CAMP - Update #01
This week, Joey Hargrove, the screenwriter of CAMP dropped me a line with an updated treatment. The way Joey builds characters and plot is exciting and working with her has proven to be a breeze.
One Quick Thought:
There have been some movements across this project. Let’s dive in and keep me honest.
Project Update: CAMP is a film in development. A group of 40-somethings reunite at their old summer camp, when one spoiled ex- camper decides to use his wealth to incentivize his old campmates to re-do the camp games of their youth so he can finally win – since he’s never gotten over losing. But the other campers aren’t going to let him win without a fight.
This week, Joey Hargrove, the screenwriter of CAMP dropped me a line with an updated treatment. The way Joey builds characters and plot is exciting and working with her has proven to be a breeze. Relaxed writers, write more freely in my opinion.
HANNAH (42), sweet but a human doormat, arrives at a summer camp reunion, fragile from her recent marital separation. She reconnects with 4 other ex-campers: KATE, her outspoken former camp BFF; JASON, the camp prankster who still hasn’t grown up; and CHRISTINE & CODY, former campmates who reconnected via Facebook and now annoyingly proclaim themselves the perfect couple. They momentarily wonder if it’s just the five of them before MARK (51) approaches. He was a camp counselor back then and has been roped into being one again for the reunion and now he’s even less impressed with these entitled adults. But for their part, no one even remembers him.
TODD, former campmate turned eccentric tech billionaire, appears at dinner to dramatically reveal that he orchestrated the weekend. Thirty years ago, he lost at the annual end of camp games and that loss still haunts him. He demands a do-over. The group is out of shape, and not enthusiastic about the idea, but he dangles enough prize money to get them on board.
The first game is a canoe race. The campers realize just how seriously Todd is taking this when he ostentatiously wins while they are all flailing in the lake, so they begin to strategize to work together to take him down. The second game is an elaborate Capture the Flag. Hannah gets paired with Todd, who broke her 12-year-old heart when he publicly broke up with her in his post-camp-game-loss tantrum. She wants him to lose, but by golly, she also still really wants him to like her. Jason, predicting Hannah would fall back under Todd’s spell, is able to thwart Todd’s effort and Todd and Hannah lose Capture the Flag. The group bonds that night at the campfire with Todd watching from a distance, brooding over his loss.
The next day is the Survival Game and the group is sent on a long, intense wilderness hike to locate a prize on a map. After many obstacles and struggles, an emboldened Hannah is the one to get to it first, to Todd’s horror (and the others’ surprise.) But as it’s getting dark, Mark insists they all walk back together, and Todd slowly starts to feel like part of the group again. He even joins them at the campfire that night as they reminisce and share about their lives. For a moment, everyone is happy, content, and re-connecting. Hannah and Jason even share a kiss.
To the group’s extreme disappointment, Todd’s bonding at the campfire was really just re-con. He was mining their conversations for their weaknesses and fears to use against them in the final game – an obstacle course. Everyone is so pissed at Todd that they don’t want to participate, Hannah (who is in the lead) is ready to just forfeit and let him win, since it’s the only thing he cares about. But Todd isn’t going to let this go. He doesn’t just want to win, he needs to legitimately beat them. He antagonizes them until they’re angry enough that they will play for the chance of beating him. (Despite Mark’s warning that the course seems dangerous.)
They compete. It’s intense. Cody gets hurt. But they keep going. There’s a moment where Todd can win but it would mean sacrificing Hannah and despite how much he wants to win, he chooses to protect her – which allows Christine to win, who is thrilled to finally be in the spotlight! Everyone is proud of Todd for his actions, until he insists everyone sign a release falsely stating that he won.
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