James is a professional screenwriter with credits for television spanning 20 years across soaps, series and single dramas, including The Bill, Doctor Finlay (Bafta Scotland Best Series), Monarch of the Glen and Split Second, a 90’ TV movie starring Clive Owen, Tony Curran and Helen McCrory, directed by David Blair for BBC Scotland.
James has been involved in a number of adaptations and collaborations with best-selling crime author Ian Rankin, including Reichenbach Falls (2007) for BBC 4 and Doors Open (2012), a 120′ comedy thriller for ITV starring Stephen Fry and Douglas Henshall.
James has worked in other forms with some success. A short film Disco, produced with students from Screen Academy Scotland, won a Bafta Scotland New Talent Award. His stage play Terminal won a Fringe First, and a radio adaptation for Radio 3 was nominated for a Sony Award. A libretto Out of Season with the Royal Opera House received an Olivier Award nomination. His short story Brittle was published in the Orange/Scotland on Sunday New Writing collection, Work.
Current work includes script development with Edinburgh-based, Bafta-winning animation duo Will Anderson and Ainslie Henderson on Dom, their debut feature documentary. Berwick Law is a low budget feature film in development with Creative Scotland/BFI/Scottish Film Talent Network and Producer John McKay. Chosen is a spooky, hi-end TV drama series set in Estonia and Canada, in development with Compact Pictures in Scotland, Sienna Films in Canada and Allfilm in Estonia.
Since 2007 James has combined his writing work with teaching and leads the post-graduate Kino Eyes Erasmus Film Masters and MA Screenwriting programme at Screen Academy Scotland, Edinburgh Napier University.