From documentaries to feature films, filmmaker James Suttles has always strived to explore & contribute to the art of story telling through motion pictures.
Not unlike many artists in his field, James discovered a love of filmmaking at an early age. Spending all of his free time in the forest & fields surrounding his childhood home in North Carolina, making short films based on stories such as Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game” and W. W. Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw”, he never realized then, how influential those early years would become. Growing up in a single father household, due to the passing of his mother at an early age, he found that he was inspired by the stories of the everyday person who through simple means, fought for a better life.
This inspiration ultimately led him to producing the award winning documentary “Three Cultures of Appalachia” which told the story of three very different women, (an African American, European immigrant and a Cherokee Indian), who grew up in the Appalachian mountains. Through their lives, the film discovered that even though their differences were great, their values and beliefs were surprisingly similar.
In 2000, James co-founded Eljapa Media Group, Inc., a production company that focused primarily on various media campaigns for Tourism and Economic Development of government and private organizations. The challenges of entertaining and educating the public made a strong impression on James. He took the opportunity to spend time listening to what various audience members responded to and began applying those principles to various projects he became involved in later on. With the experience of client based production behind him, James decided in 2005 to part ways with the company and go at it as an “independent” once again.
Since that point, he has yet to look back. He just recently wrapped production as producer/director on the film “Seven Days Till Midnight″. He served as Director of Photography on the feature films “Shifting Gears” (starring John Ratzenberger, C. Thomas Howell, Adam Hicks & M. C. Gainey), “The Senior Prank”, “For the Glory”, the Oscar nominated film “Alone Yet Not Alone” as well as serving as Producer, Co-Director, DP and editor of “Red Dirt Rising” which is available nationally.
Some of his other recent projects and clients have included GE, Intel, Apple, Audi, Cinemax, NBC Harley Davidson, Simon and Schuster, Readers Digest, Time, Inc. and various music videos released on VEVO, CMT and elsewhere.
James is also currently serving as a Visiting Cinematography Faculty member at the University of North Carolina, School of the Arts with a focus on Digital Cinematography and the Convergence of Digital Production and Post Production from acquisition to color grading.
James currently resides in Western North Carolina where he can be close to the mountains and provide a rich and memorable childhood for his children. In his free time, James enjoys traveling and romping around the backyard with his rambunctious children.