OHIO Southern Electronic Media Graduate Isaac Stambaugh will make his directorial debut with the film "Smells Like Community Spirit."

Photo courtesy of: Alumni Association

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Smells like community spirit

OHIO Southern alumnus to debut film at the Derby City Film Festival

On Feb. 19, OHIO Southern Electronic Media Graduate Isaac Stambaugh will make his directorial debut with the film "Smells Like Community Spirit" at the Derby City Film Festival.

Stambaugh, a native of Ashland, Ky., wrote the dialogue for the film during a week of inspiration, but he had no money to pursue the dream any further. Two of his creative partners and closest friends, Brad Wise and Joe Boyd, secretly raised the $2,000 needed to begin the eight-day shoot. Nearly 50 cast and crew worked on the feature, including former Ben-Gal Cheerleader Missy Scalia and actor and award-winning director and producer Joe Boyd. In addition to writing the dialogue, Stambaugh also directed and edited the film.

The film follows Oliver Stanton, a recent escapee from corporate America, who buys a bowling alley in the smallest small town he could find - Scarberry, Ohio. A few days after turning on the lanes, Stanton's quaint getaway is undermined when he discovers that retail giant, Mega Value Mart, has plans to open their newest store right in the middle of the town's most beloved property, Chautauqua Park. He is joined by a whimsically eccentric cast of Scarberry's "finest" in a battle to preserve the park and his new way of life in this screwball comedy of municipal proportions.

Since graduating from OHIO in 2005, Stambaugh has produced 72 episodes of "The Zone," which won "Best Music Television Program of 2007" by NRB. He served as the producer, production manager, first assistant director and editor on the feature films "Hitting the Nuts", "Fenced Off" (which was loosely based on Stambaugh and his wife's experience with unrecognized prejudices), and "A Strange Brand of Happy" starring Grammy winner Rebecca St. James and Academy Award winner Shirley Jones.

"Isaac came to us from a successful media program at Paul G. Blazer H.S. in Ashland, Ky.," explained Don Moore, director of electronic media for OHIO Southern. "On the day he stepped foot in Southern's studio he hit the ground running. He was an excellent student and person."

Moore also praised Stambaugh for giving back to the program that gave him a start.

"He is a giving person, always looking to give back to our program," he said. "He has always made himself available to speak in our classes. And with his newest film, Isaac opened the door for several of our students to assist on the production. Plans are underway now for a premier to be held here on Southern's campus with portions of the proceeds coming back into the Electronic Media program, and for that we are truly grateful."

You can find out more about the Stambaugh's film at, follow it on Twitter @smellslikemovie and on Facebook at To request more information or to speak with Stambaugh, you may contact him at 513-607-1372 or at