1 EXT. CASCADE MOUNTAIN RANGE. WASHINGTON STATE. DAWN. 1
In the early morning dawn, the Skykomish River in Washington
State's Cascade Mountain Range pounds against the graniteriver rocks.
Giant Fir branches in the lush forest undulate, almost
dancing in the soft wind.
A BLACK-TAILED BUCK makes its way through the dense woods.
The deer walks to the bank, dips its mouth into the river,
Tall grass parts and out of the morning fog comes a youngman, completely COVERED IN MUD, a massive, serrated huntingknife in his hands.
This is BODEVAN. He's 18, with wispy hair down to his
The deer turns its head, sensing something.
Bo freezes - perfectly camouflaged in the tall grass.
The deer sniffs the air, but as Bo is covered in mud and
animal skins, it smells nothing. It relaxes, drinking fromthe river again.
Bo exhales, silently.
In a flash, Bo leaps out of the grass and in one continuousmotion, tackles the deer and slices the animal’s carotid
artery. The deer does nothing more than flinch, blood spurts
from it’s neck and it just folds, hemorrhagic shock taking
It's a perfect kill.
Bo watches and the animal takes its final breath.
Then he signals and five KIDS glide into the clearing. Theyrange in age from 14 to 6, all have long, unruly hair, dirty
faces, and wear, over the usual kid's clothes of t-shirts and
jeans, what looks like animal skins. They are: two twin 15year
old girls, KIELYR and VESPYR; RELLIAN, a boy of 13;
ZAJA, a 8-year old girl; and lastly, NAI, a 6-year old boy.
The other kids surround Bo, staring down at the fallen deer.
GREEN (9.2.2014) 2.
Like some primordial warrior, his upper body camouflaged bymud, BEN CASH rises out of the grass. He's 45 and has aformidable beard, but his body is lithe and muscular, fitlike a man half his age.
Ben plunges his finger in the deer's throat. He paints a
stripe of blood across Bo's face.
Today. The boy is dead. And in his
place. Is a man.
Everyone pauses for the deep solemnity of the moment.
Bo slits open the animal; its innards spill onto the earth.
Ben raises his hands high in the air and - as if he's saying
a prayer - closes his eyes.
The IMAGE FREEZES - as the title comes up around him:
2 EXT. FOREST. MORNING. 2
Trailed by the rest of the family, Ben and Bo carry the deer -
legs tied to a tree limb - through the thick forest.
3 EXT. TIPI. MORNING. 3
While Ben and Bo attach the deer's feet to rope, swing therope over a tree, and string it high off the ground, we getour first glimpse of their "home."
In a clearing, hidden under a canopy of enormous Douglas Firtrees, next to a small greenhouse garden - a large Tipi sitsbehind a fire pit.
A few of the kids jump on small wooden platforms, grabhanging rope, and pull themselves up on these little"elevators." Cascading high into the trees above the Tipi isa kid's paradise of funky tree houses, zip lines, ropebridges, hammocks, and observation platforms.
Rellian strums on a guitar. He sings "Little Red Corvette" byPrince.
GREEN (9.2.2014) 3.
Training in one hour!
Ben watches as, in front of their Tipi, strung from a ropeon a tree, the twins skin the deer that Bo shot: peeling offits hide with none of the squeamishness of 15-year olds and
all the skill of experienced butchers.
Behind them, 12-year old Rellian, with a flint that he
extracts from a pouch on his belt, makes a fire in a largepit in front of the Tipi.
Dad. Where's the boning knife? Zaja.
4 EXT. TREE HOUSE. DAY.
Ben climbs up a wood ladder, ducking intricately wovenbranches to enter what looks like a massive bird's nest.
Zaja sits on the floor, cleaning the skeleton of a smallanimal with a 6-inch boning knife.
Inside, the tree house has been turned into some kind of
grotesque Death Shrine. It's plastered with actual animalskeletons, magazine photographs of dead bodies from theHolocaust, and pictures of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Fromthe look on Ben's face, this is the first time he's seen
Zaja's interior design.
Zaja looks at the photo on the wall. She shakes her head no.
Ben puts out his hand and Zaja passes him the boning knife.
5 EXT. MOUNTAIN MEADOW. MORNING.
In a mountain meadow, Ben and the kids, their eyes closed,
sit cross-legged in a circle.
Apart from the rustle of the leaves as the wind blows throughthe trees, the occasional chirping of distant birds.