Brad has worked as an executive in Silicon Valley and in high-tech for companies like Apple,
Xerox, and MGM Studios, as well as fast-growing tech startups. He has also actively worked
with humanitarian charities, where he and his teams helped to transform the lives of millions of
children and adults, including those living with disabilities.
After taking screenwriting and filmmaking classes with his teenage son, Brad found his “encore
career” and has been passionately working to bring a fresh, new perspective to filmmaking.
Drawing upon his experience in science and tech, his passion for storytelling, and his strong
faith, Brad’s focus is to create unique and memorable stories with characters who are scientists,
doctors, or technologists who face high stakes and great moral dilemmas.
Brad’s first two screenplays written in his college screenwriting class, First Day and The Last
Creation, have already received critical acclaim and numerous awards, including Best
Screenplay. The Last Creation is currently the highest ranked faith-based short screenplay of all
time on The Red List. Brad also co-wrote Call Sign and Duskies with his son, and both
screenplays have won awards, including Best Screenplay. He is actively working on feature
versions of these projects and is also pursuing production avenues for each. He is also finishing
several new projects that will be coming soon.
Brad and his wife live in Southern California with their two boys. He graduated with a Bachelor
of Commerce degree from the University of Virginia.
What was the inspiration behind the writing of The Last Creation?
My original inspiration for the script was Joseph from the Bible’s Book of Genesis. Of the biblical figures, I have most admired his gifts and can relate to his fish out of water story. For a long time, I have wanted to do a modern-day version of his story with Silicon Valley as the setting. Additionally, I’ve spent many years working in tech and have been closely watching the ethical issues as we get closer to something like artificial general intelligence. Many sci-fi films seem to skim past how a sentient AI might realistically be developed at a startup company. So, I was inspired tell the familiar AI come-to-life story, but as an insider, while also exploring some of the ethical dilemmas. Finally, while I’m a person of deep faith, I’m not a huge fan of most “faith-based” films. Few seem to be made for people like me. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is one of my favorite faith-based movies, though most people wouldn’t categorize it as such. It’s just a great film that has some strong faith elements throughout. I’m hoping The Last Creation might be one among many in a resurgence of a “sci-faith” genre.
When did you start writing scripts?
I’ve been writing films “in my head” for a long time, probably since high school. However, outside of writing pages of notes and outlines, up until a few years ago, I’d never really written what I would call a proper script. My teenage son had an interest in film, so just prior to the pandemic, I was like Rodney Dangerfield in Back to School, and we took some college screenwriting and film production classes together. It turned out to be a blast and it seems we had a bit of a knack for it. While I’ve always been a decent writer, I discovered that I have a strong passion for screenwriting as an art form. It only took me a few decades to figure that out.
What was the first script project that you worked on?
My first two short screenplays came out of that college screenwriting class. The first script was
fittingly called First Day. It’s a comedy about a physicist who struggles to get to work on his first day at a dark matter research facility. The second script I’d ever written, and which also came out of that class, was The Last Creation. I’ve since co-written scripts with my son, one called Call Sign and another called Duskies. The years of writing films in my head might have had something to do with it, but we’ve already been blessed with something like 35 nominations and awards for these scripts, including Best Screenplay awards. The Last Creation is now the highest rated faith-based short script of all time on The Red List. I honestly cannot explain how something like that has happened, but I feel so blessed by the support from the film community and this has inspired me to keep going.
Do you ever consider directing one of your scripts or do you prefer to just work as a screenwriter?
In the film class I took with my son, we got to write and direct our own scripts. One of the films I
directed was supposed to be just a generic “two-character scene.” However, I often overcomplicate things and never settle for anything simple, so I ended up writing it as a prequel to one our teammate’s prior short films. Our crew kept that a secret, so nobody in the class, including the professor, was expecting it. As we watched the film, slowly the class started to pick up on the clues and, by the end, they were hooting, hollering, and cheering. At the end of the film, they gave us a standing ovation. I was not at all expecting that and I was literally tearing up. I’ve never felt anything quite like it. So that experience instilled in me a strong desire to not be satisfied with just writing a good story. Great stories need an audience. At the same time, I also discovered that it is a ton of hard work, energy, and collaboration to direct and produce a film. Time will tell, but I highly respect the art and craft of directing as much or more as screenwriting.
Please name three of your most favorite screenwriters?
At the top of my list would be Christopher Nolan. Nearly every movie he’s written seems written just for me. There are so many twists and turns, and my brain hurts trying to figure it all out. He writes films that leave you thinking for days or weeks after you’ve seen them. Second would be Andrew Stanton. Every film he writes is a masterclass in storytelling. Many people may not know he’s also a person of faith, so it’s no surprise he writes family-friendly animated films. Finally, my list wouldn’t be complete without George Lucas. People give him a hard time for his dialogue, but the man is a legend and is responsible for Star Wars and Indiana Jones – two of my favorite franchises. And I still get a kick out of his dialogue. We wouldn’t have so many wonderful Star Wars memes without it!
What are some of the challenges of being a screenwriter in the film industry?
Even though my screenplays are not preachy and are written to be enjoyed by a wide range of
audiences, they do contain elements of faith. Because of this, there have been times that I can sense a bit of a bias against my material with some readers in secular film festivals and contests. On the flipside, when entering my scripts in faith-based festivals, some readers in that genre also don’t know what to make of me. The stories are like no other faith-based films they’ve seen or read. So, at first it was a challenge to get past those biases and pre-conceptions people might have had about the work. However, now I have to say that I have been pleasantly surprised by how supportive people in the industry have been toward me and my scripts. They are like many of us who just want to see great stories being told, even if they aren’t totally down with all aspects of the work. I am so grateful for those in the industry who have guided me thus far and I hope I can model the same level of mutual respect.
What makes you write for the screen?
While I enjoy all forms of storytelling, the 90-to-120-minute visual spectacle format for a large
screen is by far the most impactful and long-lasting for me personally. Just like that experience of the standing ovation in my film class, it’s a shared emotional event with not only a theater full of people, but also all the other family and friends you get talk with about great films. I also enjoy
novels and TV shows and I’m working on some projects in those formats, but films will likely always be my favorite format to work within. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share about The Last Creation and about my experiences thus far as a screenwriter!