Interview with Screenwriter Aliya Jackson (I’M GROWN)

1. What is your screenplay about?

My story is about a 45-year-old handsome bi-racial man who still lives at home with his elderly parents. Victor is a little cocky, but he knows his mother looks out for him, although she tends to be a bit nosey. Victor is just spoiled.

Clearly, we see Victor makes no effort in being a man. Mom is continuously asking him questions about his day; however, she’s mostly concerned about what the neighbors may think when he comes home late. Then here it comes – the question every child wants to avoid from a parent… “Are you sleeping around?” Victor has had enough of the interrogation and lays down “the law.” Victor tells his mother he’s a grown-ass man. The look on Victor’s face is confident, then quickly turns to “what did I just do.” Everyone is shocked! Everyone is looking at each other back and forth. Even the old dog, Kryptonite, knows what’s about to happen; therefore, he runs into the other room. Mom will finally show Victor who’s in charge of the house. And you can best believe it’s not Victor’s father, who’s always hiding in his newspaper.

Gaining his independence will have consequences. Victor is about to find out what’s in store from his 80-year-old African American mother.

2. What genres does your screenplay fall under?

Comedy

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

I feel everyone could relate, especially parents who might have or had older children living in the house.

When I was younger, both of my grandmothers always had their children living at home. My great-grandmother had 11 children. Two stayed at home until they were way into their 50’s. One day there was so much commotion, I asked my mother’s mother, “Don’t you wish there was peace and quiet in the house?” Needless to say, she just laughed.

Laughing is medicine. Laughing is therapy.

Turning this into a movie with the right actors, I feel, will be nostalgic. It’s the essence of becoming homesick. If I can turn back the hands of time just a little for my audience, it’s well worth the effort in making this a movie. Family is essential, as well as the memories we fight to think about.

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

Wonder Woman vs. Yogi Bear

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

Dracula: Bram Stoker, Dracula: Untold and Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Lion King, TMNT (newest versions), Ninja Assassin, and many Shaw Brothers Karate television shows.

6. How long you been working on this script?

May 2009, it was called “I HATE YOU.”

In 2017, I changed it to I’M GROWN because a friend of mine said I say these words a lot – and it stuck!

Actually, from 3 pages, it took 30 to 40 minutes to turn it into one page.

7. How many stories have you written?

I’ve written about 7 stories.

And I’m about to start another one in a couple of days. It’s funny, sometimes stories have to sit and then (bang – it hit’s you!!!) Or it flows so well no changes required.

I like to take my time, although I put a time frame on it because it tells me to get it done.

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

It was Chris Brown’s “Liquor,” and now it’s “They Don’t Know About Us,” with Aaliyah, H.E.R’s “Damage,” Jamiquoria’s “Everyday,” Floetry’s “Say Yes,” Missy Elliot’s “Hot Boys,” or Musique’s, “So Beautiful.” It depends on my mood.

Oops, did you say one? (smile)

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

TIME – I was looking thru the Film Freeway website and saw it.

I was like, “I have an hour?!!!!…. ugh, but I can do this,” and that’s actually what happened. And now here I am chatting with you guys.

WORDS – Let’s just say the words have to be on point for me to say, “This is it!” Every word in my stories has to be in its rightful place.

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

Don’t get me started…

I started an apparel line for phlebotomists called “The Vein Assassin,” since I’ve been one for 9 years.

Medicine has always been important to me. I’m certified as a Covid Compliance Officer and Phlebotomist Instructor.

I also want to teach English and become an ESL teacher to give back – so I’m working on my certification as we speak.

I like taking pictures, traveling, and being around animals since I was a veterinary technician for over 10 years.

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

In the beginning, I just took a chance and put one of my scripts online, and it did pretty well. The other two scripts weren’t polished, so I had no luck there. Even the good stories get turned down. “I’m Grown” was one of them the 1st time around. It just needed a little more work – that’s all.

All in all, I would say, it’s been pretty good for me. I can pick and choose where I want to put my story based on my budget.

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

GOD and motivation. I had this little angel in my ear telling me to look and put it in – right now! Yes, she’s pretty bossy, to say the least.

But how would you know if you don’t try?

The feedback was pretty impressive. I never thought of reading it and adding pictures. I’ve always been around people who actually shoot for a living. Still, during this time, we have to be more creative and think outside the box. So I thank you for taking the time to showcase one of my scripts.

Like Master Oogway (in Kung Fu Panda) stated – “If you only do what you can do, you will never be more than you are now.”

Watch the Screenplay Reading:

Logline: A cocky 45-year-old son, who still lives at home, is about to get schooled by his 80-year-old mother for being disrespectful.

CAST LIST:
Narrator: Val Cole
Victor: Alllan Michael Brunet
Maggie: Kyana Teresa
Pop: Andy Camp

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