John-Francis Nero

What topic do you discuss in your script? And why?
My script deals with segregation , marginalisation ,ethnicity and otherness  [The other, from that which is not of I] The Wisdom of Dragons is an episodic television drama centralized in and around the first European Chinatown, Liverpool. The six episodes of The Wisdom of Dragons are part of my PhD Research (By Creative Practice) at Essex university. Chinatown’s: The Janus Effect is an exploration and analysis of Hollywood’s portrayal of Chinatown’s and Chinese people in cinema during the 1900’s, and how Euro-American audience’s accepted what was visually presented as a ‘truth’

How do people feel after reading your script?
The research was undertaken using a theory called ‘Factional’ taking qualitative interviews and archival reports[Fact] and then combining them with a creative licence [Fiction] people are generally surprised at the detail in the script and the fact that they can view this time and place from a different perspective, generally it is intriguing to them.

Do you think that films can change people for the better or for the worse?
Films can do many things, they can inspire and motivate a person to find a new lease on life, a new direction or perspective. Films create micro moments that hit a persons soul, just enough to make them think. My favourite quote is from a film, which I can’t remember the title of at the moment [hahaha] but in times of doubt I always return to it…”If I can’t find a way, I will create a way!!”

How does the main character develop?

The central protagonist is Fei Lai, a Chinese immigrant, part time cook, part time private detective, he is the bridge between Chinatown and the city police force. When we are introduced to the character in episode one [Where Angels would fear] he is a fully functioning and fleshed out character, he has established himself within the boundaries of Liverpool Chinatown. His growth is explored through flashbacks, it is here that the audience can witness the journey of Fei Lai and in doing so understand the development of the character.

What actors do you imagine in your project (typologically)?
Now that is a $1000,000,000 question, I suppose in a perfect world the wish list would be as follows, Andrew Koji as the principal character Fei Lai, I thought he was brilliant in the tv series Warrior, and his stint in Peaky Blinders was powerful. In an ideal world the character of Jack Walsh would be played by Tom Hardy or David Morrisey, both powerful actors who command the screen perfectly.

Why do you think your script should attract director?
The Wisdom of Dragons takes something that we all think we know about, Chinatown’s and Chinese people, and tells the story from a different point of view, from their point of view. Here we have something completely different in that the Chinese character is not the side kick, but the principal player.

At which festivals did you receive the award?
At the Oxford script awards

Which screenwriters are your favorite and why?
David Mammet is the king for me, check out his master class online, also if you haven’t seen Glengarry Glen Ross, you are seriously missing out. It is worth watching just for the Alec Baldwin scene.

About which topics are your screenplays?
My scripts deal with different topics, I try not to focus on the same genre, that way the writing doesn’t become stagnant and you as a writer don’t become bored with the process.

What motivates you the most to write screenplays?
Ideas arrive, and the ones that don’t dissipate, the ones that scream at you, the ones that you go to sleep thinking about and are still there when you wake up, they are the ones that deserve my attention, they are the ones that motivate me to continue writing

What are your plans in future careers?
I have two short film’s due to go into production over summer, Per Sempre and  La Conversazione, which I’m also directing. That, and the final touches are being added to a feature film script, Once in the Life, so quite busy….but fun!