Ocean City connection in TV series on human trafficking

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 Ocean City connection in TV series on human trafficking   Ocean City connection in TV series on human trafficking Growing up at the beach with summer nights spent roaming the boardwalk, the smells of pizza and caramel corn wafting through the air, screams from the amusement rides the audio back drop, would seem like paradise to most.

For some, paradise was a tough place to grow up.

Joe Eulo grew up in the foster care system in southern New Jersey and is now directing a television series that explores the nightmare of human trafficking.

“I would wander the beaches, boardwalks, and streets of Ocean City in search of the storytellers who lived, worked, and visited the small barrier island, which, oddly for me, was known as ‘America’s Greatest Family Resort,’” explained Eulo.

“Joe spent his early youth in Ocean City and grew up under difficult circumstances.

When he was about 9 years old he came into our office looking for odd jobs to make money. We would pay him to run errands for us. He would also go to the supermarket and carry packages for ladies who needed help and they would tip him,” said Ocean City publicist Mark Soifer, who wrote an article about Eulo.

Eulo overcame his adversities, paid his way through college and is now a film producer with a new series he hopes to bring to television.

“Tráfico,” the series created by Eulo, is an American crime drama about human trafficking within the United States.

The current plan calls for the first season to be released online, and for the entire season to be available as a two-part digital feature as video on demand on iTunes, Amazon and elsewhere. Eulo plans to submit the finished product to international film festivals.

“The first season is 15 episodes centered around the lives of five main characters. One being from Ocean City,” Eulo said.

He plans to shoot an episode in Ocean City and will cast all the background and supporting characters from the community. Eulo said he also plans to mentor aspiring filmmakers by giving them an opportunity to work on a real production.

“They will be guided and taught skills needed on set,” Eulo said.

Inspired by local characters who regaled the young Eulo with tales, he wanted to be a storyteller himself.

“I lived for the stories, longed for them, and could not wait to lose myself in their telling. 

The storytellers I met during my adventures on that small barrier island were a mixed bag of characters themselves who entertained, mentored, and distracted me from my harsh reality,” Eulo said.

He recalls John, the evangelist, who would preach about the Gospel and the end of the world to anyone who dared to stop and listen, and Giovanni, the owner of a small Italian restaurant on the boardwalk who would feed him meatballs and entertain with tales from his childhood days in Sicily and Soifer, the island’s public relations director, columnist for the local paper, poet and storyteller who had the biggest influence of all on the boy.

“His article about me, ‘The Waif of Ocean City’ inspired me to become a storyteller myself,” Eulo said.

Eulo also found solace at the movie theater.

“On the worse days, I would skip school and sneak through the back door of the Strand movie theater on Ninth and the boardwalk. I would become immersed with the emotion and lose myself in the story. Sometimes I would pretend to be one of the characters and believed that I was a part of something larger then myself; for those brief moments I believed I found a place in the world where I belonged,” Eulo recalled.

Now a graduate of film school working on a master’s degree, Eulo has put his past to use as CEO of First Frame Film with a series in the works.

“I did not care if the stories were fact or fiction; their stories, each told in their own way, allowed me to escape the emptiness and isolation of my youth spent in and out of foster homes. And as I grew older, without any steady guidance in my life I spiraled into a troubled adolescence. But it was the tales of the storytellers that remained with me and inspired me to become one myself.”

To find out more about tráfico see www.facebook.com/trafico.webseries  Ocean City connection in TV series on human trafficking    Ocean City connection in TV series on human trafficking

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