This script is powerful, touching, and should ignite a fire in our viewers heart. I see the words written for The Speech as our emotional waypoint in this film. That’s exactly why I believe we should SEE the person who is giving this speech, to get a sense of what our firefighters are feeling before they prepare to take on what we witness in The Fire Line segment.

It’s delivered by someone exactly like you described. A stoic, steadfast figure -- a leader who inspires confidence to get the job done, however difficult it may be.

Where I want to see this speech happen is something akin to a war room. We never show the character explicitly, keeping tight to their face, eyes, and mouth. We feel the room that they are speaking to, we sense the emotion in their voice.

Within this room is the tools and information our Hotshots need to get the job done. Things we can see utilize as callouts to what’s happening in our Fire Line sequence. Those helmets, axes, boots... they’re all elements we see within this war room. Hanging on walls, resting in cubbies. When we see the equipment, we recognize them as things our hotshots are using at the Fire Line. Making the connection that our leader giving the speech is talking directly to those we are seeing in the wildfire.

That’s how we create emotional connection with the viewer. We need a face to access what our Hotshots are going through.

Who better than the person leading them into the flames...