James Burch
(202) 256-8697

Selected Works Reel

Work Experience

Burchfilms, Independent Video Production Company

Freelance work includes:
• Producer, video story on National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, in production
• Videographer-Editor, 30-second ad for Simon Mall Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, Producer, Social Native
• Writer, POWs in WWII, 10-minute explainer video, The Infographic Show
• Producer, travel video series, in post-/production
• Writer, voice talent, Numbers Alive! Educational videos, prod., Rebecca Klemm, Ph.D.
• Photographer, Association for Behavioral Analysis International/Utility Design

• Photographer's Assistant, Iconic Group

Producer-Editor, National Geographic Digital, News and Travel
August 2015 – October 2018
  • Consistently created, adapted, and acquired some of the Nat Geo site's top-performing videos
  • Key part of team that added millions of monthly views—about 300% growth–in under a year
  • Wrote scripts and articles with personality and humor, on science, history, and culture
  • Scanned hundreds of leads daily to find timely stories
  • Fostered partnerships with producers, nonprofits, news agencies, and universities
  • Ensured accuracy, especially in the match between text and picture
  • Color corrected footage and re-versioned sequences for different platforms
Associate Producer, National Geographic Creative
July 2004 – August 2015
  • Provided publishers and exhibitors with video footage and stories on a vast range of subjects
  • Adapted content for language level, running time, and audience
  • Created promotional videos for use online and at trade shows
  • Trained new staff on complex media databases
  • Delivered massive amounts of data, in a range of video formats for use
  • Ensured quality of format conversions
Grip/Shop Assistant, The Washington Source for Lighting
February–June 2004

Acquisitions Intern, HBO Documentary Department
July 2002


Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop, script and treatment writing, news reporting, archival film and still image research, rights clearance and licensing, staff management/ recruitment, DSLR videography and photography, lighting, grip and electric, publicity event coordination


American University, Washington, DC
Master of Fine Arts, Film and Electronic Media, 2005
Teaching Assistant, Video Production, Film Production, Cinematography, Multimedia Lab Assistant

The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Bachelor of Arts, Double Major in Film/Video and English, 1997

FAMU, the Czech national film school, Prague, Czech Republic
September–December 2002: Studies included Acting, Cinematography, Directing and Czech Film History.

New York University, Directing and Screenwriting courses
1994, 2002

Selections of recent producer and editor work:

Journey Into Old Havana's Vibrant History

Haunting Video Shows the Rohingya Refugee Crisis

See Why They Call It “Rabbit Island”

How Cape Town Is Coping With Its Worst Drought on Record

See an Ancient Wonder of China that Transforms a River

Why Does This Ice Bridge in Patagonia Keep Collapsing?

See a Bear Freed From a Cage to Begin a New Life

Selected Filmography

Writer and Director
Director, The Cult on the Cul-de-Sac.
Political satire. Graduate thesis film, 16 mm, 35 minutes

Co-writer, Glitch. Producer, Michael DeChant. Winner, Sci-Fi category, National Film Challenge,
Washington, DC-based competition. MiniDV, eight minutes.

Director, Rhapsody
Musical comedy with an international cast.
Filmed in Prague, Czech Republic. 16 mm, seven minutes.

Co-producer/director, Breaking Down. Ensemble comedy. 16 mm, ten minutes

Director/Editor, Graceland.
Deadpan romantic comedy. 16 mm, 15 minutes
Documentary about the family of a child with autism.

Photographer’s Assistant—Photo shoot for HBO’s The Wire. Anthony Mandler, photographer.
June 2004

Voice-over Artist, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation outreach video

Photographer/animator, Song of the Open Road Multimedia piece based on the Walt Whitman poem. 35 mm stills composited in AfterEffects.

Gaffer, The Wishing Fountain. Producer, Catalina Walsh. 16 mm short film,

Set PA (including Sound Recordist), Listen Like Thieves
Producer, Kylos Brannon. 16 mm short film.

Associate Producer, Michigan in the Wake of the Titanic
Compiled historic photos from archives during pre-production. Served as gaffer during interviews. Aired on WDIV Detroit.

Set PA/ Craft Services, Crush, pilot for children’s television program