He's no big deal. Really.
Jimmy Osmond, a 21-year show business veteran at age 24, spent his childhood as a rock music and television star in Japan. In December, he purchased the 100,000 square-foot Osmond Studio complex, largely for cash. He says he has turned a profit, amount undisclosed, from the first month. He's spent the past three months at work on commercials, a documentary on rock group Bon Jovi and a feature film.He says he's just a regular guy. The shocker is, he's telling the truth.
"Please don't hype me. I'm just doing a job like anyone else. I like my job, I like living near my family again, I like Utah. I'm no big deal."
Perhaps he will admit he is a good businessman. He is making the studio work in a very tight economic climate.
"It's easy to make an entertainment business work in bad times. Even during the Depression, entertainment industries prospered. If you produce quality entertainment that people like, you will always work," Osmond said.
"The way television is expanding, there is a greater need for programming than ever before. Studios that can produce a quality product for less money will have all the work they can handle."
Osmond hopes to produce more programs for cable and first-run syndication, in addition to commercials. He keeps costs low by using freelance production crews, according to Mark Burdge, vice president of Osmond's company, OCG Corp.
"The studio was built 11 years ago by the Osmond family. They kept a full staff, and paid people handsomely whether they were working or not. Now we hire freelancers for specific jobs. We get the best people for the individual jobs, and they get to pursue the projects they choose. It keeps costs down and it keeps people creative."
Burdge also said he credits the studio's early success to Osmond's conservative business ethic, aversion to debt financing and hard work.
Will Osmond admit he has been responsible for some very good productions?
"It's all a group effort. We get the best people and we concentrate on one project at a time. I surround myself with great people who know a lot more than me; then I learn."
But Osmond can tell you all about high-definition television. With new equipment, his studio will become one of only four high-definition production facilities outside Japan. The Sony-America equipment will put 1125 lines of information on video tape rather than the normal 525 lines. The picture comes out much clearer and can be combined with 35mm film footage without producing a grainy or patchwork product.
"It keeps costs down, and without sacrificing quality," he said.
Perhaps Osmond will take credit for restoring part of the family dynasty when he bought the studio.
"I don't usually approach things emotionally. I had wanted to live in Utah for a long time, I love production and the facility was very well designed. Everything about the move made sense, so I did it."
Burdge said rumors the Osmond family sold the studio at a loss are "gross misconceptions. The family built the studio for $4.5 million and sold it for $7 million." He said Paul Jensen, the owner before Jimmy Osmond, had filed for bankruptcy, but many of his financial problems were caused by unrelated business deals. Burdge preferred not to discuss the recent purchase price, but the studio was appraised at $8.5 million shortly before Osmond bought it.
Does Osmond think he is responsible for drawing the big-name clients such as Fuji Film and Hasbro and Fisher-Price toys?
"People have come looking for us," Osmond said.
Burdge said the studio has a lot to offer the best equipment, its proximity to Los Angeles and Utah's diverse locations.
"We have mountains, farm land, campuses, plains, canyons, Park City and lakes. The only thing we are missing is an ocean, but maybe you could even use the Great Salt Lake for a dead sea. There are very talented people here, and production is less expensive because Utah is a right-to-work state."
Burdge said 95 percent of the studio's clients are from Los Angeles, New York or Japan. Osmond added that many new clients are really old clients who enjoyed working with the family-run studio.
At least Osmond should admit he has had a lot of success for a 24-year-old.
"Most of the people in entertainment are young. The market is young, so it makes sense that people about the same age would know what the market wants."