Yellowstone Volcano Screenplay
Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.



Out of Yellowstone

a screenplay

by Hilma L. Volk

Screenplay Registered WGAw No. 987160

Copyright 2004 All Rights Reserved

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                            Out of Yellowstone
                              by Hilma Volk



                                                     FADE IN:

               EXT.  OLD FAITHFUL GEYSER - DAY

               The famous geyser spouts.



               MONTAGE 

               BEGIN MONTAGE showing Yellowstone National Park as beautiful,
               wild and vast, full of wildlife and unique features, as well
               as having crowds of people.

               END MONTAGE     



               EXT.  ARTIST POINT - DAY

               Lower Yellowstone Falls jewels the magnificent Grand Canyon
               of the Yellowstone.  

               ASSORTED VISITORS at the overlook take in the grandeur.



               EXT.  RIM NEAR ARTIST POINT - SAME  

               TWO YOUNG MEN (19) walk along the wide trail along the rim. 
               The first young man ignores the warning signs (international
               symbol for a person falling off a cliff) and leaves the trail
               to stand on the edge.   The second young man joins him. 
               They're not the first, it is well worn.



               EXT.  ARTIST POINT OVERLOOK - DAY 

               The earth shakes, only for a couple seconds.  The assorted
               visitors react in combinations of wonder and fear.

               Loose rocks chatter down the canyon walls.

               The visitors scurry toward the parking lot.



               EXT.  RIM NEAR ARTIST POINT - DAY 

               The earth shakes.  The first young man slips and grabs the
               second one for balance.  They both fall, vainly grabbing for
               handholds on the jagged slide down.   

               They land crumpled 30 feet below on a narrow precarious
               ledge.  One slip and it's a 1000 foot deadly decent to the
               churning Yellowstone River below.  Both are scraped up and in
               pain.  They strain to maintain a grip.

               A LITTLE LATER

               A CROWD has gathered where the young men fell and where
               Ranger ROBIN TAYLOR (43) expertly sets up climbing ropes,
               using trees that are about five feet from the edge as
               anchors.  She's tall, athletic, naturally pretty without
               makeup, which she never wears anyway.

               SIRENS wail.

               THREE more RANGERS (males, 20's) join in. 

               Quickly Robin double checks the climbing setup, clips herself
               in, and grabs the coiled free part of a rope.  Webbing,
               cramming devices and other climbing gear dangle from her
               harness.  On her back, her pack sports first aid crosses.

               Intrepidly standing at the very edge, she yells down.

                                   ROBIN
                         Watch your heads, I'm throwing a
                         rope.
                             (beat)
                         Rope!

               The rope sails out.

               Robin dons a climbing helmet, nimbly rappels down, and softly
               lands on the ledge.

               The first young man looks up at her in a mixture of relief
               and fear.

                                   FIRST YOUNG MAN
                         I, I can't move my legs.

               The very pale second young man, clings to the rock wall with
               his one good arm.  The other is painfully tucked close with
               his thumb hooked around his T-shirt collar.  

               A tiny headset allows her to talk into her two-way radio.

                                   ROBIN
                             (into radio)
                         Probable back injury.  Send down
                         down the backboard with the Stokes.



               A LITTLE LATER

               Above them, two male rangers rappel slowly down with the
               Stokes stretcher.

               One of their boots kicks loose a rock.

                                   MALE RANGER #1 (V.O.)
                         Rock!

               Coolly, Robin hunches to protect the first young man and
               simultaneously pulls up the pack to cover her neck.

               The angular rock hits the wall right above her and bounces
               off, just missing her head.

               The rock sails off into the magnificent abyss.

               A LITTLE LATER

               The first young man lies on the backboard, immobilized by the
               cravats.  A cervical collar circles his neck.

               Robin and the two rangers lift the backboard to put the first
               young man in the Stokes, but the narrowness of the ledge
               makes this very awkward.

               Ranger #1's boot slips.  The board tilts steeply.  Terrified,
               the young man in the stretcher screams.

                                   FIRST YOUNG MAN
                         Nooo!

                                   ROBIN
                         You're fine.

               Recovered, Ranger #1 and Robin exchange "that was a close
               one" glances.

               Bits of the rim above break loose.  Dirt and rock cascade
               down on top of them.  

               The group on the ropes hang motionless, then gradually begin
               to stir. 

                                   MALE RANGER #1
                             (shakily)
                         Are you okay?



               EXT.  PARKING LOT NEAR ARTIST POINT - DAY

               Up on the rim, a PARAMEDIC closes the ambulance door.  

               Robin, no longer in climbing harness or other gear, carries a
               coiled rope toward the cars.  TIM, 45, a stocky, still boyish
               faced Park Policeman, struts up and offers a high-five.

                                   TIM
                         Alright, Robin.  Way to go, kid.

               With a hint of disdain, Robin matter-of-factly returns the
               high-five.



               EXT.  HEADQUARTERS BUILDING - DAY

               The Park Headquarters sign identifies the building.



               INT.  HEADQUARTERS - DAY

               Park Superintendent REX MONTGOMERY stands leaning wearily
               over the pages of a thick report that's on a file cabinet. 
               Rex, 50, handsome, with his tan and trimmed mustache has the
               look of a distinguished outdoorsman.

               MIKE, late 40's, Assistant Park Superintendent, travels from
               his office to the door.

                                   MIKE
                         Good night, Rex.  See you in the
                         morning.  Oh, that's right, I guess
                         I won't.

                                   REX
                         No, you've got the helm for the
                         next two days.

               Mike is almost out the door.

                                   REX
                         Say Mike, I'm going fishing.  Care
                         to join me?

                                   MIKE
                         Aah, can't.  The kids have
                         softball, first game of the season. 
                         Another time, hey?

                                   REX
                         Sure.

               Mike leaves.  Rex dejectedly closes the report.



               EXT.  A FISHING RIVER - LATE DAY

               The river runs pristine and pure.  Upstream, dressed in
               waders and other typical garb, Rex fly fishes.  He has the
               stream all to himself.

               The casts are perfect, and A SERIES OF SHOTS show what fly
               fishing dreams are made of.

               Rex brings in another trout and maneuvers it into the landing
               net.

               This is a really nice fish.  Any fisherman would be
               exhilarated, but Rex is not.  With a deep sad sigh he
               carefully releases it and watches it swim off.

               He forlornly puts up his fly.  Reeling in, he heads for
               shore.



               INT.  REX'S HOUSE - DUSK

               In the front entry way, Rex finishes putting away his fishing
               gear.

               Walking in, he glances at the pieces of junk mail in his
               hands and tosses them into a waste basket.

               Followed by his ENGLISH SETTER, he moves to the small
               entertainment center in the living room, scratches the dog's
               ears a couple times, then turns on the CD player.  The MUSIC
               is soft.

               The government house is neat and nicely furnished, nothing
               extravagant.  The few pictures that we see on the walls are
               either wildlife or mountain scenery.  There are a couple
               outdoor pieces around, like a carved trout on an end table.

               As Rex walks on, his eyes lock longingly on the two 5x7
               framed pictures on his desk.  They are of two boys, about 13
               and 16.  He reaches for the telephone and begins to dial. 
               Then he thinks better of it and hangs up.

               His finger flicks one picture face down, then the other. 
               They join an 8x10 already face down.



               EXT.  ENTRANCE TO GARDINER, MONTANA - DAY

               Robin's Jeep Wrangler cruises out of the park toward the
               village.  A golden retriever, BEAU, hangs his head out the
               passenger side window.



               EXT.  STREET IN GARDINER, MONTANA - DAY

               Outside a cafe in Gardiner, Beau sits on the driver's side of
               the parked Jeep. 
               The back windows are plastered with decals of an assortment
               of environmental groups plus those of mountaineering, rock
               climbing, kayaking clubs, etc. 



               INT.  A CAFE IN GARDINER - DAY

               In a booth, Robin, now dressed in jeans and a Polar Fleece
               sweater, drinks a glass of milk with her dinner as she reads
               the small local paper.

               Tim, the Park Policeman, (still in uniform) slides in.

                                   TIM
                         May I join you?

               Robin indifferently gestures that it's okay.

               SAL, the waitress, flirtatiously comes over with a glass of
               water and an order pad.  She chews gum and wears a little red
               and white checkered apron over her blouse and blue jeans. 
               She's in her mid-20's.

                                   SAL
                         Oooh.  It's Terrible Tim with a
                         capital T.

               Tim is unimpressed.

                                   TIM
                         Hey, Sal.  Um, I'll have...

                                   TIM AND SAL
                             (in unison)
                         A cheeseburger, fries, and a large
                         coke.

                                   ROBIN
                         Ah, adventures in cuisine.

               Sal goes away, hips swaying.

                                   TIM
                         How did you get involved today?

                                   ROBIN
                         I happened to be there.  I just
                         finished playing tour guide to a
                         geology class from Michigan State. 
                         You know, one of those vacations
                         for college credit.

               She leans back with a faint self-satisfied smile.

                                   ROBIN
                         It's nice to play rescue.  I don't
                         get to do much of that anymore.  As
                         if I ever did.

                                   TIM
                         I had a good one the other day. 
                         The guy had scalding burns on 40
                         percent of his body.

                                   ROBIN
                         Fell through the crust in a thermal
                         area?

                                   TIM
                         No, he was an inept chef at the Old
                         Faithful Inn.

               Robin snickers, resumes her straight face, then snickers
               again.  They both laugh.

                                   TIM
                         Would you like to go to the play
                         tonight?

                                   ROBIN
                         I saw it last week.  Cute.  That
                         Summer Stock puts on a good
                         performance.

                                   TIM
                         Who'd you go with?

                                   ROBIN
                             (Southern Belle accent)
                         Why just little ol' me.

               Tim shakes his head and eyes her in exasperation.

                                   TIM
                         How can you do that, Robin, just go
                         alone everywhere?

                                   ROBIN
                         Well I would have taken Beau, but
                         they kind of discriminate against
                         dogs.

               A sudden jolt RATTLES plates.

               MURMURING and EXCLAMATIONS exude from other restaurant
               PATRONS.

               Robin calmly eyes the swaying hanging plant. 

                                   TIM
                         Humm.  Been a lot of those lately.
                             (pause)
                         You wanna do something else?

                                   ROBIN
                         Nawh.  I'm gonna take Beau for a
                         run in the National Forest.  Then
                         I've gotta pack for a two day
                         meeting in the Tetons.

                                   TIM
                         What kind of meeting?

                                   ROBIN
                         Oh, a bunch of big wigs from
                         Washington are coming to Jackson
                         Hole, Secretary of the Interior and
                         all that.  They're getting briefed
                         by us and the Grand Teton folks on
                         priority National Park issues.  
                         It's really just an excuse to get
                         out of Washington.

               Robin finishes the last of her dinner.

                                   TIM
                         Why are you involved in that?

                                   ROBIN
                         I'm basically the Park's PR person. 
                         Rex has only been here a few
                         months, and you know how wishy
                         washy Mike is. I may not be good at
                         one-on-one conversation, but give
                         me an audience and, hey, I'm
                         golden.  I'll baffle 'em with my
                         brilliant bullshit, as usual.

               Tim contemplates that last sentence.  Sal returns with his
               order and runs her fingers up his arm.

                                   SAL
                         Did you feel me shake the earth for
                         you?

                                   TIM
                         You sure didn't shake your tail for
                         me.

                                   SAL
                             (naughtily)
                         I can do that.

                                   ROBIN
                         Be seeing you.

               Leaving a tip, Robin gets up and walks away.

                                   TIM
                         Say "Hi" to Rover for me.

               Robin ignores the remark.  She doesn't look back.  Tim's gaze
               wistfully follows her.



               INT.  ROBIN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT

               It's dark except the glow of the alarm clock which reads
               3:12.  Beau BARKS AND HOWLS.  Robin switches on the lamp on
               the night stand.  

               Robin gets up trying to figure out why Beau is frantic.

                                   ROBIN
                         What is it Beau?

               The house shakes.  Pictures fall from the wall.  One crashes
               to the headboard and thuds on her pillow.  A glass of water
               from the night stand shatters on the floor.



               EXT.  MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS - EARLY MORNING

               The Mammoth Hot Spring terraces steam in the crisp morning
               air.  On the road below a Parks Service Sedan leaves the
               village.  Though it's difficult to tell,  Rex and Robin are
               inside.



               INT.  SEDAN - SAME

               Rex is driving.  Scenery moves by.

                                   ROBIN
                         I thought and George was coming.

                                   REX
                         He is.  He spent the night in
                         Jackson.

                                   ROBIN
                         Ah yes.  Sylvia.

                                   REX
                         Did you feel that earthquake last
                         night?

                                   ROBIN
                         Yeah.

                                   REX  
                         It reminded me of my x-wife.

                                   ROBIN
                         Excuse me?

                                   REX
                         She's back in San Francisco.

               Robin doesn't get the connection, nor cares to.

                                   REX 
                         I mean they have earthquakes there.



               EXT.  OLD FAITHFUL EXIT - DAY

               Their car motors on.



               INT.  SEDAN - DAY

                                   REX
                         Do you fish?

                                   ROBIN
                         Nawh.  Maybe once or twice a year.
                         I can't get excited about torturing
                         an animal by hooking its mouth.

               Rex tries not to show his disappointment.

                                   ROBIN (continuing)
                         Besides, I already know I'm smarter
                         than a fish.  I don't need some
                         trout to prove otherwise.



               EXT.  JACKSON LAKE - DAY

               The spectacular Grand Teton mountains grace the background as
               sedan goes by.

                                   ROBIN (O.S.)
                         You know this meeting is
                         ridiculous. 
                         Any info they want they can get
                         electronically, or if nothing else
                         a conference call.  But no, the
                         Washington types like to play in
                         Jackson Hole.  We're already into
                         the busy season.  The latest they
                         should have had this is April.



               INT.  SEDAN - SAME

                                   ROBIN (continuing)
                         But the weather's too lousy for 'em
                         then.

                                   REX
                         You'd do the same thing if you were
                         in Washington.

                                   ROBIN
                         I couldn't live there, I'd smother.



               EXT.  SIGNAL MOUNTAIN LODGE - DAY

               The sedan parks.



               INT.  LODGE HALLWAY BY CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

               Casual introductions take place in the hallway outside the
               open doorway to the conference room.

               Robin and Rex are the only ones in uniform.  SEVEN WASHINGTON
               MEN are dressed in sport jackets and ties.  One of them,
               THOMAS CORTWRIGHT, has a southern accent, is a little older
               than Rex, but of similar stature.

                                   REX
                         Robin, this is Thomas Cortwright,
                         Director of The National Park
                         Service.  This is Robin Taylor, my
                         Head Naturalist.

                                   ROBIN
                         Yes, we've met before.

               In a sudden jolt, things rattle a bit, then everything is
               back to normal.  The Washington men look around and at each
               other with some amazement.  Robin indifferently watches their
               reactions.

                                   THOMAS
                         Do they get earthquakes often?

                                   ROBIN
                         There's tremors all the time. 
                         Usually they're too small to feel.
                         But these are major fault lines
                         here.  That's what created these
                         mountains.  Jackson Hole is overdue
                         for a mighty big one.



               INT.  CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

               Thomas Cortwright speaks from a tabletop podium on the end of
               a large table that the group, which now includes SIX other
               UNIFORMED PARK PERSONNEL, are seated around.  There are also
               a flip chart and a VCR with a large TV screen.

                                   THOMAS
                         ...and it gives me great pleasure
                         to introduce Henry Rasmussen,
                         Secretary of the Interior, who will
                         enlighten us on the sentiment on 
                         Capital Hill as regards to the 
                         National Park Service, particularly
                         any special appropriations...



               EXT.  SIGN FOR NORRIS GEYSER BASIN - DAY

               The sign at Norris Geyser Basin is easily readable as cars
               enter the parking lot.



               EXT.  PARKING LOT, NORRIS GEYSER BASIN - DAY

               A nice Winnebago with a Chicago Bears spare tire cover is
               parked next to a shiny tour bus in the crowded parking lot.  



               INT.  GUS'S MOTOR HOME - DAY 

               Inside the spotless Winnebago, GUS and STELLA sit at the
               table eating lunch.  They drink Coke, her from a glass, him
               from the can.

               Gus, upper 60's, is brawny and rough-hewed from years of hard
               physical employment.  He wears a handlebar T-shirt.  Vintage
               tattoos cover his biceps.  He speaks with a Chicago accent.

               Stella, 65, is a diminutive woman wearing a house dress. 
               She's a bit slumped over from years of cowering. She studies
               the visitor map as she eats.

               Gus picks up his can.  Noting that it's empty, he taps it.

                                   GUS
                         Stella.

               She dutifully gets him another one from the refrigerator.

                                   STELLA
                         Aren't we at least going to look
                         around a little bit?  This is
                         Norris Geyser Basin.  It's supposed
                         to be the hottest one in the park.

                                   GUS
                         Oh, you heard that couple.  A lot
                         of walking to see a bunch of
                         geysers that aren't doing anything. 
                         You can go.  I'll take a nap.  I've
                         spent the whole morning looking at
                         geysers that weren't geysing.

                                   STELLA
                         We did see Old Faithful.

                                   GUS
                         Whoopee.

               The motor home jerks and rocks.

                                   GUS
                         Damn.

               Gus grabs a remote control from the wall mounted magazine
               rack. He aims and clicks it.

               The stereo speakers BARK and GROWL like ferocious dogs.

               Gus storms to the door, yelling through it.

                                   GUS
                         Hey, punks!  Get outta here. 
                         Amscray.  I'll sic the dogs on ya.

               The rocking and jolting end.  Calmer now, but still ready for
               bear, Gus admonishes the imaginary dogs.

                                   GUS
                         Killer, hush.  Thor, enough.  Take
                         it easy.  Good boys.

               He clicks the remote control.  The dog sounds switch to LOW
               GROWLING and WHINING.  Gus clicks off the sound effects and
               cautiously peeks out the door.



               EXT.  PARKING LOT, NORRIS GEYSER BASIN - DAY 

               LITTLE OLD LADIES are hurrying toward the tour bus.  Some
               look frightened.  Others, like the two nearest Gus, are
               excited about the adventure.

                                   OLD LADY #1
                         I've never felt an earthquake
                         before.

                                   OLD LADY #2
                         We had them all the time in L.A. 
                         Why I remember when I was a little 
                         girl, one time we were all in
                         church...

               Gus returns his head inside and closes the door.



               INT.  GUS'S MOTOR HOME - DAY

               Stella still sits politely at the table.  Gus walks back a
               little shaken.

                                   GUS
                         Earthquake?  This ain't no
                         California.  This is Montana for
                         Chris' sake.

                                   STELLA
                         I think this is Wyoming, Dear.

                                   GUS
                         Same difference.

               A LOUD ROAR, like a jet engine, frightens Stella.  The sound
               intensifies.

                                   STELLA
                         What's that noise?

               Red anger runs up Gus's neck.

                                   GUS
                         They must of built this place next
                         to an Air Force Base.

               He determinedly plunks himself in the driver's seat, starts
               the engine and shifts into gear.

                                   GUS
                         We're going where I can eat my
                         lunch in peace.

               Stella rolls her eyes and bites down on her lower lip to keep
               herself from saying anything.  With unexpected agility she
               grabs the lunch stuff to keep it from sliding onto the floor
               as he turns the vehicle.

               Simultaneously she strains to look out the window to find out
               what is really happening.  She also manages to quickly check
               the Visitor Map.



               INT.  HALLWAY IN SIGNAL MOUNTAIN LODGE - DAY

               The doors to the conference room open.  The pack begins to
               file out and head down the hall.  Rex and Thomas are the
               first out, engaged in a fishing conversation.

                                   THOMAS
                         ...So I would have pretty good luck
                         on midges?

                                   REX
                         Oh yeah.  They're peaking right
                         now.  The trout are hammerin'. You
                         know, if you want,...

               Their voices trail off as they go down the hall.  Three
               others follow, LAUGHING at a joke one of them told.

                                   A WASHINGTON MAN
                         Oh, that's a good one.

               Robin exits into the hall just as GEORGE shows up.

               George, late 20's, is very good looking and knows it.  His
               mustache and thick hair are neatly trimmed.  His clothes are
               casual Western, from hat to boots.

                                   ROBIN
                         Geez George, nice of you to show up
                         for lunch.

                                   GEORGE
                         Aw, I had wait for my pickup to get
                         out of the shop.  I hit an elk last
                         night.

                                   ROBIN
                         Good God!

                                   GEORGE
                         Aw, I just clipped her hind leg.
                         But I didn't want to drive around
                         with that headlight whacked out. 
                             (excitedly)
                         Guess what?  Heard it there on the
                         radio.  Steamboat erupted.

               Robin is visibly upset that she is missing the event.

                                   ROBIN
                         No. No.  Geez.  Steamboat.  I've
                         been waiting seven years for that 
                         geyser to go off.  And here I am
                         stuck down here.

                                   GEORGE
                         It's a bitch alright.  Where were
                         you the last time?

                                   ROBIN
                         At a training session in Harpers
                         Ferry.



               EXT.  STEAMBOAT GEYSER - DAY

               An enormous geyser in full eruption ROARS like a jet.  A
               packed crowd of delighted and awe-struck SPECTATORS watch the
               spectacular Steamboat Geyser.

               Some of the children hold their hands over their ears.  Tons
               of water fountain skyward.  Misty spray falls over the crowd.

                                   ONE MAN
                         Unbelievable!

               In another portion of the spectators, A BALD MAN talks
               excitedly to the family next to him.  He almost has to yell
               over the noise.

                                   BALD MAN
                         I was down there.  And this
                         earthquake hit.  Then five minutes
                         later I heard this roar.  And I
                         knew.  I just knew Steamboat had
                         done it.  It's been going like this
                         for 45 minutes.

               Farther back, a SOPHISTICATED LOOKING WOMAN talks with a
               FEMALE RANGER.

                                   SOPHISTICATED WOMAN
                         That looks so much bigger than Old
                         Faithful.

                                   FEMALE RANGER
                         Way bigger!  Way more volume. 
                         Three times the height.  It's the
                         largest and most powerful geyser in
                         the world.

                                   SOPHISTICATED WOMAN
                         But I've never heard about it.

                                   FEMALE RANGER
                         Steamboat's unpredictable.  It's
                         been almost four years since the
                         last eruption.  This could go on
                         for two hours.  Old Faithful only
                         lasts a puny five minutes.

                                   SOPHISTICATED WOMAN
                         So this is something.

                                   FEMALE RANGER
                         This is something.

               Steamboat continues its show.
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