A tale of youth-preserving chicken mole and the choices a loving couple makes when given the recipe for immortality. The filmmakers discuss the narrative, support and future of the powerful, short film.
“The Best and Worst Days of George Morales’ Unnaturally Long Life” began filming in early March. Directed by Ben & Seth and produced in part by Jefferis Gray, a production coordinator in our LA office, the short film tells a compelling story of perseverance and passion beyond that of its fictional characters. Production came to a halt halfway through filming due to lack of funds, but the crew has every intention of finishing what they started.
The narrative begins in 1973 when 45-year-old George Morales makes a life-changing discovery: a recipe for chicken mole that, if eaten daily, prevents aging. He opens a restaurant featuring the dish but fails to mention to his customers that the mole causes severely painful gastrointestinal distress. To George’s dismay, the public decides immortality isn’t worth an eternity of physical pain and the restaurant is forced to close.
Years later, George falls in love with a bright woman named Susie with whom he wishes to spend forever (with help, of course, from the youth-preserving chicken mole). They marry and reopen the restaurant with a more traditional menu, happily running the business together for 40 years – until the day Susie decides to stop eating mole.
At this point in the plot, filming stopped. Part two of shooting would see the development of Susie and George’s relationship after she decides to end her youthful streak and begins to age rapidly (with help from Oscar-winning special effects make-up artists Katy Fray and Tami Lane). In the end, George is left to decide whether he should give up mole and die with his wife or spend eternity without her.
More than just a short film, “George” exemplifies the culminating careers and passions of those who created it. “We think our story has enormous potential,” the film’s prospectus reads. “Not to make money, because short films don’t really make money. But they do reach people, affect them, win awards and make genuine, lasting impressions, which, aside from the money thing, is what creative people dream of the most when they set out to make something they’re truly passionate about. This film has that potential and we believe with every fiber of our beings that it will do all of these things.”
The moving story has reached an audience even without the second half on film. Jose Ramirez, a renowned Chicano muralist and artist based in Los Angeles, liked the story so much that he did a few paintings especially for it. Poster versions were then created to match the look of the film.
“We're liking sort of a classic look from the ‘70s for obvious reasons,” Jefferis explains. “The direction we went with for the prospectus screenplay was sort of old literature - timeless - like an old John Cheever novel cover. The poster version of Jose's painting is also cool - we tried to make it look like a piece of ‘70s graffiti - like crazy, old funkadelic album covers.”
With help from publicity and donations, the idea of finishing the short, powerful film is gradually becoming a reality. To learn more about the characters, genesis and talented crew behind “The Best and Worst Days of George Morales’ Unnaturally Long Life”, visit the film’s website.