The movie “Star Leaf” tells the story of a group of hikers who find alien marijuana and are later forced to fight for their lives. In an exclusive interview with International Business Times, executive producer Robert Leeshock spoke about some of the exciting aspects of the movie and the challenges he faced while making it.
Talking about what attracted him to the movie initially; Leeshock said that the “simple answer” was that the movie was about “weed and aliens.” However, he added that it was also about a few U.S. military veterans who have returned from Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The movie includes elements of science fiction and horror that takes the “marijuana culture” to a “more philosophical plane,” while introducing some "trippy" elements into the filmmaking process.
Legalization of marijuana is a highly debated subject in many countries. Leeshock explained that from a legal standpoint “everyone involved in the marijuana industry probably just wants to stay out of federal prison” and he asked whether someone would go to prison for making a movie on the subject.
The “only real concern” that the producer apparently had was about how the movie would impact the veterans. Leeshock wants to honor the service of the veterans and at the same time explore the psychological elements that contribute to “their personal challenges” while they attempt to integrate back into society.
“We attempted not to exploit their current dilemma. And from a medical standpoint, if ‘the plant’ can provide some relief to people suffering from a myriad of ailments, from PTSD to leukemia and epilepsy, then we’re not necessarily heading up a slippery slope,” Leeshock said.
Leeshock feels that if marijuana is regulated in a “responsible fashion” as in Colorado, then there may be room for “responsible cannabis use.” “Yeah, people are going to ‘get high’ ... but think how long it took for the alcohol industry to come around to ‘please drink responsibly’. If we can save a few lives of the ones suffering from PTSD, then we’ve actually done some good, or at least I’d like to think,” the producer said.
“Star Leaf” has been produced on a “limited budget” and Leeshock, who was a lead cast member in Gene Roddenberry’s “Earth: Final Conflict,” said that he had to get “creative” due to the small budget. The actor turned producer wished he had a fraction of the budget of his TV series from the late 1990s, especially for the VFX special effects in the movie. Meanwhile, his Titan Sky Entertainment Company will continue to create content using the “creative forces” it has.
Leeshock explained that it was difficult as a producer to make a movie that may not deliver to the viewers “the full amount of what they deserve,” due to the financial constraints. He pointed out that “Star Leaf” was not a typical “stoner film.” “You’ll need a map to navigate the story and even then, trust me... you may just lose your way. But stay the course and who knows, you actually may find yourself enlightened, or at the very least entertained,” he said.
Source - YouTube/ Star Leaf Movie