Brad Ingelsby didn’t make any promises, but in an appearance at Neumann on April 1, he hinted at another series about Mare Sheehan, the main character in Mare of Easttown.
“I do really think in my heart of hearts that we’ll come back to Mare. I think that group of characters has another chapter in them,” he told the audience at the university’s inaugural film festival, much to the crowd’s delight.
Ingelsby wrote and produced Mare of Easttown, the Emmy Award-winning HBO series that is set in Delaware County. As the featured speaker at the festival, he was interviewed by Sara McDermott Jain, answered questions from the audience, and presented awards to winning filmmakers at the end of the evening. Jain is the festival director, a screenwriter, and an adjunct professor at Neumann.
Regarding his writing process, Ingelsby explained that he knew the twist at the end of Mare before he started writing the screenplay.
“It didn’t come quickly or easily,” he said, “but my experience with the murder investigation genre is that the best examples don’t just surprise you but are deeply emotional. Mare is really stubborn about not confronting the death of her son. In order for her to tear down the fortress that she has built for herself, something catastrophic has to happen, so I only started writing once I knew where it was ending.”
He explained that it took about eight months to create the story of Mare, before he wrote one word.
He told the audience that he is a disciplined writer who works obsessively on stories. The screenplay for a two-hour movie, he said, is about 120 pages long and takes him approximately three months to complete. He confessed that he keeps a notebook on his nightstand to capture ideas that come to him in the middle of the night.
“If you can generate 10 pages a week for 12 weeks, you have a script, and a script is the ultimate leverage in this business.”
Already an accomplished screenwriter, Ingelsby rose to national prominence in 2021 with Mare, a seven-part crime drama that won four Emmy awards. Set in Delaware County with tons of local landmarks and references, the series also shone the spotlight on the quirky Delco accent, even earning a satirical jab on Saturday Night Live.
Ingelsby’s parents grew up in Springfield and Drexel Hill, and Ingelsby is a graduate of Archbishop Carroll High School and Villanova University. After moving to Los Angeles to study at the American Film Institute, he returned home and was an adjunct instructor of English at Neumann, among other jobs, until he optioned one of the screenplays that he wrote at AFI.
His other films include Out of the Furnace, Run All Night, American Woman, and The Way Back.
He presented awards for six categories of short films submitted by aspiring filmmakers from the community and the campus.