top of page
The Way Through Backdrop.jpg
Atlanta Quarter Finalist Laurels_edited.
Portland Screenplay Awards FINALIST.png
Buffalo Dreams Fantastic Film Festival - SEMI FINALIST for BEST SCREENPLAY - 2023.png
Big Apple Quarter Finalist.png

Subscribe to get a behind the scenes look into the filmmaking process.


A combat veteran contemplating life outside of the military

Ethan, a combat vet struggling with severe Post Traumatic Stress is given a second chance when he sets out on a healing journey through the care of a psychedelic therapist. But his demons won't go quietly as he struggles with the reality that the danger is no longer the enemy, the danger is himself.


The Way Through is a scripted narrative drama based on the healing journey of a combat veteran.


120 minute feature length film.


Ethan joined the military escaping an upbringing fraught with tragedy and deep family discord. But he returned from Iraq haunted by even deeper traumas.

Now lost in the labyrinth of PTS, he resorts to alcohol and social isolation for relief.


While attempting to retreat into nature, he ends up finding community and a mentor who introduces him to the healing potential of psychedelic medicine.  As he faces his core wounds, he realizes the medicine isn’t here to fix him but rather to reveal the inherent wholeness that resides within.

A Combat Veteran feeling the healing quality of MDMA assisted therapy from PTSD


What do you do when the danger is no longer the enemy, the danger is yourself?

After a failed suicide attempt and a bad breakup, Ethan leaves his life in Portland, Oregon to find solace in the remote Columbia River Gorge.

A film about psychedelic therapy
Two combat veterans talk about the healing potential of psychedelic medicine

Hoping to isolate in nature, he unexpectedly finds community in the quirky neighbors he encounters.

Jake, a fellow combat vet on a healing journey of his own, introduces Ethan to the power of psychedelic medicine.

His landlady Janet inspires newfound understanding of his mother, a source of significant pain in Ethan's life.

Healing trauma with your mother
A new love interest in the film

And a chance encounter with Hope, a young woman at his favorite swimming hole, opens him up to new levels of self-reflection and trust as their friendship unfolds.

Despite persistent nightmares and his struggles with alcohol, Ethan is determined not to let the trauma that has disrupted all of his past relationships continue to sabotage him.

A flashback to combat and the loss of a friend
MDMA assisted therapy for PTSD

In the care of an  underground Psychedelic Therapist, Ethan begins to unravel the trauma at the root of his struggles, and starts to believe what Hope has told him: "It's okay to not be okay."

But his demons won't go quietly. Will he have the courage to face them and find a way through?

Psychedelic trip in the woods


The screenplay for the film  recently took a semi-finalist position in 2 screenwriting competitions including the prestigious Los Angeles International Screenplay Awards and took a finalist position at the Portland Screenplay Awards.

Portland Screenplay Awards FINALIST.png

- The Black List is a coveted list of unproduced scripts that receive high praise from Hollywood Executives.

"THE WAY THROUGH is a rich, sensitive narrative that achieves a genuinely resonant sense of warmth as it patiently charts Ethan's journey. The focus on psychedelic therapy is a compelling, timely one, and this script is the rare spec that refuses to use this element as fodder for a sensational (and tiresome) horror film. Instead, we receive a filmic depiction of the psychedelic experience that is as authentic as any in recent memory, and the non-linear approach here is actually quite compelling. The past depictions of truly harrowing trauma do not pull punches, nor are they sensationalized spectacle. Ethan is a compelling, dimensionalized character who earns our sympathy beautifully, and Jake stands out as a particularly resonant member of the supporting cast. THE WAY THROUGH also boasts some real authenticity, especially in its blunt but realistic depiction of machismo-fueled military banter. There is also a highly cinematic sensibility at work here — every nature locale is lush and immersive, and moments of visual tension such as the opening motorcycle fakeout will translate beautifully to the screen." - script evaluator from The Black List


Ian Stout is an Army combat veteran, serving 15 months in Iraq. Upon returning home he found his calling as an actor/writer/director and all-around filmmaker holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Film and Video.

In 2008 he co-founded Vertica Productions, LLC. Ian was one of the cinematographers on "Not So Square", a short film that won the American Documentary - POV Award as part of the 2011 Doc Challenge. His short film “To No End” swept the film festival circuit with 7 nominations and 3 wins, including best cinematographer and best sound design. He co-produced and was the cinematographer on two short films, "Wrap Me In A Sheet" and "Ghost Town" with Paper Palace Productions, both films taking the award for "Best Narrative Short" at multiple festivals as well as nominations for best actor for the lead actress in each film.


As soon as the pandemic hit, he co-wrote, produced, and was the lead actor in “Love In Dangerous Times” which was immediately picked up for distribution by Darkstar Pictures.


Emmy Award-Winning Director/Producer Katie O’Grady is an emerging powerhouse in the entertainment industry. With a prestigious spot on Shoot Magazine's Director's Showcase, her first feature premiered at Tribeca and achieved critical acclaim, earning a New York Times Critics Pick and securing distribution on Showtime, Amazon, and Netflix. As a versatile actress, Katie's credits include NBC, NETFLIX, IFC and more!


Her work has earned her spots on the Oscar watch list for Best Actress and a Women in Film nomination alongside industry luminaries. Katie is currently set to direct the 2nd unit on the "Swiss Family Robinson" remake and has an upcoming feature this Spring.


Her impactful career and commitment to excellence make her a dynamic force in the entertainment landscape.

Katie is a passionate advocate for holistic healing and community well-being, actively championing therapeutic initiatives that contribute to the healing process for veterans.

Cecily Crow is an accomplished professional in both the performing arts and the realm of holistic healing.  As an Actor, Writer, and Producer, she has over 14 years of experience in the entertainment industry. Highlights include appearances on network television shows such as NBC’s GRIMM, and TNT’s Leverage, as well as over 100 commercial spots.

As a Mindfulness and Mental Health Coach, she has worked with clients at Meta (Facebook), Tesla, Ebay, Zoom, Lululemon, and Morgan Stanley among others.  Drawing from her personal healing journey and work with clients, she has been inspired to create a film that portrays the most profound and intimate layers of the healing process.



This film is very personal for me as Ethan's story is largely my own.

When setting out to write this script, I promised myself to be unflinchingly honest. If it was raw, vulnerable and especially if it scared me, it went in the script.

Ethan’s tale has also been inspired by the stories of real people who have shared their healing journeys with me.


Ian's personal healing journey took him from traditional talk therapy to yoga, meditation, and years spent immersed in nature. And yet, there were still scars that ran too deep.


Carefully planned Psylocibin and MDMA-assisted journeys were the catalyst  he needed to enter into an entirely new level of well-being.


Before this, he had little hope for himself, let alone most of his veteran and civilian brothers and sisters still struggling with PTSD.  That has all changed!


With MDMA therapy on the brink of being legally available nationwide and many states working towards legalizing the therapeutic use of psilocybin, the time is now to tell this story.



Healing through psylociban mushrooms

Through this film, we portray the use of Psilocybin mushrooms and MDMA-assisted therapy as powerful healing modalities.


We also show the importance of harm reduction and the potential risks involved in taking any psychedelic without a safe "set and setting".


Psychedelic therapy is rarely represented realistically in modern media. Our intention is to further public understanding and acceptance of these modalities through the lens of one person's healing journey.



Please follow this link. All donations to this project are 100% tax deductible through our fiscal sponsor, Warrior Films, a 501(c)(3).


Let's connect so we can send you the business plan and discuss the opportunities. 


Thanks for submitting!

Psychedelic Healing
© 2024 by Vertica Productions LLC
bottom of page