Laban Bakeries

Created by Joe Hardy, The Pitch 2013

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It is 1908 in Edwardian Britain and Laban Bakeries is the most successful luxury biscuit maker in the country. Chairman Laban’s name graces each box that leaves the factory. Meanwhile in the inventing room his son-in-law Jacob grows restless, his career spent unappreciated despite being responsible for all of Laban’s famous creations. Using computer animated pen and ink drawings I’ll tell Jacob’s story as he bravely confronts Laban. He requests the chance to start a business himself so his family have financial security in the future. Laban facetiously replies that Jacob can take the sweepings from the factory floor and see how far that gets him. To his surprise Jacob accepts. The enterprising Jacob buckets up the broken biscuits to sell. They are an instant hit and Jacob seizes this opportunity to create an affordable biscuit company while sales at the overpriced Laban Bakeries slump. Jacob secures the Royal Warrant of Appointment to supply biscuits to the king leaving Laban livid. En route to confront his former employee a stranger is able to highlight how much of Laban’s success was attributable to Jacob. Therefore when the two meet, instead of anger Laban is able to acknowledge his gratitude.

Biblical Connection

I have used the story of Jacob and his uncle Laban as the foundation for my pitch. They double-cross each other repeatedly in Genesis, chapters 29-31. While thinking about the story my focus became Jacob’s plight; a triumph in the face of adversity. I subsequently adapted elements of the original narrative to help reinforce this viewpoint. In Genesis Laban deceives Jacob into marriage with both of his daughters. I decided to conflate Leah and Rachel and instead take examples of Laban’s miserly nature to cement his character as the villain. After building up Laban’s business Jacob broaches the subject of reward for all his hard work. He then engineers this deal for his own benefit, effectively bankrupting Laban. I altered this so Jacob was merely making the best of a bad deal and hopefully maintaining the audience’s sympathy. As Jacob escapes Laban the subplot of Rachel stealing her father’s idol appealed to me so I worked a suitable equivalent into my story. It takes an intervention from God to calm Laban down as he chases the fleeing family and even then the final reconciliation remains frosty, bickering over a suitable appellation to commemorate their begrudging peace.