Interview with Screenwriter Grace Nguyen (MESSS)

Matthew Toffolo: What is your screenplay about?

Grace Nguyen: Ultimatus is about a powerful, elemental weapon that splits into different weapons; each with one element, after its wielder passed away. One teenage girl goes on a fetch quest of one of those weapons, after it was stolen, with an unlikely partner. Together, the pair overcomes tribulations whether it be the girl’s traumatic past or her partner seeking retribution.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Action, Adventure, Medieval-fantasy.

3. Why should this screenplay be made into a movie?

It would mean the world to me to have “Ultimatus” become a movie. Because bringing my screenplay(s) to life has been a huge dream of mine ever since I took screenwriting seriously a couple years ago. At the time I’m writing this, I haven’t come close to that yet. But I’m hoping to achieve that with this screenplay. After all, compared to the other screenplays I’ve written, this one, I feel like I’ve really put all my heart and soul in to.

4. How would you describe this script in two words?

Hakuoki inspired.

5. What movie have you seen the most times in your life?

I don’t usually watch the same movie multiple times. It varies, but most movies are watch are animated. Though, occasionally, there will be a small number of movies I have a “phase” about. Last one being Disney Pixar’s “Coco.”

6. How long have you been working on this screenplay?

I started on this screenplay about Christmas 2017. So more than 2 years at this point.

7. How many stories have you written?

At the time I’ve taken screenwriting seriously, I’ve written about 3 screenplays at the very least. I’ve written 2 others but those are incomplete.

8. What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the
most times in your life?)

Similar to question 5, my song choices also varies. Though I mostly listen to the Japanese kinds (whether it be JRock or JPop)

9. What obstacles did you face to finish this screenplay?

My mind not being able to focus on writing this for very long. I would work on it for about 30 seconds or so, then do something else. In addition to that, I’ve been going back to change some parts numerous times. There’s also been days when I wasn’t working on this screenplay either.

10. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about anime (Japanese animation) since I was a child. It has helped get through the rough patches in my life; from keeping my spirits up to making me temporarily forget I had any friends. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without anime. Speaking of which, back on question 4, I stated “Ultimatus” is Hakuoki inspired. Hakuoki is another anime; and the only one that I’ve been in love with for more than 6 years. Therefore, I want to emphasize that onto “Ultimatus.”

11. You entered your screenplay via FilmFreeway. What has been your
experiences working with the submission platform site?

Despite me not having been on FilmFreeway for very long at the moment, I found it to be very trustworthy. I also hope to enter more of my screenplays through here.

12. What influenced you to enter the festival? What were your feelings
on the initial feedback you received?

Ever since I took screenwriting seriously, I decided I want to bring my screenplay to life. Problem was, I wasn’t sure the right pathway to achieve that. So I’ve been exploring many options. One such options was one of my connections in Linkedin sent me a link to the storypitches site. I gave that a shot and it’s been going well so far.

My feelings on the feedback I received for “Messs” were well received. Since I believe I garnered more screenwriting experience when working on “Ultimatus,” of course, I’ve put more what I’ve learned into that more than any other.

Watch the Screenplay Reading: 

Logline: “Messs” is a action, supernatural in which Anika Takano gets more than what she bargained for despite being a “Messs,” a rare type of exorcist who can’t see demons during a certain time-range of day.

Genre: Action, Animated, Supernatural

CAST LIST:

Masaki – SARAH-HAZEN BASK
Demon Takeshi – STEPHEN SANDQUIST
NARRATION – KAT SMILEY
Anika – JESSICA BOWMER
Sayuri – JULIE SHEPPARD
Daisuke – STEVE SWITZMAN

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