Movies made in Ohio


When people think of cameras, acting, and show business they think of places like Broadway or Hollywood.  Although these traditional film making settings remain a hot-spot for film making, another area of prime real estate for film making falls through the cracks.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994). Phot credit to On Location

This place is our own backyard: Ohio.

Ohio provides a cheap alternative for filmmakers instead of making the long trek to Hollywood.

Ryan Jennings states,  “Filmed in Ohio? I bet those movies never made it anywhere.  You even said it’s cheaper to make them in Ohio, so the movies will probably be lower quality.”

Elder Grad John D. Wagner. Credit to

Never has anyone been so wrong.  One of the nation’s timeless classics, A Christmas Story,  was filmed in Cleveland.  The Shawshank Redemption, which was ranked first by, was shot in Mansfield, Ohio.  Other notable films made in Ohio include, Rain Man, and parts of The Avengers.  Obviously, Ohio made films have clandestinely dominated the big screen for years.  Not only does this domination remain in the past, but it also extends to modern times at the hands of familiar faces.

Elder graduate  John D. Wagner (’00) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.  With no ties to the entertainment world, after attending Bowling Green State University, Wagner made the move out to Los Angeles, California.

During his time at Bowling Green State, Wagner mentioned his participation in a film club.  He said they would just gather a group of people and go shoot a movie just for fun.  He seemed to credit his success in film making to getting involved during his college years.

However, he has since returned to Ohio, not because he gave up on his dream of producing films but because of the opportunities that are available back home.

Wagner is no small-name producer.  He is known for his work on Cheap Thrills, Starry Eyes, All Cheerleaders Must Die, and Bone Tomahawk with Kurt Russell, which received a 90% on the Rotten Tomato scale.

This has given senior Isaac Moore a glimpse of hope to stay local and succeed.

Moore commented, “I want to be an audio producer at some point in the future… It always seemed like kind of a long shot to go out to Los Angeles and to find some work straight out of college, but I talked to that guy on career day and he just went on and on about how you don’t have to go out to California.  He said a lot of films are moving to Ohio because it’s so much cheaper.”

In a world of mass entertainment and a public that will continually tune in for the making of new movies, it’s safe to say that Ohio will remain relevant in the film world.  However, it will likely never replace Hollywood, but it could give it a run for its money.  One of the main goals of a film production crew is to stay within its budget.  Shooting in Ohio will provide a great opportunity to lower budgets and maximize the profits.