Your new movie Junkie
Heaven - in a few words, what is it about?
Steve Sage Goldberg: Junkie
is about a guy who had just overdosed on herion. From that
moment on is his fight for survival.
Lee Kolinsky: Junkie
is about a traumatized war vet who is too scared to face and
overcome his fears, the only thing that might snap him out of it, is an
experience that could kill him.
did the project fall together in the first place?
The story came together in 2 parts. 1, I had this idea about a character
where the lead dies and is met by an angel who gives him one more chance.
So I had sent it to Lee to read and said I would love to do something with
this. He liked it and immediately said I have an idea on where to go with
it... and boom there it was.
Steve and I just finished our first short film Bullified
and we thought
that went well, so we decided to try something more ambitious. Steve
really wanted to do something that had an otherworldly element which is
portrayed in the character Alexander (Sal Rendino) and I wanted to do
something very gritty. That element is portrayed in Doyle (Joseph A.
Halsey). So we decided to smash up the genres.
what were your inspirations when writing Junkie
A few things inspired me. Crime movies number one. But in this case, the
films Trainspotting, Grid Lock’d, The Prophecy and
Fear and Loathing in
Las Vegas. I can tell you Fear and Loathing freaks me out in plenty of
ways. Not gonna mention them. I wanted to capture some of that
freakiness in the Junkie
script so I can have someone else wig out
in their seat. Kind of paying it forward.
Steve, what can you tell us about your
directorial approach to your story at hand?
For the directing approach to this film, I did a lot of research as to a
junkie’s life and lifestyle, what they cared about etc. I read a 20 page
bio on a junkie’s life and it really helped me understand the character
Doyle. As well as directing, I was the DP, so my vision for directing was
brought to life thru my camera angles and edits.
can you tell us about your character, and what did you draw upon to bring
him to life?
Joseph A. Halsey: When I first had the opportunity to read the
script I was blown away. I really wanted to be casted as Doyle, who is a
deep down a decent human being who just can’t catch a break. He gets
trapped in a psychedelic world that becomes a maze of the unknown.
When I was cast to play Doyle, I felt I really need
to look like a junkie. I decided to go on a vegan diet and restrict my
workouts to cardio only. I dropped the weight quickly and went from 165 to
145 pounds in less than a month. I know, you’re thinking “that idiot
method actor”, but I truly felt I needed to look the part for this role.
I felt like I looked the part externally, it was time to working
internally to develop Doyle. He is a drug addict, a war vet with
post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and stuck in a world that was far
from realistic. Doyle is really screwed up. Emotionally, that was easy for
me to draw upon as I am an artist and we are all tragic messes.
Joseph A. Halsey
How much of Joseph A. Halsey can we find in Doyle,
Emotionally, all of me can be found in Doyle. Actually, when I play any
character I draw on my own experiences in order to create the
What can you tell us about the rest of your
cast, and why exactly these people?
Our cast for Junkie
Heaven needed to be just right. So we took our time.
had a vision for the people in our heads and our casting director Debra
Markowitz brought some talented actors to the plate. We had them all send
in audition tapes until we found our cast.
Straight-up professionals who love making films. I can say Steve and I
really set out trying to build on a foundation from the first short we
did. We want to get better each time out and that means surrounding
ourselves with people who want to better their own craft as well. We
strive to make something we feel will entertain an audience. And we like
to work with people who want to do the same.
What was the
collaboration between the three of you like, actually?
Lee and I have been collaborating for a few years. We made a short film
two years back called Bullified
(now in distribution on SHORTSHD) and have
kept writing and creating ever since. Our credits include: Bullified,
Ready to Run music video, Junkie
Heaven, Stand Up Guy and Remember Me? (in
think collaboration always begins with the script. To me, it’s the
structure in which we live. If you go outside that, you take a chance of
blowing it all up. We all brought different perspectives to the story and
we discussed it on and off set. It all came down to whether or not the
ideas were logical for the film. Our collaboration was built on trust. We
trusted what I wrote, trusted Joe’s interpretation of Doyle and trusted
Steve’s vision on how to bring Junkie
Heaven to life.
its climax, Junkie Heaven
features a rather high octane action scene - now how was that achieved?
The scenes were achieved thru great writing, acting, fast-paced editing
and some post special effects.
can you tell us about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?
Our on-set atmosphere is really good. Everyone knows their roles and
applies themselves to it. I could not have been happier.
JH. Like any family gathering, it is filled with
highs, lows, struggles, and lots of love.
All I can say it’s a good thing Steve, Joe and the cast and crew have a great sense of
humor. You got to have jokers around to lighten things up
on a dark film.
few words about audience and critical reception so far?
Our reception to the film has been overwhelmingly positive. We have
received some really nice comments from people that don’t know us and a
handful of positive reviews about our film.
$64-question of course, when and where will the movie be released onto the
Feeling lucky ?
any of my partnershops yourself
for more, better results ?
The links below
will take you
cannot answer that question until we run the film thru the festival
circuit. But I will say you probably haven’t seen the last of Doyle.
Any future projects you'd like to share?
out for our next two short films Stand Up Guy (in post-production) and
Remember Me? (in pre-production).
movie's website, Facebook, whatever else?
Heaven on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/junkieheavenmovie
can follow Steve on:
You can follow Joseph on:
can follow Lee on:
you are dying to mention and I've merely forgotten to ask?
Look out for more. We are not stopping :)
Thanks for the interview!
for the interview!