I’m an experienced filmmaker (director, editor and vfx artist to be more specific), with a flair for executing inventive visuals that serve a strong story.
I’ve curated this selection of projects, ranging from short films and documentaries to branded content, promos, TV ads and visual effects for Hollywood blockbusters. Film making isn’t just how I keep a roof over my head, it’s my true passion.
In the grand tradition of storytellers with a name that begins with J (Abrams, Tolkien… Jonah Jameson), I’ve used my initials as a professional moniker, in a futile attempt to make me sound important. I also happily answer to just “James”.
Over the years I’ve worked with production companies, agencies and broadcasters including: BBC, Channel 4, E4, Vice, Casual Films, Grain Media, Gunpowder & Sky, Serious and Avalon.
While directing, I draw upon my formative experiences at Framestore, where I worked on over a dozen feature films as a vfx artist, including entries in the Bond, Narnia, Avatar and Potter franchises, and (visual effects BAFTA nominee) The Dark Knight. Over the years I’ve continued to develop my skills in vfx supervision and compositing. I’m adept at conceiving and executing sequences in both live-action and CGI, often blending the two extensively.
‘James is a breeze to work with! The strength of his directing is evident in the response to his film, with many commenting on its originality. We can’t wait to release James’ next film on our platform.’
— Sophie Carroll, Gunpowder & Sky
‘James Roberts is the healthiest kind of perfectionist: someone who will work tirelessly to create the best possible end product, but will step back and learn as readily as he will step forward and lead – all motivated by a pure, honest love of filmmaking and cinema.’
— James Hamilton, Award winning comedy screenwriter
‘James is a very talented director & producer, with an excellent eye for detail, pace and composition. He has a thorough knowledge of the creative process, and communicates this well to his crew. A lovely and fun guy to work with, possessing a deep knowledge of movies.’
— Mark Carson, DOP
Nightmare Fuel is a lockdown writing project, which evolved into a screenplay and treatment for an eco-horror short film, alongside an extensive (still growing) trove of pre-production artwork. The concept is inspired by fossil fuel industry propaganda and my own real experiences with sleep paralysis. I’ve enjoyed creating quite a few of the concept designs myself, using a Photoshop collage technique. I’m also collaborating with some brilliant illustrators and storyboard artists on other images. Stay tuned for #NightmareFuelShortFilm updates.
I’ve created a wide variety of film content for brands including Lego, Adidas, De Beers, M&S, Penguin Random House, Tesco, Rolls Royce, Škoda and Lloyds. I’m well versed in working with a wide range of on-camera talent, from musicians, politicians, athletes and celeb chefs to CEOs, kids and sausage dogs.
Alongside my commercial work, I’ve directed, co-produced, and edited plenty of short films, with a focus on comedy/horror. Several of these have been nominated for festival awards, screened at The BFI or streamed on Gunpowder & Sky’s Alter platform – “The destination for award-winning horror short film content from the most provocative and innovative minds in horror”.
I’ve also produced and co-directed an episode of Vice’s flagship UK documentary strand Rule Britannia. Wolf Of The West End has been broadcast on Viceland, and has over 1.3 million Youtube views.
‘Ho Ho Hilarious! Comedy geniuses Casual Violence are behind this beautiful spoof behind-the-scenes vid, and tbh folks, their other material is pretty LOLtastic too!’
— Comedy Central
‘Whatever you’re doing right now, stop it. Go and Google Casual Violence, watch their sketches and enjoy. Dark, twisted and superb.’
— The Skinny
‘Wolf Of The West End is both an intimate portrait of a notorious enigma of a man, and the frenzy that lies in his wake. It charters unprecedented territory in it’s depiction of perversion in the upper echelons of British society.’
— ★★★★ – Rocumentaries.com
I’m not “officially” a Graphic Designer. Yet I have been known to, well… design graphics. I typically come up with the core idea and sketch out the composition roughly. I then source polished elements myself or collaborate with professional illustrators, and ultimately tie everything together in Photoshop for the final result.
‘One of the most reliable and professional people we collaborate with. It’s no wonder James’s work is so highly valued.’
— Bob Palmer, Creative Director HYPVideo
‘Working with James was a delight. He has a particular combination of creativity and technical skill. He responded to feedback in a highly professional and productive way, adopting our ideas if they improved the story-telling, pushing back where change was unhelpful. I hope we get to work together again.’
— David Lamb, De Beers Group
‘The quality of the production surpasses anything we’ve seen in the marketplace. We are thrilled with the results!’
— Penguin Random House
Get In Touch
Potential clients, creative collaborators or general well wishers, I look forward to hearing from you…