James received formal training at OCADU in Integrated Media, specializing in digital time-based media practices as well as illustration and design. He then spent the better part of his 20’s working in the Dark Arts (advertising) as an art director and then creative director on global brands such as Proctor and Gamble, Unilever, Microsoft, Diagio, Molson, Dairy Queen, Special Olympics, Suzuki, Canon, Adidas and Nike. Where he developed his POV as an image-maker and storyteller.
James' designs, ads, illustration, photography and commercials have won several dozen awards domestically and internationally and have been featured in Shots, Luerzer's Archive, Graphis, Creativity, Art Directors and Design Club, and Applied Arts.
In 2004 James left the world of traditional ads to become a partner and co-creative lead at the branded content company Chokolat (a division of Taxi Advertising and Design ) and then in 2008 he started Le Cheval Noir to focus on creating original non branded multi-platform content IPs.
James has co-created, executive produced, written and directed 12 tv series (doc, reality, scripted and family) totalling close to 200 episodes that air in over 130 countries.
His shows have won a Gemini ( Canadian Emmy ) Country Music Program of the Year and have been recognized by Writer's Guild of Canada, the ACTRA Awards and have been nominated 6 times by Canadian Screen Awards ( Canadian Oscars ) for excellence. James' short films have appeared in the Toronto International Film Festival, Fantasia, Canadian Film Centre's World Wide Short Film Festival, SCI-FI London and dozens more.
A lifelong learner, James took the HotDocs Doclab Master Classes, the year long producer program of the Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF Studio, The Guardian UK's Video Journalism Master Class as well as several writing, game design, illustration and photography courses.
In 2009, James partnered with veteran producer Bruce Ellis and formed Rhino Content. They have created and produced several successful series. Currently Bruce and James are in preproduction on the third season of their hit soft scripted series Masters of Flip as well as in active development of several new top secret unscripted and scripted projects.