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season 1

Focuses on immigration and environmental degradation in the American Southwest.

Each of the characters reflect one another, representing in some way an opposing perspective.

For example:

An immigrant crossing the Sonoran Desert.

A border patrol agent just hired, who believes immigrants are a threat to our very way of life. They are part of a group of vigilantes who do illegal alien patrols.

An activist from No More Deaths, who puts out water in strategic locations for immigrants crossing the Sonoran Desert.

Immigration ties the characters and drives narrative tension. The immigrant is making an increasingly perilous journey, while a border patrol agent pits herself against immigrant and activist alike.

Meanwhile elsewhere in the Southwest a battle over water is taking place:

A Native American living on an Arizona reservation — who represents Americas sorted history of colonization and immigration — has just been accepted to Harvard, but she is intimately involved in the fight to protect the reservations resources.

A mining company wants the water rights to the reservations land. The mine is the only source of income for hundreds of miles, but they need water to keep going. 

A group of ranchers are joining with the reservation in an unlikely union to fight for water too.

EPISODE 1:

Episode 1 begins in the Sonoran Desert.

The sun beats down on a desolate landscape.

An immigrant, drenched in sweat and sun-beaten looks out over the expanse of desert that lies ahead of him.  It is clear that we are beginning a perilous journey.  

In the middle of the desert he comes across a jug of water.

Elsewhere in the desert, an activist is putting out these jugs.

And further still a border patrol agent is starting her first shift. They’ve just arrested a group of dehydrated migrants on the edge of the desert.

Ep 1 introduces us to each character and the inciting incident that will reflect their journey.

The immigrant was deported several years ago. His wife is a US citizen. She’s been diagnosed with cancer and he’s making the dangerous trek to Corpus Christi to see her one last time.

The border patrol agent is a red blooded, gun toting, immigrant hating American. She’s just started the job and sees cracking down on the border as tantamount to going to war.

The activist is one of the nine activists from No More Deaths who just picked up a felony conviction. Every year hundreds of people die crossing over in the desert and the Trump administration is now cracking down on those who try to help. The activist group is going to fight the court injunction and continue doing everything they can to help.

EPISODE 2:

In another part of Arizona, a Native American activist, born and bred on the res is prepping to go to school. She’s been accepted to Harvard, but she’s also part of a larger fight happening in the community over water. A nearby mine has tried to lay claim to the water rights for her people. They don’t have much, but they need this water. Here, water is life.

They are forming an unlikely union with the nearby ranchers.

Here we follow one of the many miners who depend on the mine as a source of limited employment in the region, our soon to be Harvard attendee, and a rancher.

The tie is water, resource scarcity and the struggle to make a go of it in a harsh southwestern landscape.  

 

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act breakdown

ACT 1:

We learn what are characters are up against. We introduce the inciting incidents of the first three characters of our immigration story.

Examples:

The immigrant is just beginning to cross the Sonoran Desert

The border patrol agent is making her first arrest

The activist is just released from jail

ACT 2: 

Act 2 focuses in on the struggle that will mark the beginning of their journey.

We begin to meet the families and communities that drive these individuals and inform their journey.

We begin the journey and start to understand what is at stake.

 Examples:

We learn the immigrant is trying to get to his wife in Corpus Christi.

The border patrol agent represents a very particular type of morally righteous American. She is hot on the trail of a group of immigrants that could easily be one of our characters.

The activists are facing ever-increasing hurdles, a Trump administration crack down, felony convictions, lack of resources, and today, they came across a family in dire need of help.

 Music elicits thematic connectivity throughout, creating a backdrop for the Southwest, the American landscape that will act as another point of connection/character throughout the series.

ACT 3:

We foreshadow the role of water in the Southwest and leave the audience on a cliffhanger.

Example:

The immigrant has to hide out for the night from a group of border patrol agents. Will he be caught? Is our agent there? Will the activists be able to help a young family?

Episode 2 introduces us to the next three characters, following a similar act breakdown. As the series progresses, we continue to weave the stories, creating connections between all six through the personal struggles, landscape, human moments and emotional content. We begin to see the complexities of American life and commonalities in each story.