About James Sampson

James Sampson

James is developing the short film ‘Penguin Boy’, a coming-of-age story about two very different young people discovering what they really want, and accepting who they really are.

Ben is an insecure top of his class sixteen-year-old with a bright future ahead of him. His best friend Dee is a self-assured single mum school drop out. Despite their differences, and the fervent disapproval of Ben’s mum, Ben has taken on the role of father figure to Dee’s son. But when Dee goes missing at the school leaver’s ball Ben must face his fears and confront his true feelings for his friend, before it is too late.

James is a passionate writer / director, looking for funding for his next short film to allow him to take the next step on the path to a career as a feature-film director.

James has directed several independent film projects, including the short film ‘Best Man’ which was selected as part of the Online Award at Encounters 2010 and won the audience award at Edinburgh’s Cinefringe Festival 2010, as well as working full-time within the television industry for two years as a 3rd AD. He is now determined to focus on directing, and keen to further his practical knowledge and expand his professional and creative social network. Through the workshops and mentoring sessions James intends to further develop his most ambitious, and personal, short film project currently in the scripting stage, seek advice, get feedback, gain contacts, and hopefully take it further through development into production. James’ enthusiasm and desire to learn will no doubt make for lively and productive meetings, forge long-standing friendships, and hopefully lead to future collaborations.



Website: www.jamessampsonfilm.com
Twitter: @underhillfilms

Back to all participants

Conversations With Strangers short film

It’s been a criminally long time since I last posted anything here, and for that I am sorry. Filmworks was such a fantastic opportunity for me and I’m so pleased to see so many of the alumni doing well. Over the last six months I have been developing a short film idea of mine called ‘Conversations With Strangers’, an off-beat comedy drama about searching for that certain connection. The film weaves together four very different … Continue reading

RUSH – A Bristol / Nottingham collaboration

Hi guys, I’d like to invite you all to view my latest short film and my first bash at documentary, Rush, about Paralympic sprinter Ben Rushgrove. I made it for the Reed 3 minute film competition with the given theme of ‘ambition’, and was extremely pleased that John Edwards, who’s excellent documentary ‘Ben’ was screened on Channel Four last year, donated the stunning last shot to give it that extra something (i.e actual running) it … Continue reading

An unexpected journey

Today has literally been the first day in about a month that I have sat down and spared a thought for my creative projects and my experiences of Filmworks. Christmas was lovely, but full-on family (and a full-time job as I am the official cameraman commissioned to capture every precious moment of my nephew’s mischievous exploits, not to mention our infamous family concert). New Year was extreme (a lethal cocktail of flying, drinking, In-Laws and … Continue reading

A problem shared

The last session of Filmworks confirmed for me something that I already knew but so far have rarely done – sharing the load really does make a better film. As young filmmakers there’s a tendency to try to do everything ourselves. We don’t have the money to pay anyone, and we might not have the contacts to get a producer, DOP, editor, Art Director or a dozen other people on board with our idea. It’s … Continue reading


So Filmworks #3 was all about pitching. I have come to realise that this is one of my biggest weaknesses. When it comes to describing my film, the first word that springs to word is “Err”, followed by “It’s kind of…” Thankfully, thanks to us running over rather dramatically I was spared the pain of stuttering and rambling in front of my fellow filmmakers for another fortnight, and a good thing too. A week later, … Continue reading

Titles are hard

The last session of Filmworks covered what is, for me, the most daunting stage of getting a film made – selling and packaging. I have a lot to learn about the ‘business’ side of things, but before I can get stuck in to budgets, casting choices and promotional materials I need to be able to explain what my film is… and decide what it’s called. I had a really encouraging social get-together with some of … Continue reading

“A coming-of-age story with super powers”

  Or ‘Chronicle’ meets ‘This is England’. If you’re reading this, then presumably my pitch is doing something right. Pitches have never been my strong point, but if I was in the improbable scenario of stepping into a lift with Harvey Weinstein I might blurt out one of these ‘loglines’ for my short film ‘Boy'(working title), which I am developing over the course of Filmworks. Background info The story of ‘Boy’ has strong autobiographical roots, drawing … Continue reading

What are you making?

There was a lot said in the Q & A session on Wednesday that stuck with me, but I think this from Alison Sterling, producer of ‘Flying Blind’, really hit home. What is my film about? What is it’s personality? It’s themes? Until now I have had a fairly un-reined, free-flowing approach to film writing – diving in to my first draft with little to no idea of structure, or even how it’s going to … Continue reading