2017 Audio Reel
I am lucky enough to have grown up living in a house with four generations of relatives. Think of it like Full House meets My Cousin Vinny meets Radio Days. The many positive experiences I've shared with my family have helped shape me into the man I've become.
At Christmas 1999 my grandfather received a box set of sixty "old-time radio" shows selected by Walter Cronkite. The first show we listened to together was an adaptation of Isaac Asimov's "Nightfall," originally broadcast on 12.7.1955 for NBC's X-Minus-One. It hooked me instantly and I took an active interest in old-time radio and any kind of old film I could get my hands on.
The rest, as they say, is history.
As part of the The WallBreakers, I produce a podcast twice-per-month called Breaking Walls. An episode of Breaking Walls generally follows one of three formats. Sometimes an episode will be a sit down with an artist, thinker, entrepreneur, or creative person for an open conversation. I center the talk around a specialized topic that each guest can shed their own kind of light on. The conversations almost always go in unexpected directions, and the passion within each guest is fantastic. I feel grateful for getting to be the guy asking questions. I always learn something new about life that I can apply to my own in each talk.
When I am not having a one-on-one with someone, I might have an opportunity to do some reporting around New York. I've gotten a chance to sit in on teaching sessions at the Maggie Flanigan acting studio, to go behind-the-scenes at press only events, and to be a part of unique sensory art experiences.
As I mentioned above, I grew up a huge fan of the Golden Age of Radio. Since all content produced on The WallBreakers ladders up to a monthly topic, it makes it easy and interesting for me to use the plethora of digital old-time radio shows available on the web to write shows that use the history of on-the-air audio to tell a story. There have been episodes in honor of the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor day, on Fred Allen and Jack Benny's famous comedic feud, on patriotism and Independence Day, and on New Year's Eve old-time radio programming.
This recent 60-second ad spot is for The WallBreakers Unity t-shirt line. We shot the b-roll on the Staten Island Ferry on a rainy May afternoon. Afterwards, I composed the ad spot in Adobe Premiere Pro, and overlaid the audio track and sound effects. The t-shirts are available for purchase in the shop tab - http://jamesthewallbreaker.com/shop/.
I've also directed and edited videos for clients, like these which feature a day in the life of beauty blogger Sunnie Brook Jones, for Mary Kay. The goal was to compliment Ms. Jones' SOCAL lifestyle with a light-hearted, vintage quality that used bright colors and jump cuts.
These videos won the 2012 IAC Best General Online Video award.
This video for Oscar de la Renta's Espirit d'Oscar celebrated the launch of their new fragrance and gave a behind-the-scenes look of how the fragrance was created.
In addition to audio production, hamming it up in front of a camera, and video editing, I've also directed a short or two, like this macabre title sequence for a spec film called "The Husband."
Sometimes I get an opportunity to record a video interview in conjunction with a particular podcast episode, like these conversations with Staten Island MC Brodie Jaymz, and Sleep No More alumni Chelsea Bonosky.
On February 1, 2015 Lina Gonzalez and I relaunched The WallBreakers, adding more in-house creative content to the original content. As part of the relaunch I asked for video submissions from community members. The only thing I asked them to say was "Welcome to the New WallBreakers." With less than a week leading up to the relaunch I still had no idea how I was going to use all of this footage. With no consistent lighting, camera angle, camera orientation, or volume level I decided to roll with the punches and have some fun with it. Hey, who doesn't love some can-can music amIright (Air high fives)? In all seriousness, thank you to the awesome people who submitted! You put yourself out there for the community. We appreciate that very much.
Each month, content on The WallBreakers centers around a topic which ladders up to the themes we see happening around us throughout the year. For example, February's theme has been "Vulnerability," which comes from the Valentine's Day. In order to love something, including ourselves, we must be wiling to be vulnerable with it. So, in February all of our content has centered around ways to feel more comfortable being vulnerable.
Since I'm a ham and all, I've got to make a content introduction video. Why? Because we must freeze for our art, that's why! On top of this, I've also done promos for upcoming podcast episodes.