Date of Award
Master of Communication
This Culmanating Project is a full-length motion picture screenplay titled Chump Change.
Chump Change is a moral tale of the accountability that a young misogynist named Clay has to face when his long-suffering wife, Lena, pulls the rug out from under their marriage. As Clay struggles to put his life back together while fighting Lena for the custody of his son, he has to face up to his own responsibility for his plight.
As Clay develops more consciousness about the darker side of his own nature, he searches for the answer to the question. 11 Can people really change?" He aspires to enlightenment, but fears that his inability to create meaningful change may be insurmountable.
Clay's newfound self-awareness is put to the test when he starts to date the spunky Caitland. Caitland, by all accounts, seems to have it all together. She is self-confident, secure in her sexuality, and always one-step ahead of any game-playing that Clay tries to bring to the relationship. Clay falls hard for Cait, and finds strength and maturity in the example set by Cait, even when the pressures of a custody battle for his son are at their peak.
But the weight of Clay's past problems with women, authority, and ghosts of his childhood prove to be too much when Clay meets Cait's overbearing father. Olay sees in Cait's father his own botched upbringing and the man that he was destined to become had he not been forced out of his rut. Clay explodes in front of Cait's parents, embarrassing Cait and effectively ending their relationship.
It is the loss of Cait, finally, that teaches Clay that a little personal sacrifice is a small price to pay for maintaining important relationships.
Chump Cha.nge's themes of misogyny, layered symbolism, and dual interpretation were all inspired by other cinematic releases, as was it's experimentation with a p rotagonist that may be unlikeable. These modern movies, Oleanna, Smoke, and In the Company of Men, influenced the style and content of the screenplay that is the core of the Culmanating Project. and are discussed at some length.
McDonald, Christopher S., "Chump Change, A Moral Tale of Misogyny and Accountability: A Screenplay" (1998). Theses. 282.
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