THE LONG WAY
Screenwriter: Joshua Hamburger
Producers: Jordan Escoto, Steven Cuzzort, Joshua Hamburger, Katie Kusiciel, Billy Olds
Director: Trudy Sargent
Cast: Chadwick Hopson, Scotty Dickert, Katie Kusiciel
Genre: Coming of age
What happens when the generation that got soccer trophies just for participation stumbles into the real world where everyone doesn’t always win? This story is for everyone who has questioned whether they’re truly as special as their parents and teachers told them they are.
THE LONG WAY is a coming of age road movie about a young writer who travels to Los Angeles to follow his dream. The title refers both to the actual route of Sam’s trip (he goes south to Florida before heading west to Los Angeles) and his stunted journey to adulthood. Even though the world sees him as an adult, Sam still thinks of himself as a 25 year old kid. He has delayed maturation because he’s scared of it and because the people around him have let him. By traveling around the country en route to his new home, he learns what it means to be an adult from his family and friends along the way.
The night before Sam is to leave with Emma on the road trip, she gives him an ultimatum: If he doesn't say he loves her, she won't go. From there, Sam’s trip weaves between the realities of the trip with his girlfriend Emma and his best friend Howie.
Emma is cautious and thinks through every decision she makes. She’s had her life planned out from the get-go and she can’t understand how loose Sam is with his big decisions. With this road trip, Emma tries to get Sam to realize how foolish it is to enter an uncertain future and attempts to convince him to join her in reality.
Howie lives his life on the fly, going wherever and doing whatever he thinks is the most fun. He refuses to be bogged down by responsibilities or conform to expectations, so much so that he is a contrarian for no real reason. On the road trip, Howie wants Sam to let loose and shirk responsibilities, if only to legitimize his own way of life.
These two trips butt heads as Sam strives to achieve the balance between the two sides of his personality. In order to really grow up and become the adult he wants to be, Sam tries to balance his opposing desires to take risks and play it safe.
For Howie, being an adult is exercising the freedom to do whatever the hell one wants to do. For Emma, adulthood is when you resist your urges and make responsible choices. Through the road trip, Sam needs to figure out what being an adult means to him.