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(2002)

Plot Summary

  • UNDERDOG - synopsis Los Angeles, present day. Billy Fox, a white location manager for films and commercials in his forties, drives towards Downtown LA from his home in "The Valley" (Burbank) for another day's work. He's been working in Hollywood for twenty years. Greg Turner, half black, half Cherokee Indian and also in his forties, lives under a hydraulic car lift in a small Downtown car park in the middle of the Jewellery District. Greg survives by washing cars and searching for scraps of semi precious metal in the local back lots. He's a hustler with twelve years experience on the street. He's graduated from "skid row' on the Eastside to his relatively privileged position on the Westside. Known locally as "the Godfather", he's seen and knows it all. He has persuaded his girlfriend to depend on her income from selling drugs not herself. Billy and Greg have a mutually dependent relationship. Shutting down whole blocks of any city for a shoot, let alone LA, the movie capital of the world, requires not only great diplomacy and a good budget, but also a network of local contacts and street knowledge. Greg provided Billy with this when they used Greg's car park in a music video two years previously and they now share a philosophical friendship. Billy is a regular church goer and feels a sense of social responsibility. Greg believes in The Lord, but in many other things too. One of his passions is fishing, something he used to do with his Indian grandfather in childhood. Above all of this he has one major talent which he hones and perfects as he experiences life on the street. He is a poet. He has been published in his teens and holds his verse in his head. Spontaneously, he might recite some lines or deliver a finished work. Underdog is the tale of how Greg and Billy escape from Los Angeles one day, pack their kit and head onto the freeway towards the mountains looking for a lake. As the journey unfolds, Greg works on a new poem which he recites and rehearses on route. Their accompanying conversations give insight to their characters and opinions and reveal the bond between this unlikely pair. The journey and the finished poem become metaphors for far larger things than themselves.

    - Written by Richard Carroll

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