Camping (1Hr Pilot)

"Camping" is a compelling Tv drama that chronicles the struggles of Emma, a single African American mother who lives in her van with her young daughter Gia. Emma works hard as a ride-share driver and church cleaner to make ends meet but faces their toughest challenge yet when their van gets towed while they sleep inside a tent in the back. Fortunately, Gia's father, Mike, bails them out since his name is still on the title as Emma failed to transfer it after their
divorce. Realizing the danger she has put her daughter in, Emma decides to ask Mike and his new wife Kelly to watch over Gia temporarily while she takes on extra cleaning jobs and looks for a permanent place to live. However, Emma's lie about her living situation strains her relationship with Gia after she is fired from her rideshare job.

After a long day of cleaning the church, Emma is hesitant to join Maria at her family's Cinco De Mayo party, but Maria manages to persuade her to come. At the party, Emma loosens up and confides in Maria about her recent divorce with Mike, and even suggests robbing the Mega Church for funds to buy a new van. Emma believes that Maria can help her with the heist and proposes that they split the money to pay for Maria's citizenship, which she said was costly.
Maria shares her own story of courage, having moved her kids across the border from Mexico with the help of a coyote. Maria declines. After consuming too much alcohol, Emma becomes ill and can’t drive. Raul, Maria's husband, offers to drive Emma to Mike's house, where they leave her with her van. With no other choice, Emma spends the night in her van so that she can pick up Gia the next morning for her church rehearsal play. The next day, Kelly and Gia discover Emma sleeping in the van. Kelly becomes suspicious, accusing Emma of being drunk. Mike and Kelly leave the scene after an altercation, and Gia breaks down later in private to Kelly admitting that her mother lives in the van.

That night Emma, afraid Mike will take her to court with no other option, decides to rob the church with Maria who feels guilty about the situation after finding out the truth. The next day Emma and Maria fail to steal enough money from the safe during the heist due to Kelly's confrontation with Emma. Kelly tells her about a mother daughter day at school that week. Emma agrees to attend. At the event a few days later Gia is mad at her mother for missing her play. Emma becomes embarrassed as she notices all of the mothers are dressed in their professional uniforms, so to feel included Emma tells everyone she has decided to join the Coast Guard. Soon after Gia runs out of the classroom distraught, and Kelly confronts Emma about being homeless. Emma decides her final option is to actually join the Coast Guard but finds out she needs to pay off her outstanding debts in collection. Kelly tells Mike about Emma living in the van. Mike then calls Emma confronting her and refuses to sign a custody waiver leaving Emma's future uncertain. "Camping" portrays the harsh realities often hidden in society and the challenges that many single homeless mothers face. Camping is a testament to a mother's love and the extraordinary lengths she is willing to go to ensure her daughter's

Think the Netflix show (Maid) meets (Gone In 60 seconds) Or the other side of (Kramer vs Kramer) where we get to see what really happened to "Joanna" while she was away from her child for months.

  • Derek Quick Negane Meno
    Kommando 1944
  • Project Type:
    Television Script
  • Genres:
    Drama, Heist
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
Writer Biography - Derek Quick Negane Meno

Derek's previous film Kommando 1944 a WWII film about the Japanese Americans forced into Internment camps in Manzanar California won numerous awards including Outstanding World War II Short Film Winner at the 2019 Spielberg's Band Of brothers Film festival in Normandy France. It also premiered at Oscar Qualifying festival Short Shorts in Japan, and Cannes at the American Pavilion.

Derek's grandfather Chuck (Red Cedar) Todd was the Chief of the Ottawa Indian first nation tribe which by tradition were master storytellers. Derek was inspired to write and direct because of the many untold stories of hundreds of first nation tribes that faced many hardships during their forced treks to the reservations.

Derek is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts with an Associates Degree 2014-2016.
He also attended the New York Film Academy from 2016-2018

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Writer Statement

Camping" is a deeply personal project for me, inspired by my own experiences as a "working homeless" person living out of my car in Los Angeles. I know firsthand the struggles that come with trying to provide for yourself and your family while also facing the challenges of homelessness. As a writer and filmmaker, I wanted to shed light on the tens of thousands of working homeless individuals especially single mothers who put on brave faces every day, showing up to work and school without a place to call home at night.

Through "Camping," I hope to bring awareness to the difficulties faced by single mothers in particular, who often have the hardest time finding affordable housing in larger cities. Wage inequalities and record inflation make it increasingly difficult for economically lower-class and even middle-class families to keep a roof over their heads, and the risk of losing custody of their children and their jobs is a constant fear.

I believe that the struggles of the working homeless are often hidden from the public eye, and it's time for these stories to be told. "Camping" is a poignant tale of a mother's love and the lengths she is willing to go to provide for her daughter, highlighting the challenges faced by so many in our society today.

I hope this pilot sparks important conversations and brings about positive change for those who are struggling to make ends meet.