MELODY COOPER

About Me

Weaned at a young age on sci fi and horror, I had no choice but to happily become a genre screenwriter.  My dad was a science teacher who introduced me to science fiction, and my mother was an english teacher and poet who loved Poe and Lovecraft. I read my first Stephen King book on a camping trip when I was a kid. In the dark. In a tent. In the woods. My work has won or placed in several competitions. I'm very excited to have I've been selected for the 10-month 2019 HBO Access Writing Program. I'm currently working on a Sci Fi project with Jane Fleming and Mark Ordesky (producer of the LORD OF THE RINGS films), and have been selected for a Summer 2019 writer's residency at Yaddo in New York.

 

 

 

My latest feature screenplay, NORTHERN CROSS, a dramatic thriller with magical realism, is the Grand Jury Prize Winner for Best Screenplay at the 2018 Urbanworld Film Festival.

 

My feature screenplay THE SOUND OF DARKNESS, is a supernatural thriller about the disturbing fact that there are 64,000 missing Black women in the U.S., and such little attention is paid to them. The script was winner of the 2017 Tangerine Entertainment Fellowship at Stowe Story Labs, and was selected for the 2017 New York Stage & Film Filmmaking Workshop. In 2016 it was selected for AMC Network’s Shudder Labs, from which I received a grant, and it was chosen for the 2016 Meryl Streep/IRIS Writers Lab.  Taking to heart Ava Duvernay's advice to not wait for permission, I recently directed a short/proof of concept of THE SOUND OF DARKNESS (in post production) with a mostly female crew, including Cybel Martin as DP. To raise awareness about the film's issues, I've partnered with the Black and Missing Foundation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.soundofdark.com


My feature script, MONSTROUS, has been selected by the La Napoule Arts Foundation for development in a 2018 writer's residency in France. It also won the 2016 Women in Cinema International Screenplay Competition and Third Place in the 2014 Slamdance Competition.

I love to  to multi-platform, so I  wrote and co-produced the pilot for the sci fi web series THE NEXT ITERATION, and I have several TV pilots that I'm developing with Circle of Confusion.

 

Other screenplays:  BREAKING THE FOURTH, a sci fi/thriller, Winner, 2010 Woodshole Film Festival. THE DEVIL YOU KNOW, Finalist , 2012 Creative World Award,  International Sci Fi and Horror Film Festival, and British Horror Film Festival.

www.OriginsFilms.com

 

As a woman of color who creates genre work  that has a social/political focus, a few years ago I felt the need to create ORIGINS, a group I founded that's dedicated to the creation and promotion of Black Visionary film, TV and Web series (Afrofuturism, horror and fantasy). Members include amazing award-winning writers like Tananarive Due (British Fantasy and NAACP Image Award) and Nnedi Okorafor (Nebula Award).

 

An award-winning playwright as well, my full-length play, SWEET MERCY, which deals with the genocides in Rwanda and Darfur, was developed by NY Stage & Film (starring Danai Gurira of THE WALKING DEAD) and was a Semi-finalist for  A Room of Her Own's Shakespeare's Sister Fellowship in 2014.  One of the most  extraordinary experiences in my life was when I received a Ford Foundation grant and travelled to Rwanda to develop the play.

 

In 2013, I was commissioned by Vital Theatre to write the book of the musical SHOW WAY, about quilts that showed the way to freedom from slavery (based on the Newbery Award-winning book by Jacqueline Woodson). The musical received rave reviews in its three month run in NYC and was nominated for an Off Broadway Alliance Award.  

 

 

 

 

My play ABSOLUTE MAGNITUDE, about 4 historical female astronomers trapped in a time warp, was commissioned by 365 Women  a Year: A Playwriting Project, and was a Sloan New Play Finalist.

 

Other Theater Work:  TRUTH BE TOLD, produced by Ensemble Studio Theatre’s 2009 Going to the River Festival, included in selection of new works by Kia Corthron and Lynn Nottage. Jane Chambers Award for my first play, DAY OF RECKONING, about the forgotten 19th century Black, Labor activist Lucy Parsons, which was produced by MultiStages and Five Points in NYC, and New Theatre in Miami.  

 

And because, why not?...I worked as a professional actress in NYC for a few years in Off Broadway and downtown productions.

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