(COMEDY FEATURE FILM)
CREATED BY: Gerald Chong
WGAw REGISTRY: 1853422
Story by: Gerald Chong
REVISED: TUESDAY, 07/26/17 - 12:02 PM
REVISED TUESDAY, 07/26/17 - 12:02 PM
Having lost their jobs and facing the loss of their homes, two unemployed blue-collar workers begin printing business cards that advertise themselves as experts in a variety of professions in which they know almost nothing about.
REVISED: FRIDAY, 12/30/11 - 8:48 PM
CURLY and GUMBO are two auto workers earning fantastic pay with only a high school education.
As the economy declines around them -- and against the protests of their wives - both men continue to fill their homes with what many would consider too many toys: hot rods, motorcycles, boats, and other status symbols which ultimately force them to live from paycheck-to-paycheck. Both are living beyond their means, and when contacted by parents and siblings to attend family events, both are always too busy to bother.
The high life of Curly and Gumbo begins to manifest itself in the form of gradually declining work performance and excessive weight gain. On the auto plant’s assembly line, things are suddenly moving way too fast for their tired and drunken reflexes.
Their tiny and timid boss EARL, who everyone refers to as “Mouse,” gives them verbal warnings about their excessive tardiness and absences. But Mouse never follows through on his threats of writing them up, so all of the “minor” mistakes occurring on the assembly line are going unnoticed by Mouse’s superiors.
All is going great for the auto workers Curly and Gumbo, until Mouse abruptly retires due to health issues.
Their new boss WILLARD is a nerdy “by-the-book” college grad who now demands that every worker under his watch become quality producers. Willard uses “college-educated” motivation techniques and incentives that come under ridicule by the rank-and-file. Curly and Gumbo not only make fun of Willard’s crooked teeth, but they mock-imitate his trademark lisp and squinty eyes, and comment to CO-WORKERS that they are actually more knowledgeable and experienced than he is.
In the following days, Willard speeds up the assembly line in order to compete and catch up with rival auto companies, but Curly and Gumbo’s communication skills, mathematical problem solving, and poor spelling result in errors that lead to a massive recall of vehicles that rolled off their assembly line.
The incident causes thousands of vehicles to remain unsold at dealerships nationwide, and ends with Curly and Gumbo becoming part of a massive lay-off.
Both men are now unemployed, and to conceal it from their families, begin selling off their expensive toys to bring home a “paycheck.” The ploy proves to be very effective, until their wives and children continue to ask for money both men can no longer provide.
Having no savings and no legal means of earning, Curly and Gumbo resort to illegal activities, but their inexperience on the streets leads to misdemeanor charges that suddenly explains to everyone the reasons for their recently sneaky behavior.
In the aftermath of their overnight stay in jail, both men are fortunate to have the support of their families. But their financial decline soon forces them to sell their homes at a loss. With wives and children in tow, each must return home to live with mommy and daddy, and during this difficult period in their lives, both Curly and Gumbo are so ashamed and depressed that they become reclusive deadbeats while their wives and children go out to earn a living at supermarkets and fast-food restaurants.
Then one day, Curly is asked by his elderly MOTHER if he could drive her to the hospital to see an ailing friend. Curly immediately protests and creates excuses as to why he is unable, but then he hears a loud commotion and peeks outside to see his mother clearly demonstrating why her driver’s license should have been revoked years ago. Curly rushes outside just as his mother is running over his beloved Harley-Davidson, and then tearfully volunteers to drive her anywhere she needs to go.
As Curly’s mother visits her ailing friend SHIFTY, Curly cannot help but notice that he resembles this old man more than he resembles his own father. As the visit lingers on, Curly keeps interrupting to remind his mother that they still have a lot of other important things to do. Shifty now questions Curly, who then complains of being wrongfully laid-off, how he has gout and has no money to support his family or to rent a decent home, and on top of all that, he has to deal with a mother who just ran over his motorcycle and a brother-in-law who led him into “a life of crime” and just stole all of his recycled aluminum cans.
Curly goes on to explain how he is willing to work hard and to earn -- if only he knew how.
He is so frustrated and confused, because he has a stupid son who never recognizes him as his father unless he needs money, and a daughter who is always “forgetting” her money at home and making him pay for everything at the cash register.
Shifty nods understandingly, and then hands Curly his business card. The old man then whispers a handful of words into Curly’s ears, which immediately lights his eyes up and inspires him with an idea that could eventually turn his life around.
Curly summons Gumbo over to “have a few beers,” and explains that a friend of his mother’s just gave him a business idea that may help to solve the most pressing of their current problems. But because Curly doubts his business ability and doesn’t have enough start-up money, he wants Gumbo to be his new business partner.
The only problem is that Gumbo has already sold off his lawn mowing equipment, which forces Curly to rethink his scheme. So the two men take a quick inventory of what they have laying around that could be used to earn them money, and in the end, the answer is nothing.
But an undeterred Curly decides that they will create something out of nothing, and thus uses Shifty’s business card as a template to produce business cards that advertise themselves as expert landscapers when in fact they know nothing about plants, fertilizer, or even dirt.
In the ensuing days, they dress themselves up, set aside their anger management problems, and go door-to-door to sell themselves as the ideal and affordable solution to other people’s landscaping problems. To their surprise, they land a good handful of jobs, but have none of the equipment necessary to execute the work. So they borrow the equipment of friends and family to do the work, and during their off hours, do a lot of fast-talking and bartering to obtain lawn mowers and the other tools they need for very little or no cost.
Each man convinces their children to study the finer points of landscaping and to belt-tighten, which results in a disciplined unit that is learning to produce quality work.
Meanwhile, Curly and Gumbo’s enemies are quickly appearing in the form of copycats who are pirating their unique business methods and building customized equipment based on their exclusive designs.
In the face of growing competition from other families like theirs, Curly and Gumbo must step up their game, and the decision is made to tap into the legions of potential customers who are desperate for quality catering, carpentry, auto repair, plumbing, and electrical work, at cut-rate prices.
So the two men begin printing thousands of business cards that advertise themselves as experts in dozens of different trades and professions they know virtually nothing about, and their confidence and smooth-talking ways land them the big contracts they were hoping for.
Thus begins their journey into uncharted territory, until they approach the breaking point of no return.
In dealing with the problems of diversification, Curly Gumbo and Company quickly lose focus of the landscaping business that was the foundation of their success. From their viewpoint “high in the clouds,” Curly and Gumbo see a bright future, while a growing number of their workers and family members are beginning to see dark clouds approaching in the distance.
There comes a point where Curly and Gumbo are so diversified that they are unable to focus and provide the same kind of quality and value that earned them the public’s trust.
This gradually leads to their downfall, until they hit rock-bottom.
Seeing no escape from the pit they have dug themselves into, Curly and Gumbo want to choose the easy way out by declaring bankruptcy and walking away.
But the strict training that their landscaping business instilled into their once-lazy and undisciplined children is beginning to reveal itself. The men’s families, led by their wives, are “reassessing the current landscape,” and are determined to either restructure or rebuild their “garden” into one that again reflects their core values.
Inspired by their family’s tenacity, Curly and Gumbo think back to the words of the old man Shifty, who said that “Sometimes, the D-student must locate and hire the A-student to solve his problems.”
Thus armed with nothing more than wisdom and determination, Curly Gumbo & Company begin the task of seizing what was once theirs, and though the road back to their illustrious past is a long and arduous one, they manage to engineer a rebirth which ultimately pushes all of them forward in their endless pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness.
FAQ PAGE - (FREQUENTLY-ASKED QUESTIONS)
THE CENTRAL ISSUE
FEATURE FILM SERIES EPISODES
REVISED: SUNDAY, 07/02/17 - 11:10 PM
- EXPERT KNOW-HOW
- Characters: Primary and supporting
- Possible actors
- Possible "Above-the-Line"
- Possible "Below-the-Line"
- Inspiration (Newspapers, TV, YouTube, etc.)
- Story location
- Shooting location
REVISED: WEDNESDAY, 02/19/19 - 4:22 PM - 41-031 WAILEA ST. - WAIMANALO, HAWAII
OBJECTIVES: As with all of our projects, our goal is to:
- Teach history and give our audiences some background into why things are the way they are.
- Debunk the myths, hoaxes, and "fake news."
- INSPIRE: We hope to create a sense of wonder to inspire a new generation of Americans to take action and do the right things. Because our show's supporting characters is a dreamer who aspires to greatness, our audiences can follow their respective paths.
- OUR ACTIONS DEFINE OUR CHARACTER: We need to show our audiences what road one has to travel in order to achieve our lifelong dreams. Nothing is promised or guaranteed. Nothing is free. One has to suffer some pain to elevate one's life to the next level.
- CALL TO ADVENTURE: When we are personally challenged by an evil person or called out by evil events (criminal activity, war, etc.) occurring within our community, we need to answer, or the evil will eventually reach us after it destroys our neighbors.
Architect Zaha Hadid was a world-famous architect who passed away on March 31, 2016. By showing audiences her extensive portfolio of designs via our feature films, we hope to inspire a new generation of architects who will push the boundaries of building design and construction.