James Bryce is a freelance director based in London. He is a strong visual storyteller and has extensive experience with action and car work; but above all he loves working with creatives and crew to bring an idea to life with clarity, imagination and emotional power.
James joined RSA 12 years ago and has worked with clients such as Audi, Ford, Nissan, The Gates Foundation, Castrol, Mobil1, COI, Chevrolet and Jaguar.
In the drama world, James has recently directed a block of the BBC’s flagship show Holby City. Over the last 10 years, James has also written and directed many high-end drama-documentaries, where he has elicited powerful performances from actors and staged big action sequences.
Reviews of recent work:
”(No Man Left Behind is) utterly engrossing…the reconstructions achieved unusually high levels of tension, atmosphere and emotional involvement…incredibly effective television.” Gerard O’Donovan, The Daily Telegraph
James also directed the car chase and shoot-out at the end of The Sweeney feature film, starring Ray Winstone.
“The car chase is epic…the dramatic finale through a caravan park is one of the best I’ve seen for years.” Gordon Smart, The Sun
James first started making films in his early 20s. After a degree in English Literature at Oxford University and a year doing the Postgraduate Diploma in Film & TV at Bristol University, James quickly moved on to become a freelance music video and commercials editor. Editing is the best training for directing and James’s break came from the BBC, who employed him as a director on a variety of shows leading up to Top Gear (despite the fact James couldn’t technically drive).
James intermittently worked on Top Gear from Series 2 to 22 and is credited on over 70 episodes of the show. As such he has been instrumental in creating the style and success of a TV programme that held the Guinness World Record for the most watched show in the world. Top Gear won every major TV award and James found himself wearing a tuxedo in New York to receive an International Emmy for Best Non-Scripted Entertainment.
James also has the dubious honour of being the director of the very first and last (Clarkson era) Top Gear Christmas Specials, both of which involved angry locals throwing rocks at him. This is probably why James doesn’t direct Top Gear any more.