James Arnett, Arnett Digital Media Lab's Creative Director, was born in Greenwich Village, New York City, the son of A.I.A. Productions animation studio founder Alec who opened the business in Manhattan back in 1958 and expanded to Los Angeles by 1981, having developed many 35mm animation cameras, animation stands and optical benches completely in-house as well as producing live film and animation.
Following the death of Alec in 1997, one of the oldest independent and full service animation studio had its first year of inactivity in 39 years. After the 40th year, James returned the business to operation, focusing on digital effects and animation production, then expanded into developing his proprietary CineMatrix Studio production software for commercial distribution to the industry.
James graduated with a Regents Endorsement from New York's Art & Design, majoring in Filmmaking with a minor in Photo-Science, then completed the AESOP filmmaking program at New York's School Of Visual Arts. James also taught animation, filmmaking, editing and digital arts at LTU's Chatsworth, California campus for nearly a decade where he wrote the widely read textbook, "Guide Book For Guerrilla Filmmakers".
James began as a screenwriter without any training by winging it and writing the Worldfest winning epic "Valhalla", an unformatted 400 page screenplay that he bound with nuts and bolts, which he mailed to the makers of Star Trek: The Next Generation TV show and despite its unorthodox appearance, it impressed Executive Producer Jeri Taylor enough to have him come in to pitch several episodes. He has been writing ever since and expanded into horror and sitcom pilots.
Besides directing, writing and animating, James is also an accomplished cinematographer with a unique insight into motion picture camera design and lighting. He has also worked as a movie weapon effects expert and gunshot wound makeup effects artist, as well as special photographic effects providing 3D object modeling and surface map painting using Lightwave 3D animation software.