James Wahlberg is an Emmy nominated director who brings a unique range of filmmaking experience to a variety of media platforms including episodic television, TV commercials, and web-based content.
Wahlberg first established himself as an animation director, then diversified successfully into live action, gaining a reputation for visual story telling; understated comedy; dialogue; as well as combo work featuring a blend of strong actor driven performances and effects. He’s directed a wide variety of commercial projects for clients such as AT&T, Budweiser, Bud Light, California Tourism, Chiquita Banana, Dish Network, Disney, EA Games, Fox Network, H&R Block, Hasbro, Kellogg’s, Kraft, Proctor & Gamble, Mazda, Mattel, McDonalds, Microsoft, Miller Lite, Nerf, Nestles, Nintendo, Nissan, Oroweat, Playskool, Samsonite, Seagate Technologies, Spin Master, Squirt, and Travelocity.
Wahlberg’s recent long format credits include directing Nickelodeon’s TV series “The Fresh Beat Band”, for which he received a 2013 Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Director In A Children’s Series”.
He served as executive producer on the viral video “Santa versus Jesus” that led to the creation of the Comedy Central series “South Park”. Wahlberg produced the show’s pilot, “Cartman Gets An Anal Probe”. He also produced Derek Cianfrance’s feature film, “Brother Tied”.
Wahlberg began his career in illustration and design before expanding into animation with Burbank based Hanna Barbera, where he cut his teeth on several television series blocking action, timing performances, and laying out backgrounds for shows destined to be completed in Asia. Wahlberg went on to make his solo mark in the film industry as the founder and lead director of Celluloid Studios, an award winning animation studio working in a variety of diverse mediums. Celluloid created a vast number of innovative commercials and alternative programming, and was home to the buzz-generating video Christmas card “Santa vs. Jesus”, conceived by Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
As his work expanded beyond the boundaries of animation, Wahlberg founded Visitor, Celluloid’s Santa Monica based sister company established to handle live action production. Through Visitor he created scores of award winning campaigns featuring the combination of performance and effects driven story telling he’s best known for. Wahlberg was also a founding partner in Fusion Idea Lab, a Chicago ad agency best known for it’s innovative work for Anheuser-Busch, Fox Network, Expedia, Orbitz, and Motorola.
Wahlberg continues to hone his skills as a live action/animation director on commercial projects and web content, as well as for episodic TV. He’s recently helmed projects in New York, Miami, Boston, Dallas, South Africa, South America, Vancouver, Toronto, Mexico City, as well as numerous productions in the Los Angeles area.