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Persephone Vandegrift
Writing Festival Finalist

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11 QUESTIONS with Persephone Vandegrift - 1st Scene Screnplay Finalist

1. What is your screenplay about?

DEATH OF A MORTAL WOMAN is based on the true story of Agrippina the Elder who, after her husband is suspiciously murdered, risks her life to secure legacies for her children despite all empirical efforts to thwart her.

2. Why should your script be made into a film?

Agrippina's story has never been told fully. You may have heard of Caligula, but you don't know much about his mother, Agrippina the Elder. Her story was briefly explored during the fabulous "I, Claudius" series but there is so much more to it. I found her story on an index card during a Roman exhibition at a museum five years ago. Her struggle to see justice done is a human story. And although tragic, her story of perseverance is timeless. We've all been in her shoes at some point and in different ways. Researching Agrippina's unyielding courage in the face of intimidation and impending death was a life-changing experience. What she accomplished was an amazing feat for anyone, especially a woman, in ancient Rome. Once you know her story, it is not easily forgotten. Bringing it to the screen would give it a deserving opportunity to inspire the world.

3. How long have you been writing screenplays?

10 or so years. Still learning :-)

4. What film have you seen the most in your life?

Three films: The Princess Bride, Happy Accidents, and Gladiator.

5. What artists in the film industry would you love to work with?

Eva Green, Jane Campion, Ridley Scott, Bruno Heller.

6. How many screenplays have you written?

Eight

7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

On the set of Death of a Mortal Woman! Other than that, writing, producing, and directing my work.

8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

My process (not necessarily in this order) research, read, outline, write, listen to the story, research more, rewrite, talk to my characters, outline, dream, write, rewrite, and write.

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

Traveling, watching films, researching, theatre, helping other writers and supporting indie filmmakers.

10. What influenced you to enter the WILDsound Script Contest?

Last year, I met a writer at an awards dinner for a screenplay contest we were both finalists in and she mentioned the great experience she had with WILDSound with her 1st 10 pages.

11. Any advice or tips you'd like to pass on to other writers?

Keep pushing forward, take classes, seek constructive feedback, network, keep rewriting and brainstorming, find news ways to approach your material. Despite the hundreds of times I have threatened to do it, we can not give up. With each setback, we get better, stronger and more confident. Keep breathing, keep creating, keep opening closed doors!

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Persephone Vandegrift