The Works of Leotien Parlevliet
For those who don’t know me from my first blog on The Perfect Pair Dolphin Trilogy website, here’s a quick recap.
I am a former French teacher and published my first novel, Eleonore, in 2007.
Following a course in screenwriting, I embarked on several scripts, two of which are now finished. Being a keen environmental activist, I wished to use my work to raise public awareness about the threat to life on our planet. To this end, I wrote The Sign and Heaven’s Revolution. My work addresses social topics centred on mutual human relations … with just a touch of magic!
Get the picture? Okay! Here is the plot of The Sign set in scenes.
Genre: Comedy. It’s inspirational and female driven.
Log line: A team of oceanographers are involved in an unprecedented marine animal protest action, which takes a sudden turn.
The world is in the grip of the terrible Covid-19 pandemic. On a craggy cliff in the desolate East Cape of South Africa, Mary Anne, a young female oceanographer, peers at the ocean through her video camera. She is a member of the Australian Ocean Institute who carry out research in the Indian ocean. The sudden appearance of a few pods of dolphins, followed by a number of humpback whales, surprises her, but she’s stupefied and appalled when a pod of orcas surfaces, too, as this is not the time for dolphins and other marine animals to join their enemies for a feeding frenzy on migrating sardines.
Troubled, Mary Anne telephones her team-mate, Malcolm, to share her observations. Malcolm is sailing along Kwa-Zulu-Natal’s coast with his two mates, John and newcomer Mark. Malcolm, like John, is a real old hand. As he prepares for his investigation of the coral reefs, a few humpbacks swim to his boat and force him to change his plan.
Mark is a handsome young man who seems to live for his job, but he has a gloomy demeanour. John, who registers the sounds of whales, has the appearance and air of a real craggy seafarer with his captain’s cap, side whiskers and weathered face.
As more humpback whales speed towards the boat, threatening to encircle it, the crew attempt to make their escape. However, they are quickly surrounded within a heart-shaped formation of cetaceans and other marine life. From the vantage point of the cliff, Mary Anne watches in amusement as the intention of the marine animals becomes clear.
Unexpectedly, the cetaceans suddenly break formation and approach the boat to spit a plethora of plastic junk onto the deck. Malcolm and John are shocked when Mark reacts angrily, throwing the sea junk back at them. Undeterred, the cetaceans respond by again throwing it onto the deck and clicking at him loudly.
This is the beginning of a change in their relationship. The marine animals suddenly fall silent and retreat to re-form their heart-shaped formation. In the distance, there is a huge ripple cutting the water – and it’s approaching the boat. The mood of the team immediately changes to one of anxiety and fear. This sinister turn of events increases the suspense of the unfolding scene.
Then, it appears: an enormous white shark. Mark, consumed by panic, produces a gun, which he aims at the monstrous shape swimming just beneath the surface. Immediately, conflict consumes the team as Malcolm and John shout at their teammate to stand down.
Incredibly, the great white shark mimics the cetaceans’ act by throwing rubbish onto the boat’s deck. A confused Mark again interprets these actions as hostile, so aims his gun at the shark’s head.
John and Malcolm fail to recognise Mark’s fear and confusion, and the situation deteriorates further when Malcolm expresses deep disdain for Mark’s father, a trawler fisherman who gifted Mark the gun. A screaming row develops, causing Mark to drop the gun into the water next to the monstrous shark. The two men square up for a fight, but John intervenes, reproaching them for breaking Covid social distancing regulations. Meanwhile, Mary Anne, still watching from the cliff, becomes afraid for the team's safety, so tries to contact the coast guard.
Unexpectedly, the huge shark uses its snout to hurl Mark’s gun back onto the deck, before plunging beneath the surface.
Mark stands muttering from a safe distance, whilst John attempts to justify his behaviour to Malcolm, clearly illustrating Malcolm’s stubbornness and John’s calmness.
An impasse follows as the two men put their conflict behind them to watch the white shark join its fellow sea creatures in their protest action.
After a chaotic rescue, the three men return to the Australian Ocean Institute headquarters, where they are joined by Mary Anne, who attempts to calm the two quarrelling men. However, her gentle approach fails, causing Mark to resign and walk out. This action leaves his teammates in utter consternation.
Now one man down, they reluctantly accept the invitation of a colleague, Pete, to view a news flash on TV: a phenomenon is taking place, as world media covers what appears to be a global protest by marine animals about humankind’s disrespect towards Earth’s oceans and its citizens. Coast Guards and rescue teams all over the world suddenly find themselves embarking on missions to rescue seagoers held hostage by concerned marine life. So widespread is this event that even the space station, ISS, has sent images of the protest to NASA.
As the team members watch the TV, transfixed, Mark re-enters the room. Having watched the newsreels on his tablet, he has re-thought his actions and repented. Hence, their joy is complete.
CLICK THE LINKS BELOW TO WATCH THE TRAILERS!
https://youtu.be/tVtILjZib6Y via @YouTube