Monty Lapica is a fresh out of the box triple threat: writing, directing, and starring in the independent movie, Self-Medicated, based on his true story. I caught up with him and had a chance to ask him a few questions:

Can you talk a bit about how you got your story to the big screen. What was it like working on this movie as writer, director, and actor?

This was a story I wrote with the intention of making independently. So my friend (Tommy Bell, whom I grew up with in Las Vegas) and I decided to attempt to raise the money through family, friends, and contacts and shoot the feature completely DIY.

Writing, directing, and acting in the film was a challenge, but it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I like all aspects of film-making and for this particular story it was necessary for me to wear all those hats . in the future I’d like to concentrate more on writing and directing, but this story was so close to me, such a personal one, that I felt that I needed to maintain as much control as possible over the creative process.

Can you tell me about your spiritual journey?

I credit my spiritual journey to saving my life. The story chronicles my character’s descent into recklessness and drugs. He has sort of a spiritual awakening and something very similar happened in my own life. I credit any happiness I’ve had since then to that.

Your character has a pivotal encounter with a homeless man, Gabe, who may or may not be an angel. Why do you think we need God’s help to turn our lives around?

I happen to believe that you can’t do it alone. At least for me, I’ve found that turning to God has had an incredibly profound impact on my life. I’m telling my story, I’m not trying to proselytize anyone or change anyone’s beliefs. In my case, developing a spiritual relationship with God had a positive effect on my life. I’ve got to honor that in some way and I tried to incorporate that into the story.

There seems to be the thread of father’s and sons throughout the movie. What was the underlying message behind that?

This was sort of a poem to my father. He and I were so close and to lose a parent at that age is such a devastating experience. I just wanted to explore the relationship between parent and child and thank my father for everything he did for me and all that he taught me.

What’s the one message you want people to take away from this movie?

I didn’t set out to make a message film, but if people leave the movie with a greater understanding of love and support, the positive effects they can have on a relationship, then I’d be very happy to hear that.

What are you working on now?

I’ve got a new story called Methodical. It falls into the crime-drama genre. It’s quite a departure from Self-Medicated. It’s entirely fictional and much different subject matter, but I’m looking forward to working on something completely different.

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