Christine Conradt: A Screenwriter’s Directorial Debut

Two-Time Now Write! Contributor: Christine Conradt

ChristineConradtChristine Conradt is a Nebraska native living and working in the greater Los Angeles area.  She’s a seasoned screenwriter and producer, the “Queen of Lifetime,” best known for BETRAYED AT 17 (2011), A NANNY’S REVENGE (2012), SUMMER MOON (2009) and THE PERFECT TEACHER (2010.)
With nearly 50 produced writing credits, Christine received her Bachelor’s degree in Screenwriting from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Intent on elevating the crime thrillers she was becoming known for, Christine went back to grad school to receive a Masters degree in Criminal Justice from Boston University, where she focused on cybercrime and juvenile delinquency.

“One of the things I really found interesting in my criminology studies was this notion that the anonymity of the Internet has created both crimes and criminals that never previously existed. Because people can hide behind a screenname, they say and do things online that they never would do in person. For some, the advent of the Internet meant the freedom to do things without the consequences you’d expect to face if you did them in the real world.”

THE BRIDE HE BOUGHT ONLINE Tackles Cyberbullying in a Unique Way

The Bride He Bought OnlineBased on her own spec script, THE BRIDE HE BOUGHT ONLINE is Christine’s directorial debut, set to premiere on Lifetime Network on July 18, 2015 (click Lifetime link for more info and full airing dates).  The film was produced by Reel One Entertainment in association with Shadowland.
Not all TV movies have a message and the ones that do all too often come off as poorly-veiled preach-fests intent on instructing us on how to live our lives. But THE BRIDE HE BOUGHT ONLINE tackles a very topical issue in a refreshingly unique way. The film makes a serious comment on cyberbullying in a high-intensity, surprisingly dark thriller.
Starring Anne Winters, Lauren Gaw, and Annalisa Cochrane, the story follows three teens who create a fake profile on an international dating site to gather fodder for their increasingly popular joke blog. They soon engage in conversation with a lonely, unstable computer programmer named John Bennett (played by Travis Hammer) and the prank evolves from a phishing scheme into all-out cyberbullying. Although the theme of online anonymity cleverly crops up in multiple storylines, it never comes off as exhortative.
Writer/Director Christine Conradt with Cinematographer Roberto Schein. Photo by Charles Christopher.
“The empowerment the girls feel from gaining online followers who encourage them to continuously top their last prank, their inability to empathize with a nameless victim, and even John’s belief that he’s in love with a girl he’s never met in person, but trusts he knows intimately from their online chats, all illustrate different dangers of abdicating personal accountability online,” Conradt explains. “Some people see the Internet as a scary place trolled by predators, but sometimes the creepy ones aren’t who we think they are and we all have the ability to become predators if we want.”

Christine Shares Her Wealth of Knowledge and Experience

Christine contributed two highly usable exercises to the Now Write! series: “The Scene That Doesn’t Exist” can be found in Now Write! Screenwriting and “The Eleven Tenets of Fear” is in Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.

Live webinar July 28, 2015.
She has also created three educational products for the Writer’s Store: Creating Strong Female Characters, Writing and Selling a TV Movie, and her upcoming live webinar on July 28Adding Suspense to Your Screenplays.

 

 

Seminars with Now Write! Screenwriting Contributor: Christine Conradt

Christine Conradt’s Upcoming Screenwriting Seminars

NWScreenbookIconChristine’s Early Bird Saturday Screenwriting Sessions are small, interactive, half-day group sessions that focus on three core concepts necessary to write a marketable screenplay. Designed for novice, intermediate, and professional screenwriters, the class is organized in a way that participants may work on applying the core concepts to an existing or partially written screenplay, or they may do the more generic versions of the exercises to help hone their writing skills and brainstorm ideas for their next project. The only required text book is Now Write! Screenwriting edited by Sherry Ellis and Laurie Lamson. This book may be purchased here, at the same time as registration, or it can be purchased beforehand through Amazon or some other distributor.  It retails for $14.95 but is available for $10.00 when purchased with session registration and participants receive the book in person at the session. Breakfast is included. Sessions are held in the South Bay area and location is dependent on the number of participants, so address and directions to the location are emailed the Friday before the session. Participants are encouraged to bring laptops and scripts they are working on.

·         8am – 12pm and includes a hot breakfast
·         Maximum of 10 participants
·         Three topics per session
·         Interactive
·         Held in the South Bay

·         $89 per session with book, $79 w/o book

While a portion of the session does include a lecture, the focus of the Early Bird sessions is to practice honing specific screenwriting skills and apply them to one’s own project. Christine urges participants to dedicate the entire day to writing and after the four-hour session ends, to go find a quiet spot at a coffee shop or the beach and continue working individually.

Spring 2014 Sessions

Click on the session below for more information and to register.

Sat., February 22 – Writing Synopses/Coverage/Becoming a Reader

Sat., March 1 – Developing Characters/Dialog/Theme Goals & Plot Goals

Sat., March 29 – Crafting Scenes/Structure/Defining Theme

Sat., April 12 – Awesome Opening Scenes/Non-Verbal Dialog/Writing with Style

Sat., April 26 – Writing for Low Budgets/Writing Treatments/Loglines

About Christine Conradt

_T3X1111Christine has written more than forty indie films and made-for-TV movies in the horror, thriller, and crime drama genre. Her films have aired on networks like FOX, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, and USA. She is the writer of SUMMER’S MOON, CHRISTIE’S REVENGE, MATERNAL OBSESSION, and HOTEL CALIFORNIA. She holds a BFA in film from USC and a master’s degree in criminal justice from Boston University.  She also  contributed an exercise to Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror.

International Screenwriters’ Association Podcasts with Now Write! Contributors

As the host/moderator for International Screenwriters Association for the last 2 years, I’ve had the pleasure to learn firsthand from some very talented and inspiring professionals.  Many of them were contributors to Now Write! Screenwriting, Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror (Feb. 2014) or both.  Here I’ve compiled all the Now Write! contributor podcasts to share.  – Laurie Lamson

timthumb-1.phpThe Craft of Writing For TV and Film with Pen Densham (Now Write!  Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.)

A lively conversation with two-time Oscar nominee Pen Densham about his experiences and the insights he’s gained from working in the entertainment industry as a writer, director and producer.  We also talk about the craft of writing for film and TV and take listener questions about Pen’s career and about his book Riding the Alligator: Strategies for a Career in Screenplay Writing.

christineconradtcuLife as a Horror/Thriller Writing Professional with Christine Conradt (Now Write! Screenwriting & Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.)

Learn what to expect once you make your way into the Hollywood trenches.  Christine discusses what it’s really like to be a working screenwriter in Hollywood, including the nuts and bolts of what to expect when you’re hired by a producer, how to manage the relationship and respond to script notes.

timthumb-3.phpFilm Genre for the Screenwriter with Jule Selbo (Now Write!  Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.)
Film Genre is an important aspect of the film narrative. It is important for the screenwriter to understand film genre’s place in the story so that he or she can deliver on audience expectations – and maybe even move the screenwriting form forward.

timthumb-2.phpSeven Surefire Secrets to Breaking Into the Film Biz with Barri Evins (Now Write! Screenwriting.)

You’re hundreds of miles from Hollywood, California. Or maybe you’re just around the corner, but it seems far away. You want to break into the film business. But how? This class gives you a road map to get you from here to there. With Barri Evins. Barri has taught at Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, the UCLA Producers Program and the American Film Institute.

(Note: I personally took Barri’s seminar mentioned in the podcast and it was FANTASTIC! – Laurie)

timthumb.phpClear and Tight Writing with Will Akers (Now Write! Screenwriting.)

Crushing to learn:  nobody wants to read your stuff, unless it’s your mom.  You are duty bound to give the reader a document that is 1.) clear and 2.) easy to read.  Will Akers will show you how to clean up that first draft. Will has written scripts and series television for studios, independent producers, and television networks. He is Chair of the Motion Pictures Program at Belmont University.

timthumb-4.phpStorymapping THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION with Daniel Calvisi (Now Write! Screenwriting.)

Daniel Calvisi and William Robert Rich, hosts of the Story Maps Screenwriting Podcast, will break down and discuss THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION with a beat-by-beat structural analysis that explores its classical structure, as well as the non-traditional elements that break from the Hollywood norm.

DevorahRubensteinIs Your Script Ready? with Devorah Cutler-Rubenstein (Now Write! Screenwriting & Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.)

Devorah Cutler-Rubenstein breaks down her critical evaluation checklist geared towards helping you see if you are truly ready to put your story out there. Bonus discussion: Insider tips on getting yourself ready for that all-important meeting, pitch, and elevator moment.

Brad.thumbAdapting Articles, Books and Life Rights to TV and Film with Brad Schreiber (Now Write! Screenwriting & Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror.)

Brad has written for all media, done consultations for worldwide clients when he was V.P. at Chris Vogler’s Storytech, and has been writer-producer for PBS. Brad created the series North Mission Road, which ran six seasons on truTV.

Free Teleconferences from Intl. Screenwriters’ Association

I’ve been the host for International Screenwriters’ Association teleconferences for the last 17 months and I love sharing my passion for screenwriting, and writing in general, with my fellow writers.  These exclusive FREE teleconferences are only available from I.S.A.  Many of the talks are relevant for dramatic/narrative writers in any medium.

ISAbanner_wo_468x60 FREE

 

 

Truby

I had the opportunity to speak with one of my favorite writing teachers, John Truby, about the Oscar-nominated scripts from 2012.  It was a pretty exciting year and a great conversation.  (BTW John’s book The Anatomy of Story belongs on every writer’s shelf as much as the Now Write! books do.)  Listen here.

In the last few months I’ve also had the chance to chat with a few contributors to the upcoming next book in the Now Write! series: Now Write! Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror:

Jule Selbo headshotMost recently, I had a truly informative talk with Jule Selbo, PhD about Film Genres.  This conversation is very relevant for anyone interested in genre writing, not just screenwriters.  We discussed everything from romantic comedy to crime, thriller, action and horror, and how various genres can be combined effectively. Listen now.

DenshamI was also lucky enough to speak with Pen Densham about his experiences working in the entertainment industry as a writer, director and producer responsible for the revivals of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, TANK GIRL, ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES and much more.  We also talked about the craft of writing for film and TV.  His book, Riding The Alligator offers terrific insight, encouragement and inspiration for writers in any medium.  Listen now.

_T3X1111Christine Conradt wrote BETRAYED AT 17, THE PERFECT NANNY and about 40 other made-for-TV and independent movies.  We had a lot of fun discussing what to expect in the Hollywood trenches – what it’s really like to be a working screenwriter in Hollywood, the nuts and bolts of what to expect when you’re hired by a producer, how to manage the relationship and respond to script notes.  (Christine also contributed a terrific exercise to Now Write! Screenwriting.) Listen now.

Laurie Lamson

Now Write! Screenwriting Panel: Sept. 23

Learn how to improve your writing from professional screenwriters.  Three of the contributors to the Now Write! Screenwriting anthology will share their exercises in the book and answer a few questions at the next Southern California Writers Conference: A Weekend for Words .

The conference is coming up September 21-23 in Laguna Beach.  These are not that cheap but really fantastic conferences for writers in all genres and mediums.

It is my honor to moderate a screenwriting panel with three Now Write! Screenwriting contributors who are coming to discuss their exercises and why they are important for you as a screenwriter.  This will be on Sunday, Sept. 23 at 10:40am with three fantastic writers:

GLENN M. BENEST is an award-winning writer/producer with seven produced film credits.  He teaches professional level screenwriting workshops which have launched five films, including SCREAM and EVENT HORIZON.  He is currently writing an ebook based on his award-winning screenplay, The Highwayman, which will be available at Amazon later in the year. (Also a contributor to upcoming Now Write! Speculative Genres)

CHRISTINE CONRADT has written more than 40 indie films and made-for-TV movies in the horror, thriller, and crime drama genre. Her films have aired on networks like FOX, Lifetime, LMN, and USA. She is the writer of SUMMER’S MOON, CHRISTIE’S REVENGE, MATERNAL OBSESSION and HOTEL CALIFORNIA. She holds a BFA in Film from USC and an MCJ in Criminal Justice from Boston University. (Also a contributor to upcoming Now Write! Speculative Genres.)  

Christine will also be doing a free teleconference for International Screenwriters Association on Saturday, Sept. 15. The topic is: Life As A Horror/Thriller Writing Professional: Find Out What It’s Really Like.

TOMMY SWERDLOW wrote the screenplay COOL RUNNINGS with his partner Michael Goldberg.  This led to credits on the family films LITTLE GIANTS, BUSHWHACKED and SNOW DOGS. Their television show, Brutally Normal, was on the WB. Tommy is also very proud of them being the original writers on SHREK.  Though it was 8 years later that the film was released, their creation of the Donkey character lives on.