2019 Launch Pad Feature Competition – Meet The Judges


With the 2019 Launch Pad Feature Competition Open For Entries, we wanted to take a moment to introduce you to our 25 member panel of industry judges, our team of partners for the guaranteed signing and guaranteed option, and our newly announced group of mentors for this years competition.

Adrian Askarieh / Prime Universe Films

  • Producer behind the HITMAN franchise of films, including the upcoming Hulu TV series adaptation of the best-selling video game franchise.
  • Currently in development on the adaptations of the video game franchises DEUS EX, JUST CAUSE and THIEF, the comic book series’ HAWKMAN, DANGER GIRL, HEATHEN and PROPHET, as well as the feature adaptation of the hit television series JOHNNY QUEST, and the original features ALIEN SLEEPER CELL, as well as the Launch Pad winning script FRONTIERSMEN by Ben Feuer.
  • Prime Universe Films has a first look deal with Constantin Films for film and television projects.

Alana Wright / New Regency

  • New Regency is behind such commercial and critical hit films as WIDOWS, BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY, THE REVENANT and THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB.
  • The ’s upcoming films include Robert Eggers’ THE LIGHTHOUSE, Greta Gerwig’s LITTLE WOMEN and the Brad Pitt-starrer AD ASTRA.
  • The is currently in development on the Ben Affleck Ana de Armas starring DEEP WATER and the adaptation of the Andy Weir novel ARTEMIS.
  • Wright previously worked at Ridley Scott’s company Scott Free during the release of such films as ALIEN: COVENANT and MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS.

Andrew Childs / Vertigo Entertainment

  • Vertigo Entertainment is one of the most successful of all time, having produced franchises such as THE GRUDGE, THE RING, LEGO MOVIE, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, GODZILLA, and IT, as well as films such as critical hits such as THE DEPARTED and THE DISASTER ARTIST.
  • Vertigo’s upcoming releases include the adaptations of Stephen King’s IT: CHAPTER 2 and DOCTOR SLEEP, as well as the adaptation of Henry James’ TURNING.
  • Vertigo has been one of the most prolific Launch Pad partners, having picked up multiple film and television projects from our competitions and writers.
  • Childs is currently overseeing projects such as the the 2018 Black List script COBWEB, and the upcoming projects YUBA and DELILAH DIRK AND THE TURKISH LIEUTENANT.

Brandon Loureiro / Paramount Players

  • The newest division of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Players is focused on developing original projects for the audiences of Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, and Comedy Central.
  • Paramount Players’ recent releases include the comedies WHAT MEN WANT and NOBODY’S FOOL.
  • Upcoming releases include DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD, THE SPONGEBOB MOVIE: IT’S A WONDERFUL SPONGE, and film versions of the classic television series RUGRATS and ARE YOU AFRAID OF THE DARK?

Brooklyn Weaver / Energy Entertainment

  • One of the most prolific spec-selling manager/ in Hollywood, he has sold multiple Launch Pad scripts in film, television and publishing, and represented 2 of the 7 bidding wars on Launch Pad projects.
  • His include Rob Liefeld (DEADPOOL), Brad Ingelsby (RUN ALL NIGHT, OUT OF THE FURNACE), Mark Mallouk (BLACK MASS).
  • His have created the hit TV series REVERIE and EXTANT (Mickey Fisher) as well as BATES MOTEL (Anthony Cipriano).
  • Has had on the Black List, Hit List or Young & Hungry List every year since 2014.

Casey Minella / Circle of Confusion

  • Circle of Confusion include writers such as Adam Goldberg (THE GOLDBERGS), Anthony Jaswinski (THE SHALLOWS), Gary Whitta (ROGUE ONE), Jon Spaiths (PASSENGERS, DOCTOR STRANGE, PROMETHEUS), Robert Kirkman (THE WALKING DEAD) and the Wachowskis (CLOUD ATLAS, THE MATRIX).
  • Circle of Confusion produces both THE WALKING DEAD and FEAR THE WALKING DEAD as well as the upcoming series’ DAISY JONES & THE SIX, and the Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg produced CONSOLE WARS.
  • Circle of Confusion writers are staffed on such shows as LUCIFER, ANGIE TRIBECA, CHICAGO FIRE, SPEECHLESS, THE AFFAIR, CRAZY EX-GIRLFRIEND and more.

Charlie Ferraro / UTA

  • A partner at UTA, he has signed more than half a dozen Launch Pad writers in the past few years, setting up LP projects with Fox, UCP, Showtime, Disney, Sony and Netflix.
  • His include Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR), James Gunn (GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY), Diana Ossana and Larry McMurty (BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN), Gary Whitta (ROGUE ONE), Greg Mottola (SUPERBAD), and Steven Moffat (DOCTOR WHO, SHERLOCK).
  • Consistently one of the top on the spec market for more than a decade, he has also had writers appear on every major annual best of list, including 3 projects on the 2018 Black List, 4 on the 2018 Hit List, and had 6 on the 2018 Young & Hungry List.

David Boxerbaum / Verve

  • A partner at Verve, he has signed more than a dozen Launch Pad writers and has represented 4 of the 7 bidding wars for Launch Pad projects, including the 2018/2019 Launch Pad feature script JUST. ONE. KISS. which sold to Netflix.
  • Has had writers appear on every major annual best of list every year since 2013, including having 8 writers represented on the 2018 Black List and Hit List.
  • Has set up more spec scripts in the past decade than any other agent in the industry, often out-selling other and agencies 2 to 1.
  • Has signed and set up more Launch Pad projects than any other agent in the industry, and has served as a guaranteed signing partner multiple times.

Derrick Eppich / Lee Stobby Entertainment

  • Lee Stobby Entertainment not only signed the first ever Launch Pad feature and pilot winners, but has continued to be an amazing partner, signing multiple Launch Pad writers over the years and setting up their work or staffing them on shows for places such as Netflix, HBO, Fox, Chernin Entertainment, and .
  • The company represents writers such as Shay Hatten (JOHN WICK 3), Isaac Adamson (BUBBLES) and Launch Pad Alum Kate Trefry (STRANGER THINGS).

Jake Wagner / Good Fear +

  • Company represents writers such as Allison Schroeder (HIDDEN FIGURES, CHRISTOPHER ROBIN), David Mitchell (IT FOLLOWS, UNDER THE SILVER LAKE), Michael and Shawn Rasmussen (CRAWL), Tripper Clancy (STUBER) and Evan Daugherty (TOMB RAIDER, SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN).
  • Company has signed multiple Launch Pad writers over the years, including Eric Koenig (MATRIARCH) and John Wikstrom (AMA: ASK ME ANYTHING).
  • Most recently were involved in producing the films STUBER and UNDER THE SILVER LAKE, and are in development on the upcoming Disney live action remake of MULAN, the Dave Bautista starrer MY SPY, the Agatha Christie mystery AGATHA, and the Judd Apatow project BUSINESS TRIP.

Jason Tamasco / Bad Idea

  • Bad Idea’s recent projects have included the films OPENING NIGHT starring Topher Grace & Taye Diggs, THE BAD GUYS starring Glen Powell and Mekenna Melvin, and DEADTECTIVES starring Chris Genre and Martha Higareda.
  • The Company’s recent television projects include the Netflix series EL CHAPO and the Univision series TIJUANA.
  • Are currently serving as the Guaranteed Option partner for the 2019 Launch Pad Pilot Competition.

Jeff Belkin / Zero Gravity

  • Zero Gravity produces the Emmy-nominated Netflix series OZARK starring Jason Bateman and Laura Linney and will produce the upcoming Madam C.J. Walker project starring Octavia Spencer.
  • Zero Gravity has produced such films as PROUD MARY and THE ACCOUNTANT.
  • Zero Gravity have been staffed on such shows as History Channel’s SIX and Netflix’s BOJACK HORSEMAN.

Kegan Schell / Echo Lake Entertainment

  • Echo Lake include Becca Gleason (SUMMER ’03), Bharat Nalluri (THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS), Bjorn Runge (THE WIFE), and Michael Green (I AM MOTHER) amongst others.
  • Company’s have been staffed on such shows as KEVIN CAN WAIT, MAYANS MC, THE PATH, MACGYVER and more.
  • The company has produced such films as NEBRASKA and ROMEO AND JULIET, as well as the television series’ VAN HELSING on SyFy and the upcoming Hulu series THE GREAT.
  • Upcoming Echo Lake projects include the films ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES starring Elle Fanning and Justice Smith, THE SECRETS WE KEEP starring Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman, and KATE starring Woody Harrelson and Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

Matthew Goldberg / Mgold Productions

  • Newly minted company Mgold was launched by executive Matthew Goldberg after working for management/production company Gotham Group and production company Davis Entertainment.
  • While working at Davis Entertainment, Goldberg oversaw projects such as Netflix’s DOLEMITE Disney’s JUNGLE CRUISE.

Michael Sauvage / UTA

  • After working his way up through the mailroom, Michael became the motion picture literary coordinator for UTA, with an additional focus in animation & media rights for the .
  • UTA was the top represented on the 2018 Young & Hungry List, with 21 writers appearing, and was the second-most successful on the 2018 Hit List with 15 projects.
  • UTA has signed more than half a dozen Launch Pad writers in the past few years, setting up Launch Pad projects with Fox, Sony, UCP and Netflix.

Mike Blutstein / John Goldwyn Productions

  • John Goldwyn Productions has produced films such as MASTERMINDS, I’M NOT THERE, THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY and MACGRUBER, as well as the award-winning television series’ DEXTER and MANHUNT: UNABOMBER.
  • The company is currently in development on the upcoming adaptation of the seminal Broadway musical GUYS AND DOLLS.

Nicole Poritzky / Mandeville Films

  • Mandeville has produced hit films such as WONDER, STRONGER, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and the DIVERGENT franchise, as well as television series’ THE FIX, WICKED CITY, DETROIT 1-8-7 and MONK.
  • The company is currently in development on the Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones starring THE AERONAUTS, the Jim Carrey starring ALEISTER ARCANE and the live action adaptation of HUNCHBACK.

Noah Rosen / Writ Large

  • A partner at Writ Large, Rosen represent such as Allison Moore (GOD FRIENDED ME), Ally Musika (GOOD TROUBLE), Ben Ketai (THE STRANGERS: PREY AT NIGHT), Denise Hahn (THE FIX), Chris Parker (HEAVEN IS FOR REAL), Josh Stoddard (THE SHANNARA CHRONICLES), and David A. Newman & Keith Merryman (THINK LIKE A MAN) amongst others.
  • Writ Large produced the Emmy-nominated television series THE ACT for Hulu.

Samantha Shear / Zoic Studios

  • Formerly one of the largest visual effects studios in the world, Zoic has now expanded into a full service film and television production company, with a focus on both live action and animation projects.
  • Zoic has provided visual effects for projects such as AVENGERS, MOTHER!, GAME OF THRONES and more, winning 8 Emmy Awards and 8 Visual Effects Society Awards.
  • Zoic’s upcoming slate includes the adaptations of Christopher Golden’s novel SNOWBLIND, and Natalie Standiford’s THE SECRET TREE, the original feature WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS by Tasha Huo.
  • Prior to joining Zoic, Shear had set up Katherine Applegate’s novel CRENSHAW with James Mangold at Fox, and the Malik Evans and Richard Sparkman graphic novel BLACKSMITH at NBC.

Steven Snyder / Innisfree Pictures

  • Innisfree is the production company of Jim Burke, who previously has produced films such as GREEN BOOK, DOWNSIZING, THE DESCENDANTS, and CEDAR RAPIDS.
  • The company, which has a first look deal with Focus Features, produced the Oscar-winning film GREEN BOOK.
  • The company is currently in development on Alexander Payne’s THE JUDGE’S WILL, DREAMIN’ WILD based on Steven Kurutz’s Fruitland article, Craig Brewer’s THE COMEBACK and he upcoming Showtime television series KILROY COUNTY.

Tom Carter / Artillery Creative

  • A longtime Launch Pad judge and partner, Carter has previously signed several writers from the competitions, and set up LP projects at Paramount, NBC, UCP, HBO and CBS.
  • He is producing the upcoming adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s Hugo and Nebula Award-winning book DAWN with director Ava DuVernay, as well as the upcoming Mahershala Ali project BURN.
  • Clients have staffed for shows on Netflix, NBC, HBO, TNT, USA, CBS, Fox, and Freeform, and some of those staffed have included include LP writers Jenny Deiker, Annabelle Seymour, David Hoffman and Migizi Pensoneau, amongst others.

Travis Mauk / Smart Entertainment

  • Smart Entertainment’s team have been involved in producing films such as TED, TED 2, THE BOY NEXT DOOR, BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA and BLADES OF GLORY, as well as the television series’ THE CLEVELAND SHOW, FAMILY GUY and AMERICAN DAD.
  • The company is currently in development on the Mark Wahlberg starring THE SWITCH, the Kevin Hart starring DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW and the Reese Witherspoon starring HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
  • Clients include Salvador Paskowitz (AGE OF ADALINE) and Danny Passman (OUR WILD LIFE).

Will Raynor / Mandalay Pictures

  • Mandalay has produced such acclaimed films as BERNIE, THE BIRTH OF A NATION and MARK FELT: THE MAN WHO BROUGHT DOWN THE WHITE HOUSE.
  • Produced the Netflix film LITTLE EVIL starring Adam Scott and Evangeline Lilly and has three more films in production for the streaming service.
  • Producing the highly anticipated directorial debut of acclaimed costume designer Courtney Hoffman, THE GOOD TIME GIRLS, starring Bruce and Laura Dern.

Zack Zucker / Bellevue Productions

  • One of the best spec-selling management companies in town, Bellevue has consistently appeared toward the top of every major year-end list for the past three years.
  • Bellevue is producing the upcoming Madonna biopic BLONDE AMBITION for Universal as well as the horror film ELI with Intrepid Pictures.
  • Bellevue had 6 on the 2018 Young & Hungry List and represented 5 projects on the 2018 Hit List.


Want to learn more about the the Oscar-winning writers joining us as mentors, or the powerhouse manager and commited to optioning and signing writers from this years competition, click the links below to dig deeper…




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