Jim has taught thousands of screenwriters and filmmakers, with students and clients ranging from beginners to A-list superstars. He was a star speaker at many of the Screenwriting Expos in Los Angeles and was invited by Disney to teach story at Siggraph in Boston. He has directed more than 40 DVDs on screenwriting, including his popular Killer Endings.
Creative Screenwriting magazine ranked him as one of the top screenplay consultants in the country. His clients include Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated clients. He has read more than 3,000 scripts and has given away more than $250,000 in prizes to writers in contests he has run; he ran the Expo Screenplay Competition for six years before starting Champion Screenwriting Competition.
Jim is a former development executive, has sold a screenplay, was a staff writer for an Internet series, The Nameless, and recently completed an animation treatment for a Japanese company. A Hollywood producer is working with him to raise money and package his award-winning screenplay Dysfunction Junction for him to direct.
One of Jim's strengths as a teacher and consultant comes from his background as a filmmaker. Jim produced Hard Scrambled, a feature film starring Kurtwood Smith (That '70s Show). He wrote and directed the bonus material for the film – a two-hour seminar on making indie films – which The Washington Post called, “a must for would-be filmmakers.”
He directed the feature film March which stars Cynda Williams (One False Move) and Michelle Phillips (of the 1960s folk group The Mamas and the Papas). Chris Potter of the The Ann Arbor News gave the film 4 out of 4 stars and wrote: “March is in fact an astonishing and deeply disturbing meditation on the tangled conflicts of the human heart … remarkable first film.” He has also shepherded several hundred short films through production.
The Los Angeles Times singled out his column in Creative Screenwriting as “hilarious,” and he writes humor columns for two national poker magazines.