Show Low, Pinetop, Lakeside and the White Mountains of Arizona

Coop - Script

Joe Leone is an American Screenwriter with nearly 6 years of experience as a Marketing Coordinator for Paramount Pictures Motion Picture Marketing Administration and another year as a Story Analyst for Prelude Pictures and Kamin & Howell Entertainment. While attending Chapman University in Orange, California, I produced an award winning student film, which was purchased and distributed by Pyramid Films (Santa Monica, CA).

Screenwriter of COOP (FEATURE FILM SCREENPLAY) - selected in (17) Film Festival/Screenplay Competitions in the past 3 months, which include: (3) Award Wins, (6) Finalist Selections, (2) Semi-Finalist, and a Quarterfinalist Placement to date.

COOP - Feedback received from the Austin Screenplay Awards - Analysis/Coverage (02/08/2020): Call me a sucker for dog stories, but COOP struck me as the type of narrative that’s made to tug at the emotions. The writer really does a great job of this without getting too heavy handed in the delivery. That’s not as easy a task as it sounds with a plot that has a career ending surgery, abused dogs, and the comeback story of a lifetime. All of these plot points beg for hokey speeches and cheesy dialogue, but the writer does a great job of presenting these plot points with grounded realism. The writer certainly embraces the dramatic elements, but doesn’t overplay them to the point of parody. It all amounts to a very touching story made of equal parts heartwarming healing journey and crushing loss. The dialogue really is one of the easiest aspects of the script to fall in love with because the writer is so great at imparting a sense of individuality to the characters.

There are a wide variety of personality types on display in this script, but the writer effortlessly flirts between different styles, verbal quirks, motivations, and manners of speech with ease. They also don’t shy away from conflict in dialogue, making what could otherwise be mundane conversations filled with tension. Watching the various combinations of characters interact was a genuine joy, as each maintained their motivations and backstories when speaking, not just gabbing away to deliver exposition or expedite the plot. Of course we do get exposition in the dialogue, but it’s masked with personality and proper character motivation, keeping the level of authenticity in the conversation high. In this script, dialogue is a tool for understanding character, not just developing the plot.

Overall, this script succeeds because it maximizes the drama inherent to the concept and setting. The writer has a great understanding of when to let moments breathe for maximal effect and when to inject the writing with energy, short sentences, and active word choice to convey tension and forward momentum. It all amounts to an engrossing tone that I could lose myself in. There’s a lot of complexity to this narrative, not always in the plot points, but in the character development and relationships. It makes the script feel dense and meaningful, worth another read even to parse through the heady questions it raises. Still the real entertainment is in Gabriel and Coop’s journey. This central relationship holds the whole script together.

Logline: An inspirational drama about a disabled dog who assists a recently disabled young athlete find renewed purpose in his life.

Summary: A young track star (Gabriel Gonzales) with Olympic aspirations and a very promising future, loses his legs from the knees down, in a tragic car accident. His Mother, concerned with her son’s well-being, takes Gabriel to an animal shelter that rescues beaten and abused animals. A Golden Retriever, named COOP, grabs his attention. Inspired with the “never quit / never say never” attitude that Coop exhibits, and a recommendation from his Orthopedic Specialist, Gabriel looks into acquiring Blade Prosthetics that will allow him to run fast, very fast, once again. Along with his High School Track Coach (Gene Sanderson) and a dog that is full of life and spirit, they aid Gabe in pursuit of his Olympic dream at the 2028 Los Angeles Paralympics.

After qualifying in the US Paralympic Trials, Gabe learns that Coop is very sick. He races home, only to learn that Coop has stomach cancer. Gabe decides to stick by his best friend, until the end. However, he promises to dedicate an Olympic victory in honor and memory of his pal “Coop.”


Joe Leone