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A slice of Hollywood in Lawrence: Through a Glass Productions creates movie magic in Sunflower State

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Jeremy Osbern and Chris BlunkThe air inside the storage room feels stagnant and warm.

Its high walls are lined with shelves of cameras and their various accoutrements, leaving little space for the three men — one cinematographer, one producer and one enthused Journal-World photographer in his own version of heaven — squeezed inside.

“He’s a lens connoisseur,” explains Marcus Guider, referring to Jeremy Osbern, the aforementioned cinematographer and co-founder of Through a Glass Productions, where we lay our scene. “He has quite a bit of them.”

Just how many constitutes “quite a bit” escapes Osbern, who pauses for a moment, straining to lift a metal case containing at least a half a dozen lenses onto a nearby tabletop, before answering: “Too many and not enough.”

The room is small (a closet really, measuring no more than 7 feet in any direction) but it’s just a room — one room of several in a 3,000-square-foot office in Lawrence’s Warehouse Arts District bearing the name of a production company launched not even 12 years ago by a pair of young filmmakers fresh out of college.

In the summer of 2004, Osbern and Chris Blunk founded Through a Glass Productions. They had just graduated that spring and wanted to produce a feature-length film. It was their first.

Initially, Through a Glass operated out of Osbern’s apartment in the 700 block of Massachusetts Street, nonfunctioning air conditioning and all. The venture later moved to an office above the now-shuttered Buffalo Bob’s Smokehouse at 719 Massachusetts St. It was a 200-square foot, windowless space that “smelled like barbecue all the time” and lacked an elevator to transport equipment, but “it was good for the time,” Blunk recalls.

The friends spent four years on “Air: The Musical,” shooting during the weekends in between commercial jobs and securing investors scene by scene, all with a budget hovering somewhere between $100,000 and $200,000.

“We started shooting the feature in December, before we could realize how bad of an idea it was,” jokes Blunk, who penned the musical tale of misfits looking for human connection.  Read more.

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