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Between The Flames

Wildfires are the least of her worries: a college athlete lands a job on a Hotshot Crew in the 80's where she meets her best friend plus two love interests.

We introduce Nicki (a shy college athlete) who attains an ultimate summer job during a 1985 drought with a top wildland firefighting crew called the Longdale Hotshots. On the first day, Nicki befriends another rookie; a stylish black woman named Karen and they navigate the roguish crew. Wayne, the crew boss, is a no nonsense leader backed by Tom; a badass who can out train and outstare anyone. Yet, behind their backs, Sam (a womanizing sawyer) makes a bet with crew buddies (Mitch and Chris) that he’ll seduce Nicki. Mitch and Chris put their money on Alex, a charismatic lesbian squad leader who exchanges a glance with Nicki which Sam fails to notice.

Act two covers the hellish two week training period where two rookies wash out but Nicki and Karen survive. By now, Karen and Chris start dating but Sam fails to entice Nicki. The immediate first fire dispatch leads to a one night mop up where a curious Nicki chats sexuality with Alex. Afterward, the crew gathers at a tavern where Nicki is between Alex and Sam who vie for her attention. Alex is winning until her half crazy ex-girlfriend, Greta, shows up. Jealous, Nicki tells Sam to take her home. Outside the bar, Alex watches Nicki kiss Sam then gets back with Greta. The next morning, a confused Nicki is surprised when Sam confesses real feelings but she brushes him off.

Midpoint takes us to a two week wilderness fire which presents multiple challenges like tough sod, steep inclines, lack of food, slurry drops. At fire camp, Sam tries proving himself to Nicki. Meanwhile, Karen finds out about the seduction bet and confesses it to Nicki and Alex after a close call on a cliff. Nicki confronts Sam at the next fire in California while unknown to her Alex writes to end her relationship with Greta. Sam confesses that the bet was before he fell in love and he wants a chance until Nicki confesses her futile feelings for Alex. Sam hugs Nicki and Alex misinterprets it. Act four ignites with the California fire which takes out a town, the first heli-pad and a helicopter that crashes due to a stubborn Heli-tack Boss. It fails to interrupt the work and the Longdale crew completes a complex yet suspicious line which alerts Alex, Wayne and Tom to a possible inside arsonist. The crew puts in extra safety zones and during the burn off; fears come true when the Burn Boss forces a wacky theory within the Santa Ana winds. Wayne refuses, but the Burn Boss threatens his job.

The climax builds as the crew waits during the approaching firestorm. Alex confesses her love to Nicki. Nicki also tries confessing but the winds win and the line is lost. During the chaos, Alex breaks her leg but Nicki finds her and carries her up the hill until her legs grow tired. Alex begs Nicki to drop her but Sam appears and helps as the ROARING FIRE takes over. After the burn out, the safety zone shelters look lifeless until the crew crawls out. Nicki connects with Alex, kissing her in front of the survivors while Sam vows to change his ways and find true love with someone else. FINAL SHOT: overhead fire burnout, those who survived and those who did not...

Script Excerpt
Written by:
Format:
Screenplay
Budget:
Mid
Starring Roles For:
Miley Cyrus
Brie Larson
Tessa Thompson
In the Vein Of:
Only The Brave
Always
Posted:
02/07/2021
Updated:
08/08/2021
Author Bio:
I love the movies so when my high school drama teacher suggested I write instead of act (I kept changing the lines) I took her advice. However, back in the eighties, it was hard to get a screenplay read so I took a break to gain true life experience by writing a small town golf column, fighting wildfires, trying every sport imaginable, working in an ER, boating, playing drums in several bands and oil painting until I realized what was missing and that was my original passion with screenwriting so I started again and this time, I'm here to stay.

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Contest Results:
LGBTQ Screenwriting (Third Place, LGBTQ Unbordered International Film Festival) [2021]
Artemis Festival (Finalist) [2021]