Asbury grad Andrea Nasfell co-wrote the screenplay to Moms’ Night Out. She has solo screenwriting credit for the recent nationwide release, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone, starring Brett Dalton and Anjelah Johnson. It will be coming out on DVD in April.
“It took about seven years from the time I first talked to the original producer about the project until the time it was released,” Nasfell said of the Gavin Stone film. “It took a strange mix of partners to get this project going—a church outside Chicago, WWE Films (yes, the wrestling company!), Blumhouse (primarily horror film distributors) and Walden Media all came together for the release.”
She was on set for a few days, “which is always a blast, to see your imagination come to life,” she said. “As writers, our job is very isolated, so it’s a wonderful experience to visit the set and see a huge team of people making it all happen.”
Considering herself lucky to travel to different movie shoots, Nasfell has also been on set in Alabama, Alaska, Illinois, Louisiana and Illinois. “Nothing in Kentucky yet, but I’m working on it,” she said.
When Californians ask her about Kentucky, she tells them about the rolling hills, amazing sunsets, warm people and the green everywhere. “We don’t have a lot of green in L.A.!” She adds, “It’s definitely a place of peace for me.”
Nasfell grew up in Virginia, but lived in Wilmore, Kentucky, for two years during elementary school. She returned to the Bluegrass after high school to attend Asbury College, which was renamed Asbury University in 2010. She graduated in 1995 with a degree in media communication.
Asbury’s School of Communication Arts is housed in a $12.6 million center, designed with help of Hollywood professionals. According to Brad Johnson, director of marketing and communications at Asbury University, Asbury alumni have worked on 150 films (with 57 Academy Awards nominations and 16 wins) and 300 network television productions (winning almost 50 Emmy Awards).
For exemplifying academic excellence and spiritual vitality, Nasfell received an alumni award called the “A-Award” from Asbury in 2015.
After college, Nasfell stayed in Wilmore and Central Kentucky until moving to California in 2000. During those five years in the Bluegrass, she took creative writing classes and produced an independent film with her husband, producer Brady Nasfell. They had production assistance from Asbury students.
In 1999, she attended a month-long program in Los Angeles called Act One. It was during that screenwriting intensive that she got good feedback and encouragement to give Hollywood a shot.
Once in L.A., Nasfell did some promo writing, web design and other freelance work, and in between, she and her husband had two kids. She kept up her screenwriting and by 2010, her first produced movie was released, making her one of the many “10-year overnight successes” in Hollywood. It’s so true, that
"it can take 10 years of hard work and making connections to get any kind of traction”
Along with several TV movies, another screenplay she wrote was “Christmas With a Capital C”.
Nasfell grew up always wanting to be a writer. “At first I wanted to be a novelist, but I fell in love with movies in high school,” she said, “and realized that someone had to write those. Why not me?”
In 2013 Nasfell started bi-yearly treks to Kentucky, visiting her parents in Lexington and dear friends in Central Kentucky. She also worked on getting her MFA in writing at Spalding University in Louisville. “I did that to improve my skills but also so that I would have the credential to teach,” she said.
Nasfell just can’t get Asbury out of her blood, so when she earned that master of fine arts degree in 2015, she was thrilled to be accepted as a screenwriter instructor for Asbury University’s online “Masters of Digital Storytelling” program.
These days in Los Angeles, she is writing up a storm and her husband is producing television. She’s currently working on a Christmas movie for MarVista Entertainment and Paulist Productions. She also has a few other finished scripts that are in the pipeline to be produced.
“We are lucky that we get to go back because of family and continued ties to Asbury,” Nasfell said. “I like to listen to the Asbury University chapel podcasts to hear what is happening on campus and to remember being there. It’s encouraging and keeps me grounded.”•