Hope Floats: Ayahuasca evangelists Damien and Brandee Sabella chill out at their Malibu home.Photographed by Elisabeth Caren Illustration by: Liz Bretz
Los Angeles has always been a trippy place, ensconced as it is in the entertainment industry where nothing is real and everything is permitted. And now a TV series called “Psychedelic City” is set to showcase how the City of Angels really rolls.
Riding the wave of popularity enjoyed by psychedelic-inspired shows like Duncan Trussell’s “The Midnight Gospel” and “Nine Perfect Strangers,” an episodic hit created by Hulu and starring Nicole Kidman and Melissa McCarthy, the new TV series in the works, spawned by a “Los Angeles Magazine,” cover story will look at the growing use of psychedelics across L.A.
Rights to the story, written by Peter Kiefer, were acquired by producer Scott Steindorff of Stone Village Productions with plans to create the TV series called “Psychedelic City,” says The Hollywood Reporter, along with designs for a metaverse platform slated to focus on crypto, digital and immersive art, music components and experimental therapies.
In Kiefer’s story, titled “Shrooms! Shamans! Kosher LSD! Why Los Angeles Is Suddenly Tripping Out,” the writer describes the all-out obsession Angelenos have with psychedelics: “Los Angeles is currently in the grip of a psychedelics fervor not seen since Jim Morrison ambled his way down the Venice Beach boardwalk in the 1960s. Every weekend, dozens, possibly hundreds, of ayahuasca ceremonies take place in the hills, valleys, and strip malls of Southern California. So many people are now experimenting with ayahuasca (a psychoactive brew long used by South American indigenous tribes as part of ceremonial spiritual healing) that there’s concern the ingredients required to create the potion are being over harvested. But it’s not just ayahuasca—there are events for psilocybin, DMT, ibogaine, LSD, and MDMA.”
Kiefer does a great job of describing the frenzy of recent psychedelic use in L.A., featuring Brandee and Damien Sabella, who he calls “the unofficial first couple of Southern California psychedelia.” He also delves into a comprehensive account of psychedelics in the U.S. beginning with the CIA’s shifty covert program in the 1950s called MK-ULTRA, which sought to create a mind-control drug before the Soviets could.
Kiefer’s article is engaging and cinematic, so it’s no wonder the story was snapped up by a production company keen to create the next smash psychedelia hit.
The practice of acquiring the rights to media with the intention to create new productions is a niche market that’s expanded over the past decade, with Hollywood brokers/producers of intellectual property like Storied Media Group, who exist to “represent the rights to the best high-end content that its staff curates daily…helping industry players jumpstart their film and TV projects.”
Published: November 24, 2021
Founder & Interim Editor of L.A. Cannabis News