SCREENWRITER & VISUAL EFFECTS SUPERVISOR
Residence: Los Angeles, CA (USA)
Jim came to Los Angeles in 1979 as an artist, animator and musician. He began his career in computer graphics at a small start-up company in 1985 in Pasadena, CA. while simultaneously attending The Art Center College of Design. He worked hard, learning the engineering side of the craft over the next several years while garnering his first television, location-based entertainment and feature film credits in the 1980s. In 1987, after helping a friend writing the ending of her film, he started writing his first screenplay.
- CG Supervisor
In 1989, Jim was hired by Walt Disney Feature Animation to be the Computer Graphics Supervisor of “Beauty and the Beast” in the company’s first Computer Graphics Department. His first screenplay option was for his second screenplay in 1990.
- Studying with Syd Field
After leaving Disney, Jim began studying with Screenwriting Guru, Syd Field, in Master Classes at Fox and at Syd’s home studio over the next decade.
- Digital Director
In 1993, he was hired by Jim Cameron, Stan Winston and Scott Ross as the Director of Digital Production for Digital Domain. There he found the first crew, created specs for all of the original software and went on to work as CG Supervisor on “Interview With the Vampire” and several other projects.
- Animation Development
In 1995, Jim returned to the Walt Disney Company to head up technical and pipeline development of a new live-action animated project, called ‘Dinosaur.’
- Writer/Director – Feature Animation
After completing his work as Effects Compositing Supervisor and Animated Effects Supervisor on ‘Dinosaur’, he worked as a Writer-Director at Walt Disney Feature Animation Development, pitching five animated features and two shorts in his first year.
- Academy Member
In 2000, Jim was elected, by his peers, into the Visual Effects Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
In 2006, Jim wrote the screenplay “AfterLife” with long-time mentor Syd Field.
- Visual Effects
Robo-Cop2, True Lies, Apollo13, Aladdin, Strange Days, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Herbie: Fully Loaded, Spider-Man2, Ghostrider, Spider-Man3, I Am Legend, Beowulf, SpeedRacer, 2012, and Priest.
He has recently joined the faculty of The Syd Field Screenwriting Academy, and the staff of visual effects startup, Lit Post, in Burbank, CA.
Jim is currently developing a new pipeline for Computer Graphics and writing his fifteenth screenplay.
Background and Experience with Syd Field
- In 1987, after helping a friend writing the ending of her film, I started writing my first screenplay with writer, Stephen Blackburn. Steve and I wrote two screenplays together. My first screenplay option was for his second screenplay, “Horace Gumshoe,” in 1990.
- In 1991, I began studying with Screenwriting Guru, Syd Field, in a Master Classes at Fox Studios.
- A year later, I took a second Master Class with Syd at a conference facility in West Los Angeles.
- I followed that with a third Master Class immediately after the first one. Not knowing when I might see him again, Syd signed a copy of his “The Screenwriter’s Workbook” at the end of that class.
- In 1993, Syd began a series of Master Classes at his home near Coldwater Canyon. I studied with him in those classes fairly regularly over the next decade, writing six screenplays in the process.
- The last script inspired Syd to recall an movie pitch that he had done twenty years previously because after reading my script, he realized that “Now the technology existed to make the picture.” We met and Syd asked me to write “Transit” with him in 2006.
- Syd and I discussed several other possible projects to author together over the next several years, but we never began.
- Jim is currently writing his fifteenth screenplay with all those “Syd-isms” bouncing around in his head.