The Inheritance: An feature-length screenplay exploring difficulties of existing in the Asian-American hyphen Open Access

Lo, Alyson (Spring 2021)

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The Inheritance is a full-length dramatic screenplay with comedic overtones about an estranged Asian-American family who begrudgingly works together in order to search for their late mother’s inheritance. Though this serves as the narrative plot, the screenplay acts as an exploration of reckoning with existing in the Asian-American hyphen. In discovering to what degree each character upholds Chinese values against American ones, the text focuses on the relationship between collectivist and individualist values and how the model minority and yellow peril concepts affect Asian-Americans. More broadly, the screenplay also investigates the breadth of experiences of immigration, assimilation, and the American Dream.

In addition to the feature-length screenplay, The Inheritance also comes with a joint honors creative statement, which details research regarding the history of Asian-American representation in literature, television, and film, a film review of prominent Asian-American films, and a review of common Asian tropes and stereotypes. Further, it also includes a detailed summary of the writing process for a feature-length film, the sequence method, and outlines of the story. 

Table of Contents

Introduction ________________________________________________________________   1

Literature Review ___________________________________________________________    3

           On Asian-American Representation _______________________________________    3

Literature ______________________________________________________    3


                       Asians in Film and Television ______________________________________  11


           On Writing the Screenplay _______________________________________________ 17

Film Review ________________________________________________________________ 21

The Writing Process __________________________________________________________ 25

           Character Backstories ___________________________________________________ 26

           Hunt Outline Sheet _____________________________________________________ 33

           The Sequence Method ___________________________________________________ 35

           Writing and Rewriting ___________________________________________________ 37

Conclusion __________________________________________________________________ 39

Works’ Cited ________________________________________________________________ 42

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