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Thread: Dropout Produces Pot Film

  1. #1
    The420Guy
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    Dropout Produces Pot Film

    NYU dropout Mike Edison smoked pot every day in Rubin residence hall.

    The former Tisch School of the Arts film student is now an executive producer
    of a full-length motion picture.

    "High Times' Pot Luck," which premieres on Oct. 17 at Village East Cinemas,
    traces an eccentric pair in their quest through New York City to find a
    suitcase filled with high-grade marijuana. Frank, a mobster, and Jade, a punk
    rocker, pursue the suitcase as it passes through the hands of gangsters,
    artists, drag queens, musicians and activists. The movie culminates downtown,
    where all the pot-craving characters collide at a rally for the legalization of
    marijuana.

    "It's a celebration of marijuana culture," Edison said.

    Edison, a native New Yorker and former publisher for the stoner magazine High
    Times, spent two years at NYU in the Tisch undergraduate film program.

    He was the authority on pot smoking on the set of the upcoming film and ensured
    that there was not a single flaw in the actors' smoking techniques or in the
    movie's drug paraphernalia. He spent nearly every day on the set, meticulously
    observing the actors' motions and making suggestions on how to properly smoke
    blunts, joints, bongs and bowls.

    "He kept his eye on the details," said "Pot Luck" director Alison Thompson, a
    Tisch graduate.

    During her 12 years in New York, Thompson has accomplished a lot. She earned a
    graduate degree in film from Tisch, worked as an investment banker and directed
    "Pot Luck," her first film. But there is one thing she is afraid to do: tell
    her parents what the film is about.

    "They think the film is being produced by an architectural magazine and that
    the 'High' is for their really tall buildings," she said.

    Although Edison attended NYU film school more than 20 years ago, this is his
    first foray into filmmaking. He said he found Tisch stifling. "I liked martial
    arts and they were teaching Spielberg," he said. "These were the years before
    'Pulp Fiction.'"

    However, neither Edison's dissatisfaction with the program nor his conservative
    roommate kept him from having fun. He lived in Rubin, where he and his friends
    smoked pot every day. "Pot is an activity. It brings people together," he said.

    While at NYU, Edison realized he was more passionate about writing than film.
    He tried out journalism, working for WSN as a reporter.

    "We did it for the free concerts," he said, laughing.

    He hung out at The Bottom Line, where he saw Lou Reed and many other singers.
    The club, which rents its space from NYU, has recently been in danger of
    eviction over unpaid back rent.

    "I once saw Andy Warhol in the audience with five pretty, blonde guys," Edison
    said. "It was never the coolest place, but it's a fixture of the neighborhood.
    The downtown area needs a nightclub more than it needs another NYU dorm."

    Smoking pot in the '80s was a somewhat different experience from smoking pot
    today, Edison said. "There was no such thing as green weed," he said. "The weed
    we smoked was dirt weed, either gold or brown. You wouldn't get super-stoned
    from it. But it was cheap."

    Prices and accessibility varied as well. "We bought nickel bags for $5 on 10th
    Street every day," he said. "And Avenue B was like a candy store."

    After completing four semesters at NYU, Edison dropped out. "I called my mom
    from a pay phone to tell her that I wasn't taking classes anymore," he said.
    Edison, who was a Merit Scholar, has major issues with American education.

    "Education is the biggest sham in America," Edison said. "I encourage everyone
    to drop out of NYU."

    After he left NYU, Edison traveled through Europe with his rock band. In 1988,
    while Edison lived in Spain, High Times hired him to write a column called
    "Shoot the Tube." He returned to New York and worked for a small publishing
    company, where he wrote 28 porn novels. "Not everyone had VCRs back then," he
    said. "It was entertainment." He went on to write for Hustler and Penthouse.

    Edison served as publisher of High Times from 1997 to 2001, and he now writes
    for Heeb Magazine, an alternative Jewish youth publication.

    Edison did more than just teach the actors how to inhale in "Pot Luck." He
    played a pivotal role in the film's creation.

    "We were looking to produce a film, the way National Lampoon did for 'Animal
    House,'" Edison said. "High Times is like Walt Disney with a doobie."

    "Pot Luck" screenwriter Victor Colicchio, who had co-written "Summer of Sam,"
    approached Edison with the script. "It was perfect timing," Edison said. He was
    immediately enthralled. "'Pot Luck' is stoner-smart. It's the voice for the
    people who are proud to smoke pot."

    Edison is also the guitarist and singer of his newest band, Edison Rocket
    Train. The band's music is based on old blues and gospel. Edison said he always
    loved punk rock and the blues, particularly the Sex Pistols and Chuck Barry.
    Ironically, jam bands like Phish and the Grateful Dead never attracted him.

    "You know what would happen if someone sobered up during a Dead concert?" he
    said. "They would realize that this music sucks."

    Edison is passionate about his views on drugs and is quick to give his opinion.

    "All drugs should be legal," he said. Instead of scaring the public, the
    government should legalize drugs and devote more time to educating people on
    the health risks involved, he said. People caught with drugs deserve "treatment
    and not jail," he said.

    While Thompson's views on drugs are less permissive than Edison's, she also
    supports drug use. "You just don't meet angry pot smokers," she said.

    The two hope the film will boost the case for the legalization of marijuana.

    For more information, check out the Pot Luck Web site, www.potluckmovie.com.
    The cast, crew and High Times staff will be partying with the audience at every
    4:20 p.m. showing of the film on Oct. 20, 21, 22 and 23.


    Pubdate: Mon, 06 Oct 2003
    Source: Washington Square News (NY Edu)
    Copyright: 2003, Washington Square News
    Contact: opinion@nyunews.com
    Website: http://www.nyunews.com/

  2. #2
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    hey

    sounds like a kickass movie