The Making of…

Thanks for coming to my website and checking out OxyContin Blues.

The initial idea behind the film was sparked by a conversation I had with Drew Barrymore, Balthazar Getty, and Spike Jonze the night after River Phoenix died. We were standing around a friend’s kitchen, sipping wine, talking about River, when someone said, “If only I had known. I would’ve done something about it.”

I remember thinking, Okay, yes, but what could you have done? Really, what could you have done? Talked to him? Asked him to stop? Held an intervention?

This question stayed with me for years, and then a friend of mine got hooked on OxyContin, which destroyed his life and tore his family apart. It was at this time that Heath Ledger died of an OxyContin overdose. His friends started saying the same thing that River’s friends had said many years before. And again, I thought, Yes, but what could you actually do? And then this idea hit me: Well, you could kidnap the guy and take him away to a remote location, tie him down, and force him to kick the drug.

And there it was. A movie. I had a personal experience with OxyContin addiction with my friend, and I saw a celebrity die of it. After asking around, I found out that OxyContin was everywhere in Hollywood. As Michael Jackson’s personal Doctor Arnie Klein said, “Hollywood is drowning in the stuff.”

So, I sat down and wrote the script.  I then pitched the movie to a friend, who got excited and said she wanted to be the sole investor.

I called my friend David Choi in Seattle, who owns his own high-end HD camera and light rig, and pitched him the movie. He got excited and said yes. I called my old acting coach, William Crossett who owns a remote, secluded cabin on the Puget Sound, and asked if we could use it over two weekends. He said yes. I called my good friend, Randall Harvey, who is classically trained but hasn’t acted in years, and asked him if he felt like getting back into it, taking a lead role. I pitched him the movie, and he said yes. I called my buddy Eric Elven, a great singer/songwriter who was living in Seattle at the time, and asked if he wanted to be the sound guy. He said yes.

This is what it takes to make a film like this: a good idea, passion, determination, and many people saying yes.

And that was pretty much it. Four guys, two weekends. One film in the can: OxyContin Blues.

Again, thanks for coming to the site. If you watch OxyContin Blues, I hope it moves you in some deep, meaningful way, and I’d love to hear what you think.


National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month


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