PLATTSBURGH — The eight-episode online series, Curiously Adirondack, brings together the creative skills of two individuals — Josh Clement and Ed Kanze.
“Ed and I have been working together on a weekly podcast called ‘All Things Natural’ for over a year,” Clement said. “We wanted to expand into video, and the idea for Curiously Adirondack grew out of that.”
“When we saw a grant opportunity from PBS Digital Studios, we thought that Curiously Adirondack was a great fit.”
The Curiously Adirondack videos are meant to be entertaining and informative, inspiring laughter and making the Adirondack Mountain region a better and kinder place. It could be viewed on Mountain Lake PBS’ (MLPBS) website if given the proper funding.
“We’re running a crowd funding campaign on indiegogo.com to raise the funds to produce the series,” said Jennifer Kowalczyk, director of communications at MLPBS.
MLPBS was awarded a grant by PBS Digital Studios, the online content wing of PBS. The grant is for the online series where the goal is to raise $20,000, with PBS matching funds from each donation made.
So far, MLPBS received an initial $5,000 to purchase equipment including the DSLR camera kit, which is required by the grant.
If the necessary funds are raised for the online series, the two producers will begin shortly after, filming and creating more entertaining and informative content for MLPBS’ website.
“We’re aiming to get people to feel inside and outside the challenges of living here and how various people meet those challenges with hard work and creativity,” Kanze said. “It isn’t the easiest place to live with our long hard winters and our tourist economy with its ups and downs of income that many of us experience, but people have a lot of fun living here.”
“It’s a place full of rugged individuals, and we’re going to get out and rub elbows with some of these folks and tell their stories.”
Curiously Adirondack’s tentative episode list includes a look at Adirondack swimming holes and the people who jump in them, a moose calling contest that has to be seen and heard to be believed, an outing with four young naturalists who share their belongings and a walk through a historic cemetery with Natalie Leduc.
“I love telling these type of offbeat hyper-local stories, and I’ve been lucky to be able to produce all of the videos that I have in my time at Mountain Lake PBS,” Clement said. “But Curiously Adirondack is a great opportunity.”
“Not only is PBS matching the funds that are donated through Indiegogo, but the videos will be published and promoted through PBS Digital Studios, meaning that all of our weird, wild and wondrous stories from the Adirondacks will reach a much wider audience.”
If the necessary funds are raised, the money will go toward purchasing equipment and cover production expenses such as digital storage, music tracks and travel expenses. It will also pay for the time it takes to produce these four to eight minute videos.
“If we don’t raise the full $20,000, we may need to scale back the number of episodes, but we’ll still provide some,” Kowalczyk said. “We’ll also try to continue to fundraise and find underwriting to make it happen, [but], unfortunately, we won’t get those matching dollars if we raise the money after the Indiegogo campaign.
“That’s why it’s so important to us that we make our goal.”
For every dollar amount a pledge spends during this campaign, PBS will double the amount until the campaign ends Aug. 5.
“It’s a chance to support Mountain Lake PBS, which does great work telling stories and getting out information about things going in the North Country and in the broader world for that matter,” Kanze said. “By supporting this project, people will be helping this great public television station, which is so important here in Northern New York, to move in the direction that it needs to head and flourish in the future.”
To donate money to see the online series, visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/curiously-adirondack or look for the campaign on their Facebook, Twitter or website.
“The aim of our project is high, [and] that is to do this place and its singular people justice,” Clement said. “We want to bring Adirondack Mountain life alive for all the poor souls who don’t share the pleasure and pain of living here.”