No Limits for Deaf Children
James is a go-to for so many companies when they need a talented one man band who can deliver on every aspect of the job, from filming and producing, to editing and delivery. He has a genuine passion for filmmaking and it shows in his work ethic and final product. He is also a NY Jets fan, but we forgive him 😉.
Do you always go by James?
Usually just James. Some people like to call me Jimmy, which I'm not too fond of.
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Armonk New York. It's a Suburb about an hour outside of New York. Then I went to school in Boston from there.
Where did you go to school?
I went to Northeastern for film.
Then you moved to LA?
I drove and moved to L.A. with a few friends and have been here ever since. It was nine years ago. It was just the perfect timing with a few friends who also wanted to move to L.A. and work in the entertainment industry so we all did it together.
And what do you what do you do now?
I'm a freelance videographer and editor. I've been doing that full time pretty much since I moved to L.A. but I’ve had a couple full time jobs.
What do you love about what you do?
Truly, just seeing a project come together. Something you really care about from beginning to end. That's what I love. Just taking it from an idea to a fully finalized shot and edited video. I do a lot of work with video and music and I love being able to intersect those two. That has been something I've always wanted to do. I've been lucky enough to do a lot of that since I moved out to L.A.
Who have you filmed with in the past?
I just filmed an interview with Anderson .Paak. But in the past I've filmed people like Snoop Dogg, Master P, Raekwon. Actually less than a year ago I filmed with Nypsey Hussle which was just terrible to hear and see what happened to him because he really couldn’t have been a nicer guy.
What have you what have you done recently that you're especially happy with?
I just filmed a podcast for a journalist friend of mine that he hosts every week and we filmed this guy Kwame. He’s this old school rapper who’s most known for being dissed by Biggie because he used to wear a lot of polka dots. It was just a fun one and it was nice to see that people actually liked it too. We got such positive feedback from it.
Have you seen anything recently that you were really inspired by?
That's a good question. It's hard not to say Game of Thrones just because I've been waiting for [the final season] for so long. And then to see a new episode of it, knowing what goes into making it. I’m just inspired by the amount of work that goes into creating just that 60 minute long episode.
What would your dream project be?
There's definitely a couple names I would love to work with. Just some of my idols in the music industry. Dre, Eminem, Jay-Z, Outkast. But on top of that I think what I'd like to accomplish would be to shoot some sort of hip hop related documentary over the next couple of years. There's a couple shorts ideas I've been working on but that's something I definitely want to accomplish and put together.
So we talked about your favorite parts of what you do, what are the parts you like the least?
Probably just carrying gear back and forth because I'm not strong enough, but it's been a good work out. And mostly just the Hollywood fake kind of stuff, you know. I did a lot of P.A. work when I first got to L.A. and just seeing how the whole industry works, it's intimidating. There's definitely this hierarchy system and I’m not a huge fan of that and the power trips that people go on. But that's why it's nice to do my own thing and collaborate with people that I want to work with.
You recently volunteered with Crews for a Cause on the No Limits for Deaf Children short film. Why did you volunteer for that project in particular?
I volunteered for that project because I heard Andrew’s story and was just inspired by him. I wanted to spread the word and help them spread the word about what they do.
How was it?
It was great. Just the idea of meeting these other people in the industry who are on board for this cause was a really great aspect of working on this project and I was very happy with the final product.
What was most impactful part of the project for you?
I think the most impactful part was definitely when Andrew’s mother kind of broke down a little bit in the interview and got emotional, talking about her son who had been through so much at this point and how [No Limits] has helped them out so much. It was just a really powerful moment.
Thanks Jimmy James.