Creative Arts-Themed Opioid Drama 7 HILLS Begins Its Television Journey
Filming of the three-hour miniseries will begin in the fall of 2020 in Indianapolis, Indiana, executive produced by Bill Herndon, Joel Eisenberg, Patty Eppinger and Tracy Harris, written by Eisenberg and Herndon as adapted in part from a series of stories by Herndon.
The 7 HILLS creative process will include a series of Town Hall assemblies focused on engaging teens and young adults in meaningful conversations to help combat the opioid crisis. The open dialogue will not only be educational in nature, but will help forward the varied arcs of the program. The executive producers intend to utilize several of these teens and young adults in the project's writer's room, of which Eisenberg, a former special education teacher now Hollywood writer-producer, is the showrunner.
7 HILLS is a fictional drama television series, but the stories of addiction and recovery it draws upon are based on fact. The series revolves around a group of talented, creative teens and young adults who are struggling with their abuses while living in a creative arts communal house. The house, "7 Hills," is focused on providing the support system and resources necessary to combat their addictions and pursue their dreams.
7 HILLS will feature some of our most talented young actors, many of whom in real life are also singers, songwriters, dancers, fashion designers and visual artists. Says Herndon: "We will strive for authenticity in this project and cast artists who have known substance abuse in their personal lives. They have seen the struggles, and our series will incorporate their true-life stories within its dramatic arcs." The series originated when writer and producer Bill Herndon, head of LA Reel Camps, met Patty Eppinger, a Worcester consultant and community activist, at an entertainment industry event. "I had already started creating a script about the opioid epidemic because this story was very personal to me and something that my family had dealt with," Herndon says. "My mother died of drug-related AIDS and my dad of a heart infection caused by dirty heroin needles. The opiate issue has become a global epidemic and not exclusive to people who are rich or poor, black or white. Meeting Patty and learning about what Worcester was going through and the innovative ways the city is helping to find solutions moved me." "We hope to show the world a unique perspective in hopes of raising awareness, de-stigmatizing addiction, and inspiring people to find help and solutions through the healing power of art," says Eisenberg, who considers the series a cross between Christopher Gore's 1980 film, Fame, and HBO's current hit Euphoria. "At the end of the day," he adds, "it's about saving lives."
The film is planned to premiere on Prime through the Amazon Direct platform later this year.