-Who is James Matthew Storm?
First and foremost James Storm is a storyteller, an entertainer, and an artist. I am also a lover, a fighter or any one of the many hats I wear on a daily basis. As a Producer I’m often called on to be many different things for many different people. It’s the nature of the beast. Cultivating relationships and making decisions that protect my crew is part of my daily mandate. When all is said and done I would like to be remembered not just as a brilliant filmmaker but also as a loyal friend, a protector of man, and perhaps someone who at least tries to bring love, mercy, and wisdom into the world – especially through film.
-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?
Born a true showman, I started making my movies at the age of six and just never stopped. Had I been born a hundred years ago I’m sure I would have been involved in the theater or more likely the circus. Obsessed with presentation and spectacle I’ve always loved showcasing something new and exciting to an audience. There is no better feeling than blowing peoples minds with a project that no one was expecting. I know if I hear the words (and I often do) “this guy did that!?” I’m doing things right. By the time I graduated high school I already had a plethora of indie films and an expansive creative portfolio. My journey was a very organic one. There never really was a moment of inspiration where I decided to become a filmmaker. As far back as I can remember I always just was one. If anything, my moments of cinematic enlightenment came later when I had to ultimately decide to embrace who I was and, for better or worse, chase my destiny.
-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?
Cinema is arguably the most powerful tool for change in our world today that isn’t a weapon. Even then, Cinema is sometimes used as a weapon. Great cinema is not only the ultimate form of entertainment it also has the power to change hearts and minds. A great film has the power to sway the masses, motivate nations, and even destroy societies. Cinema has been an art form for barely over a hundred years yet history has given us plenty of examples where it was used for good and evil. That is not a power that should be handled lightly and that is why I take my film work a little more seriously than most. Respecting the art form is just the beginning. I would never want to be reckless with the power given to me, even in my humble little corner of the world.
-What would you change in the world?
Everybody wants to change the world, am I right? I’m not sure I would have the qualifications or the hubris to make a universe-altering call like that. Rather, I would like to be given the opportunity to change the world through my work. Arguably it’s the quest of all artists to create something so inspiring, so moving or thought provoking, that you can change the hearts and minds of the masses. Of course that’s what I want, too. Like most artists I don’t want to be forgotten. I want to believe that my work made a difference in this world and I’d like to achieve artistic immortality in one form or another.
-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?
Considering how fast technology grows exponentially I think we are going to see a merging of art and technology like never before. Currently we are all watching a major revolution take place before our very eyes with the SAG-AFTRA strike in Hollywood. Now that artificial intelligence has entered the scene the playing field has gotten a lot weirder. Nobody knows what to do, especially the studios. Hollywood as we all know it is destroying itself from within and it won’t survive unless it learns to adapt. Will I live to see a day when A.I. wins awards for best screenplay or even best picture? Probably. I’m not holding out much hope for the studios taking the high ground on this one. If they could run the entire production team with A.I., they will. As Hollywood implodes the world is going to have to turn to those creative individuals making Gone with the Wind in their basements. At least for right now, a new golden age for indie films is right around the corner. It’s going to be the independent filmmakers that save our cinematic souls and I hope to be at the forefront of this revolution. This is an awesome era to live in, as an indie filmmaker.
-What‘s next for James Storm?
My next project has been years in the making and is one of the most anticipated projects of my career. It’s a novel and film project titled “WHERE THE DRAGONS SLEEP” (2024). It’s essentially a semi-autobiographical adventure thriller about my crew and I as we navigate indie movie making in what we like to call “dark Hollywood”. Once completed, I’ll be very interested to see what you think of it. Thank you 8&HalFilm Awards and WILD FILMMAKER MAGAZINE for giving me this incredible interview opportunity.