Born in Montreal, James has five feature screenplays to his name. While studying Literature and Philosophy at the University of Toronto, he produced several plays, including Stoppard's The Real Thing and Voltaire's Candide for the Graduate Theatre. After earning an Honors BA, he began writing speeches for senior staff at Astral Television Networks. He then moved on to a marketing position at TVA Film Distribution International where he developed the advertising campaigns for their theatrical and video releases. Determined to make his own films, James graduated with an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute in 2005.