Jackson Oehmler pursues his passion for filmmaking

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Eileen Flynn, Reporter
@eileen_courant

After the recent appreciation for the Oscar-Nominated movies, you would be shocked to find out that students at NCHS share those same talents. Sophomore Jackson Oehmler has always had an interest in the filmmaking industry but recently he has taken his dedication further, writing a screenplay for his own feature film. Jackson’s connection with the art has grown from intrigue to a passion of his that he plans to continue.

Jackson writes on one of his many boards that he uses to plan out the creation of his film. Photo by Katie Tan

Jackson has shown promise in the field from a very young age through his creativity and artistic abilities. Sophomore Theresa Marciano has been friends with Jackson since middle school, and has always noticed these skills. “Throughout all the years I’ve known him, Jackson has had the amazing qualities that you look for in an artist,” she said. “He’s always shown an extreme ability to think outside of the box and has great creativity.”

Jackson’s interest in filmmaking first began when he got a GoPro for his thirteenth birthday. “I was really intrigued by it because I was going to Nantucket that summer and I wanted to make an action video about the vacation,” Jackson said. “Ever since then, I’ve been really interested in filmmaking and making movies.”

Jackson has certainly pursued that interest, taking Narrative Filmmaking, Documentary filmmaking, TV Broadcasting and is currently enrolled in the 3D Animation class at NCHS. One of his teachers. Jennifer Sinski, knew that Jackson had talent from his work in the class. “I noticed a real pride and professionalism in him that he gained over the period of time that I had him as a student,” Ms. Sinski said. “He’s got a real eye and passion for filmmaking, so I could definitely see him ending up in the industry someday.”

However, Jackson’s dedication to filmmaking extends outside of school. Last summer, he did an internship at Jay-Z’s film production company, ROC NATION, in order to further develop his skills. “My mentor and the executive producer at Scheme Engine were really helpful in showing me more about

Jackson sets up his camera to test the noise and image quality before shooting a shot of his neighborhood. Photo by Katie Tan

filmmaking and how to make my work the best that it can be,” Jackson said. “The experience really inspired me to take my skills to the next level.”

One of Jackson’s close friends, sophomore Ava Edmonds has noticed that between his classwork and involvement with the NCHS swim team, Jackson often finds it difficult to make time for his art. “He works hard in school and is extremely dedicated to his swim team, but he also somehow finds a way to make the time to develop his filmmaking skills.” Ava said, “I know it takes a lot of time management and planning for him to be able to find a way to do all three things.”

Currently, Jackson is working on a feature film Real. The film centers around a teenage boy named Andrew Fisher who is aboard a private plane with his family that crashes on a remote island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. “It is not only about them trying to physically survive and push past this hard time in life, but it also follows Andrew’s struggles with starvation and hunger that causes him to hallucinate and destroy his trust and his family,” Jackson said.

Jackson has been working on this screenplay for months, and the idea stemmed from his interest in the mental disorder schizophrenia. After doing extensive

Two of Jackson’s trophies that he won from film festivals that he entered last year. Photo by Katie Tan

research on the subject, Jackson decided that he wanted to create a film to raise awareness about the disease. “The entire movie is a metaphor for schizophrenia and the effect that it can have on interpersonal relationships,” Jackson said.

Jackson has already written the script, but needs funding in order to make this movie the best that it can be. “My hope is that once it’s finished, I can send it into a few film festivals around the country,” Jackson said. “However, in order to make a real film, I need the equipment to shoot it how and where I want to.”

Jackson currently has a Kickstarter for the film, and hopes that people donate, so that he can reach the necessary budget in order to produce it. “I really believe in the film, and I really think that this plot is something that everyone should see,” Jackson said. “I truly believe that it will speak to the younger generation and I hope it helps people understand the extent of the effect that schizophrenia can have on people’s lives.”

Click here for a bonus video look into Jackson’s filmmaking!

 

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