Consultation & Contact

Q: What do the films Once Upon a Time in America (1984), From Hell (2001), Apocalypse Now Redux (2001), and The Quiet American (2002) have in common?


A: They all have opium-smoking scenes that are inaccurately portrayed.



Until now, filmmakers who were interested in presenting an accurate portrayal of historical opium smoking were hindered by a dearth of information. Nowadays, there is much information online, but very little of it is reliable.


For over a decade I have researched opium smoking in the Chinese manner and am now offering advice to filmmakers who are interested in historical accuracy. I most recently assisted with the filming of an opium den scene for Episode 5 of the HBO series "Boardwalk Empire". I have also done consultation work for museum collections and exhibitions.


My fees are reasonable and all legitimate inquiries will be promptly addressed. 

Please email me at

Steven Martin

Opium Fiend: A 21st Century Slave to a 19th Century Addiction (Random House; 2012)

The Art of Opium Antiques (Silkworm Books; 2007)