James Powers Shoots Video

“Jimmy, You Did This? It Looks Incredible”

— James’ Mom.


Enter The Dojo

Filming On Site

This dramatic video was captured at Old City Aikido, in Philadelphia. To film and edit this moody piece, I filmed in slow-motion to capture as much detail as possible. To execute, a lot of light was brought in which meant our light stands had to be very respectful to the dojo’s mats. Thank you cardboard, for adding the protection we needed.

Programs used include Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Davinci Resolve.




Breaking Wind

4K Footage

After traveling the country, flying over 200 flights, and diligently editing, “Breaking Wind” is able to show the type of footage James Powers was able to resolve.


Melting Point

Portrait of Metalworking

Shot on location in under 2hrs, this quick vignette focuses on the craft of casting metal. This particular cast is used for statue that is feature as a fountain in Princeton, NJ.

Programs used include Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Davinci Resolve.




Dance: Burlesque

Anamorphic Footage

An exploration of burlesque dance, macro cinematography and also anamorphic camera lenses.


Understanding Drift

An Immersive Training Video

This commissioned video articulates complex aerial survey concepts in lay terms, to better educated newly hired employees seeking to begin a career as a camera operator and or pilot — in the survey industry.

To accomplish this, kinetic-typography (animated type triggered by audio cues) and engaging, simple graphics were used to help crystalize solutions to common problems in aerial survey; drift.

Programs used include Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Illustrator and Photoshop.




Commonwealth Choir


Pacers, an upbeat track by Philadelphia’s, “Commonwealth Choir”, was recorded live at WXPN 88.5FM.

To fully capture the experience, five cameras were peppered throughout the radio station. The programs used to create this piece were Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Photoshop.


Bumper Ad

Animation Triggered By Audio

By applying some simple scripting code in After Effects, I was able to use audio levels as a trigger for an automated animation. It has a clean look and definitely saves time.

Adobe After Effects and Photoshop were used to create this short ad bumper, along with Plexus 2 (a plugin available at AE scripts.com), in order to achieve the geometry.



More Info


The History

James Powers spent his childhood creating and drawing flip-books. His old tools — sharpie markers, index cards and rubber bands — were later traded in for cameras, tripods and laptops. He still has shoeboxes busting at the seems with old flipbooks. If you ask nicely, he may show you some of his earlier work.

Interview: Preferred Camera Gear?

What equipment do you use?

Like any video pro, I’m familiar with any garden variety DSLR (Nikon, Canon Sony) but love the more obscure gear, for instance Microsoft’s aerial camera rig; the “Ultracam Eagle”. A fun project was for Microsoft’s presentation at an aerial survey convention where they debuted their UltraCam Eagle. The funny part of this project was a Sony A77 DLSR camera was used to film the incredibly expensive Ultracam Eagle Here’s a link to that project.

Depending on the job, I am a big fan of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera (BMPCC). Although after it’s properly tooled, but there is no way that thing will fit in any pocket. After the BMPCC is ready to use, the flexibility of recording raw files in camera is amazing, considering how far you can push your image in post production.

DSLR Camera Vs. Dedicated Video Camera?
The biggest stigma I hate is when a client judges you based on your gear.

When they see a smaller DSLR camera, most automatically assume you’re a photographer and or that your choice of gear isn’t professional. It’s hilarious when guests at weddings say things like, “I guess the bride didn’t hire a videographer?”, when in fact they did; the shooter just chose to record on a video enabled DSLR camera.

The funniest part is most DSLR Camera’s today overpower larger dedicated video cameras, since DSLR’s offer larger sensors, better low-light quality and are easier to travel with. To answer the question, depending on the length you need to record for, DSLR cameras are the go-to choice.

Time Travel: Would you rather visit the past or the future?





James Powers


Always up for a challenge and above all, James (Jim if you really know him) abides by the golden rule in business, and arguably life: do what you say you are going to do.

Up for travel; James is no stranger to flying around the country and while averaging roughly 148 shoots per year, he has to be.

Should a project require travel, James has embraced picking the right piece of equipment for the job. By efficiently packing the right gear for the job, James can efficiently mobilize his creative operation to provide significant coverage for your project. But at the end of the day James Powers meets your demands and more importantly, he does what he says he is going to do.



Exceeds Project Demands

James Powers gives you the full business.



A photo posted by Powers (@corduroypanda) on


Desert Timelapse

Milky Way
Time-lapse photography is a tricky beast that demands patience. This quick time lapse was taken in the middle of an Arizona desert. The moon was half-full, making it difficult to see the Milky Way, however; it is partially visible.


Dallas Airport

This time lapse was taken from a hotel window overlooking the Dallas Fortworth Airport.


Raw Slider

3 Hours
After building an automated slider (a piece of equipment that moves the camera laterally along a rail), it was only natural to give it a test. This was shot in RAW format and allowed for a lot of latitude in post for color grading.


Alaska Timelapse

Taken at Beluga Point, Alaska, this video shows off Alaska’s scenery and fast moving weather.


Video Services

Contact James any time for excellent service.



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James Powers
Philadelphia, PA
(907) 764-6500


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