2009  grad Josh Rimmey had a long journey from Central Pennsylvania to Hollywood, where he has worked with some of the top stars in the entertainment industry.
2009 grad Josh Rimmey had a long journey from Central Pennsylvania to Hollywood, where he has worked with some of the top stars in the entertainment industry.
Photo courtesy of Josh Rimmey from Facebook

Rimmey returns to B-A as commencement speaker

The class of 2024 will be addressed at commencement by Josh Rimmey, an accomplished ‘09 B-A graduate who shines in the entertainment industry as a producer, writer, director, and editor.

His journey since graduation led him to Hollywood to become a notable name in the production sphere.

Josh received a Bachelor of Science in Film and obtained a minor in Theater from Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. His passion for film blossomed as he participated in film competitions and worked on side projects that would “help inform [his] path and career”.

From Ithaca, he made the “necessary” relocation to Los Angeles, where his life changed from sleeping on air mattresses in a shared floor space to touring the world with Demi Lovato.

Rimmey’s Bellwood-Antis film productions

While Josh has worked with some of the top names in the music industry, his film roots are firmly planted in Bellwood-Antis. In 2009, he produced a short video for a satire project called "Bellwood: A Taste of," which is still up on YouTube. Then, in 2013, he released the short film "Zach Williams Makes it Big Time" as part of his graduation project at Ithaca. The video takes place in Bellwood and uses Bellwood-Antis High School as its main setting. Josh premiered the movie in the BAHS auditorium that year.

“I’d say that my path has been laid in front of me with a bunch of ‘tiny big breaks’,” quoted Josh. 

Driving his parents’ ’91 Ford Tempo across the country, he finished his last semester of college in LA with thirty-five friends and fellow filmmakers. In this transition, Josh shifted his focus from films and scripts to short form content.

During the beginning phases in LA, he worked as a production assistant, installed retaining walls on the side of Hollywood Hills, and dabbled in background acting. Those aforementioned experiences gave Josh “a glimpse into how big productions actually worked.”

“My biggest appearance was in Clint Eastwood’s ‘Jersey Boys’. I did in fact get to rub shoulders with him when he snuck into the scene behind a curtain, running into me,” he joked.

For such a small community — we had offerings and opportunities that were far greater than what I think most people have throughout the world.

— Josh Rimmey

After shooting a Doritos commercial with his college friend turned “co-conspirator”, Zach Williams, the pair was offered the meeting of a lifetime.

“My cousin [John] had a good friend from high school, Phil McIntyre, who just so happened to be the guy who founded the group The Jonas Brothers,” recalled Josh. 

Phil McIntyre, founder and CEO of entertainment company, Philymack, would go on to forge a partnership with Roc Nation. At the time, he was searching for a team of writers and videographers to help produce a project on Demi Lovato’s upcoming tour.

“John sent him our Doritos commercial and we were offered a meeting with Phil,” Josh said.

Following the hours spent working on and re-thinking pitches and ideas, Phil “gave [Josh and Zach] jobs on the spot in his West Hollywood offices.” The two had a new home, and it was on a tour bus traveling from city to city.

From that point on, it’s been “nonstop” for Josh. 

“From 2017–2022 my friends and I founded and ran Black Coffee Productions. [Myself, Zach Williams, BAHS alumni Nathan Larimer and Elijah Austin] continued to work within the industry and had branched out to having the opportunity to work with a spectrum of artists across the board…” quoted Josh.

Black Coffee directed projects for the Jonas Brothers, Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Jay Z, Ed Sheeran, and other top talent in Hollywood. These productions were “full service” from conception, writing, producing, directing, and editing, to delivery.

Present-day Black Coffee Productions consists of Josh and his Ithaca College partner in crime, Zach, writing and directing with a focus on broadcast commercials. Some of their past clients include big names like Apple, Gatorade, Amazon Alexa, and Body Armor.

But, before making a name for himself and finding success in the City of Stars, Josh was just a B-A student who opted for shooting videos over writing essays. He participated in theater, Speech League, and Student Congress during his high school years. 

“Winning States [in Speech League] for Humorous Interpretation was definitely a longtime goal of mine and highlight of my student career. And hey… I was technically the funniest eighteen-year-old in Pennsylvania at the time!” he joked. 

Even amidst the sparkling world of Hollywood, Josh remains grounded, crediting his upbringing in Bellwood and his teachers who made an impact.

Josh Currently resides in Seattle with his college sweetheart. (Photo provided by Josh Rimmey from Facebook)

“For such a small community — we had offerings and opportunities that were far greater than what I think most people have throughout the world,” said Josh. “Mr. Richard Bower dedicated so much of his life and time to us students and really poured his all into making sure we were giving our all … These are traits I have tried to emulate in my career as a director and attribute to him … Ms. Trostle and Mr. Naylor — my Junior and Senior year English teachers — gave me and my friends an opportunity that might have seemed small at the time, but had unintentionally unlocked my passions for writing, directing, and editing.”

Ms. Trostle, who now works as a coordinator with Montgomery County Schools outside of Washington, DC, said one of Josh’s biggest strengths was his willingness to take risks.

“I was routinely surprised by their class projects,” Ms. Trostle said of Josh and his Class of 2009. “They set the bar high and challenged me in a positive way. Although I can’t say I imagined Josh or his classmates rising to the heights he has risen, I am not truly surprised.”

While some might view high school as a means to an end, Josh utilized the opportunities and resources offered to make the most of his years at BAHS. 

“There are a lot of teachers and staff — too many to thank on this note. I really genuinely had an amazing high school experience and that was made possible by the staff. I also give credit to younger me for having the foresight and understanding that high school is a once in a lifetime ‘ordeal or opportunity’. I chose opportunity,” Josh commented.

The younger Josh that Ms. Trostle remembers was one that “had a knack for connecting with his audience, whether it was a class filled with his friends or worldwide movie viewers.”

“That has been evident since he was a student here at Bellwood,” she said.

He currently resides in Seattle, Washington with his college sweetheart, Geri Silver, and his dog Ringo.

Josh is “extremely honored and looking forward to speaking with the Class of 2024” and is aiming to leave the message: “Get creative”.

Commencement is set to take place on May 30 at 6:30pm.

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