Hawaii Calls by Rick Helin | Script Revolution

Hawaii Calls

In 1925, a US Navy seaplane becomes lost while attempting the first non-stop flight from California to Hawaii. When search parties declare them dead, the abandoned crew puts together a unique plan to rescue themselves.



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Based On: 
A True Story

Two years before Lindbergh successfully flies non-stop across the Atlantic, the US Navy attempts the same daring feat across the Pacific

Commander John Rodgers is a fifth generation naval officer from a prestigious upper- class family and the second licensed pilot to fly for the US Navy. On August 31, 1925, he and his four crewmen lift-off from the frigid waters of San Francisco Bay in a twin engine, bi-winged flying boat called the PN9-1. If successful, they will be the first to fly non-stop from San Francisco to Hawaii, setting the record in a blistering twenty-eight hours .

The ill-fated flying boat runs out of fuel three hundred miles short of their goal and is forced to set down onto a turbulent ocean. Once on the water, the men discover they are no longer in communication with the fleet.

As the world anxiously awaits the outcome of the crew's fate, the navy's best search efforts fail to find the plane and her crew remain lost at sea for ten days. As the politics of blame and cover-up take center stage back home, the crew quickly expend their meager two-day supply of emergency rations while all hope of ever finding the men grows ever slimmer.

As all hope slowly fades away, Rodgers' personal leadership skills and navigational expertise ultimately encourages his men onto a path toward self-reliance; cleverly rescuing themselves in the end.

Based upon a true story ripped from the headlines of 1925. In 1927, Honolulu International Airport was quietly dedicated to the memory of Commander John Rodgers.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

Semi-Finalist at Page International 2008
Top Ten at Cinema City Film Festival 2007
Quarterfinalist Creative Screenwriting 2021,
Overall Top 35% on Coverfly 2022

"This film is immensely strong on a concept level. It strikes the perfect balance between festival worthy cinema and commercial cinema. Speaking purely as a viewer, I genuinely loved the film, and there's simply no point in being pedantic. Of course, the script can be fine-tuned but that does not take away from what it achieves. This film has the potential to lure in the mainstream studios as well as the streaming platforms. It's a piece of our history that must be told and must be celebrated. More importantly, a film like this already has a proven market.... it's the characters that give this film distinctive taste (and the fact that it is based on a true story). I sincerely hope that this film sees the light of day. It really was a refreshing read."

A Quick Pitch Using Historic Newsreel Footage From 1925
Submitted: November 14, 2020
Last Updated: May 3, 2022

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Rick Helin's picture

The Writer: Rick Helin

Rick grew up in Kailua, Hawaii. Graduated from San Jose State University and began his writing career while working as a Superior Court Probation Officer. In that capacity, Rick was responsible for interviewing defendants found guilty of felony charges, then preparing an extensive judicial sentencing recommendation for his team of assigned judges. This honed his writing and research skills immensely. Rick took these acquired skills and applied them to a booming mortgage banking market. By substituting rap sheets for credit reports, Rick quickly became the 'Dean of Mortgage Banking' in Northern California, successfully convincing mortgage underwriters to 'sentence' his clients to thirty... Go to bio

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