Camping (1/2 HR Pilot)

"Camping" is a compelling Tv drama that chronicles the struggles of Emma, an African American mother who lives in her van with her seven-year-old daughter, Gia. Emma works as a ride-share driver and cleaner at a large Mega Church but is barely making ends meet. One night, Emma and Gia encounter their toughest challenge yet when their car gets towed while they sleep inside a tent in the back of their van. 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.

Emma soon realizes the danger she has put Gia in and 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 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. Although Emma believes Maria can assist with the robbery, 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 her daughter Gia the next morning.

The next day, before Gia’s church play, Emma is supposed to take her to, Gia and Kelly discover Emma sleeping in the van. Kelly becomes suspicious and confronts Emma. Mike, who is impatient waiting in the car, notices and runs over . As a result, Kelly takes Gia’s hand creating an altercation, Mike intervenes and Emma slaps him by accident in the rage of protection for Gia. They leave the scene having Emma alone in the van waving to Gia.

With Emma's unwavering determination and resilience, "Camping" portrays the harsh realities often hidden in society and the challenges that many single homeless mothers face as they try to provide for their children while navigating through life's obstacles. Camping is a testament to a mother's love and the extraordinary lengths she is willing to go to ensure her daughter's well-being.

The Netflix show (Maid) meets (Gone In 60 seconds)

  • Derek Quick
    Kommando 1944. Camping Short Film
  • Project Type:
    Television Script
  • Genres:
    Drama, heist, coming of age
  • Number of Pages:
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Language:
  • First-time Screenwriter:
  • Student Project:
Writer Biography - Derek Quick

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.