picture Theater in Waitsfield on June 18 at 7 p.m.