Josh Adams: Oswego State's Hollywood Star

Walk into Josh Adams' office and you’ll see a baby stroller, a desk covered in papers, a bulletin board boasting five ‘Great Teacher’ awards and a poster for the 2008 independent movie “Funny Games.”

What you wouldn’t guess is that this professor has been a major player in the Hollywood circuit for years, lending a helping hand on movie sets, dabbling in television productions and working with independent films.

“I always prided myself in learning every position involved,” says Adams. “I did a lot of everything, never really slowing down.”

Born and raised in south Utah, Adams moved to Los Angeles after earning his undergraduate degree. He started working under the Academy Award-winning director Jerry Mullen and got his first big break as an assistant on a Hollywood blockbuster.

“It was this project called Minority Report,” Adams says nonchalantly. “I started out just as an assistant to the producers, but raised my hand to volunteer to try something new and got promoted to the graphics department.”

You know those scenes in the movie when Tom Cruise replays future crimes for his investigation? Adams helped create those scenes.

“I got to sit behind the monitor with Steven Spielberg and he asked me if I thought a shot was okay,” says Adams. “Now that was pretty cool.”

So what brought Adams from L.A. to Oswego State?

“When I went back to get my masters at Chapman University, I met a girl,” he says. “That girl became my wife. You do some pretty crazy things for girls.”

In Adams’ case, crazy meant moving closer to his wife’s hometown, Syracuse, NY.

“I lucked out into an interview with Dr. [Amy] Shore and started as an adjunct professor that eventually became a full-time gig,” he says.

Adams is currently a visiting professor in the Cinema and Screen Studies department, and teaches a range of courses from Intro to Screenwriting to Dramatic Video Production.

The Cinema and Screen Studies program is unique because it is interdisciplinary, allowing students to take courses in areas such as broadcasting as well as creative writing, Adams says.

“We’re adding more courses that I’m really excited about,” he says. “I can’t wait to showcase some more aspects of the industry.”

It’s the atmosphere at Oswego State that really ties Adams to teaching here.

“I really like it here,” Adams says. “I love the atmosphere, and I think there’s a wonderful one-on-one relationship between the students and the professors.”

Although he’s quick to say he will not discount anything in his future, Adams said he wouldn’t mind trading the bright lights of Hollywood for the Oswego countryside.

“We just bought a house in Oswego with a barn, a pond and a lot of land for our boys and our dogs to run around in,” he says. “It’s different from L.A.; when it gets dark here, it’s actually dark!”

When he’s not teaching or flying back to California, Adams likes to play golf, hike, and camp. He is also the proud dad to one sixteen-month-old baby boy, with another one on the way.

“My hobbies are quickly turning into whatever it is they like to do,” he jokes. “I love being a father.”

Adams still has ties to Hollywood; he continues to work with the L.A.-based film production company Hey Buddy Creative. He also started the Syracuse-based production company A Simple Mind.
Those ties are just enough to satisfy Adams’ taste for the Hollywood life.

“I love being here,” Adams says. “I always say it, but I wouldn’t mind teaching here until I retire.”