Synopsis: On a beautiful Tuesday morning in a local coffee shop, Kyle Richardson practices his next audition with his girlfriend, Lauren Cox. Kyle though, is prating on work hours and must return to the front counter to help a customer. While helping that customer, Lauren notices that he’s received an email letting Kyle know that he has received an invitation to audition for a role of a lifetime! Overjoyed, Kyle promises they’ll celebrate together after the audition tomorrow. They share a kiss, and he gets back to work. As he get’s home later that night, we learn the truth of who Kyle is. As his roommate, Eddie Whishaw, says that should celebrate his audition together after putting a small baggie of cocaine on the table. After trying to resist, Kyle gives in and we see that Kyle is a drug addict, a fact that he hides from Lauren. What was intended on just a little fun turns into all night bender of cocaine and alcohol. Shooting up one last time ends up being a fatal choice, as Kyle begins to overdose. Eddie, just laughs and leaves the room, leaving him to die. Luckily, Lauren shows up to pickup Kyle for his audition, and stumbles across the horror of her boyfriend dying. After bringing him to the hospital, they have a fight ending with Lauren agreeing to stay with him, but only if he’s ready to get clean. He says he is, and after she leaves, he tells Eddie the same, which he does not take well at all. At first the withdrawals are easy for Kyle, he still goes to work, he still gets to be with Lauren, and everything seems fine. Soon though it starts to take another turn, as Kyle has a harder time going to work, starts to get sick, and needs Lauren there to take care of him. Kyle eventually decides not to go to work, and on that day, Lauren gets called in for an emergency at her workplace. Eddie takes his chance and convinces Kyle to give into his urges while she’s gone. Before he can though, she comes home early, and catches him in the act. A massive fight ensues, with both of them admitting their true thoughts on the situation. In the end, Lauren leaves for good, something Kyle never thought would happen. Desaturate, he collapses to the floor balling. Eddie comes out laughing, finally saying the truth Kyle always tried to hide: that Eddie was just in his head, a worst case scenario of himself he thought would never come to be, yet it has. After hearing this and fully realizing what’s happened, Kyle finally stands up to Eddie and realizes he needs to get clean for himself, no one else. He finally defeats Eddie, as he disappears from the room, and Kyle is finally at peace. He isn’t cured of his addiction, but he’s finally on the right track.
Megan Grant (Lauren Cox)
Sam Harding (Eddie Whishaw)
Jake Gum (Louis)
Jacob Harding (Customer)
Withdrawal is a film I never thought I’d make, yet I’m so happy I did. I’ve never done a drug of any sorts, but I’ve known other addictions in my life. I was able to pull from those feelings and experiences I’ve had during those times in my life and put them front and center in this film, and I’m so happy to see them come to life. This film means so much too me and was such a blast to make. I don’t think I ever had such a stressful pre-production stage, just to go in and have everything go so well. To me, this film is inspiring, moving, and will mean something to everyone whether they’ve encountered addiction or not, and that is the beauty of Withdrawal.
A passionate and talented filmmaker, Jacob Harding discovered his love for film at the age of thirteen and hasn’t stopped pursuing it since. While being a proficient writer and producer, Jacob’s goal has always been fixated on directing. “Directing is one of the few places where I truly feel like myself, when I’m directing it just feels right. It’s a feeling I’ll never forget and a feeling I’m always excited to return too”. While Withdrawal is Jacob’s most professional film to date, he has had the honor of directing multiple short films over his career; such as Scene 25R, Meet The McCrory’s, and Good Ol’ Trevor; and one feature film, XYZ, which he shot right out of highschool in his home town of Kansas City, Missouri. Filmmaking is more than a job to him, it’s a lifestyle and its who he is at his very core.
Jacob hopes that Withdrawal speaks to people in all walks of life, not just those that have suffered with addictions. “While I hope that those that have suffered through addictions find something in this film, there is really so much in this film that people can relate to. Trying to be someone for someone else, believing the lies you tell yourself, thinking you can do things on your own, and so much more. I hope people see this film and walk away with the confidence to conquer these issues.”