May 25, 2020

Adult education student talks about experiences in film

Jon Osbeck, an adult education student at Capital, has been interested in film since he saw Harrison Ford play both Indiana Jones and Han Solo when he was little.

“I saw Harrison Ford in Star Wars, and then I saw Harrison Ford in Indiana Jones,” Osbeck said. “At first I was like, ‘Ah, I want to be Han Solo!’ and then I was like ‘Ah, I want to be Indiana Jones!’ And then I put it together…I was like, ‘No, I want to be the guy who’s able to be both of those guys.’”

His film career started out working in commercials and doing voice work. For a time, he was a freelance writer, director, and producer in commercial work. He’s also written and directed several short films and a feature-length film that came out in 2010.

The film, called “Minus One,” is about three reservists who get called to go to Afghanistan and focuses on the days leading up to their deployment.

“I wrote it because my brother went to Iraq in 2004, 2005 and 2006, and it was an impactful experience to go there and see him leave,” Osbeck said. “I knew I wanted to write something about the experience, and I wanted it to be as truthful as it could be.”

“Minus One” was entirely self-funded and took three years to complete, but the hard work paid off. It went on to compete in 10 film festivals, winning three of them.

“The fact that it got done was quite an accomplishment,” Osbeck said. “That I was able to have a finished product that I felt good about, that I could show the people who worked on it … [and] the fact that it went on to win some festivals was just, like, the icing on top of it.”

Of all of the films he’s been involved with, Osbeck says being in his most recent film,”The Public,” was the most memorable. He acted beside Alec Baldwin, Emilio Estevez (who also wrote and directed the film), Christian Slater, and several other big actors.

“The Public,” which has yet to be given a release date, is set in Cincinnati during an arctic blast. A group of homeless people want to use the library as a place of refuge because all of the shelters are full due to the storm. They stage a sit-in and the police, who believe the group is holding hostages, get involved.

It becomes a standoff between the two groups. Alec Baldwin plays the police negotiator, Emilio Estevez plays the librarian who works with the group of homeless people, and Osbeck plays the library’s head of security. He was on set for several days and was in scenes with Alec Baldwin frequently.

Osbeck has been in a few other notable movies that students may have seen. He’s Patrick Wilson’s boss in “A Kind of Murder,” which came out in 2016 and is available on Netflix. He was also in the Hallmark movie “The Christmas Spirit,” where he plays the main character’s brother who comes home from war.

Although he’s been working in film for years, Osbeck never went to a formal film school. He says making his full-length film was like his own film school, and he’s taken some acting classes through the years.

Right after high school, Osbeck attended The Ohio State University and “had no direction at all,” and quit after two years. After getting some experience with film during his time out of school, Osbeck decided to finish his bachelor’s degree at Capital. He’s majoring in film and journalism, wanting to use the journalism side of his degree to create more documentary-style work.

Between school, his full-time job, acting, and family, Osbeck continues to work on scripts and ideas for new films. His next acting gig will be a part in “A Riff on Hamlet,” which will play at the Short North Stage in October.

  • Heather Barr is the current Editor-In-Chief of The Chimes and a senior at Capital University, studying Journalism and Professional Writing.

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