PLAUDIT JONES

Feature Film/Series

PLAUDIT JONES sells headstones and burial plots for the East Eden Cemetery in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  In a constant battle with mediocrity and personal triumph, Plaudit has bought into the American Dream instilled in him by an overbearing mother... a big ranch house mortgaged to the hilt, a stable job to cover the payments, a wife, and two kids. 

But it all falls short for Plaudit, a keen observer of life and death. He's discovered that very little happens in the middle of these events that is exciting or unpredictable.  His bitchy wife Lynette always wants more, bigger and better everything.  Their beautiful home is nothing more than ground zero for the birth of their two ungrateful teenagers.  Plaudit does fiscal gymnastics just to send the kids to a private school where they don't really fit in and are constantly reminded that it is their father who does the dirty work of helping bury the dead.  

THEODORE, Plaudit's boss who, unhappily, inherited the family business when his own parents died suddenly, lives in constant denial that he owns a funeral home, and is always looking for a way out.  WADDELL, the young high-school-goth-turned mortician, manages to compensate for the isolation of his job by hosting weekly, alcohol-fueled dance raves in the cemetery after hours. LEATHA, the receptionist and one time Mary Kay Cosmetics sales queen lives out her former glory by giving makeovers to the deceased.  

And then, there's Plaudit's dead mother MYRTLE.  Myrtle was East Tulsa's biggest busybody before she was silenced by the grave.  She was also the worst kind of meddler...a mean one...the kind who loved to stir the pot and upend people's lives and reputations for the sheer fun of it.  People went to great lengths to steer clear of the losing end of Myrtle's bad side.

Myrtle had been gone nearly a year when something unexpected happened.  Plaudit's boss decides he can make enough money to get out of the cemetery business if they go digital!  Yes, digital headstones are the cutting edge of memorials and they are going to set him free.  Plaudit's job is to make sure East Eden corners the market.  To do that, they need a demo where people can see and feel the powerful emotions of a perpetual and moving video link to the dearly departed.  A demo where they can actually see Plaudit's pain and joy at seeing his mother, again.  Plaudit sets off to create Tulsa's first digital headstone for MYRTLE C. JONES, born August 28, 1949, died April 6, 2016.   It's the kind of spotlight Myrtle would have enjoyed in real life.   

Down below, Myrtle realizes, after all this time in the ground, that if she lets go she is not going "up."  So, she clings to the earth with the claws of a cat dangling on a shower curtain over a cold water bath.

Whether they like it or not, Myrtle has made it her business to get to know all the residents buried in East Eden...many whose lives she tried to destroy when they were alive.  Only this time, she is motivated to do something nice...some good deed that will make up for her past transgressions so she can finally let go and head upstairs where she thinks she belongs. 

When the Myrtle Jones digital headstone is complete, it becomes the perfect portal through which she is able to reconnect with Plaudit whom she has determined will be the perfect messenger between the living and the dead.  It is, at once, the most frightening, disturbing, and exciting thing that's happened to Plaudit since...well...ever.

Through a series of (mis)adventures, Myrtle and Plaudit team up to bring closure to the recently departed, giving her a chance at redemption and him a purpose in life.