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White Cedar: A Short Film by Shane Cassidy

(Loose Rough Draft) Character List: Melanie: -16 years old -girl -outwardly quiet, but has very strong opinions on the inside -slightly goth (mix of dark & light apparel) -follows Alexs film crew into local woods because she wants to find her sisters ghost there -had a very close relationship to Aurora -can never get over Auroras death -only person she can really talk to nowadays is Stuart -mild knowledge of tree identification Stuart: -friends concerns are his main concern -boy -15 years old -very easygoing -sympathetic for Melanies loss -easily annoyed by Alexs incompetence -tends to mess with Alex just a bit, not too much that it aggravates Alex excessively -is Alexs best friend, but is also one of Melanies only friends Alex: -obsessed with finding Slenderman, convinced that he is real -volatile and self-obsessed -much like the director fat kid in Super 8 -handy with a camera -friends with Stuart, so no direct relationship between him and Melanie -15 years old -boy -superstitious (regarding Slenderman-related stuff) -overreactive to seemingly little things, coincides with his superstition -only things he does with his videos is film, direct, edit and upload them to YouTube -his YouTube videos are barely watched by anyone, yet he thinks of them as important to the research and pursuit of Slenderman -constantly checks up on Slendermans latest whereabouts from various Slendy-tracking sites

Aurora: - Melanies deceased sister

- older than Melanie - vast knowledge of trees and cultural significance of trees - fun-loving and adventurous - loves Melanie very much - WATCH MY SISTERS KEEPER

How Melanie lost Aurora: They had a spot in the forest they would always go to, however, this particular spot has a very dangerous landscape. What kind it could be is pending, possibly a ditch or a rocky river, etc. One day, Aurora slipped and fell, some sort of accident like that, though she was alone when it happened. Melanie and her family searched for her everywhere, and they found her body where she died.

Plot diagram: - opening flashback of Auroras corpse - monologue by Melanie and first flashbacks - scene in Alexs room - three teens reach the woods - more flashbacks of Melanies - Alex films some of his documentary (comic relief) - they set up camp - Melanie is outside camp by herself in contemplation - Melanie leaves to find site of Auroras death (use shaky cam ONLY in first-person angle for Melanie running) - Alex and Stuart go out to look for her - Melanie finds site, meets Auroras ghost (who tells her to let go) - Alex and Stuart catch up to Melanie just as the sun rises - end

(First Draft) (some introductory opening credits roll, black screen fades into Auroras corpse face-down in the water, its early evening out, stay on corpse for about 10 seconds, then we hear her family coming close, flashlights shine on her, cries of anguish can be heard) Melanie (monologue): It was the last thing I could have possibly expected the absolute worstcase scenario. But then, those never really come to mind when you love someone like Aurora as much as I did. (flashbacks begin, starting with one of Melanie and Aurora running through an open, sunny field/grassy area, appearing to play tag, only their laughter is heard)

All we could think about was each other. What kind of adventures wed embark on, what kind of fun wed have (next flashback is of them climbing trees) That kind of sisterly bond is something beyond friendship. (next flashback is of them lying down and watching the clouds, pointing at them and, though no dialogue is heard, saying what each cloud looks like) Its a very special connection (next shot in flashback shows the clouds of near-sunset) written in our own blood. (movie title then shows in black background, then title fades, holds on black for a while monologue continues) Now shes gone and I cant get her back(its still black, but Stuart speaks up) Stuart: Easy there, Melanie Im so sorry I couldnt come home earlier for this (the screen fades from black to Melanie and Stuart sitting on Stuarts bed in his room, Stuart hugging her close supportively) Melanie: Its not your fault, Stuart. I I just dont know who else to turn to right now My big sister isStuart: Ssssshhhhh (gently pats Melanies back and holds her close) I know youre upset, but youre being a bit loud. Alex might hear us and barge in at any minAlex: (swings the door open, eyeing Stuart and Melanie with a tenacious grin) There you guys are! Ive been looking everywhere for you! Stuart: (grumbles to himself) Crap (cut to next scene in Alexs room, with Alex sitting in front of his computer and facing Melanie and Stuart, who are standing up beside him) Alex: Okay, so Ive been keeping track of the local supernatural sighting forums on Topix, and guess whats come up? Stuart: (speaks sarcastically in tone, but only half-shows it) Oh gee, could it possibly beAlex: Yes, you guessed right! Slenderman sightings! In OUR area, at that! Stuart: (clearly sarcastic) And I thought it was the Rake Melanie: Yeah Alex, this is really cool and all, but its out in the woods-

Alex: What, are you scared? Its not even a school night! Stuart: Alex, try putting some sensitivity on for size. Her sister died in a wooded area, you know! Alex: (feels a sudden push of remorse) Oh Sorry, Melanie. Melanie: Its fine (doesnt appear to be too invested in Alexs discussion, as if shes thinking about something else) Alex: (shifts directly back to his impulsively eager disposition) But hey, this probably isnt even the woods she died in! According to the forums, Slendermans current activity has been most recently confirmed to be occurring at Lanyon Forest Melanie: (eyes light up suddenly and she perks up) Ill go! Stuart and Alex: (both look at her in surprise, but in different kinds of surprise; Stuart in confusion, Alex in excitement) Melanie: I mean Yes, thats a different place from where my sister died, but also, I know how much this means to you, Alex, and Id like to help you out with it. Plus, I need to get my mind off other things anyway. Alex: (beams ecstatically) Perfect! Thank you so much, Melanie! Im glad you finally see things my way. You can help with carrying our camping supplies, since Slendys probably going to be sticking around there for a few more days, and StuartStuart: Camera guy. As usual. Right? Alex: (grins) Smart guy! Thats why youre my friend, man were two of a kind! Stuart: (rolls his eyes) Clearly Alex: Alright, Ive got a little bit of packing to do for us, equipment and all, you know (gets up and rushes downstairs while calling to his mother off-screen) MOM! WHERES THE CAMPING GEAR? Stuart: (still in the room with Melanie, facepalming) I have no idea why I continue to hang with that lost boy. Melanie: Oh, hes not that bad Hes just ambitious, right? Stuart: And persistent and compulsive and self-absorbed-

Melanie: Stuart! (looks at him with a look that says cut it out) Stuart: Sorry He just really gets on my nerves at times like this. But I guess youre right. Melanie: Exactly. Where would he be without you, anyway? Stuart: Question is, where wouldnt he be without me? (smirks) Melanie: (rolls her eyes) I gotta go let my folks know Ill be with you guys during the trip. See you soon? Stuart: Yeah, sure. See you then Melanie: (nods and exits the room) (cut to large establishing shot of Lanyon Forest, late afternoon; Melanie, Alex and Stuart arrive outside the woods on their bikes, with Stuart carrying most of the camping gear, though Alex and Melanie are carrying their things in their backpacks) Alex: Finally, were here! (dismounts his bike and sets the kickstand out) Hoo boy, my backs starting to ache a bit from carrying my stuff down here Stuart: (dismounts his bike, clearly irritated and exhausted, and responds sarcastically) Youre telling me Melanie: (dismounts her bike and follows Alex and Stuart into the woods; inner monologue begins) Truth is, I dont care about Alexs project at all. I actually agree with Stuarts outlook of Alex. Hes a compulsive, pretentious, obsessive snot that I wish I didnt have to associate myself with. God, Im just too nice around other people No, the real reason reason was the exact opposite of what I said with him earlier. I lied about Lanyon Forest not being where my sister died. That is exactly where she died. (flashback begins, showing visuals of Melanie and Aurora playing in the woods together; monologue continues) I know so because thats the forest we played together in all the time. We knew it by heart. We had special pathways that we would take in and out of it, and special places in it too. It was our own kingdom. Oh, sorry, I mean queendom. We were queens of that place. Not frilly, pretty princesses like most girls aim to be. We ruled our land like a king would: with decisions of wisdom and bravery, and with a sense of care and parenthood over the land and its inhabitants. Only difference was, we were girls. And therefore we were queens; queens who ruled just as good as any king could. (flashback ends, transitions back to Melanie following Stuart and Alex into the woods) Unfortunately, the trail Alex is taking isnt one Im familiar with. I guess were journeying into uncharted territory of the queendom now (monologue ends)

(shift to video camera POV, as Stuart films Alexs documentary with Alex leading in front) Alex: (narrating) Day one, Alex Hooper speakingStuart: (from behind camera) Day one? How many days do you intend to spend here? Alex: (to Stuart) As long as we need to, now shush! (back to narrating) We just entered Lanyon Forest, which, according to recent Topix supernatural forums, currently hosts the elusive and mysterious Slenderman! As all of you, my faithful viewers, know, it is my sworn duty to finally catch Slenderman on camera for all the internet to see! In transparent legitimacy! In candid camera! Stuart: Doesnt Slenderman make any videorecording technology around him screw up or something? Alex: (condescendingly laughs and speaks to Stuart) Oh, come now, Stuart everyone knows that only happens in the video game, right? Stuart: (slightly sarcastically) Oh, of course. My mistake Alex: Of course it is. (narrating again) We never know exactly when we may run into Slenderman around here. He has been reported to be both nocturnal and diurnal, so he could pop up at any sudden moment- (steps on a twig and jumps) AUGH! (realizes its just a twig) Oh just a twig I stepped on my bad Stuart: (says somewhat snarkily) Dont freak out too much, Alex. You might scare Slendy off Alex: Slenderman is not scared off by deterrents, Stuart! He is a master of mortal fears! A reaper of the twentieth century! Resilient! Dauntless! Ominou- (steps on another twig) AAUUGH!! (accidentally trips over) Stuart: (clearly holding back snickering) Everything youre not Alex: (gets up and frustratedly snatches the camera from Stuart; video camera POV ends) (cut to early evening, where the campsite is set up; Stuart and Alex are walking up to the campfire area with firewood and conversing/arguing with each other, Melanie is sitting on a log, appearing to be staring into space) Alex: You made me look like an idiot when we were filming, you sack of crap! Stuart: I dont see why youre getting this butthurt over it all of a sudden, man. Ive done it before, right?

Alex: I dont care, Im getting sick of it! And this is the closest Ive ever come to catching Slenderman, and I dont want you screwing up my crowning achievement in my supernatural pursuits! (both Alex and Stuart place their gathered firewood in the campfire spot, then turn around to gather more) Stuart: Dude, just chill already. Im only having a little fun Alex: This isnt a game, Stuart! This is making history in paranormal investigation! Stuart: Does that involve keeping a wedgie in your panties every time you get upset? Alex: Shut up!! (pushes Stuart) Stuart: (laughs off the push and follows Alex into the woods to get more firewood) (as Alex and Stuart walk off, the camera focuses on Melanies contemplation; dialogue of a flashback is heard in the background as the camera very slowly zooms into Melanies thoughtful face) Melanie: Oh, I think I know that one! Thats a um Aurora: An alder. Its significance is that of endurance and passion. Melanie: Oh, and thats definitely a birch! Whats that one mean? Aurora: It represents renewal and youth. (flashback begins, with Melanie and Aurora walking through the woods and identifying different trees) Melanie: And that ones a hmm oh! An elder! Aurora: Good! That one stands for evolution sometimes continuation Melanie: You ever wish there was a really cool nonnative tree around here somewhere? Aurora: You know perfectly well what kind of exotic tree I wanna see around here, sissy Melanie: Well, tell me anyway. I just wanna make sure. Aurora: (sweetly sighs and looks out at all the trees) A cedar. Thats my favorite

Melanie: Maybe we could make a treehouse at that cedar or something? That is, if we found one around here... Aurora: I dunno I mean, dont get me wrong, that does sound fun, and Id love to have a treehouse to hang at with you but cedars are pretty sacred to me. Its said to be a tree of healing of wisdom, too. It sounds like a tree that really cares for you (sits down in the grass, and Melanie follows suit) Its also said to mark the place of someone passed on from life, but I think that may be a rumor. Its kinda hard to determine the legitimacy of that fact, since none of my books can give a clear enough story on it. Melanie: Those bickering forums online dont help much either, do they? (snickers) Aurora: (giggles along with her sister) Nah (hugs Melanie close) I love you, sissy. Melanie: I love you too, chucklenuts. (they both giggle lightheartedly together as the flashback fades back to Melanie in the present day, face still contemplative, now a hint melancholy) (next scene is later at night; Melanie is sitting at her same spot, watching the campfire die down slowly, and Stuart peeks out the tent and speaks to her) Stuart: Are you gonna come inside the tent soon, Melanie? Youve been sitting out there for a long time now Melanie: Im fine. Ill come in when I feel like it, dont worry. Stuart: Okay, if you say so. Goodnight (zips the tent back up and goes back to sleep) Melanie: (waits a few seconds before half-whispering her response) Goodnight (cut to even later at night; the campfire has long been dead, Melanie is still by herself) Melanie: (staring up at the detailed night sky, and begins whispering to herself) I cant. (breathes deeply and hangs her head low) I I cant (brief silence) I cant be without her. Not anymore. (is silent for another moment, breathes deeply, and all of a sudden stands right up, her whisper heightening to a distressed half-whisper) I cant!! (sprints away from the campsite and into the woods) (focuses on Melanie running through the woods in different angles; fairly still tracking shot focuses on her running, close-up of her face as she runs, shaky cam positioned in her own POV, etc.)

(back at the campsite, Stuart peeks out again and sees that Melanie is gone) Stuart: (shakes Alex in his sleeping bag and half-whispers to get his attention) Alex! Alex, wake up! Alex: (grumbles and looks up at Stuart sleepily) What? Stuart: Melanies gone!! (cut right over to video camera POV, night vision, with Alex in front) Alex: Okay everyone, we clearly have a hostage situation on our hands! Our girl Melanie may be in the clutches of Slenderman himself, and were going to capture it on video! Stuart: Can you just shut up about that Slenderman crap for once, Alex?! Melanie could be in serious danger! Alex: This IS serious! Ive nearly got Slendy in my grasp at long last! Stuart: I cannot believe you, you selfish turd!! Alex: You know Im editing that out, right? Stuart: No you wont! Youve never edited a video in your life! Alex: Just can it and follow me, alright?? Stuart: Im only doing this for Melanies sake now (switch back to tracking shot of Melanie running; she suddenly trips and tumbles down into the shore of a creek) Melanie: (gets up out of the water and coughs, trying to dry herself off, when something suddenly grasps her attention; she stands still for a moment and stares in wonder at it, as it slowly emulates a light glow around it; she very slowly approaches it) (camera then focuses on a purely white cedar blossom growing on the other shore of the creek, which is emulating the heavenly glow) Melanie: (very slowly reaches her hand out towards it, but doesnt touch it; remains quiet in awe of the blossom for a few seconds; she then whispers to herself) A white cedar

(a familiar voice speaks up and says Its my soul tree off-camera; Melanie turns and sees Auroras ghost, dressed in a white gown, with a crown of white flowers atop her head, emulating a white glow just as the blossom has) Aurora: (smiles lovingly) Hi sissy. Melanie: (absolutely awestruck and and astounded by the sight of her sisters spirit before her; jumps up and hugs her extremely close, sobbing into her sisters chest) Aurora: (gently hugs Melanie back, patting her back in comforting) I know how much you missed me Melanie: (sniffles and looks up at Aurora in overwhelming happiness) You have no idea Aurora: I think I do, actually. Were sisters, remember? Melanie: Yeah (smiles and dries her eyes some) So are you back to stay? Aurora: (her calmly elated state fades and she looks upon Melanie somewhat sadly) Not permanently. Melanie: What (feels distraught, is silent for a few seconds and grips her sister close) No! You cant go! You werent supposed to die (starts crying again) Aurora: (hugs Melanie close for comfort again) I certainly didnt want to die, I know that. But I guess it just hit me I still dont know why, and I may never know why but it was probably my time to go. Melanie: NO (looks up at Aurora with tears in her eyes) You were too young! Im too young to lose you so soon! I need you, Aurora (digs her face into Auroras chest again and cries) I need you Aurora: (is quiet as Melanie cries into her for a few seconds, then gently cups her sisters face and speaks to her softly) Melanie Melanie: (looks up at Aurora, attempting to stop the flow of her tears) Aurora: You have to let go. Melanie: (despite her efforts to stop her tears, they flow down her cheeks again) Why? Aurora: You know that I love you more than anything else So Im only telling you this for your own benefit. I dont want to see your life degrade into a depressive sham over my death. You

can still think of me fondly here and there, but you have to accept that Im no longer living. This is the only time Ill be able to be with you beyond life Melanie: (sniffling and wiping away her still-flowing tears) Aurora I (separate medium long shot shows Alex and Stuart coming up over the hill closest to where Melanie is; they suddenly stop upon seeing her, curious as to what she seems to be doing down there, but not wanting to disturb her) Alex: Well, there she is Stuart: Thank God shes okay but (switch to video camera POV, which shows Melanie hugging nothing, meaning Auroras ghost is invisible to recording devices) Stuart: what is she doing? (switch back to Aurora and Melanie, still hugging each other closely) Melanie: Im really gonna miss you Aurora: And Ill miss you too. But you have the rest of your life to make what you will of it. I want to see you happy, Melanie. Ive seen you as happy as can be when I was in life now show me the same thing as Im in death. Do it for me, please? Melanie: (smiles wearily, as if shes about to cry again, and embraces Aurora very close) Yes. I will. I promise Aurora: (smiles widely and sheds a tear) I love you, sissy Melanie: (sniffling as a post-effect of her crying earlier) I love you too (the two hug for a while more; the sun then begins to rise; focus back on Melanies face, and the white glow around Aurora suddenly turns green and then dissipates) Melanie: (looks to where Aurora would be, and sees that she is gone; she looks out at the rising sun across from her) (long shot shows Alex and Stuart running down towards Melanie until theyre right next to her) Stuart: There you are, Melanie! We were looking everywhere for you! What the heck happened?! Are you alright?

Melanie: (dries her eyes, takes a calm breath in and turns to Stuart) Im fine. I just needed to be alone Stuart: Oh (is quiet for a moment) was it ? Melanie: Yeah But, truth be told I think Im finally over it now. (pleasantly smiles) Stuart: (shares that smile) Thats awesome. Im glad for you (casually but meaningfully hugs her) Melanie: (hugs Stuart back also) (they release their embrace) Melanie: (turns back to the direction of the campsite) Cmon, we best be headed back, guys! Alex: (following them, confused and irritated) That was it?? We came all that way from the campsite, and not one Slenderman sighting? Not one ANYthing sighting?! I couldve at least settled for a hostage situation of any kind! Thats gonna be so out-of-place when I get this together on YouTube! Of all theMelanie: (turns to Alex as he rambles and gets him to stop by putting a hand to his shoulder) Alex (smirks) just let it go. (turns back to the direction of the campsite) Stuart: (is surprised at first that Melanie would actually do something like that, and shares a laugh with her as they all walk back to the campsite) (as they all walk back, camera zooms out into a long shot, and its angle points upward at the rising sun; focus on sun for 5-10 seconds, fade into black; roll credits)


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