Schultz' earliest film projects combined low comedy with profound social comment (Honeybaby, Honeybaby and Cooley High), reaching a peak with the ensemble comedy Car Wash (1976) and Which Way is Up? (1977), starring Richard Pryor.
In 1978, Schultz took the reins of the musical Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with the largest budget ever entrusted to an African-American film director to that date. However, upon its release, the project was a commercial and critical failure. Schultz would go on to churn out profitable efforts such as Scavenger Hunt (1979) and Disorderlies (1987).