OPEN on a tight shot of a REINDEER looking at us, its head tilted slightly. Snowflakes fall around it like confetti.
In the beginning it was just about the money. An assignment.
A story to fill a colouring book.
ZOOM OUT to show that the reindeer is in an enclosure. We’re in Chicago Zoo in the winter of 1938. Snow continues to fall from the cloudless, pale blue sky.
A man with his back to us holds the hand of his four year old daughter in front of the enclosure. They are both wrapped up in winter clothes.
This is ROBERT L. MAY and his daughter, BARBARA.
Enter Robert L. May, native of Chicago.
CUT TO a CLOSE UP on Robert, facing us, as he crouches down at his daughter’s side pointing towards us/the reindeer. She smiles gleefully.
CUT TO a CLOSE UP on Robert’s hands. Both of them are holding the frail and pale looking hand of his wife (off panel) as she lies in bed.
And devoted husband.
Even during times of hardship.
CUT TO a shot of Robert, looking up at him at an angle. He’s sitting at a desk, a typewriter in front of him, a piece of paper curling slightly towards us from its top.
Slowly the story became something more. Something he needed to finish.
It became a reminder.
Wide panel: CUT TO Robert sitting on the edge of Barbara’s bed. He reads to her from the same sheet of paper that was in the typewriter from the last panel.
A reminder that even when the storm comes and hope seems lost we each have our beacons.
Wide panel: TIGHT SHOT on Barbara as she beams back at her father.
We can all make it through the dark.