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  • Writer's pictureMelody Cooper

SUNDOWN: The Pilot

Updated: May 18, 2019

Inspired by a friend who is one of the co-creators of the Marvel comic book Spider-Man Noir, I'm posting my supernatural TV Pilot SUNDOWN here on my blog for all to read. The pilot is part of a larger project I've been developing over the past couple of years that includes a feature film and a pending graphic novel. It's a script tha advanced in several labs and competitions in 2018 including Sundance Episodic Lab and:

It was one of my writing samples for the 2019 HBO Access Writing Program, for which I'm now a semi-finalist. I created a mood/concept video and a series bible for it. The TV series is a 20th century prequel and back story for my award-winning feature MONSTROUS, which is set in present-day NYC. When I first started working on SUNDOWN, I specifically set the pilot in 1938 Los Angeles, and have done deep dive research into the time period and the specific social political dynamics in LA in that era.

I was selected for a month-long writers residency by La Napoule Arts Foundation in March 2018 to further research multi-ethnic folklore and edit the south of a haunted castle by the sea (which I wrote about on this blog in earlier posts).

Why post about it?

Because my work is already out there, has been read and passed around. And as my colleagues always tell me, with so many platforms, producers and studios looking for new work, why not control my own content and tell my own story? Originally written in 2017, in an hour-long format.

Coming soon...SUNDOWN's own website, and the graphic novel, created by some incredible women and artists of color.


LOGLINE: In 1938, a young Black man finds that terror reigns for any person of color caught in a Sundown Town after dark...even in Los Angeles County.  But a unique group of monsters is about to change that as they seek justice and a home in America for their own kind.



"N*gger, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on You in Hawthorne"

This actual sign existed in Los Angeles County in the sundown town of Hawthorne.

SUNDOWN is a complex drama and supernatural adventure about those considered “Other” who try to find a home in a world hostile to them. In the first season, SUNDOWN starts with a murder in 1938. We follow Marcus, a bold, passionate young Black man whose cousin falls victim to violent racism. Within 24 hours a mysterious stranger comes to town, a Mexican named Camaz, who knows Marcus' aunt. Furious and despondent about his cousin, Marcus learns Camaz is much more than what he seems, and has come to town to bring a brand new kind of justice. Camaz is joined by a Filipina, an Irish woman, and a Native American man. Although disguised as such, none of them are human. They are folklore monsters we've rarely seen before:

Mexico's Death Bat named Camazotz

The Philippine's horrifying Manananggal

Ireland's demonic Caoránach

The deadly Native American Two-Face

And in a jar, waiting to be released, is Ghana's vampiric Adze

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