Filmmaker Spotlight: Viet Nguyen

The X1 Asian American destination will feature “Crush The Skull,” co-written, directed and choreographed by Viet Nguyen. We got the chance to speak with Viet about the inspiration behind this movie and his journey as a Vietnamese American filmmaker.

Photo: Viet Nguyen

Tell us about your film featured on X1 this month!

Viet Nguyen: Indiewire.com said this: “”Crush The Skull,” is a hilarious, thrilling hybrid of a heist film and a gory, old-school slasher flick. It skillfully balances comedic moments with frightening, unexpected twists and turns.” However, my mom said this about the film: “That’s it? Too many bad words.”

How did you get into filmmaking?

VN: Rob Thomas, he used to teach journalism at my high school in Austin, TX before creating “Veronica Mars” and “iZombie.” I was one of his broadcast students. I learned how to write, shoot and edit video there. It was obviously a life-changing to me.

What are some films and/or filmmakers that have inspired you?

VN: Any movie that took blood, sweat and tears to get made is an inspiration to me. It’s a tough work. If you’ve made a film, big or small, for an audience of a thousand or audience of one, you did it! You’re inspiring. Lastly, my favorite filmmaker is Michael Bay.

Do you have a favorite Asian American film?

VN: I think every Asian-American filmmaker looks at “Better Luck Tomorrow” as a monumental movie for many reasons.

Photo: Viet Nguyen

How does your Asian heritage influence your work?

VN: People of color have a perspective in life which can be unique and interesting. We have fun statements about race in “Crush The Skull” even though it’s just a popcorn and horror-flick. Also, during our shoot, we had lots of pho and always took off our shoes for interior shoots.

What is your outlook on the state of Asian American cinema?

VN: Bad ass. Diverse in stories and genres. Collaborative. Supporting. We have a great community and I’m excited to see what the future holds. 

What’s next for you?

VN: I’ve been directing a lot of TV shows. My next gig will be “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” for Netflix. Chris Dinh and I are also working on another horror feature script. It’s about two guys who are trying to write a horror script and how no one wants to pay for the movie. So scary, am I right?

Photo: Viet Nguyen
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Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions, Viet Nguyen!  Watch “Crush The Skull,” on the X1 Asian American destination or with Xfinity Stream this May for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Just say “Asian American” into your Xfinity X1 Voice Remote!

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For more Filmmaker Spotlights or Asian American news and entertainment visit Xfinity Asian American.