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Meet James Abrams of Caramel Hippo Studios

Today we’d like to introduce you to James Abrams.

James, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I started making movies when I was around fourteen. I grew up in Manhattan and was a child actor, but didn’t actually start shooting my own projects until after I had moved to Vermont. I liked school, but what I really wanted to do was make films. I went to the Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Film and Animation in Rochester, New York where I was overwhelmed with filmmaking opportunities. Beyond having access to studios, equipment, and a new team of creative friends, I was able to start freelancing and networking with the local community. I learned a lot about what it means to be a leader while in Rochester and produced an insane amount of content. After I graduated from RIT, I worked at the Maine Media Workshop in Camden, Maine. I worked with seasoned professionals from all over the world and was able to share my work and collaborate with some very talented individuals. Since then, I’ve been freelance producing and directing independent short-form content while doing a copious amount of writing.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’m fortunate enough to say I’ve been fairly lucky along my journey so far. Every production has issues, and I’ve got some crazy stories about how I had to save the day a couple of times but in terms of my career, I have a very supportive group of family and friends and have never let any obstacle stand in my way for long.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Caramel Hippo Studios is the umbrella name for all of my original and commissioned work. With it, I produce short-form content and submit written content to festivals and workshops. Musical artists come to me looking for music videos and writers come to me looking to produce their work. My personal goal is to constantly explore new creative opportunities, but as Caramel Hippo Studios, I can explore these goals with my clients and collaborators.

I’ve always been very proud of the fast turnaround we’ve consistently had on our music video projects. I think the most amount of time I’ve ever spent on a music video is a month. Normally I’ll have around two weeks to produce, edit, and release a project. Of course, this can be stressful, but I always try and keep productions amiable and easy-going for clients. Honesty is key and the working relationships off-camera definitely show through the result.

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was a pretty well-behaved kid, but I was always looking for trouble, yaknow? I didn’t want to be a bad kid, but I was always searching for a new adventure. This definitely is still a thing today. I’ve never been arrested during my escapades, but guerrilla filmmaking can get a little spooky. Not everyone is excited to see a film crew in a parking lot at 3am.

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Image Credit:

Promotional and behind the scenes imagery by Lloyd McCullough, Still from Sentinel – cinematography by Jacob Mallin

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