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The Secrets of Death a Short Film
by Barrett Delong (barrettdelong@aol.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Comedy   User Review: ***
Dan trys to learn the secrets to after life.


Big Bear Production Company



FADE IN:

EXT. OFF SCREEN/GROUP - DAY
                                                            
                       DAN (vo)
No one in the living world has a
clue about death. (Beat) My name
is Dan and I have been dead for
one month now.
                                                            
                       GROUP
Hi Dan
                                                            
                       DAN
In life I was successful and
always had the best girls
(Sarcastic Laugh).
                                                            
Flash at guy in a car taking a drink of alcohol.
                                                            
                       DAN (vo)
      (Con't)
I have to admit, that day I was
out of my mind. I had just got in
a fight with my girlfriend and had
got my ass chewed out at work that
day. I was in a hurry. I was late
to a doctors check up. Ha. Guess
you could say I got a full exam
that day.
                                                            
Flash at a fight with a girl and a man yelling in a cubical.
                                                            
                       DAN (vo)
      (Con't)
I have to admit my face was a
sight to see that day.
                                                            
Show car hitting Dan. Show Dan dead.
                                                            
                       DAN (vo)
      (Con't)
Better yet you should have seen
the drivers face once he hit me.
                                                            
Show driver freaking out over Dan being dead.
                                                            
                       DAN (vo)
      (Con't)
Whoever the hell it was that said
it doesn't hurt dieing surly had
never died himself. I had never
            (MORE)

2.

                       DAN (cont'd)
been in more pain.
                                                            
Show Dan dead on the ground. Show his ghost getting up
walking without injury.
                                                            
                       DAN (vo)
      (Con't)
I had no idea what to do but just
stand leave the area.
                                                            
Dan walks away from the scene
                                                            
                       DAN (vo)
That's when I saw it for the first
time. (beat) I guess I should say
that its the only thing living
people had right about being dead.
(sarcastic) The tunnel of light.
                                                            
Show light in front of Dan.
                                                            
                       DAN (vo)
The thing they don't tell you
about the tunnel is that it scares
you shit less. (Beat) All I know
is that it is a portal, a hall.
Where it leads, hell if I know,
"pun intended". (Beat) I was
scared, so I got as far away from
that thing as I could. I am glad I
did, once I found out that the
tunnel doesn't always lead to
those pearly gates of heaven I am
glad to know I have a chance to
think things over. But It kills me
now to see those I loved keep on
with life without me.
                                                            
                                         CUT TO
                                                            
A group of people sitting in chairs in a circle.
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
Dan remember our lesson from last
week. That portal is always there
for you until you are ready to use
it. You probably have nothing to
worry about.
                                                            
                       DAN
Probably? I need more certainty
than probably. You said it
yourself, there is no coming back
            (MORE)

3.

                       DAN (cont'd)
once I go in.
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
Dan we all understand your
frustration. After all that is why
we are all here.
                                                            
                       AMY
Sir, didn't you say that some have
stayed so long in the material
world that their portals get cut
off by phisical obstructions.
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
That's right Amy, that is why you
don't want to linger too long in
this world. You need to use your
portal.
                                                            
                       AMY
Why? There is so much cool stuff
you can do in the ghost world, I
noticed we are able to obstruct
living beings lives. How can we do
that better.
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
Amy, I have said this before, do
not interfere with the living.Plus
it my effect where your portal
leads.
                                                            
                       LIZ
Bullshit.
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
Excuse me Liz do you have
something to say?
                                                            
                       LIZ
Yeah, that is bullshit.
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
      (Offended)
Well I do think that is all the
time we have for today. Thursday
we meet again everyone.
                                                            
Group begins to get up and scatter Dan approaches Liz.
                                                            
                       DAN
Excuse me.
                                                            

4.

                       LIZ
Piss off buddy group is over.
                                                            
                       DAN
No... I just wanted to ask you a
few question about what you said
back there.
                                                            
                       LIZ
Oh really? The part where I said
nothing or the part where I told
you to piss off.
                                                            
                       DAN
The part where you said our ghost
lives don't effect where our
portal leads.
                                                            
                       LIZ
Oh I don't remember saying that
but, I do remember saying bullshit
though.
                                                            
                       DAN
I thought we could have no impact
on the outside world or we would
be condemed to hell.
                                                            
                       LIZ
Thats what they want you to think.
                                                            
                       DAN
Wait. Wait. Wait. So you can
impact the material world.
                                                            
                       LIZ
Duh , didn't you ever hear of
people seeing ghosts when you were
alive?
                                                            
                       DAN
I guess.
                                                            
                       LIZ
Well congratulations buddy your
now a spooky ghost.
                                                            
Liz shoves Dan out of the way and exits out the door and
papers fly around the room.
                                                            
                       DAN
Wait!
                                                            
 

5.

EXT. STREET - DAY
                                                            
Dan walks up a street through people.
                                                            
                       DAN (vo)
This pretty much sums up my life
or should I say after life. I
wonder around spying on people I
knew all day and attend those god
awful moving on meetings.
                                                            
                       DAN (OS)
I feel like Patrick Swazi in the
movie Ghost. At least the rules to
moving on were way less
complicated. Its like the lottery
passing through a light portal.
The risk, the uncertainty, is
often why others go so quick. Some
just have faith. I have never been
much of a risk taker myself. Hell
I was too afraid to invest in the
stock market.
                                                            
Liz is seen grabbing a newspaper from a person. She
approaches Dan.
                                                            
                       DAN
Hey!
                                                            
Liz ignores the call.
                                                            
                       DAN
You there. Hey!
                                                            
Liz stops and turns in agitation.
                                                            
                       LIZ
What the hell do you want buddy.
                                                            
                       DAN
I want to know how you can live in
this world without being so
invisable.
                                                            
                       LIZ
Your a ghost, get used to it.
                                                            
                       DAN
That's not what I mean. I want to
make my presence known to others
more.
                                                            

6.

                       LIZ
Then pass through your portal.
                                                            
                       DAN
If its that easy why haven't you
done it yet?
                                                            
                       LIZ
Listen buddy, the thing is I am a
suicide case. Do you know what
that means? (beat) It means the
second I pass my portal I go to
eternal damnation. (Beat) (Beat)
                                                            
                       DAN
I'm sorry I had no idea. I was
just... I mean... Is there a way
to stop it?
                                                            
                       LIZ
      (Sarcastically)
You remember rehab with 12 steps
when you were living? Well this is
the 12 step program for the dead.
They say if I do well and make
amends by helping guardians I will
pass to heaven. Sadly there is no
way to be sure to know if I did
enough or not. (beat) Whats
depressing is I am pretty sure
that this is the eternal
damnation.
                                                            
                       DAN
They? Guardians?
                                                            
                       LIZ
Oh god you are new to this aren't
you? First thing you gotta know is
that there is three types of ghost
in this world regulars, angels,
and demons. Angels protect people
to assure Gods greater plan and
the demons are just around to stir
shit up. Us regulars are dumb
asses that didn't use our portals.
Any questions?
                                                            
                       DAN
Angels? Demon?... So we can
interact in the mortal world?
                                                            

7.

                       LIZ
Bingo (sarcastically) And for
your information its called
haunting.
      (turns
       sarcastically)
Next meeting I will share my
sobbering story just for you.
                                                            
                       DAN
I thought haunting was bad.
                                                            
                       LIZ
Just drop the subject and go
through your portal. The counselor
said you seemed fine to go
through.
                                                            
                       DAN
What the hell does he know. Even
he said it takes faith to step
through the light.
                                                            
                       LIZ
He knows more than you think.I've gotta scoot. Later.
                                                            
Liz disappears
                                                            
                       DAN
Damn it wait!
                                                            
May sees from a distance Liz disappear.
                                                            
                       MAG
      (Yelling)
Holy cow! Did anyone else just see
that? That girl just disappeared
out of thin air.
                                                            
Mag runs up to Dan
                                                            
                       MAG
Sir surly you saw that did'nt you?
                                                            
                       DAN
See what?
                                                            
                       MAG
That girl disappear.
                                                            
                       DAN
Whats your name?
                                                            

8.

                       DAN
Meg Mahorney, why?
                                                            
                       DAN
Actually Meg I think I have seen
you before. Wait! Whats your job?
                                                            
                       MAG
I'm a lawyer. Why you need to sue
someone?
                                                            
                       DAN
No, I think you may have died and
not realized it yet.
                                                            
                       MAG
(laughs) Good try honey but its
going to to take more than that to
scare me.
                                                            
                       DAN
I died a month ago. (Beat) You
should know you stepped in and
helped my family divide my assets.
                                                            
Meg recognizes Dan
                                                            
                       MAG
Oh my god. Your that kid that was
hit by the car. I made a killing
off commission from you. (Beat)
That means...(Beat) This is crazy.
That doctor told me I had years to
live as long as I watched my
weight. Look at me I'm as fit as a
whistle. I guess I have a few
pounds on me but who gives a shit.
                                                            
                       DAN
      (suggestive)
Meg I think it might be a good
idea you think about it before you
go to your portal of light.
                                                            
                       MAG
What the the hell is a portal of
light and why should I think about
going through it?
                                                            

9.

                       DAN
A portal of light is a passage to
one of two places heaven or
eternal damnation and it appears
around where you died.
                                                            
                       MAG
I have nothing to to worry about I
went to church.
                                                            
Meg starts walking away
                                                            
                       DAN
I guess not. Seeing as you were
such a honest person.
                                                            
Meg stops.
                                                            
                       MAG
When is the next group thing?
                                                            
                       DAN
There are a few things Meg you
need to learn about death. Come
with me.
                                                            
Both walk off talking with each other through a crowd.
                                                            
                                         FADE OUT
                                                            
 
INT. GROUP - NIGHT
                                                            
We see the group center once again but at night.
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
I now call this meeting into
session. Lets start with a new
member brought in by our friend
Dan. Now stand up and say you
first name and how long you have
been dead.
                                                            
Meg stands up
                                                            
                       MAG
      (Nervous)
My name is Meg and... I don't
think I know how to do this..
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
Meg, the first step to moving on
is admitting you are dead. Now
lets try it again and remember we
            (MORE)

10.

                       GROUP COUNSELOR (cont'd)
are all your friends and are here
to help you.
                                                            
                       MAG
      (nervous)
Hi my name is Meg and I have been
dead one day now.
                                                            
                       GROUP
Hi Lee
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
So who wants to share their story
tonight?
                                                            
                       LIZ
I will.
                                                            
Group bustles at the news
                                                            
                                         CUT TO
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
Good job group and it was nice to
finally hear from you Liz ten
years of the program has to be
tough. We will meet normal time
next meeting.
      (Beat)
What is that noise?
                                                            
Two living people with ghost hunting equipment stop in front
of the room.
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
No need to panic just stay in one
place and don't move
                                                            
Liz and Dan are sent to a corner of the room as others are
sent elsewhere
                                                            
                       GHOST HUNTER 1
Hey Mike that's weird there light
is on in here.
                                                            
                       GHOST HUNTER 2
Maybe this place really is
haunted.
                                                            

11.

                       DAN
      (whispering)
Why do we have to hide if they
can't see us?
                                                            
                       LIZ
They can't see us but their
equipment can. Also if they use a
wedgie board in here demons will
come.
                                                            
                       DAN
Demons? I thought they were just
tormentors to the living.
                                                            
                       LIZ
Well they are a permanent death
sentence to a none passaged ghost.
                                                            
Both humans enter the empty room
                                                            
                       GHOST HUNTER 2
Hey Rob are you getting the same
readings I am?
                                                            
                       GHOST HUNTER 1
Holy cow I have never seen reading
like this. Mike get the board out.
                                                            
Ghost hunter 2 pulls a wedgie board and sets it on the
ground.
                                                            
                       LIZ
Shit. (Beat) This is going to be
bad.
                                                            
Both ghost hunters start using the board. Growling is heard
from a distance.
                                                            
                       GHOST HUNTER 2
Rob turn on the night vision on
the camera and see if we can at
least catch an orb on video.
                                                            
                       DAN
      (whispering)
What are those sounds?
                                                            
                       LIZ
You don't want to know
                                                            
                       GHOST HUNTER 1
You ask the first question.
                                                            

12.

                       GHOST HUNTER 2
Ok... Is there someone in here
                                                            
Two scary people hobble into the room and grab the board.
They assist with writing yes.
                                                            
                       GHOST HUNTER 2
What is your name?
                                                            
                       DEMON
      (Slowly)
Evil...
                                                            
Demon moves the wedgie to E-V-I-L...
                                                            
                       GHOST HUNTER 1
What the...
                                                            
                       GHOST HUNTER 1
Ask who is evil
                                                            
                       GHOST HUNTER 2
I got it. (Holds hand up) Who is
evil?
                                                            
The wedgie shakes in an empty room and flies off the board.
                                                            
                       LIZ
      (whispering)
These guys are idiots.
                                                            
                       DAN
      (whispering)
Whats about to happen?
                                                            
                       LIZ
      (Whispering)
The worst possible thing that can
happen. A possession. Or a ghost
in flesh.
                                                            
Liz gets up out of the corner.
                                                            
                       DAN
      (Whispering)
Liz what are you doing? They will
see you won't they?
                                                            
                       LIZ
What the hell should you care, I'm
a suicide remember.
                                                            

13.

                       DAN
I care... you know something about
passing on that your not telling.
                                                            
                       LIZ
I told, you just didn't listen.
                                                            
Both demons see Liz and make a lunge at her. Liz runs out of
the room and the demons follow. Screams are heard. Both
humans hear the commotion
                                                            
                       GHOST HUNTER 2
What the hell was that? Lets go!
                                                            
Both humans run out the door. The counselor try to check on
everyone
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
Is everyone alright? For those of
you who don't know those were
demons. They are dangerous to an
unportaled ghost.
                                                            
                       DAN
Now they got her.
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
It is sad but know she saved the
rest of us. She fulfilled a
purpose which most don't do in
life.
                                                            
                       DAN
I just don't understand what to do
next. She gave me answer to the
question I have been asking since
I died.
                                                            
                       GROUP COUNSELOR
Perhaps it will come to you where
you least expect it.
                                                            
                       DAN
Whats that supposed to mean?
                                                            
The group starts to leave out the door
                                                            
                       AMY
Those things can hurt us? Screw
this! I am going to portal out of
this world.
                                                            

14.

                       DAN
But. What if it leads...
                                                            
                       AMY
Leads where? Take a chance. She
did.
                                                            
Amy laughs and exits out door
                                                            
                                         FADE OUT
                                                            
 
EXT. ROAD - NIGHT
                                                            
We see Dan sitting on the curb.
                                                            
                       DAN (vo)
I guess it took death for me to
truly find out what a crossroad
really was. Come to find out its
not as enlightening as some may
lead you to believe. I suppose I
just have to own up to the fact
that staying here is more mundane
than any life beyond the light .
                                                            
Dan gets up and walks toward the portal which disappears
once Dan gets to close. Liz in bright makeup is seen in
white.
                                                            
                       LIZ
      (Relaxed)
I see you have taken my suggestion
to take a chance.
                                                            
                       DAN
I thought you were...
                                                            
                       LIZ
Were what? Dead? I was already
dead. You remember me mentioning
the twelve step program? It
happens the twelfth step was to
guide you in the right direction.
You are here, so I think I did
something right. I happened to get
I guess what you call a promotion
after that demon thing too. They
made me a guardian.
                                                            
                       DAN
I thought you wanted out of this
world?
                                                            

15.

                       LIZ
All I really wanted was freedom
and now I have it thanks to you.
(beat) I do believe you have a
portal to use. All you have to do
is take the first step.
                                                            
Dan disappears and Liz Smiles and walks away.
                                                            


THE END


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From Shannon Date 11/25/2009 ***1/2
i liked it. Sort of a Ghost Town with a bit more morbidity. I think I would've liked to see a confrontation between Dan and a demon, maybe someone he knew when he was alive. Very nice job though!

From Corinne Date 9/28/2008 **1/2
I liked this, but it could have been longer. It seems like it was cut short and rushed at the end. This story has the potential to become a full length movie. I like the idea and plot, but there could be a bigger idea growing. Maybe a conflict between the demons and unportaled ghosts? Maybe Dan could meet an angel or regular. he could visit his girl friend's house or something and you could go more in depth with his back story. But overall, i liked the idea of your script a lot. keep writing!

From Kevin Mitchell Date 9/27/2008 **1/2
I thought it was an interesting story. I would have liked to seen the envelope pushed a bit more as far as the humor in certain spots like with the flashes. I would recommend a book that was recommended for me by David Chase. The Scriptwriters bible. It's a fantastic book that I've read three times now and it's awesome. It will help you with your formatting hick-ups problems. The group meeting was clever but again... I wanted to see more. Make sure you show and don't tell.


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