Screenwriter and Author
Hi there! I'm Susan and I'm mostly known as a screenwriter.
I like to sit quietly at my desk and tell stories using pretty words and flawed characters.
Sometimes folks want to know what I'm up to, so I made a website. I'm only slightly comfortable with this notion.
Thanks for stopping by. I owe you a beer.
Little Swimmers in Great Lakes
a novel by Susan Brightbill
I am a screenwriter, film producer, novelist, Cheesehead and lover of salty snacks.
I write a little bit of everything – movies, TV shows, books, to-do lists and silly notes to a rambunctious five-year-old. Everything I write has a little comedy and a lot of heart. When I write, my goal is to make you feel something. If you laugh, cry or want to punch someone (preferably not me) I’ve done my job.
I’ve been a WGA writer for fifteen years – selling projects to Warner Brothers, Disney, Paramount, Fox 2000, CBS, ABC, WB TV, Arnold Kopelson Prods, Lifetime and Hallmark. I’ve also been hired to write movies for Rachel Weisz, Tea Leoni and David Duchovny.
My script “Wrecking Ball” was on the prestigious Black List and has been my calling card in LA for years. We are gearing up to shoot it in 2023. Please send thoughts, prayers and money. :)
I’ve also written two books --“The True Adventures of a Terrible Dater" which was developed as a TV show at CBS, and “Little Swimmers in Great Lakes” which will be out in the summer of 2023.
Fall - 2022
Huge thanks to the McKnight Foundation and the Walker Museum for hosting a fun evening with the McKnight fellows in Media Arts. I've written two new scripts during my fellowship and I can't wait to get them out into the world. It was an honor to be part of this creative club and I'm inspired by my fellow fellows. Please enjoy this headshot where I look like I work in an office.
Fall - 2021
Super exciting news! "Sold Out" (the first movie I ever wrote and definitely the first movie I ever produced) has been picked up for worldwide distribution by Indie Rights. Woot woot. AND you can now stream on Amazon here. Years of work went into this. We are still recovering. It was pure joy to premiere it at Twin Cities Film Fest and finally share it with family and friends. I hope you love it. If so, please rate and review on Amazon and Rotten Tomatoes. If you don't love it, no worries. Just keep it to yourself. ;)
Summer - 2021
Well, this is some fun news. I’ve been chosen as a recipient of the McKnight Fellowship in Media Arts.
This is a huge honor and I’m in incredible company – both past and present. You can read the formal announcement here. Bottom line, I’m filled with gratitude and will be squealing with excitement about
this for the rest of the year. Also, I may need to put together an actual outfit. Please send help.
Spring - 2021
I’m having fun working with my friends at Everywhere Studios developing a movie that will likely air on Lifetime in 2022. It’s tentatively titled “The Signs of Christmas” and will star the wonderful Andrea Ferrell, who you may know from “Seventh Heaven” and a little movie called “Jerry Maguire.” It’s too early to spike the eggnog, but check back soon for updates.
I'm thrilled to announce that the feature film I wrote and produced, "Sold Out" is finally finished and was accepted into some cool film festivals like MSPIFF, New Hope and Twin Cities. However, due to the pandemic, all festival plans are on hold. We'll sit tight at home, wearing our masks and dreaming of the day we can safely share the movie with cast, crew and you. I'll post updates here or check out our website at https://www.soldoutmovie.com.
2019 has been a phenomenal year. We produced the first script I ever wrote called “Sold Out.” It’s a music-based drama about a female talent scout who takes a down-on-his-luck construction worker under her wing and helps him rise to his potential as a singer/songwriter.
We filmed the entire thing in Minneapolis during the second coldest winter in history. We worked our tails off, made lifelong friends and managed to keep all of our toes. We’re currently in post-production. With a bit of luck, it will sell in the spring and be in theaters in 2020. If you want to follow along, here’s the link to our Facebook page: Sold-Out-the-movie
Also, if you like movies with a (*spoiler alert*) happy ending, check out “Holiday Hearts” on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries. It’s based on Barbara Ankrum’s beautiful book “The Christmas Wish.” It was my first time writing or watching a Hallmark movie. They have a very loyal fan base, so it was an honor to be invited into their happy world. It’s going to run about a thousand times, so tune in anytime in the next five years. :)
What I'm listening to:
If you know me, I probably made you a mix tape at some point. I served as the Music Supervisor on “Sold Out” and it brought together my love of two things – music and film. I hope to be able to do this on more projects. If you’re curious what I’m listening to, this page is for you. If you like what you hear, please support these artists directly.
I’ll start with this version of “Hurricane Lamp” by my friend Jeffrey Foucault. He's an incredible singer/songwriter who has toured the world and befriended artists like John Prine, Don Henley and Lori McKenna. I’ve known him since he played my sister’s wedding a few decades ago. He was kind enough to let us use some of his songs in “Sold Out.” This is one of my faves.