We had the good fortune of connecting with Malia James and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Malia, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Perseverance. To be a director is to face constant rejection, no matter who you are or what phase you’re at in your career. Success is thus determined by those who are willing to stay in the game.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have been fortunate to have success in both of my dream careers- as a Musician touring the world in Dum Dum Girls and now as a music video, commercial, narrative Director. I got here by jumping in and doing anything that felt intimidating. In both of my fields, I dove in head first and figured things out as I went along. Neither of them have been easy and I’m only where I am today b/c I refused to give up the fight.

I’ve learned to be kind and compassionate towards the people I work for and the people I work with. The industry is small and you’ll always run into people from your early days later down the road. I’ve learned that inspiration comes and goes and self doubt is a part of the process. Self-defeating thoughts happen to anyone, it’s really about how you chose to handle them. I’ve learned it never gets easier, the payoffs and pay checks just get better.

I hope that I will be known and remembered for telling great love stories.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We would….

Eat: Hama Sushi, Squirl, Honey Hi, Apple Pan, Cafe Gratitude, Apolonia’s Pizza, Little Dom’s

Do: Cinespia movie at Hollywood Forever Cemetery, The Broad Museum, a picnic at Echo Park Lake, a hike in Griffith Park, attend an event at Neuhouse Hollywood, and stand outside Arclight Theaters wishing it were still open.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My crews and collaborators. Filmmaking is a uniquely collaborative artform that is reliable on every member of the team, down to the PA’s running cables. I have been incredibly fortunate to work with lovely and talented crews across the world who helped being my visions to life.

Website: Maliajames.com

Instagram: malia_james

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