James Helsing's interest in filmmaking blossomed as a pre-teen, when he drafted his friends into his home movies; 8mm camera in hand... "The Big Slope", "Earthquake Inferno" and "The Last Flight" (of the Hindenburg - which he shot in the rafters of an old movie theatre) amongst his more prestigious original works!
As a teen, his interests shifted and his foray into acting began. He performed in countless junior high, high school and college productions, including "Death of a Salesman", "Oklahoma!", "The Pirates of Penzance", "West Side Story", "The Bald Soprano", "A Marriage Proposal" and "Cloud Nine."
After graduating with a B.A. in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University (where he was named Best Actor of the Year by the Theatre Arts faculty), he headed to England as one of twenty students selected (from the 400 that auditioned from different continents) to take part in the prestigious overseas graduate program at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (where he played King Lear).
He also took part in the intensive summer actors workshop at Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where his classmates were Laura Dern and the late Dana Reeve.
Summer stock directing jobs also figured prominently: "Frankenstein", "Dracula", "Daisy Pulls It Off" and "Black Comedy" amongst his many credits.
His interests shifted once again; this time towards television. He spent several seasons working behind the scenes on such Primetime shows as "Entertainment Tonight", "A&E Biography", "America's Most Wanted", the Emmy Awards and multiple productions with the late Dick Clark... largely in the capacity of researcher, often in the capacity of editor and occasionally in the capacity of writer.
In the autumn of 2013, he directed the short film Modus Operandi, a San Francisco murder mystery. In 2015 he directs the feature film version.
Unique traits: Strong advocate of colorblind casting and diversity in film.
MODUS OPERANDI Crime ⋄ Film-noir ⋄ Historical ⋄ Romance ⋄ Thriller A troubled San Francisco homicide inspector, his club dancer boyfriend and an unorthodox Miss Marple track a serial killer who murders his victims in the style of Jack the Ripper.
MODUS OPERANDI (feature)
Film by Lombard Street Flickers (Crime, Mystery, Thriller and History) Director/Writer/Producer A trouble San Francisco homicide inspector, his club dancer boyfriend and an unorthodox Miss Marple team to catch a serial killer who murders his victims in the style of Jack the Ripper. WGA registration # 1753104
Film (short) by Lombard Street Flickers (Crime, Mystery, Thriller, History and 1 More) Director/Writer/Producer A sizzle reel to promote the feature film project MODUS OPERANDI.