Dramatic live action, fictional narrative, Est. Run Time: 9 Minutes
After a school shooting in small town Alaska, a cop must defend his actions to prove he is on the right side of the law, or lose everything.
We arguably live in the generation of mass shootings. We are inundated on the news with survivors stories, families suffering through the fresh pain of grief and the backstory of the shooter, their upbringing and what could of possibly brought them to such destruction. Who we almost never hear about are the police officers who responded to the call and were on scene. We know very little about the sorts of training that is available and mandated and the what is like to be these brothers and sisters in blue with an active shooter at large. I sat down with an Alaska State Trooper who specializes in hostage negotiation and birthed this screenplay from a thought experiment: what would happen in a remote village in Alaska if an active shooter were to attack the local school.
My story is an action packed drama called Active Shooter about police officers Rick Aguilar and Cody Johnson who respond to an active shooter call in small town Alaska. Despite limited training and experience in an active shooter environment or high profile hostage negotiation the two police officers clear the school, locate the shooter and try and deescalate the situation to best of their abilities. A formal investigation takes place 48 hours later after the incident and the officers must defend their actions or lose far more than just their badge. Active Shooter is David Ayer’s “End of Watch” meets Jason Hall’s “Thank you for Your Service”.
Filmed documentary style using body cams on the police officers, hand held devices from bystanders such as cell phones or the camera man from the news station and stationary cameras such as security footage- we give the audience a first hand opportunity to experience and understand what goes on behind the scenes as a police officer on duty.
Get a taste of what the film could potentially be with this teaser cut of the animatic. The animatic is only meant to serve as a visual brainstorm of how the film could visually manifest.
Interested in seeing this vision come to fruition? We’re looking for investors, talented actors, cinematographers, and creative visionaries to make this short film reach the big screen. All of the prep work has been completed- screenplay, treatment, schedule, budget and potential locations for shooting have already been scouted. If you are a potential collaborator or investor that would like to learn more about the project- let’s talk! Feel free to click on any of the images below to request sharing permissions to check out some of the moving parts behind the scenes.
Photo board experiment envisioned and directed by Kelsey Charlie on Scene 8 & 9.
Officers Rick Aguilar and Cody Johnson clear the school hallway and locate the shooter in the Men’s bathroom. They proceed to talk the shooter down and deescalate the situation.
Meet the Voice Cast
Officer Rick Aguilar
Aaron Walling is an alumni of UAF graduating with a Bachelor’s in Journalism. He works at KTVF and KXDF as a sports reporter/anchor.
Officer Cody Johnson
Koty Emery is a UAF alumni with a Bachelors of Science in Forensic Chemistry. He currently works as a chemist for the State of Alaska, but has previous experience working for the UAF police department and private security. This is his breakout role into voice acting.
Mason Schoemaker is an art student turned computer wiz. Might have drawn a certain award winning comic for a certain student newspaper. He also has a very fluffy cat.
Dispatch Radio &
Danelle Myers is the bookkeeper for The Red Light Studio in Fairbanks, Alaska. She has lived in Alaska for 35 years.
Mackyle Bogachoff studies Film and Journalism and is the president of the Film Club at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. He works as a mechanic and a video editor; two closely-related jobs. In Spring 2019 he will be graduating with a bachelor of arts in Film.
Principal Ben Barreras
Eugene Cole recently graduated from the University of Alaska Fairbanks with his Bachelors of Art in photography. When he is not working he is writing scripts or creating future project concepts.
Jacob Odom studies drawing, digital art, and sculpture at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and is currently working to graduate with a bachelor in Fine Arts in May 2020.
John Elliot is a PhD candidate in space physics working in both polar regions utilizing optical remote sensing techniques for his research.
Voice Director & Screenplay Writer
As of 2018, a mass shooting occurs in the United States every two days and the numbers are steadily rising. Our news outlets are bombarded with stories of failed background checks for gunmen with known mental illnesses, our social media platforms request prayers for survivors and the families of victims. Schools regularly practice for possible attacks; Ariana O'Harra, a junior at Anchorage East High School writes to the Alaska Daily News, “I’m a high school student in Alaska. We spend more time practicing for a mass shooting than for an earthquake.” It begs the question, are we the mass shooting generation?
There is call for stricter gun control laws, more funding for mental health services, a refined process for background checks, the possibility of teachers carrying guns in their classrooms, police officers stationed in schools and so much more.
The problem is multifaceted and there are an infinite amount of angles to be explored in a cinematic context. Active Shooter examines the lesser explored perspective of the police officers who respond to an active shooter call at the local school in the small and remote village of Utquiqvik, AK. The film gives the first person perspective from a police officer’s point of view on scene at the school through body cam footage. Audience members will have the opportunity to step into a police officer's shoes and look through their eyes.
We regularly hear from families and loved ones after the chaos and tragedy of a mass shooting but we rarely discuss the training police officers receive for these types of situations in addition to the extensive protocols that occur after an officer fires their weapon. Active Shooter focuses on combining the mental trauma officers face on scene that is then compounded during the formal investigation 48hrs after the event where they must prove they followed protocol and are on the right side of the law. Their choices are picked apart, analyzed and challenged.
Exploring this epidemic in Utquiqvik poses an interesting thought experiment to consider. Located above the arctic circle and along the Arctic Ocean, Utquiqvik is the northernmost city in the United States and home to almost 5,000 people. More and more understaffed police stations and small town police officers are expected to rise to the occasion and call upon a small part of their training from the academy that will ultimately result in life or death in a matter of seconds.