MTV to air madcap promotion by KU film student

Jeremy Osbern and Spencer Roberts showed up at a keg party with a video camera and a stack of picket signs, looking for a cast for their latest film.

The 10-second video that resulted will be featured as an MTV promo spot next week.

“Working with drunk 40-year-old people is a lot of fun,” Lawrence resident Roberts said.

Osbern, a junior at Kansas University majoring in film, noticed MTV’s call for promotional videos earlier this fall, and he decided it could be his chance to make it big.

The video, which will air beginning Sunday, shows a group of picketers with signs such as “Free the Music.” A woman opens a box, music plays, and the crowd rejoices.

Osbern said the idea came after he saw a group of animal-rights protesters in downtown Lawrence. The party thrown by his barber proved the right venue for the particular video shoot.

MTV officials are selecting one video per week to show. Osbern said the cable network had received thousands of entries.

“Apparently, we were quirky enough to slip in and catch the eye of the people in charge,” Roberts said.

A film created by Spencer Roberts, left, of Lawrence, and Jeremy Osbern, Kansas University junior in film, will be featured on MTV next week. On Tuesday, the two showed the 10-second clip at Oldfather Studios, Ninth Street and Avalon Road.

MTV also selected another of the duo’s films to feature on its Web site. That 10-second video shows Roberts breaking a large chimney-pot that is supposedly possessed by demons.

Osbern said he hoped the project would advance his film career. Roberts hopes it helps with his applications to film schools.

“It’s like a contest, but without the fabulous prizes,” Osbern said. “It’s something to put on a resume.”

Matt Jacobson, assistant professor of theater and film at KU, said many filmmakers get their big breaks with similar projects.

And wrapping up the entire video in 10 seconds makes it even more of a challenge.

“It seems like you’re putting more work into a shorter piece than a longer piece,” he said. “It has a finite length and a finite number of frames. Each one of them has to be so jam-packed of information.”