What would happen if it started snowing…but never stopped?
Jackson Parker’s plans for a weekend hunting trip with two friends are scuttled by an apocalyptic blizzard that traps them and his family in his Colorado farmhouse. What begins as a fun diversion quickly becomes a harrowing fight for survival as the unrelenting storm buries them in 30 feet of snow.
As their food runs out, Jackson and his friends hazard a journey to a nearby tavern, only to find the owner shot dead and his food stolen. In desperation, they brave a 15 mile journey to the nearest town, and join with a small band of survivors.
But nothing has prepared Jackson and his friends for the real storm about to break around them.
Deep Freeze was a story idea that came to me when I was in the seventh grade back in the mid ’70s. And I have the screenplay to prove it.
I had written short stories since I first learned how to write. Then as I grew older, my imagination really took off and I developed multiple movie ideas, even a TV series. I couldn’t shut my mind off. (And I must have been dealing with some real teen angst. One of my plotlines was of a reverse Hunger Games universe where kids dispatched of their parents, using lawnmowers that had been jerry-rigged into gatling guns. All this from a future pastor!)
While living through a brutal Milwaukee winter with my family, the question popped into my head one day: What would happen if it started snowing, but never stopped? There went my imagination once again, and for some reason – and to this day I can’t explain it – I began to feverishly write it all out. Knowing nothing of Final Draft or screenwriting format, I handwrote out an entire two-hour movie script.
Well, the story itself went into the – sorry about this…deep freeze…as I entered adulthood and got on with my life. But when I returned to writing stories in the past decade, the original concept came back round again. The story itself was unlike anything that had ever been made. I was mildly distressed when The Day After Tomorrow Came Out, but that turned out to be just a big special effects-fest that was nothing like my story, which was intimate, raw and brutal.
So…last winter (best to write a blizzard story while in the grips of the real thing) I wrote the screenplay from scratch, and am presently converting it into a novel. I have no idea if it matches my original story, which sits yet in a box in my closet, and one day soon for fun I will break it out.
Last spring I submitted Deep Freeze to a few script contests that Hollywood promotes. Most of these contests end up receiving 5,000 to 7,000 entrants. In two of the contests it received honorable mention, not quite making the quarterfinalist rolls. In late November, I received word from a third contest that the script had become a top-ten finalist for the ‘Action/Adventure’ category. Like my Iowa Hawkeyes football team, I fell just short of the ultimate prize, but still, there is something about this story that was capturing some attention.
Back when I first tried to publish Ben-Hur in the early 2000s,I didn’t know what I was doing, and I gave up quickly. Now that the writing fever has returned in force to me in the past five years and I’ve completed two additional projects, I’ve decided to go all-in on the process of helping these projects see the light of day.
A warning to my Christian friends: this is not a Christian story. This isn’t War Room. It’s a story of the warring of the human heart. Faith is imbedded in the story but it’s ‘in, with and under’ the story. The story itself, as I explain in the next section, is intimate, raw and brutal. I imagine if the Bible were filmed ‘straight from the script’, it would be disturbing to many a believer.