Let’s start with, “What the f**k is a Snow Frog?”
Well, they don’t really exist. Snow Frogs was an idea I came up with one day while driving up the mountains into Ruidoso, New Mexico. I had just decided to leave my then wife, and felt that a trip out to see my mom in San Diego was in order. It was Christmas time, and hearts were broken. Not only were Heather and I not destined to be with each other, but our 9 year old dog, Moen, had gone through a year of treatments to figure what exactly was wrong with him. He had been sick for quite some time, and we had piled up some serious debt in taking care of him over that year.
He was Heather’s dog for 7 years before I came in the picture, and when I did, he and I took to each other immediately. We were Boy & Dog, we’d go everywhere together.
But he was too sick to make the trip to San Diego with me. So I left him at home with Heather, and I took our other dog Luke instead. He was about 4 or 5, and what I liked to call our Chorgy, a cross between a Chow and Corgy. He was orange and fluffy, but stumpy. Like a fat fox!
Luke and I struck out in a Travels With Charley fashion. Our first destination was Ruidoso, where I wanted to climb Sierra Blanca a 12,000ft mountain. Winding up the hills on that mountain road, I saw leaves scuttle across the road, blown by wind. In my mind, they looked like frogs hopping frantically to avoid my Xterra, speeding towards them.
I laughed when I had the thought. “Frogs!” I guffawed. “The only frogs that could live up here in the snow, would be Snow Frogs.”
And the proverbial light bulb turned brightly on above my skull. See, one of mine and Heather’s favorite past times was to lay on the couch on lazy Saturdays watching bad SyFy movies. You know the ones: Sharknado, Sabertooth, Mammoth, etc.
I thought, what if these “Snow Frogs” I just invented, could somehow attack humans? And what if they attacked the ski resort here in Ruidoso? And the windfall of ideas continued. I had never written a screenplay before. But I knew that this could be a fun, and unique movie. One that I’d want to watch, even with all the bad, punny jokes, and the B-list actors!
The idea percolated as Luke and I had fun in Ruidoso. We slept in the back of the Xterra, which got so cold that even the fluff covered mutt demanded to share my blankets with me.
When morning came we discovered the mountain was covered in about 3 feet of powder. I decided against a summit attempt, as I didn’t want to end up like the Chilean soccer team that had to eat each other to survive. Luke had never been in snow, so he bounded like a big orange bunny with excitement. He played in that fresh powder for hours, then we shared some barbecue on the patio at Can’t Stop Smokin. With our bellies full we got some coffee and drove down the mountain to White Sands where I took photos at sunset, while Luke ran around in the dunes.
We drove on to San Diego, where Luke and I stayed with my Mom for a day. On the second day, Heather called with dreadful news. Moen had gotten worse. He had to be put down. It was horrible, Heather asked me to talk to him right before they let him go.
I decided that it would be best if I cut my trip short and go be with Heather. We weren’t getting back together, but we needed to grieve together. I took the straight route. The boring one, through El Paso. It took 20 hours which I did pretty much straight through with a couple stops.
It was not the happiest of Christmas’s. But we spent it together. I told her about Snow Frogs and how if it ever got made, I’d use it to pay the debt from all of Moen’s medical bills. That was our last Christmas together. I moved back to San Diego that following July in 2009. And I started writing Snow Frogs in earnest. I wrote in spurts over the years, finally finishing it just recently.
I would love to see it made. To have the characters I created, and their lines I came up with, hit the television, would be awesome. But finishing it has always been more about honoring Moen. The best dog ever.
If you are an actor, director, producer, or would just like to read the script, please contact me, and I’m happy to send a PDF or hard copy to you.
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