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A documentary about synthetic opioids in America told through the eyes of Jake Buchanan as he researches the death of his brother Cal.
A documentary about synthetic opioids in America told through the eyes of Jake Buchanan as he researches the death of his brother Cal.
A documentary about synthetic opioids in America told through the eyes of Jake Buchanan as he researches the death of his brother Cal.
109 backers pledged $11,583 to help bring this project to life.

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$11,583

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A synthetic opioid called Fluoro-Fentanyl killed my brother, Cal, in July of this year.  He bought it online through the dark net, tried it once and it took his life.  Please help however you can so that I can bring light to this growing issue in America. Kids are able to buy any drugs they want online and they are not always what they seem. With your help, I can talk to the CDC, the DEA, and the investigators of Cal's death.

We are not done fundraising at 100%. We have too important of a story to tell.

Help us continue towards our bigger goals that exceed our initial bare bones budget. We will be able to do a greater story with continued funding. We will not stop here because we know how important this film project is. By hitting our Stretch Goals and beyond we will save lives.

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Who? What? Where? Why?

This documentary will dive into these synthetic opioids and where they are coming from: Home-grown, imported from China, designed in a lab, ordered on the internet, shipped in the mail. What does the DEA's battle look like? What do emergency rooms look like? What do families look like? What does the dark web look like? What does the unsuspecting youth look like, the ones who do nothing illegal yet becomes victims? We will be contacting the DEA and other law enforcement to get an inside look and share their story with this growing epidemic. We will be contacting medical professionals, scientists, chemists, politicians, experts, and individuals and families who share a similar story. What are these synthetic drugs exactly and where do they continue to come from? Why are they not all illegal to order online? Where do you order these from and how? These are only a few of the questions and topics we will be covering.

Stretch Goals

We made our initial goal but we will not stop there. The more funding we receive the greater cinematic, informative, insightful, inspiring and personal story we may tell. 

  • $10,000 - Flex options + Contigency Costs. By hitting the $10,000 mark we will have a small wiggle room to our budget to commit more work hours to the project, add an additional travel day or interview with an expert, spend more time in production or post production and help alleviate hard costs. Our initial goal is still bare bones for production, so this additional amount will go towards any unsuspecting delays in production or those hard costs, allowing us a fraction more of flexibility in our ideas.

  • $15,000 - Additional Crew. One of the hardest parts of the job is focusing on the story, the technical details of filming, and the many logistics of film production. For the majority of the production we, Jake & Justin, will be operating with a skeleton crew by ourselves and with a sound recordist. We will both be producing and coordinating, Jake will be directing while Justin primarily operates as the cinematographer. But if Jake is currently being filmed Justin will take over that directing roll for Jake as a producer. Additional Crew will help us focus on what is most important. If something needs to be picked up, an errand needs to be ran, gear needs to be watched or etc. adding even a single crew member will make every filming day go much smoother. Hiring people is expensive however. For example: a PA, Production Assistant, gets paid anywhere from $125-$200 per day depending on the production. If we film for 2 weeks that will be anywhere from $1,750-$2,800. This would be a sizable chunk of our budget.
  • $20,000 - Camera Rentals. A decent camera rental kit fit for our project easily starts at $1,000 per 1-3 Days. This is bare minimum. If we film for 2 weeks and only get the bare minimum it will be $4,000. That is not including tax and insurance either.

  • $28,500 - Longer Camera Rentals. The longer we are able to film the better. This will help us have the capital to stay in production longer.

  • $35,000 - Camera Kit Purchase. If we hit this goal we will invest in a dedicated camera kit. This will dramatically increase the amount of flexibility we have for production, especially for extending production and filming lengths, traveling to more areas for greater periods of time, as well as be ready on-the-fly if any event pertinent to our story arrises that we want to cover. Most importantly this will allow us to spend a much larger quantity of time with Jake and his family, following their story. Potential additional funds left over from a kit purchase will go towards other aspects of production.

  • $45,000 - Dedicated Production Coordinator/Manager. A Production Coordinator and/or Manager do exactly what their title describes and much more. These amazing people handle every nitty gritty aspect in production and alleviate logistical pressure from producers and crew so they may focus on what is happening in front of the camera. They do anything and everything from helping secure locations, to hiring additional crew, to production planning, meal ordering, gear renting, booking travel and much much much more. While PAs and the crew are the backbone of production, a great PC/PM are the nerves and muscles that allow everything to move around during production. The option of hiring a great PC/PM will only make this project succeed even more.

  • $50,000+ - There is so much more we can accomplish through Cal's story with a budget above and beyond this. We will expand our stretch goals even further upon hitting this milestone.

Synthetic Opioids 

These are only a few of these synthetic opioids we will cover.

  • Fentanyl - 50 to 100 times as potent as morphine.
  • "Pink" - U-47700. 8 times stronger than heroin. Only illegal in 4 states. May be bought online and delivered anywhere for $4.99 USD.
  • Carfentanil - Elephant Tranquilizer. 100 times stronger than Fentanyl. 10,000 times stronger than morphine. BANNED as a chemical weapon. Overdose on touch from 20 micrograms-a fraction the size of a grain of salt.

Headlines & Quotes on Synthetic Opioids

"Because U-47700 is so new, the Drug Enforcement Agency has not had the time to properly investigate the drug and determine its precise dangers. However, the agency has given notice of its intent to classify the drug as a Schedule 1 substance, which would put it in the same league as heroin and MDMA. Until this scheduling is complete, however, the drug can be purchased from Chinese and other foreign websites, and legally delivered to American doorsteps.”

"Carfentanil is 100 times more potent than fentanyl itself, and 10,000 times more potent than heroin. It is estimated to be active in humans at doses as low as one microgram, one millionth of a gram. The estimated lethal dose of fentanyl is about 2 milligrams per person, but the lethal dose for carfentanil in humans is unknown. Based on data from chimpanzees, it is estimated to be in the microgram range. To put that in perspective, a grain of sugar weighs about 600 micrograms.”

"Fentanyl threats have come in waves, the DEA said. There were more than 1,000 deaths attributed to fentanyl between 2005 and 2007, mostly in Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia, traced to a single lab in Mexico that was dismantled.”

"Canadian police just intercepted a package from China containing 1 kilogram of carfentanil, enough for 50,000,000 potential overdoses."

Carfentanil is a "veterinary tranquilizer for large animals such as elephants”

Carfentanil is "A deadly drug, which has been banned from the battlefield underthe Chemical Weapons Convention and is being blamed for a spate of drugoverdoses in the United States, can be easily bought over the internet for just a few thousand pounds, it has been revealed."

"Before being discovered by drug dealers, carfentanil and substances like it were viewed as chemical weapons. Assistant Secretary of Defence for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defence Programmes between 2009 and 2014 described the drug as a “weapon”, adding “companies shouldn't be just sending it to anybody."

"The drug was first developed in the 1970s and its only official use is to sedate large zoo animals such as elephants. Just 10mg of carfentanil will sedate a 5000kg elephant."

"In China, however, carfentanil is not a controlled substance and it can be manufactured legally and sold openly online."

"Fentanyl has also been found in counterfeit Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug.”

"We study the pharmacology and toxicology of new psychoactive substances (NPS). These entirely synthetic, illicitly made “designer drugs” are designed to work on the same receptors in the body as drugs like marijuana, methamphetamine or heroin. The adulteration of counterfeit pharmaceuticals and street drugs with synthetic opioids is arguably the most worrying new trend in our field.”

"The estimated lethal dose of fentanyl is about 2 milligrams per person”

"The most potent narcotic known, it is a man-made opioid 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more so than morphine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control website."

"only illegal in four states: Florida, Ohio, Wyoming, and Georgia, NBC News reported”

"can easily and legally be bought online and shipped to your house for as little as $4.99”

"Seizures of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids destined for the U.S. increased from just eight pounds in 2014 to 200 pounds in 2015.”

Risks and challenges

This project is All or Nothing. If we DO NOT reach our goal, we WILL NOT receive any funds. We will expose this growing epidemic so that it might save a life. Additional challenges will be connecting will government personnel and agencies such as the DEA, law enforcement & narcotics, doctors & scientists who are knowledgable on the subject. We hope to potentially see the process of these agencies and how they are battling this epidemic. We will be keeping news stories and articles which and hope to potentially use news stories to mix into our content. Another big risk and challenge is finding other families who share a similar story that also want to attempt to save lives by being a part of this project.

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Funding period

- (30 days)