Jim graduated from UCLA’s film school where he specialized in documentary filmmaking. In the early 90s he produced and edited 20 segments for the 90s, a PBS documentary series sponsored by the MacArthur Foundation. Other clients included Lifetime Television, Nova/PBS, National Geographic, American Experience, the BBC, and 30 episodes of A&E’s Biography featuring such stars as Joan Collins and Robert Wagner. In 1997 James won the Sundance Documentary Cinematographer’s 1997 Award for P.O.V/PBS Honk if you Love Buddha.
In the 2000s he shot and provided additional editing for Fuel, featuring biofuels pioneer Josh Tickell. Fuel won the Sundance Documentary Audience Award in 2008. In 2010 he shot Bhutto- an official selection for Sundance 2010 and segments in Louisiana for Harmony - an NBC doc featuring Prince Charles warning of environmental perils that screened at Sundance London 2012. He also produced and edited funding promos for SunEco, an outdoor algae to biofuels start up, and Solazyme, an algae to oil based Silicon Valley startup that let to a NASDAQ IPO in 2011.
In 2012 Jim focuses on television and promotional content for Hollywood studios. He shot Life After Film School for FX and theatrical ads for Justified and American Horror Story and creative content for Showtime’s Californication, Homeland, and Shameless, Cinemax’s Banshee, CBS’s Hawaii Five 0, Vegas, and Fox’s Glee. He also shot a series of commercials for hotelplanner.com and Disney tie ins featuring Cat Cora with Honda and Got Milk.
In 2013 for 3 1/2 months in Chicago Jim was embedded with Divergent - the Lionsgate action thriller staring Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, and Kate Winslet In 2014 for four months in Atlanta he shot BTS and Promo material for Insurgent -the sequel to Divergent. He also shot a series of FX Network tie ins with Ford, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut and segments for Discovery Digital in Aspen featuring wing suit jumper Jobe Ogwyn practicing for a jump off Mount Everest.
In the Fall of 2014 and winter of 2015 he traveled to Pittsburgh and shot BTS and Promo material over a two month period for Concussion, staring Will Smith, Alec Baldwin and Albert Brooks.
In the Summer of 2015 he was embedded with Independence Day Resurgence - the Roland Emmerich directed Fox Studio's feature where he shot footage and promos with Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Bill Pullman Jessie Usher, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Liam Hemsworth in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
In the Winter of 2016 he traveled to the Dominican Republic and shot content for XXX:The Return of Xander Cage starring Vin Diesel. He also shot interview segments featuring Tom Cruise in New Orleans and Dwayne Johnson at the MTV Awards for Paramount's Talking to Hollywood featuring Betty Zhou and green screen content for Independence Day Resurgent.
In the Spring of 2016 he used vintage lenses and fresnel lighting to give a stylized look to a promo for Sony Studio's Sausage Party featuring Seth Rogan.
In 2017 and 2018 he shot promotional spots for Sony's Transylvania 3, and also shot a documentary featuring contemporary sculpture, Peter Shelton, in Oregon and Los Angeles.