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Where the Journey Leads….Featuring Josh Lockhart

January 22, 2018

“Where the Journey Leads” features individuals who once lived in Coffee County but whose journey in life has led them to new adventures in new places; it’s an opportunity to catch up with old friends.”

Josh Lockhart has been chasing his dreams and has captured hold of many, securing a firm foundation for a successful career in the music video industry. But the Coffee County Central High School Class of 2010 graduate has succeeded greatly in a way that few young people realize is a true measure of success. For he knows that learning how to overcome the obstacles in his path, truly takes him further on his journey than had the road been flat and straight.

William Jennings Bryan said “Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.” Josh has chosen to face his challenges straight on, deal with them, learn from them, and now stronger and wiser, continue to chase his dreams wherever they may lead.

Jay with Audra McLaughlin and video crew

Recording artist Audra McLaughlin shot part of her music video “Boomerang” at Peoples Bank & Trust Company in Manchester, Tenn. Pictured from left are Joe Mattis, Derek Oxford, Steve Condon, Jay Nogodula with PB&TC, McLaughlin, David Duzenski, Josh Lockhart and dEtiosa Osayamen. CCN File Photo by Rebekah Hurst

Often times, Josh’s journey has brought him back to Manchester, Tenn. where he has engaged his hometown in his music video projects, including them in the adventure of the filming and the fun seeing the finished product. In February of this year, Josh assisted Steve Condon in directing Audra McLaughlin’s “Boomerang” music video, with many scenes shot at Manchester locations. In May, he invited the community to help him create a football game scene as he directed the Lawson Bates “Past the Past” music video. And once again, Josh included the community that supported his efforts when he returned to Manchester and CCCHS with Lawson Bates for the launch of the “Past the Past” Music Video Release Party held August 3rd.

Josh and Lawson pic

The Lawson Bates “Past the Past” Music Video Release Party was held Aug. 3rd, 2017 at the Coffee County Central High School auditorium. Pictured from left is the video’s director, Josh Lockhart with Lawson Bates. CCN File Photo by Rebekah Hurst

In an interview with Coffee County News, Josh, the son of Kenny and Teresa Lockhart and brother to Michael, shares his vision for his future and how his past has helped propel him further on his journey.

CCN: Who were some of your favorite teachers at CCCHS and why?

Josh: Honestly, there are just so many that I don’t want to get into specifics as to why they were my favorites. But I’ll definitely drop names, and in no particular order: Kelly Smith, Jenny Skipper, Rebecca Koger, Mindy Acklen, Rhonda Winton, Joyce McCullough, Angela Gribble, and likely many more. Half of the time I was doing homework during the five minutes before class started, but I assure you that they were all very special to me.

CCN: Where do you live now?

Josh: I currently reside in Nashville, Tennessee.

CCN: What is your occupation now and who do you work for?

Josh: My occupation is a little different than one most people would have. I sometimes simply say, “I’m in video production,” and there’s a good reason for that. As a full-time freelancer, I wear several hats, so it’s hard to officially pin down my job title.

Most days, I’m directing music videos, as in the case of Lawson Bates. But I’m still young, and I find myself working for others on a consistent basis as a camera operator or a cinematographer. However, if dealing with music industry teams, I’ll almost always introduce myself as a music video director.

Josh Lockhart with crew pic

Recording artist Audra McLaughlin shot part of her music video “Boomerang” at Peoples Bank & Trust Company in Manchester, Tenn. Pictured from left is actor David Duzenski, PB&TC employee Rachael Gray, Josh Lockhart, and Derek Oxford. CCN Photo by Rebekah Hurst

I also frequently work as assistant director with The 10:10 Creative, which produces music videos for country band Old Dominion as well as other artists such as The Voice’s Audra McLaughlin. That team is led by Director Steve Condon, who has taught me virtually everything I know when it comes to directorial roles.

CCN: What does your job entail?

Josh: As a director, I come up with video concepts, deliver a plan to bring that concept to life, and execute it as efficiently as possible. However, you always need a little leeway in order to maintain the creative flow. I’m still small-time right now, so I have to do a lot of things on my own: editing, logistics, sometimes I even have to shoot my own projects… I love it all, but sometimes it’s smart to let go of the reins on certain things and have others make use of their expertise. Andy Burchett was the director of photography who shot Lawson Bates’ project, and without him, it wouldn’t have been nearly as successful as it was.

CCN: How did you prepare for this occupation? Did you major in this and if so, what is your degree and where did you go to school?

Josh: I went to Middle Tennessee State University for three years with a goal to major in mass communications. My senior year I began to suffer heavily from a general anxiety disorder and depression, and I opted to leave school to focus on my health. Anxiety was something I had always dealt with, but I allowed it to finally consume me, I suppose.

Fortunately, I had just finished an internship at this time with a camera rental house in Nashville, and they chose to hire me part-time despite my leaving school. It was probably the healthiest option for me at the time since the workplace was a low pressure environment, my coworkers became my friends, and it was industry-related.

That same year, I met Steve (a frequent customer), who recognized I was going through a tough time. He kept hassling me via text message and Facebook to come on set with him, and I finally gave in on the tail end of a music video he was working on with the rental house manager, Derek Oxford, an extremely talented director of photography who has become one of my closer friends.

One of the first projects Steve brought me on full-force  was for an artist on Carnival Records named Mando Saenz, and if I remember correctly, he once sent me to Phil Vassar’s house last minute to do an interview spot to promote Phil’s music video for “Love is Alive” that he directed. I was completely unprepared for that, but he essentially threw me into the fire.

Josh and Jessie Lynn pic

“Past the Past” music video director Josh Lockhart, pictured right, works with production staff member Jessie Lynn during the video shoot held at Carden-Jarrell Field in Manchester, Tennessee. Photo by John St. Clair,

CCN: What has best prepared you for what you do?

Josh: To sum it up: hitting brick walls. Being told no, being told I wasn’t good enough, even being told I’m not going to get paid… It’s ridiculous how subjective this industry is. I constantly have to remind myself that I am good at what I do even with limitations – the biggest one being budget, most often. I’ve done some crazy things with just a few thousand dollars. Meanwhile, the labels are churning out videos worth at least $50K.

CCN: What have been some of your most rewarding experiences?

Josh: I’d say one of my favorite experiences was filming Dolly Parton in Canada last year. It was brief, but it’s definitely something I can say, “Hey, I did it.” It was a small crew: myself, Derek Oxford, and director Justine Feldt. It was very cool to be able to say I was a part of that.

My favorite all-time experience might be filming Old Dominion’s video for “Snapback” in Los Angeles at the beginning of last year, though. The energy was just so high, and it turned out to be a video unlike any other.

CCN: What challenges have you faced and have overcome to see the success you have?

Josh: Without wanting to change the direction of this piece too much, mental health is the most severe challenge I face on a continual basis. Many days, I struggle with it. It’s common in creative individuals, and you can see that more often today than ever.

I don’t like to use it as a crutch, but it’s been my biggest hurdle in this journey. I’m also fortunate to say that. There are far worse things I could be facing – I’m happy to say this is the biggest one.

CCN: What are your goals for your future?

Josh: I’d like to be working with higher profile artists more often with their music video productions. There’s room now for newer talent. We need to embrace that.

Josh, Derek and Audra pic

Recording artist Audra McLaughlin shot part of her music video “Boomerang” at Peoples Bank & Trust Company in Manchester, Tenn. Assisting and pictured from left is Josh Lockhart and Derek Oxford with McLaughlin. CCN Photo by Rebekah Hurst

CCN: Many people have been blessed with you using several locations in your hometown of Manchester for video shoots. What inspired you to bring your work back home?

Josh: No one in my industry has access to a town an hour away full of people who have known them their whole lives. It’s a lot easier for me to call up a location there and they know I have good intentions than intrude on someone in Nashville. While I do intend to keep the majority of my work in Nashville, it’s nice to come home and work with people who are all in.

CCN: You work with amazing artists who have had great success. What are your thoughts on being able to contribute to the success of others?

Josh: It’s just nice being part of something bigger than myself. I like to see people go on to do great things. It’s nice when I’m remembered for my contributions.

Josh Lockhart filming Bates

May 4th, 2017, music video director Josh Lockhart returned to his hometown of Manchester, Tenn. with his production crew for the filming of the Lawson Bates ‘Past the Past’ music video, staring Bates and Sadie Robertson. Pictured from left looking at photo footage is Nathan Bates, Lockhart and Lawson Bates. Photo by John St. Clair,

CCN: What advice would you give young people today on how best to achieve their dreams?

Josh: Never get caught up in “The Plan.” The Plan is something that we’re told to have during our last four years of school, and it’s just not feasible. The Plan says that you need to major at a certain school, have a certain job, get married at a certain time, and do all these specific things that are on a timeline. Honestly, that’s ridiculous.

Too often we place value on competition in order to get by. There’s a lot of noise surrounding this concept of surpassing others in order to get to the top. I’d use a more casual term for how I would describe that concept, but I don’t believe it’s suitable for print.

The only competition you really need is yourself. Be better than who you were yesterday. Help others when you get a chance. Keep moving, but only keep moving so you can achieve your goals – not rob someone else of their own.

How terrible is it to look back on your life and say, “If only I had done this, I would have lived the life I wanted?”

You’re given one life. Embrace it for what it is. If living alone is the dream – just make sure you’re taking advantage of what you can while you’re doing that. Say yes to everything (within reason), and never think you’re unable to do something due to limitations or “The Plan.”

For some, the dream is a wife and kids. Others, it’s financial stability. I’d say have goals. Never be afraid of changing those goals, and don’t feel guilty if you do. Failing is getting hit and not getting back up. When you get back up, that’s success.

For more information on Josh’s career or to contact him, visit his site at

2017 CCN Article by Rebekah Hurst, CCN Photos by Rebekah Hurst and John St. Clair,, Reposted with permission.

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