“Meth-dot-Com” is an important, eye-opening documentary feature film project initiated by the Conneaut Drug Free Commission. The purpose of the film is to educate parents and young people about the sophisticated and organized corporate-style marketing and networking efforts of adults involved in the illicit drug industry to lure teenagers and pre-teens into illegal drug usage, and then recruit them into sales and distribution of methamphetamine and other illegal drugs. Although this activity takes place in rural small towns and big cities alike across the country, this film focuses on showing how illegal drug networks recruit and groom at-risk teens in rustbelt and other economically-challenged communities, through the use of cell-phone and other mobile communications technologies and the organization of unsupervised “Teen House Parties” in the City of Conneaut and other communities in Northeast Ohio. It also focuses on the lifelong efforts of one courageous Conneaut business man and community leader, Mike Helfinstine, to personally devote himself and his business to counter the marketing and recruiting efforts of the illegal drug industry, and put himself in danger to save the youth being targeted by the regional drug kingpins.
The film features the deeply disturbing personal stories of teens and young adults who have, at one point, been recruited and taken part in the local illegal drug industry, interviews with parents of at-risk youth, as well as testimony from federal, state and local government, safety and health officials and local community, medical, social service and religious leaders. Meth-dot-Com will show parents what they should watch out for and how new technology can help them prevent their children from being caught up in this widespread, predatory illegal drug trafficking recruitment effort.
Making the Movie
The Conneaut Drug Free Commission contracted Media Magic Productions of Jefferson, Ohio, to produce and direct the documentary film, “Meth-dot-Com”. Established in 1997, Media Magic has produced dozens of television programs and documentaries for broadcast and cable TV, including the Ashtabula County Newsnet- Ashtabula County’s first regular television news programming since the 1950’s.
Cheryl Dickson-Walker, a four-time Cleveland Emmy Award-winning news producer is the film’s scriptwriter and director. Her partner and husband, David Walker, is the film’s Director of Photography and crew chief. The film is being shot on location in Conneaut, Ohio.
Funding for the Project
The producers of Meth-dot-Com have released a short, 17-minute preliminary cut of the film, to encourage individual, community and corporate financial investment into this project. This short version of the film will explain the premise of the movie, and showcase excerpts from some of the many interviews that will be featured in the final film. We would like to thank the good folks at the Conneaut Community Center for helping to make this happen. This preliminary version of Meth-dot-Com is available on DVD, YouTube and on the Conneaut Drug Free Commission website. Fundraising efforts will be updated in future Meth-dot-Com production newsletters. If you are interested in making a financial investment or non-financial investment of products, services or labor (as a volunteer film crew member, “extras” actor, grand writer or support staff), please contact Mike Helfinstine of the Conneaut Drug Free Commission in Conneaut, Ohio: 440-599-8187/e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Cheryl Dickson-Walker at Media Magic Productions: 440-294-2431/e-mail: email@example.com. We will be posting photos from the initial shoots in the next Production Newsletter and on the Conneaut Drug Free Commission website.
The Conneaut Drug Free Commission
The Conneaut Drug Free Commission was established in 2007 by Conneaut City Council. Founded by Conneaut entrepreneur and community leader, Mike Helfinstine, this teen drug-free initiative is a private/public partnership, focused on educating parents on aggressive marketing and recruiting activities by adults in the illegal drug industry, predominantly through the organization of unsupervised teen drug house parties.
Headquartered at the Lighthouse Cafe & Anthony’s Restaurant in Conneaut, Ohio, the Drug Free Commission brings together hundreds of concerned citizens in the pursuit of redirecting politicians to recognize that a effective promotion of a drug free community and safe environment is critical for Conneaut’s youth. The Commission works closely with the public agencies and school administrators, within the City of Conneaut, and seeks the active involvement of city and state law enforcement agencies.
The Commission collects data predatory recruiting of teens and young adults by the illegal drug industry, and uses a bold new counter-marketing strategy in an effort to combat adult sponsored drug trafficking at teen parties. It is recognized that an effective regional campaign requires a concerted community effort to detect, investigate and respond to adult-initiated events that exposes teens to controlled substances or appears intended to enlist participation by teens in any aspect of the illegal drug trade. The Conneaut Drug Free Commission is here to facilitate the success of this communicating this new, drug-free marketing message to Conneaut’s youth and their parents.