We had the good fortune of connecting with James Abrams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
There was a time in my youth when I considered growing up to be a marine biologist, but deep down I always knew I was ignoring a greater passion. As such, the art of making films never felt like too much of a discovery for me, but what I was always going to end up doing. Being raised by a pair of artists, my mother and father exposed me to a plethora of classic cinema and encouraged me to pursue acting at a very young age. I transitioned to behind the camera in my adolescence and worked hard to be admitted at my film school of choice, the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Film and Animation. I always thought of filmmaking as the great marriage of all art forms; music, writing, photography, theater, technology, etc.. How could I stay away from a medium like that?
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’d like to think I’m pretty adaptable. Character is my passion and I’m drawn to all sorts of stories, but when the synergy between camera, sound, and performance all hit that sweet spot – that’s when I fall in love with cinema. This is why I’m always trying to construct stories that couldn’t be told without the medium of film. In my opinion, strong films should feel like they wrap around you like an Iron Man suit; an experience that, despite the cozy control, can take you to horrifying places. These films are like ‘Climax’, ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, ‘Possession’, or ‘Do The Right Thing’, and inspire me to not only build worlds, but realities. A lot of my most recent and favorite work are music videos and often are the result of client collaboration, but between these projects and my unreleased screenplays, I always aspire to submerge my audience in those different realities. Understanding exactly how to do this takes trial and error and I’ve definitely struggled to achieve this successfully every time, but have fallen in love with the process. At the end of the day, I simply want my audiences to see my content as original and worth revisiting.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to thank my parents for always being supportive and my filmmaking mentors Ambarien Alqadar and Jack Beck for going above and beyond as educators.
Behind the Scenes images by Lloyd McCullough Still Frame Cinematography by Jacob Mallin / Thiago Cunha