“Secret Life” is an epic adventure as big as the Pacific Ocean.
It’s the thrilling romance of two adoptive brothers in Australia: Jason who is white, and John who is aboriginal, both scientists. They work the Pacific in their boats, and along the way John romances his boss, a doctor named Lydia. The brothers tell Lydia that they’re pretty sure they’ve seen mermaids, and even identified the weed that allows mermaids to live underwater, but Lydia gives them the reaction you would expect.
Their constant nemeses are local poachers who threaten them, shoot at them, and finally manage to shoot Jason in the shoulder while he’s working alone on his boat. Already in shock from the gunshot wound, Jason finds himself being rescued by a mermaid, who is simply called the Daughter because she is the first-born of the oldest mermaid in the sea, the Elder. Jason and the Daughter quickly develop powerful feelings for each other, but the Elder and the other mermaids are skeptical, which means that both of them could face painful choices.
Jason and the Daughter embark on a breathtaking series of adventures in the Pacific: sabotaging a poacher boat, rescuing a girl who was working as a slave on a fishing ship, fleeing a “dead zone” in the water that could have suffocated them, risking more gunfire by cutting poacher nets, rescuing sick mermaids from an oil fire, fleeing to an island to ride out a cyclone, and rescuing trapped whales and dolphins.
John and Lydia have adventures of their own. John searches for Jason and also for a missing fisherman named Fernando, only to find that Fernando has been murdered at sea and John is a suspect. John and Lydia manage to break up a whale hunt, but poachers fire at their boat and sink it. Jason and the Daughter rescue them, but the Daughter’s secret is now spreading fast. Back on land, John takes Lydia to his farm and proposes.
In the middle of all these death-defying adventures, we get glimpses of the damage which is being done to our seas: trash dumped into the ocean, coastal cities facing floods and drought, climate refugees, spreading sickness, dead coral reefs, and sea animals caged in amusement parks, dolphin hunters in Japan, and whale hunters in Russia. But we also get a quick glimpse of the Cousteau expeditions at sea.
Jason and the Daughter reluctantly decide that they must part, each to go back to their own world. But when Jason adds up all the clues and realizes the Daughter is pregnant, he races across the sea to find her again.
The film will be wildly entertaining but it will also teach us more about the terrible danger facing our planet and our sea life, and inspire us to protect it.
CASTING: the production will need a few aboriginal actors, and briefly an infant at the end.
LOCATIONS: many scenes take place in the water or in boats, or at seaside on docks, at the beach, at an amusement park, and in restaurants. There are a few scenes in an island cave, and a few in a hospital ward, plus one or two scenes at a university.
There is also a sequence at a farm with a dried river bed, a half-plowed field, an old barn, a clearing, and some farm implements. Boat scenes will involve the expected gear: nets, ship’s bell, buoys large and small, radios, a propeller, and the pipes which poachers use to drive dolphins.
SHOOTING SEQUENCES: in addition to the scenes on the water, and the scenes of dolphins, whales, ships and boats, we also have the Cousteau diving scenes, a scene with some sea ice, two storm scenes, a submerged wreck, a fire at sea, and a whale rescue.
OTHER TECHNICAL NEEDS INCLUDE: a dog, a pearl, trash trucks, coral growing tanks, rifles, the mermaid weed, primitive knives, driftwood, and above all the mermaid tails.