“Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale” is a film based in the early 1970s about heroin addiction and a man searching for personal redemption. The movie is based on the life of Max Bornstein, filled with drug addiction, an illegal involvement in the pornography industry, and the secrets he kept from his family. The movie was filmed over the month of December, 2013 in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.
Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale has finished filming and is now in post-production. An Indiegogo page has been set up for the movie where fans can donate money to help in the post-production process. The deadline to donate is March 15th. When donating, there are many exciting perks that fans can receive. There are perks for all budgets and anything that people can donate will help this process.
The director of the movie, Tate Steinsiek was very kind to take some time to answer some questions about the movie and the movie’s Indiegogo page!
upfrontNY: Dynamite: A Cautionary Tale is a movie exploring heroin addiction. Why do you feel this was a movie that needed to be made?
Tate: Nearly everyone experiences addiction in some form, and this film is the illustration of letting that rule you, succumbing to a basic obsessive impulse to indulge in something damaging. That is the root of this story: one man’s self-destruction and somehow being completely oblivious to it until it was nearly irreparable. This story is important because it illustrates the danger of auto-piloting through life focused on personal obsessions, and leaving the people that truly love you stand on the sidelines and watch you tear yourself apart. It’s a horrendous affair, one that I have experienced personally. I’ve seen a lot of friends and love ones loose themselves inside some addiction. Some of them turned it around. Most of them did not and are no longer with us. It’s an important story to tell.
upfrontNY: What was it like filming a movie based in the 70s?
Tate: It was such an incredible task for every department. Dealing with indie schedule turnarounds, yet expecting your art department to flip modern locations into early 70s in a detailed and authentic way, was such an insane workload, and I love my team for getting it done so well. My production designer, Alex Brook Lynn, may have stressed away a couple years of her life, but it’s a small price to pay for retro perfection. Alex and her team did some pretty amazing things.
upfrontNY: The movie was based on a true story – Max Bornstein’s life. Was Max Bornstein a part of the casting and filming process?
Tate: Max has been a fixture in pre-production as well as on set. He is an amazing and inspirational man that lent me every tip and secret I asked for during filming, yet respectfully left me to my artistic devices. It’s nice to have such a wealth of information at your disposal, and Max himself is an artist. A painter. So he is quite familiar with the creative process and the importance of an artistic catharsis. He certainly managed the path of his life story, but never restricted the way I told his story.
upfrontNY: This movie has a very talented cast and crew. What was it like working together?
Tate: I was so blessed with my cast. To work with Ian and Evanna was such a refreshing experience. Here we have two world famous talented performers that are known for a singular character. As fantastic that is for them and their careers, it’s also something that can become artistically stagnant I think. This is one of the key reasons I ultimately went with each of them. I knew they would take full advantage of this new creative range presented to them, and that honest excitement to experiment with these dark and emotionally torn characters showed through in their performances. I think Dynamite is going to do amazing things for both of them professionally. Also, Brendan Sexton is an animal; it’s almost impossible to keep from bursting out laughing on set as he improvised character. Carol Kane was just a mind trip having in front of me. I grew up watching Taxi with my parents, and I loved Transylvania 65000!
Tate: I had the good grace of never knowing Ian as Ezra Fitz. I never watched Pretty Little Liars, and still have not. I don’t want to know him that way. Ian got the part of Max because of our conversations and his philosophy on the character of Max. Ian and I had several conferences and meetings further getting to know each other and discuss Dynamite and how we gelled ultimately made the decision for me. I knew that filming Dynamite was going to be a monolith of tasks, and brutally taxing on my talent, both emotionally and physically due to long hours. Just as important to me as acting ability was finding someone I felt could handle the task, as well as get along with me…. neither the easiest of tasks.
upfrontNY: Why is the movie’s Indiegogo page important to the future of this film?
Tate:The Indiegogo campaign was created to help us elevate the level of post-production. The film came out so fantastic. Rich and layered. The performances are incredible. I want the same attention and creativity to be put into the post-production process, as did filming Dynamite. And honestly, to those unfamiliar with the cinematic process, post is JUST as important as filming. This is where the films “look” and coloring come from. The amazing visual effects, original score, sound design… all of this is post, and I want it to be spectacular. That being said, anyone interested in seeing our new Dynamite trailer and checking out our campaign and insane incentives to contribute, please visit Indiegogo.
upfrontNY: What does it mean to you to see people donating and supporting the film?
Tate:It’s a humbling experience, certainly. Asking people I’ve never met to contribute money that they work all day for is not my idea of a good time. It’s not something I would ever do for selfish gain or actually any reason, outside of creating something MEANT for the public to enjoy. The great thing about these campaigns is that people can get literally involved in films that they are anticipating. Actually get their name in the credits, or become a producer, or attend a red carpet premiere and meet the stars. It’s a really cool thing that not only helps the film be everything it can be, but also helps people be a part of something they support as well as give out some pretty amazing incentives…. Autographed The Walking Dead stuff from Norman Reedus, Jon Bernthal, and Scott Wilson. Autographed CDs from Frank Iero, Today is the Day, and Reggie and the Full Effect. Lunch with Ian or Evanna and myself…There’s just so much cool stuff available.
upfrontNY: What do you want people to know about this film?
Tate: This film is exactly what it is billed as: a cautionary tale. Life presents a lot of decisions to you. Most of them lead to bad places. A few lead to great things. It IS possible to decipher the two and walk directly towards the good but that’s rarely how it happens. This film is about the dark places a man had to endure in order to truly appreciate the light. It’s a lesson to all.
Head over to Indiegogo to donate!