Brothers aren’t ‘stuck’ in Ohio, they’re rooted here
Filmmakers are used to people knowing their movies but not necessarily knowing who made them.
It’s just the opposite for Ken and Dan Mizicko. Not everyone in the Mahoning Valley has seen the Vienna brothers’ films, but everyone knows about – or thinks they know about – their production company.
They’re the “Stuck in Ohio” guys.
That “Stuck in Ohio” name has been interpreted – and misinterpreted – by many over the years. But anyone who has any doubt what the Mizickos mean by the phrase can get their questions answered by the duo’s latest film, a half-hour documentary called “Still Stuck.”
For the Mizickos and the other skateboard, wakeboard, motorcycle and outdoor enthusiasts who call the Buckeye State home, “stuck” doesn’t mean trapped; it means “rooted” here by choice.
Their passion for their home is why “Still Stuck” is a half hour long instead of a teaser for their next project.
“It wasn’t supposed to be that long,” Ken said. “When we started it back in December, we thought it would be about 10 minutes, little clips promoting everything we’ve done. But the more interviews we did, we thought there was a better story to put together than just slapping a bunch of stuff together and whatnot.”
While Stuck in Ohio started 10 years ago with the Mizickos filming the stunts of themselves and their friends, in recent years they’ve traveled to different parts of Ohio and found others who are just as passionate about the diversity of opportunities available for thrillseekers here.
“We’ve been doing this for a few years now, dabbling around in so many locales, and we wanted to get other people’s perspective on it, what it means to be Stuck in Ohio,” Ken said.
Ultimately, the message of the movie is, “If you don’t make time to enjoy life here, then ‘stuck in Ohio’ is a negative connotation for you, but it doesn’t have to be.”
That story might encourage viewers to check out the movie beyond Stuck in Ohio’s core audience of adrenaline junkies and broaden the local company’s appeal.
Since it originally was planned as a 10-minute short, the brothers decided to release “Still Stuck” for free on YouTube rather than selling it on DVD. Available online for just a week, it already has more than 7,300 views.
Ken said they plan to use the movie to reach out to other media markets in state, especially in places like Akron, Toledo and Columbus that are featured in the documentary along with the Mahoning Valley.
Soon those “Stuck in Ohio” stickers may be as ubiquitous everywhere as they are at home.
Ken said they’ve produced about 30,000 “Stuck in Ohio” stickers in the last decade, and they can be found stuck on car bumpers, skateboards, guitar cases and just about any other flat surface in and out of Ohio. There also have been about 2,000 Stuck in Ohio T-shirts sold, not to mention more than 5,000 DVDs of their extreme sports documentaries.
Most of the stickers they’ve given away at events as a promotional tool, Ken said, but they also started selling them on their website (www.stuckinohio.com) to meet customer demand. And they sell enough to pay for the ones they give away.
“It gets people talking about us and checking out the videos.”
Andy Gray is the entertainment writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.