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Stephen Elliot’s After Adderall Premieres at the New Jersey Film Festival on Sunday, September 25!

By Al Nigrin

originally published: 10/24/2016

Stephen Elliot’s After Adderall Premieres at the New Jersey Film Festival on Sunday, September 25!

Stephen Elliot’s After Adderall Premieres at the New Jersey Film Festival on Sunday, September 25!

Here is an interview with After Adderall Director Stephen Elliot:

Nigrin: Your 2009 memoir The Adderall Diaries was turned into a feature film starring James Franco, Ed Harris and Amber Heard last year. Your film After Adderall  is essentially a movie about James Franco making a movie about you. Please tell us what motivated you to make your film. 

Elliot I saw The Adderall Diaries at TriBeca in April 2015. It inspired me in so many ways to think about who owns a story. What does it mean to write about yourself? Is honesty ephemeral? The script poured out of me in two weeks after seeing that movie. 

Nigrin: Did you find it difficult directing yourself? 

Elliot: In many ways it's easier to direct yourself. If I needed a pickup shot I just called my camera guy. If I wanted to add voice over I could just record it on my phone and try it out. The only downside is sometimes I was so focused on my own performance I might have missed some things or not given the other actors as much support. But overall, it's easier to make a movie when you're playing the lead. I'm easy to work with :)

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Nigrin: Do you see any parallels between writing a memoir and making a film?

Elliot: On my first two movies there was no parallel. But on After Adderall there were very strong similarities. It's an incredibly personal movie. There's tons of voice over. It's literary and it's a movie that's more about idea than action. After Adderall is much more like a book than a movie. It's much more like my memoir, The Adderall Diaries, than The Adderall Diaries movie. Because though the action is very different from the book, the ideas that it wrestles with are similar. 

Nigrin: Are there any memorable stories while you made this film or any other info about your film you can rely to our readers?

Elliot: So many! We made this movie for $10,000 (maybe $15,000 after post-production expenses). So we had to be really scrappy all the time. In order to shoot the scene in the bookstore we got Marie Howe and Nick Flynn to give a reading. Then our actress got in front of the audience and read a poem. Same thing with the panel. In order to shoot the panel scene we did an actual panel. Jerry Stahl, Susan Orlean, Evan Wright, and I were all on this panel about adaptation moderated by Derrick C. Brown.  I organized the panel because it was in the script, and there were some scripted lines we quickly shot before the crowd arrived. But in order to get the space for free and the audience we just did an actual panel as a fundraiser for 826, a children's tutoring program.

Also, the weirdest parts of the movie are the things that actually happened, like the phone call with James Franco. It's mostly the mundane things that were made up.

After Adderall Trailer:



Three terrific short films will precede After Aderall. Here is the skinny on this screening:

Five Minutes of Fun - Matthew Riddle (Piscataway, New Jersey)  A collection of assembled clips that are meant to be enjoyed without context or plot. See them as the daydreams of a filmmaker who spends much of his time re-mixing unfinished thoughts. 2016; 7 min. With an introduction and Q+A session with Director Matthew Riddle!

Auto-Cowrecked - Hannah Leder (Sherman Oaks, California) A man's life is turned upside-down by a rogue auto-correct. 2015; 8 min.   

Twitch - Jesse Richton (New York, New York) A young man with Tourette’s Syndrome moves to New York City, but finds that getting a job when you have Tourette's is no small matter.  2016; 15 min.

After Adderall - Stephen Elliot (New York, New York)  In 2015, The Adderall Diaries premiered at the TriBeca Film Festival.  Based on Stephen Elliot’s memoir, the film stars James Franco in the lead role.  Watching from the sidelines, Elliot was inspired to make his own movie, a movie about James Franco making a movie about him. The result:  an intriguing film, set on the borderline between reality and fiction.  2016; 77 min.  With an introduction and Q+A session with Director Stephen Elliot!

Sunday, September 25, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University

71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey

$12=General; $10=Students+Seniors; $9=Rutgers Film Co-op Friends

Information: (848) 932-8482;

Jimmy John’s of New Brunswick will be providing free food prior to all New Jersey Film Festival Screenings!


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