Director Biography – James Bourne (THE ABANDONED BLOCK)

Born to a family of doctors in Rochester Minnesota, James Bourne took a career path in the arts instead of the family profession. After high school, he was accepted into Brigham Young University’s Center for Animation. Since graduating with a BFA in Visual Arts Animation he has worked in various departments for different animation studios including Blue Sky, Bardel, and Moonbot. Currently living in British Columbia, James now specializes in storyboarding for animation and film. Much of his inspiration for storytelling comes from history and mythology, both of which are sacred to him. The Abandoned Block is his directorial debut. After storyboarding for television series in Vancouver, his future goals are to storyboard and direct for Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks, and be a creator and showrunner for several pilot episodes he is currently pitching.

Director Statement

“This is a great story! Why hasn’t someone made a film about this?” That’s what I asked myself as I learned the origins of one of the greatest works of art. I was so moved by the humble beginnings of this masterpiece: a useless, damaged block of marble abandoned for decades, and how someone saw it not for what it was, but what this block COULD BE. From then on, I became determined to not only tell this moving story, but to tell it through the medium of animation, or as the old Disney artists refer to it, “The Illusion of Life”. I love a good underdog story; seeing how obstacles are overcome, defying all expectations and meeting the end of a journey in triumph. That is the essence of storytelling in and of itself and what I want audiences to feel from this film: amazement at the humble origins of a masterpiece and that there is untapped potential in all of us, no matter our background.


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