’21 alumnus Tony Pape lives the dream in Los Angeles and beyond

Out of school less than three years, Ohio University alumnus Tony Pape (HTC ’21) has directed a new comedy special, helped create a documentary for the National Football League plus the NFL tribute to 50 years of hip-hop music—and he dabbles in stand-up.

Ohio University Professor Roger Cooper at the School of Media Arts & Studies has seen legions of young people try to break into the crowded entertainment field in Los Angeles. Cooper is director of the OHIO-in-LA program, which combines classroom instruction, networking, and internships.

“Successful people in Los Angeles,” said Cooper, “can quickly sense when someone is highly viable for the industry. Tony Pape clearly is one of those people.”

From Cincinnati suburb Madeira, Ohio, Pape’s credits include a 2022 regional Emmy Award in the Fiction Long Form category for a series pilot called “Overdose,” which Pape produced for his Honors Tutorial thesis. His thesis faculty advisor was Associate Professor Brian Plow at the School of Media Arts & Studies.

In February of 2023, the NFL Network aired a documentary ( “The Godfather vs The Gunslinger”) about the 1984 match-up between Alcorn State University and Mississippi Valley State University that featured future NFL stars Issiac Holt and Jerry Rice. Pape was cinematographer and editor –John Kiesewetter (BSJ ’75) reports at WVXU Cincinnati.

Likewise, Pape co-directed, shot and edited “Football and Flow” for the NFL in collaboration with Universal Music Group, celebrating 50 years of hip-hop music (2023) featuring legendary artists Rakim, Hit Boy and Ludacris.

When the Manchester City Football Club’s trophy tour came to the U.S. in 2023, Pape shot and edited video of the tour.

In Los Angeles, Pape shoots video for comedian DeRay Davis, who produces a show at Hollywood Improv on Monday nights called MONDERAYS hosted by comedian Lewis Belt. Pape directed, shot and edited Belt’s new comedy special.


A side of humor


Pape has a well-honed sense of humor, behind the camera and in front of the mic.

He and his father Adam Pape (AB ‘95) wrote and produced a short video spoof on the challenges faced by Cleveland Browns fans entitled “The Cycle of Sadness.”

In August of 2023, comedian DeRay Davis invited Pape to open for his shows in Cincinnati. Pape said he adjusted his material for the second night based on crowd reaction on the first night.

In Los Angeles, Pape and college friends have ventured to open mic nights.

March 18, 2024
Ken Klein