Vellowstone Volcano Screenplay 1
Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.

Out of Yellowstone, a screenplay, continued


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               EXT.  VISITOR CENTER AT OLD FAITHFUL - DAY

               A small sign in the window reads, "OLD FAITHFUL GEYSER, LAST
               ERUPTION, 10:13 AM, NEXT ERUPTION, WITHIN 15 MINUTES OF - 
               UNKNOWN."  A clock shows "3:25".

               A YOUNG MARRIED COUPLE read the sign then stare at each other
               in disbelief.

                                   YOUNG MARRIED MAN
                         Unknown?

               They look toward the inactive geyser.



               EXT.  OLD FAITHFUL - DAY

               The famous geyser is inactive.  A FEW PEOPLE mill around
               looking at it.



               INT.  VISITOR CENTER - DAY

               The VISITOR CENTER RANGER behind the information desk talks
               to a thick mixed GROUP of people.  He seems weary but
               patient.  The young couple go over to listen.

                                   VISITOR CENTER RANGER
                         ...it's too early to predict
                         whether it will erupt again.  That
                         depends on what's happening with
                         the natural plumbing.

               His audience, for the most part, acts quite interested but
               somewhat numb.

                                   VISITOR CENTER RANGER (continuing)
                         Earthquakes have caused geysers to
                         die, others to be born, and they
                         have changed the intervals between
                         Old Faithful's eruptions.

               The Ranger shrugs, looking sympathetically at his audience.

                                   MALE RANGER (continuing)
                         But this is the first times she's
                         ever missed...



               EXT.  ROCK OUTCROP NEAR SLOPING MEADOW - DAY

               Two marmots on the rocks suddenly become alert.



               EXT.  SLOPING MEADOW - DAY

               Steamy gasses begin to puff from a cavity at the base of a
               large rock.



               EXT.  ROCK OUTCROP NEAR SLOPING MEADOW - DAY

               The marmots stand on alert.



               EXT.  SLOPING MEADOW - DAY

               Steamy gasses gently pour out of small natural vents.



               EXT.  ROCK OUTCROP NEAR SLOPING MEADOW - DAY

               The marmots lay dead.



               EXT.  A SEISMOGRAPHIC STATION - DAY

               We view a pile of rocks from which protrudes a high-precision
               GPS antenna.



               EXT.  THE LAKE SEISMIC AND GPS OBSERVATORY - DAY

               We see the transmission antennae and receiving dish.



               INT.  YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY, UTAH - DAY  

               SUPERIMPOSE "Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, University of
               Utah, Salt Lake City".

               The room houses rows of busy seismometers, computer monitors
               with such things as Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar
               (InSAR) maps and maps of recent earthquake epicenters in
               Yellowstone, plus other seismographic stuff.

               HUFF (55) and TWO STUDENT INTERNS excitedly examine a
               seismograph laid out on the table.  PHONE RINGS.  A SCIENTIST
               answers.

                                   SCIENTIST 
                         Hey Huff, it's McCoy.

               Huff jovially picks up the phone.

                                   HUFF
                             (into phone)
                         Hello Rob.  How's things shaking up
                         there?  Got yourself a nice
                         earthquake swarm.



               INT.  ROB MCCOY'S OFFICE - DAY   

               ROB MCCOY is on the phone.  He's late 30's, average build,
               good looking, wears jeans and is no nonsense.

               The office has a neat pile of field equipment and two active
               seismometers.  The desktop computer shows a map or recent
               epicenters.  A laptop computer has a seismograph on the
               screen. 

                                   ROB
                             (into phone)
                         Yeah, it's like the Elvis song -
                         Whole lot of shaking goin' on.  
                         I've been looking at the data;
                         what's your take on it?



               INT.  YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY, UTAH - DAY

                                   HUFF
                             (into phone)
                         Well the uplift phase you're in has
                         been accelerating.  And if we're
                         interpreting right, there's been
                         some magma movement into the
                         reservoir.



               INT.  ROB MCCOY'S OFFICE - DAY

                                   ROB
                             (into phone)
                         Any gut feelings?



               EXT.  WILDERNESS CAMPSITE BY LAKE - DAY

               Six canoes are beached on the sandy shore of placid Shoshone
               Lake.

               Nearby in a wooded campsite, two two-man tents are set up. 
               Four others are partially pitched.  TEN BOY SCOUTS, 12 - 14
               years, and their TWO ADULT LEADERS set up camp.

               A small rolling earthquake rattles the group.

                                   BOY 1
                         Wow!  The ground felt like it was
                         Jello.

                                   BOY 2
                         Yeah, that was neat.

               BOY 3, with the dramatic attribute of Count Dracula, takes
               center stage.

                                   BOY 3
                         I know what caused it.

                                   BOY 4
                         It was an earthquake, you dodo.

               Boy 3 tries to contort himself like a ghoul and sound like a
               Halloween recording.

                                   BOY 3
                         Nooooo.  It's the Yellowstone
                         Monster coming up from his grave to
                         swallow us alive.

               Many of the boys laugh nervously.

                                   BOY 4
                         Yeah, and I'm Superman.

               Most of the boys laugh.

               The smallest boy, TOBY, stands back from the rest.  His fear
               from the quake is obvious.  He fights back tears.

                                   BOY 4
                         Hey, look at Toby.

                                   BOY 5
                         What's the matter wittle Toby?  You
                         scared?  You want your mommy?

                                   BOY 4
                         Yeah, Twerp...

               Boy 1 points toward the lake.

                                   BOY 1
                         Look!

               As the boys look toward the water, they freeze in
               astonishment.  Out of the previously calm water, a wave rises
               in height as it nears the shore.  The four foot breaker
               crashes down on the canoes and pulls them away from the
               beach.

                                   THREE OF THE BOYS (V.O.)
                             (not quite in unison)
                         The canoes!

               The boys and the two men dash for the shore.  The four boys
               that are ahead flail into the lake to rescue the boats. 
               Their yelps and exclamations divulge the icy temperature.

                                   BOY 4
                         Aaaa!  It's cold!

                                   BOY 5
                         It's freezing!

               Toby's fear transforms into amusement.  

               A second wave, larger than the first, tumbles the boys and
               canoes.



               INT.  HEADQUARTERS, MAMMOTH - DAY

               The headquarter's reception area is empty.  Seen through an
               open door, Mike talks impatiently on the phone in his office. 
               A clock reads 6:15.

                                   MIKE
                             (into phone)
                         ...Okay.  Well close it off. 
                             (pause)  
                         You go to the Shop, get a
                         barricade, get a sign...

               Mike's voice fades to the background as WINONA LAMBERT and
               Rob McCoy enter the reception area from another part of the
               building.  

               Winona (25) is short, cute and buxom.  Despite the uniform,
               she looks like a dumb blond.  Her voice doesn't help the
               image.

               She is cheerful.  He is somber.

                                   WINONA
                         Thanks Rob.  You've been so
                         helpful.  

               Rob nods a distracted acknowledgement.

                                   MIKE (O.S.)
                         You need a truck?  In the shop
                         there's a board with keys.  Get a
                         key to a truck...

               Through the door panes Winona spots a TV news crew coming up
               the walk.

                                   WINONA
                         Oh good.  They're here.

                                   MIKE (O.S.)
                             (continuing under)
                         By the way, you don't call here. 
                         You call your supervisor.  Where's
                         your radio? 
                             (pause)  
                         It's dead?  Try using your head. 

               Winona opens the door for reporter ANGELA GREYFEATHER and a
               CAMERAMAN.  Angela, late 20's, appears competent and
               professional.  Her features reflect her Native American
               heritage.

               Rob waits outside Mike's office.  Mike hangs up the phone
               tiredly shaking his head.

                                   MIKE
                         Seasonals!

               Mike walks to his doorway.  Angela ignores Winona and heads
               directly for Mike and Rob, whose gestures make it quite clear
               that they do not want to be interviewed.

                                   WINONA
                             (to Angela)
                         I'm Winona Lambert.  You can come
                         with me.

               The TV people follow Winona out the door and into the hall.

               Anxious to leave, Mike tries to go around Rob.

                                   MIKE
                         Excuse me.

               Rob blocks his path.

                                   ROB
                         Where can I find Rex?

                                   MIKE
                         He's out of town.

               Frowning, Rob motions with his head that they should talk in
               Mike's office.  As they go in, Rob closes the door.



               INT.  SMALL CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

               Winona talks with the news crew.  Available are flip charts,
               a pointer, recent seismograph recordings, and a computer with
               a large monitor, and a TV screen hooked to a VCR/DVD player.

                                   WINONA
                         During the last twenty-four hours,
                         there have been over two hundred
                         recorded tremors, with fourteen
                         earthquakes being larger than two
                         point five.  The largest, so far,
                         has been four point five.

               With a pointer, she indicates the epicenters that are marked
               in red circles on the Yellowstone map on the monitor.

                                   WINONA
                         All of them have originated in the
                         park and are volcanic in nature.

                                   ANGELA
                         Volcanic?  Does this mean that
                         there's a volcano in Yellowstone
                         National Park?

                                   WINONA
                         The Yellowstone Plateau is a
                         volcano.

               Winona cheerfully hands a booklet to the confused Angela. 
               The title is "The Yellowstone Volcano."



               INT.  MIKE'S OFFICE - DAY

               Mike exasperatedly sits behind his desk trying to reason with
               the scientist who leans coldly over the side of his desk, 
               too close for comfort.

                                   MIKE
                         I just can't order them to close
                         the Inn.  Do you know how far in
                         advance people make their
                         reservations?  Do you know how much
                         the concessionaires would stand to
                         lose?

                                   ROB
                         We're talking lives.

                                   MIKE
                         Oh come on, there's been no damage. 
                         Rex will be back tomorrow night. 
                         If I start ordering stuff shut down
                         and nothing happens, it'll make me
                         look like a power monger.

                                   ROB
                         Didn't you just close down
                         something on the phone.

                                   MIKE
                         Just a trail.

                                   ROB
                         Which one and why?

                                   MIKE
                         Fairy Falls.  Seems there's a break
                         in the trail.

               Rob silently mouths an "ah" and raises his eyebrows.

                                   ROB
                         A break?

                                   MIKE
                         About three feet wide and just as
                         deep.

                                   ROB
                         Just a three foot break.

               On the Yellowstone wall map, Rob points first to Hayden
               Valley and then to the east of Old Faithful.

                                   ROB
                         The Sour Creek Dome rose two feet
                         overnight.  This Mallard Lake Dome
                         rose half a foot.  There's more
                         quakes coming, Mike.

                                   MIKE
                         Enough to shake buildings down in
                         the next 24 hours?  

                                   ROB
                         The vulnerable things are the
                         fireplaces.  They shake at a
                         different frequency than the rest
                         of the building.  Those massive
                         fireplaces in the Old Faithful
                         Inn... it wouldn't take much more
                         to send 'em toppling.

                                   MIKE
                         They've survived far worse stuff
                         than this.

               Rob shoves some seismographs over toward Mike who only gives
               them a glance.  Exasperated, Rob picks up the end of the desk
               a foot and a half and lets it drop.

                                   MIKE
                         Hey, hey.

                                   ROB
                         You know what that measured on the
                         Richter scale?  Zero.  But you were
                         at the epicenter. 
                         One fourth of the epicenters have
                         been at that end of the park.
                             (beat)
                         Can you comprehend this?

                                   MIKE
                         Okay.  We'll call them up.  You
                         talk them. Let them make the
                         decision.

                                   ROB
                         Good.



               INT.  SMALL CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

                                   WINONA
                         This video tells all about it, but
                         you know, in a simple nutshell. 
                         I've got the volume turned off so I
                         can explain it.

               Winona clicks on video which is mostly simple animation.  She
               talks fast and is annoyingly bubbly.  (Note that the video
               does not show anything about an asteroid).

                                   WINONA
                         There's this hot spot that appeared
                         like seventeen million years ago. 
                         There's a bunch of theories on how
                         it got there.  My favorite is that
                         a great big asteroid slammed into
                         the earth and made a deep, deep
                         scar and all this molten rock came
                         up.  Well it doesn't matter how it
                         got here.  But it's fixed in one
                         spot in the earth's mantle, and ...
                         You know all about continental
                         drift, right?  Well, this hot spot
                         is like a big blow torch fixed in
                         one place.  Well the continental
                         plate has been moving across this
                         hot spot at the rate of about two
                         inches a year.  And you can see the
                         path it took on the map there.  It
                         was just one gargantuan volcano
                         after another and another that blew
                         themselves apart.  Well now this
                         hot spot is underneath Yellowstone
                         National Park.  Which is why we
                         have geysers and hot springs and
                         stuff.

                                   ANGELA
                         Excuse me, but could you turn the
                         sound on?

                                   WINONA
                         Oh sure.

               She clicks the remote and we hear the male NARRATOR.

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         Three of the greatest explosive
                         eruptions in the earth's history
                         have occurred in the Yellowstone
                         area.  Each eruption began when a
                         reservoir of molten rock called
                         magma formed beneath the earth's
                         surface.

                                   WINONA
                         That reservoir is about twenty-five
                         by fifty miles across and only five
                         miles below the surface.

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         As the molten rock continued to
                         accumulate, the earth above it
                         formed a dome.

                                   WINONA
                         By the way, this is actually taking
                         place right now.

               Angela raises her eyebrows.

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         The pressure from below caused the
                         ring fractures around the base of
                         the dome.  

                                   WINONA
                         This may just be starting to
                         happen, with all these earthquakes.

               INT.  LOUNGE AT SIGNAL MOUNTAIN LODGE - NIGHT

               The above video fills the screen of the large television in
               the lounge.  Winona's voice and the computer are on the
               special news program.

               Rex, Robin, the Washington big wigs, and some hotel guests
               watch.

               The Washington men are now dressed casually, most looking
               like they stepped out of an Eddie Bauer catalog.  Rex is in a
               Western suit.  Robin wears slacks and a sweater.   George
               isn't there.

                                   NARRATOR (On TV, V.O.)
                         Some lava escaped from the ring
                         fractures, but the pressure
                         continued to build.

                                   WINONA (On TV, V.O.)
                         You see it's not the way we
                         normally think of volcanos.

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                         Unlike the gently flowing lava in
                         the Hawaiian volcanos, most of the
                         hot rock here was full of trapped
                         steam and other gasses.  This
                         caused the molten rock to blow
                         apart, blasting out hot ash...  

                                   WINONA (On TV, V.O.)
                         It's kind of like an egg in a
                         microwave.

                                   ROBIN
                         Like an egg in a microwave?

                                   REX
                         Shush.

                                   NARRATOR (V.O.)
                             (continuing under)
                         Superheated gasses and ash sped out
                         at over two hundred miles an hour,
                         instantly destroying all life for
                         thousands of square miles.

                                   ROBIN
                         You leave for a day and look who's
                         doing interviews.

                                   THOMAS
                         Shhhh.

               On the screen, an ash cloud spreads over a map of North
               America.

                                   WINONA
                             (on the TV, continuing)
                         Ash darkened the skies of the
                         northern hemisphere, chilling the
                         earth for years.

               The Washington men stare curiously at the TV where Angela
               Greyfeather, now on camera, holds up the "Yellowstone
               Volcano" pamphlet.

                                   ANGELA (ON THE TV)
                         That described volcano took place
                         about six hundred thousand years go
                         and was five hundred times more
                         powerful than the 1980 eruption of
                         Mount Saint Helens.

               Robin gets up and stretches.

                                   ANGELA
                             (on the TV, continuing)
                         Similar mega eruptions occurred in
                         Yellowstone six hundred thousand
                         ears before that, and eight hundred
                         thousand years before that.  
                         Experts believe it will happen
                         gain.

                                   WASHINGTON MAN #2
                         You know, that would ruin all this
                         planning.

               Thomas shoots him a cold look, then laughs lightly.

                                   ANGELA (ON TV)
                         Were that to occur, it would be the
                         worst natural disaster in recorded
                         history.

               The anchorman speaks from his desk.

                                   ANCHORMAN (ON TV)
                         It should be pointed out that
                         earthquakes are not unusual in
                         Yellowstone.  No one is suggesting
                         or even implying that...

               EXT.  SIGNAL MOUNTAIN LODGE - NIGHT

               The lights of the lodge glow in the night.  An owl HOOTS.

                                   MALE VOICE (V.O.)
                         Is this really true?

               EXT.  SIGNAL MOUNTAIN LODGE - MORNING

               Across the lake, the morning sun illuminates the mountains.

               INT.  HALLWAY OUTSIDE CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY

               Many of the group take their seats around the table in the
               conference room.  Rex and Robin are again in uniform.  The
               rest are casually dressed.

               Robin pauses outside the door for blurry-eyed George.

                                   ROBIN
                         Short night?

                                   GEORGE
                         Had to speed sleep.

                                   ROBIN
                         This is going to be a long day.

                                   GEORGE
                         Uhm.



               EXT.  HEADQUARTERS, MAMMOTH - DAY

               SEVERAL REPORTERS and CAMERA PERSONS scurry toward the door.



               INT.  HEADQUARTERS RECEPTION AREA - DAY

               About a dozen MORE REPORTERS from various news agencies storm
               the reception area.

               The pesky reporters fluster the SECRETARY, a mature woman in
               uniform.

                                   SECRETARY
                         I've told you.  An official
                         statement will be released at one
                         thirty.

               AD LIB, reporters throw out questions simultaneously.

                                   REPORTER #1
                         There's a volcanologist here,
                         where...

                                   REPORTER #2
                         How soon do they predict...

               The secretary stands helplessly, barely able to speak.

                                   SECRETARY
                         All I can say is that there will be
                         an official statement...

               TWO large PARK POLICEMEN bulk their way through from the
               outside.

                                   POLICEMAN #1
                         All right, everybody out.

                                   POLICEMAN #2
                         Outside.



               INT.  MIKE'S OFFICE - DAY

               Mike and Rob McCoy stand arguing across the desk.

                                   MIKE
                         Are you crazy?  The phones are
                         ringing off the hook.  Part of that
                         is from people irate that the Old
                         Faithful Inn is closed, thanks to
                         you.  And now you want to close the 
                         whole frickin' Park.  God bless.

                                   ROB
                         You're afraid to make a move. 
                         You've got your head in the sand.

                                   MIKE
                         You know what all the other phone
                         calls are?  They're about flaky
                         Winona's interview last night.  She
                         was supposed to talk about
                         earthquakes and geysers, not about
                         the Park turning into a volcano,
                         for cryin' out loud.

                                   ROB
                         She didn't say anything that wasn't
                         true.

                                   MIKE
                         It wasn't necessary either.  The
                         whole country's getting in a panic. 
                         For what?  We've had clusters of
                         earthquakes before, far worse than
                         anything right now.   We're deluged
                         with reporters from about every
                         network.

                                   ROB
                         Mike...

                                   MIKE
                         Look what my wife picked up.

               Mike tosses three tabloid newspapers in front of Rob.  One
               headline reads: GOODBYE YELLOWSTONE, VOLCANO THREATENS
               NATIONAL PARK.  A second says: VOLCANO TO DESTROY
               YELLOWSTONE.  The third is: YELLOWSTONE SOON TO ERUPT, ICE
               AGE TO BEGIN.

                                   ROB
                         So what will you say in your
                         official report?

                                   MIKE
                         I'm going to try to inject a voice
                         of calmness and sanity.



               INT.  GUS'S MOTOR HOME - DAY

               Gus drives.  Stella sits defiantly in the passenger seat. 
               Neither pays any attention to the scenery as they pass by
               Yellowstone Lake.

                                   GUS
                         I can't believe I let you navigate. 
                         We saw this yesterday.  Now we
                         gotta drive all through it again?
                         Like gasoline grows on trees?

                                   STELLA
                         Yesterday we did the South Loop. 
                         Today we go to the North Loop.

                                   GUS
                         Oh joy.  There's a North Loop. 
                         We're gettin' outta here, we're
                         headin' to Seattle to see Sam and
                         Lois.

                                   STELLA
                         Do I ask for much?  I never ask for
                         nothin'.  But since I was a little
                         girl I wanted to go to Yellowstone. 
                         All I ask is three days.  In our
                         whole marriage, can't I have three
                         days?

                                   GUS
                         Jesus!

               Gus flips on the radio.

               Low STATIC CRACKLES from the speakers.  He pushes the "Seek"
               button.  The digits seek and seek but don't land on a
               station.

               Gus switches off the radio.

                                   GUS
                         Uncivilized country.



               INT.  DINING ROOM, SIGNAL MT. LODGE - DAY

               Finishing lunch, the group passes around several newspapers,
               both tabloid and respectable.  Yellowstone hits all the front
               pages.

               Robin reads an article headlined, "YELLOWSTONE EARTHQUAKES
               MAY SIGNAL VOLCANIC ERUPTION."   Next to her is a half-eaten
               lunch and an empty chair.

               Rex approaches his food and shrugs.

                                   REX
                         I just talked to Mike.  He says
                         he's got everything under control
                         and that he'll soon release a
                         statement that will downplay all
                         this media hoopla.  Oddly enough,
                         he says the hype is actually
                         attracting more people.

                                   THOMAS
                         Maybe we should forgo the rest of
                         the agenda and focus on this new
                         issue.

                                   REX
                         Maybe.  The trouble is that all
                         this stuff...
                             (indicating a newspaper)
                         is based on that interview you saw
                         last night.

               Rex sits down and takes a small bite.

                                   ROBIN
                         That video's at least fifteen years
                         old.

                                   REX
                         Yellowstone is earthquake prone.  I
                         don't know if the sudden frequency
                         of tremors is significant of
                         anything.

                                   ROBIN
                         These clusters of earthquakes are
                         called swarms.  They happen every
                         few years.
                             (to Rex)
                         What's McCoy say?

                                   REX
                             (to Thomas)
                         Rob McCoy is a research 
                         volcanologist who's been studying
                         the park.  They couldn't locate him
                         for me.

                                   THOMAS
                         Did Mike say anything about
                         predictions?

                                   REX
                         No.

                                   ROBIN
                         That interview did not say anything
                         new.  The real news is the changes
                         in the geysers.  And now that's
                         dwarfed.  The fact that Yellowstone
                         is a gargantuan volcano that will
                         probably erupt again is right on
                         the Visitor Map.  Everyone gets the
                         info when they go through the gate,
                         if they bother to read it.

                                   WASHINGTON MAN #2
                         As a warning?

                                   ROBIN
                         No, as a fact.  The same way
                         that... fish are a fact.  But now
                         there it is on the news and
                         suddenly it's Orson Wells.

                                   WASHINGTON MAN #2
                         Orson Wells?

                                   REX
                         I am anxious to get back.

                                   THOMAS
                         Well, one more report left.  Then
                         feedback.  Hopefully we can wrap up
                         by two thirty.
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