A ski patrol rookie finds the lure of cold smoke an irresistible temptation. It pays to listen to the professionals.
How about something a little different for the new year?
For most, the thought of breaking trail up a snowbound mountainside only to slide back down again is one seldom dwelled upon.
But for a dedicated few, winter in the mountains is the sweet soul-food of life itself, and every storm pure mana from Ullr.
John Staats’ Cold Smoke embraces not only those few but does so with a virtual reality script. It’s a little different to what some may be used to, yet the simple storyline and crisp writing leave no doubt as to the writer’s intent.
We join a trio of ski patrollers on a dawn mission for fresh tracks. Rookie patroller, Brownie, leads the way, breaking trail under the watchful gaze of veterans Squat and Buckster. A breathless hike later and they’re staring into Hidden Canyon and two feet of pristine powder.
Brownie, with his youthful energy and cocksure approach, thinks he’s got it all figured out. But the others are soon to warn him to the finer points of mountain safety. Beneath the surface lurks a greater danger. One that no amount of experience or caution can ever fully predict.
Yet for Brownie, like countless others before him, temptation proves too great. With the call of cold smoke ringing in his soul their warnings are quickly forgotten and Brownie soon discovers that one wrong turn can (literally) bring down a whole mountain of trouble. Will Brownie live to see Taco Tuesday? Or did the rookie just call last run?
Cold Smoke is a great short script for an experienced filmmaker looking to try their hand at a new technique, or even a public body looking for an entertaining and informative way to educate the next generation of skiers and snowboarders in backcountry travel. Cold Smoke puts you right there on the mountain with fun characters and an insight that could make for an exciting and practical piece of film making.
Cold Smoke is based off an actual event whereas the character Squat was the author, John Staats. The VR format is a new frontier that he ventured into on his own free will.
About the writer: John Staats currently resides in Tucson, Arizona, after living in resort and old mining communities throughout the Rocky Mountains. A former professional ski bum and current safety manager, John writes for a creative outlet and hobby. He has completed three features and a multitude of shorts that can be found on ScriptRevolution. His feature Impasse has also been published as an e-book on Amazon. John can be contacted at jestaats(a)hotmail.
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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
About the reviewer: Steve Miles started writing scripts around five years ago after realizing that his social life was vastly overrated. He enjoys writing in a variety of genres but leans toward raw, grittier characters and the worlds they inhabit – from the deadly serious to the darkly comic. Drinks coffee, owns an unhealthy amount of plaid and uses a calculator for the most basic of sums. Check out more of his work at sjmilesscripts.webs.com