People Make Plans

People Make Plans

a feature film screenplay - inspired by true events
Finalist AND Award Winner in two contests


Living the dream in paradise until it turned into a nightmare, a spiritual, intriguing and uniquely engaging woman living on the Big Island discovers that the life she planned isn’t what the universe has in store for her when Madame Pele intends to cut off access to her Castle-themed B&B/her home/her income. The real test of aloha comes when her beloved German Shepherd’s health fails and it becomes apparent she must “do her duty” and destroy him.

Shelly is facing divorce after 25 years of marriage at age sixty. When income isn't sufficient to stay afloat as life keeps throwing curve balls, she remains positive and desperately believes in the Law of Attraction and manifestation. She is the definition of "eternal optimist".  The Castle is a vacation rental she and her husband built and it needs more and more repairs to be able to host guests. She does and spends whatever necessary on the house so it doesn't get bad reviews.

As things go from bad to worse, Shelly does have joy with "her boy" as she calls Ray. They do agility, 
Schutzhund, and he is her service dog. They are connected at the hip. The one thing she cannot fix with her determination and sheer will is Ray’s health challenges. She has no qualms spending every penny she can get her hands on for his vet bills. 
When thirty-something Rachel moves into the subdivision, Shelly sees her younger self in Rachel. The two strike up a friendship. Shelly senses something is not quite right with her new friend and discovers Rachel's husband is abusive. She offers to have her move in and together they struggle down life’s rocky path while enjoying The Big Island of Hawaii, its uniqueness and Hawaiian culture, then the lava threatens to cut off the community. 

Even though only seven years old, Ray’s health continues to deteriorate despite pouring money into vet visits trying to fix him. The true test of aloha is when it becomes apparent that Shelly must "do her duty" and kill her best friend. After which she knows her life will never be the same. Rachel finds out she is pregnant, something Shelly knew she would never do (she identifies with Oprah and Ellen and revels in the fact that she is in good company). With Shelly’s support, Rachel divorces her cheating husband. 
​In the end, the family both Shelly and Rachel seek is right in front of them.


People Make Plans 
​by Sheri Smith (

Length - 108 mins.
Location - Hawaii Island (Big Island) & Southern California
Budget range - $1M
WGA 1856667       Copyright 2016
(714) 904-8442
#LookBook Upon Request
10% of every penny the author makes from this project will be donated to: and and

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