Launch Pad writer and alumni Julia Cooper, who wrote the PHANTASMAGORIA pilot script for this year’s pilots competition, has signed with Laura Leonard and Meredith Bajana of Grandview. She quickly rose through the ranks of the competition to become a semifinalist with her script.
Pitched as Penny Dreadful meets Ghostbusters, the script for Phantasmagoria follows a team of con artists passing themselves off paranormal investigators in Victorian London. But when they come face-to-face with real supernatural forces, they’re forced to use the knowledge they’ve pretended to have, as well as a little magic, to fight back against evil.
Our Launch Pad readers called the script “delightfully entertaining” and “irresistibly fun,” drawing on familiar tropes from mystery and supernatural stories, but with a new spin. The characters are instantly likable, bringing together a whole slew of interesting personalities, especially when they’re together as a team. There’s enough drama, suspense, and comedy to keep audiences coming back week after week, as well as spooks to keep them up at night.
Cooperman currently works as the writers’ assistant on Colony, a drama series in its second season on USA Network. She holds undergraduate degrees in Literature, Psychology, and Screenwriting from the University of Southern California and the heroines that she encountered in the writings of Woolf, Forster, and James inspired the protagonist of Phantasmagoria. Cooperman’s writing has been honored in the 2014 New Short Fiction Series’ Emerging Voices showcase, placed in the Final Draft Big Break and PAGE screenwriting competitions, and ranked in the semifinals of the 2016 ABC | Disney Writing Program. Most recently, the latest draft of Phantasmagoria received the Bronze Award for TV Drama Pilot in the PAGE International Screenwriting Award.
She joins several 2016 Launch Pad writers who have signed with agents and managers, including The Mother’s Laura Bensick (who also signed with UTA), Valedictorian writer Jimmy Mosqueda, The Game writer Justin Jacobs, and Saturday Night Live writer and scribe behind GILFs Kristen Bartlett.
To see the complete list of finalists of our 2016 Launch Pad Pilot Competition click here. To learn more about the Launch Pad Pilots Competition, which is currently taking submissions for 2017, click here.
Anya Crittenton | Associate Editor