BAFTA-winning producer James Walker may be familiar as a Lee & Thompson lawyer.
One of last week’s BAFTA winners might have looked especially familiar to industry watchers. Because in addition to being a producer of animated short film winner Sleeping with the Fishes, James Walker is also a lawyer on the film team at leading entertainment industry firm Lee & Thompson.
He joined Lee & Thompson in April 2013, after he attended the National Film and Television School and earned an MA in Producing for Film and Television. (If that’s not enough, he also read International History at The London School of Economics and then graduated from University College London with a Master of Laws degree.)
Alongside NFTS cohorts Sarah Woolner (writer) and Yousif Al-Khalifa (director), he worked on Sleeping With The Fishes for 15 months.
The film, a 2D hand-drawn animation, was made when he was attending the NFTS and the project was in the last stages of post when he joined the team at L&T.
So is he going to quit the day job? Not a chance, even if he did struggle with office hours following a “three-day hangover” post-BAFTAs. “Life at L&T is a lot of fun and has given me the opportunity to work on some of the most exciting British independent films produced during the last year – the types of films that inspire me and that I hope to one day produce myself,” he tells Screen.
Walker adds: “There is a huge overlap between film lawyering and producing. The firm have been very supportive towards my film-making and agree with me that the two can be complementary.”
This triple threat is also a writer – his script Advent goes into production in a few weeks directed by former Screen International Star of Tomorrow Mahalia Belo, produced by Amy Jackson and financed under Rankin’s Collabor8te scheme.