Filmmaker Craig Comstock has spent weeks on the streets talking to the people most everyone else ignores – the city's drug addicts.
And he was shocked that the people who are passed by every day by drivers openly told him what was on their minds when he interviewed them on camera.
"What did I learn? How these people are complaining that they are on the bottom and feel hopeless, but next to them is a bag of Calloways they've stolen to buy their drugs. They are drug-sick. They need to do anything they can to get the next fix."
Comstock, whose work includes the forthcoming epic about Jackie Robinson called 42, said he wanted to do a community service to help people see the problem around them and come up with solutions to keep addicts from the vicious cycle of addiction and crime.
The filmmaker is the husband of city councilwoman Pamela Comstock, who made fighting crime a big issue in her recent campaign. Craig said most of them have been in jail many times, but get sent out again to the streets by the "revolving door" of the justice system. One woman told him she had to get clean after being in jail because she did so much methamphetamine there.
He is thinking about boiling down the eight hours of footage he has so far into a 42-minute movie. He's posted the above preview on YouTube.
"I couldn't believe how open these people were when I talked with them. We drive by them all the time and no one notices them. No one stops to talk. When you do, they tell you more than you can believe."
Comstock's work as an assistant director includes 18 films, according to IMDB. Among them are Dumb and Dumber, Nine Months, Anaconda, The Joy Luck Club and Deep Impact.
He said his inspiration for this community film was the fact that he didn't feel comfortable leaving his 9-year-old son unattended in any Santa Cruz park because of the addicts and the needles they leave behind.
In its meeting Tuesday at 3 p.m., the city council will be addressing concerns of its public safety committee, including what to do about the needle exchange and the numbers of needles being found on the streets.