James graduated as a Biologist in the early 90’s and since then has mostly worked at the BBC’s world-renowned Natural History Unit (NHU). He first learned to scuba dive some 20 years ago, when producing David Attenborough’s ‘Wildlife On One’. Then he was lucky enough to meet World Champion freediver, Tanya Streeter and a succession of freediving films followed. Then, after a break from the waves – directing a feature film in the Kalahari Desert – he became the Series Producer of the hit BBC1 series, ‘Africa’.
As Executive Producer at NHU, he has overseen some 35 films, working with multiple co-producers around the world. His recent projects include the EMMY-nominated series ‘Wild New Zealand’, with National Geographic, and the BAFTA-winning BBC1 series, ‘Big Blue Live’, with PBS. James conceived ‘Blue Planet II’ in 2013 and has spent the last four years working with a talented team of film makers, in pursuit of new and extraordinary stories from beneath the waves.
Beyond television, James directed ‘Meerkats the Movie’, for Harvey Weinstein, which was narrated by Paul Newman. And he recently made a short film, narrated by Sir David Attenborough, which premiered at the opening of the United Nations Ocean Conference. He also oversees various digital productions on ocean-related content and can be followed on Twitter @OceanHQ.
James says: “The oceans are the most exciting place to be right now, because new scientific discoveries have given us a new perspective of life beneath the waves. Blue Planet II is taking its cue from these breakthroughs, unveiling unbelievable new places, extraordinary new behaviours and remarkable new creatures. Showing a contemporary portrait of marine life, it will provide a timely reminder that this is a critical moment for the health of the world’s oceans.”
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