Logo BusinessBecause - The business school voice

Inspiring and informing your business school journey

mobile search icon

Villanova Grad Breaks Into Movie Industry

Leo DiCaprio set to star as ex-con in movie scripted by undergrad business major

By  Sarah Halls

Mon Jan 4 2010


When Brad Ingelsby finished his BSc in Marketing at Villanova University in Pennsylvania, he hardly expected that six years later Hollywood would be beating at his door offering him $150,000 for his script.

Unlike his classmates who pursued careers in finance, Ingelsby moved to the West Coast to do a Masters in screenwriting at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

“I grew up watching tons and tons of movies. Wanting to be part of that is where the drive came in,” explains Ingelsby.

“I’ve always loved movies. I would write stories on the side as a hobby of mine... and download screenplays online to see the format and structure.”

After stints in the financial sector, the Villanova graduate was given his big break when a friend passed a script Ingelsby had written to various agents.

In 2008, Ingelsby’s script was snapped up for $150,000 by Relativity Media, the production company behind titles such as Frost/Nixon and 300.

The script, originally Ingelsby’s thesis, is a “modern western” about a guy who is released from prison after serving eight years for a crime that is not revealed to the viewer.

When the main character returns home to rebuild the family farm with his brother, he finds out his brother has fallen in with the wrong crowd.

The plot takes a violent turn when the brother is murdered. Seeking revenge, the main character sets out to find his brother’s killers.  As the story develops, the main character is haunted by ghosts of his past and the more he tries to outrun them, the more his past catches up with him.

The movie, titled The Low Dweller, is currently in pre-production and will star Leonardo DiCaprio, according to the website IMDB.com.

Although now embarking on a career in films, the marketing graduate-turned-screenwriter has found skills learned as an undergraduate have helped him to negotiate better deals.

“Advertising, microeconomics and marketing: they made you be creative,” says Ingelsby.

“It wasn’t just about numbers. You had to entice people to be interested in products they wouldn’t normally be interested in."