The Pacific Screenwriting Program (PSP) is pleased to announce Writer/Producer/Director Robert Cooper as Showrunner for the 2020 Scripted Series Lab. Cooper will be a mentor to six up-and-coming BC-based screenwriters selected to participate in next year’s program starting in January 2020. With Cooper leading the story room, they will work together to develop his original series in the PSP’s flagship training program now in its second year. Combining real-world story room experience, mentorship, boot camps, workshops and information sessions, the program equips writers with the skills, experience and connections necessary to establish a sustainable career in the province’s dynamic screen industry. The Pacific Screenwriting Program is a collaboration between Netflix, CMPA, the Writer’s Guild of Canada and Creative BC.
“We are tremendously excited to welcome Robert Cooper as this year’s showrunner for the Scripted Series Lab. Rob has been a key member of the PSP community from the very outset and has demonstrated time and again his commitment to developing and mentoring upcoming screenwriters,” said Brian Hamilton, PSP Board Chair. “Rob’s track record creating and showrunning world-class television series speaks for itself. We are extremely fortunate to work with him as this year’s SSL showrunner.” Robert Cooper most recently created, wrote and directed episodes of CBC’s Unspeakable, following Canada’s tainted blood scandal. A lifelong dream project, the mini-series recently won the Leo Award for best dramatic series. Previously, he served as showrunner of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for BBC America, Netflix and AMC Studios, and is probably best known for having been showrunner of the record-breaking Stargate television franchise for MGM.
He co-created Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe and served as executive producer, writer, and director of multiple episodes of all three series and two DTV movies. Cooper has been nominated and won several awards for both writing and directing, including two Hugo nominations and a Canadian Writer’s Guild award for best dramatic screenplay. In 2009, he was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award for contribution to the British Columbia television industry.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for me to develop an original idea with a room of eager, talented minds,” said Cooper. “Everyone involved with the PSP wants to see a more vibrant community of experienced screenwriters able to work and ultimately create home grown television series right here in BC. The passion for storytelling is clear in the applicants for this year’s program. I'm looking forward to us learning from each other.”
The Scripted Series Lab is a 15-week intensive training program providing support and career- advancement opportunities for active and aspiring screenwriters from across British Columbia, where they receive the necessary support to expand their portfolio and pursue opportunities in the evolving TV marketplace. Throughout the program, participants hone their craft, strengthen their collaboration and presentation skills, and obtain a deeper understanding of the global television industry and how to market themselves within it. As the Scripted Series Lab showrunner, Cooper will mentor the six selected participants within a real-world story room over 10 weeks, breaking stories and writing scripts for the original project he brings to the room and will subsequently be pitching to streamers and networks around the world.
Courtesy of Sharon Warren
Photo by Jeff Weddel