Adirondack filmmaker Josh Clement has deep roots in the region
There is something about this place that keeps so many of us here, despite the challenges. Maybe it’s the ancient mountains and wild forests. Or the clear lakes and winter snow. Or the small towns and supportive communities. Maybe it’s our resilient people and their inspiring narratives. Josh Clement, born and raised in the Adirondacks, has grown to embrace this place, it’s magic and the human stories that make it tick.
Josh, like so many North Country residents, is a jack of many trades. Filmmaker, musician, business owner, husband, father, entertainer, storyteller — Josh has pieced together his life’s passions to carve out a kaleidoscopic lifestyle and career in the small town of Bloomingdale, NY. His video production venture, Josh Clement Productions LLC, is where he harnesses his creative spirit and his love for storytelling.
Josh’s route to owning and operating this business has been a winding one like — he points out — many of the stories he hears from his video subjects. When asked about how he got to this point in his career, he laughs, “How much time do you have?” A graduate of Saranac Lake High School, Josh has worked in all kinds of odd jobs and seasonal positions that are typical in this region. His work in the service industry at the Hotel Saranac and his musical escapades playing in bands as a young man eventually led him to The Back Door, a downtown Saranac Lake bar and music venue he owned and operated for six years. He concedes it was a formative, if not lucrative, stage of his career where he learned a lot about owning a business, networking and balancing the books. He became a collector of stories during his time at the bar. He met his wife Holly during these years.
Josh and Holly Clement of Bloomingdale, NY
Several years and two bachelor’s degrees later — one in human services and one in communications — he honed in on many of the things he loved about this region and his hometown community. He decided that in some way or another, he wanted to collect and share stories about the people who live here in ways that promote their work and their causes. Although he wondered if his specialization in TV and video was a stretch for a career in the North Country, he plugged away at producing video and sharing it through YouTube and Facebook. His video feature “Exploring the Adirondacks with Colton Clement” was a fun project that gave him the chance to practice his trade and enjoy the outdoors with his then 8-year-old son Colton. The short film gave him some recognition in the Lake Placid Film Forum as well as notice from Mountain Lake PBS.
He would eventually work at Mountain Lake PBS in a role the local television station created for him. As “Interactive Producer,” Josh created online video pieces that highlighted interesting people and happenings around the region. These included the “Curiously Adirondack” series he produced with friend and neighbor Ed Kanze. Ed is an entrepreneurial freelancer in his own right — a naturalist, educator, guide and author with a penchant for performance. “He is a friend and an inspiration,” he says. “And our attitudes are similar. We want to do what we love to do.”
His passion to hear and tell stories is what keeps Josh going, despite the challenges of finding work in a rural area in a relatively new medium. His take on the future of video, though, is a positive one. “There’s no place to go but up for what I’m doing,” he says. Video is certainly a powerful tool in marketing and social media. The use of video in digital campaigns is shown to increase engagement in product marketing, fundraising appeals, non-profit and business promotion and more.
And Josh does a good job. He is thorough in his shoots and works hard at the editing process. The unpredictability of each shoot and each subject presents a fun challenge for him for each project. “Heading out for a project, I have no idea what is going to happen. The reality is none of us knows what’s going to come out of the subject’s mouth! That makes it really exciting for me.” He says that’s why editing is such an important and time-consuming part of the process. “You don’t know ahead of time exactly what the story is going to be,” he says. “So you need all the material that is at your disposal.”
Most of his production time is spent back at home, editing video material and adding still photographs, music and other effects. “I’m relentless about how people come off on camera,” he said. “It’s my goal to cast my subjects in the best possible light. And that takes a lot of hard work.”
ANCA has enjoyed working with Josh on our video series that explores the inside stories behind the Adirondack North Country’s intriguing people and local businesses. Josh Clement Productions has already produced and released two videos of the six-video series. The first film highlights Sugar House Creamery of Upper Jay, NY, and the second one features stone sculptor Matt Horner of Keene, NY. The series’ focus on local entrepreneurs is a motivating theme for Josh as well as ANCA. “That’s what I am all about,” he said. “Supporting local people and the community. That’s what I do.”
Josh and Holly are committed to living in this area, even though the economic climate can be challenging for some business owners. “I was born here, and I’ve watched things come and go,” he said. “But I think we’re on an upswing now in Saranac Lake. I love it here, and we’re going to stick it out.” Like other entrepreneurs in the North Country, Josh is using his passion for his work, as well as his creativity and adaptability, to build a business that serves the community and inspires others.