James Bamford – Stunt Performer – Stunt Co-ordinator – Fight Choreographer – PreVis Director – 2nd Unit Director – Director
Born: 26th February 1967 (Pisces)
Height: 6 ft
Status: Married. Two daughters
Nickname: BamBam or Bam (Origin: His surname is Bamford)
Stunts Canada Member: No. 52
Pets: Dog named Luna
Fan of: Bruce Lee & Muhammad Ali
Current Projects: Producer/Director – Arrow. Formerly Stunt Co-ordinator/Fight Choreographer – Arrow
Martial arts: 2nd Dan Black Belt Karate. Also Escrima, Muay Thai, Jujitsu, Chu Fen Do, Kali, Boxing, Kick Boxing
Skilled in the following weapons:
Bo Staff, Katana, Nunchaku, Tonfa, Sai, Ulesi, Balisong (butterfly knife), Rapier, Rapier/Dagger, Broadsword
James Bamford is a member and former President of Stunts Canada. He has worked in the film/tv industry as a Stunt performer, Stunt Co-ordinator & Fight Choreographer for over 25 years. His resume is impressive, from stunt doubling David Duchovny in The X-Files and performing stunts in X2, in which director Bryan Singer cast James as Gambit during filming. Unfortunately the scenes were cut from the final film. His work on Arrow has received considerable recognition from critics and fans. In 2015, he directed his first episode of television, Brotherhood. The dynamic filming of the fight scenes received positive feedback from fans and reviewers.
James is a fan of combative sports and regularly follows UFC. When he has some free time he enjoys sparring at the gym. James is also a fan of lacrosse, a sport his father played professionally (Victoria Shamrocks).
Growing up in the small city of Sidney on Vancouver Island, a pivotal moment in James’ life came when he was taken to see Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon. The film had a profound effect on James who announced “that’s what I’m going to do”. A Karaté school opened in his town at the same time an injury prevented him from trying out for football and so he took up Karaté classes, devoting many hours to practicing techniques and eventually earning him a 2nd Dan Black Belt as well as a Bronze Medal in the World Police and Fire Games.
James had acted in high school and local theatre and had worked as an extra but it was through martial arts that he found his first stunt work. While working as a Juvenile Corrections Officer, James’ Karaté instructor received a call from a Vancouver Stunt Co-ordinator looking for someone to double for Michael Dudikoff in Cobra. He sent a demo of martial arts tricks which he could perform live and was hired. The rest is history.
James has gone onto stunt double David Duchovny, Jerry O’Connell, William Baldwin, Michael Weatherly, Mickey Rourke, Dominic Purcell, Michael Paré, Ben Browder and Joe Flanigan among many others.
James, nicknamed BamBam, worked on the Stargate franchise for 7 years, acting as Stunt Co-ordinator for Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe and he stunt co-ordinated the fight sequences for Stargate SG1 in season 8, 9 and 10. Skilled in a variety of martial arts, he introduced Stargate audiences to Bantos fighting, similar to Escrima, as a fighting style of the Athosian. This is particularly demonstrated by Rachel Luttrell who played Teyla. In Stargate Universe James’ choreography was more gritty, in your face with headbutts as opposed to the more stylised choreography in Atlantis.
2012 was a massive year for James as several high profile productions employed his talents. He travelled to Cuba to co-ordinate the action sequences in the Bollywood movie Ek Tha Tiger, which won an award for Best Action at the Times of India Film Awards, followed by filming of the pilot of Arrow, then stunt co-ordinating the webseries Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, including a basic bootcamp for the young actors.
BamBam designed the fight sequences on the CW’s Arrow, an imagining of the comic Green Arrow set in a real world with no super powers. In 2013 he added Stunt Co-ordinator to his Arrow duties and also became Supervising Fight Choreographer for The Tomorrow People. James’ imaginative choreography has received praise from fans and professionals in stunts and martial arts. His pre-vis films of stunt rehearsals uploaded by CW have shown the meticulous detail James directs to all of his fight scenes.
In 2015, James made his directorial debut with Brotherhood, Arrow’s 7th episode of the 4th Season. The episode received praise from fans and critics for its dynamic use of hand-held camera rather than steadicam for fight scenes and the use of oners, particularly an incredible fight scene in and out of an elevator that was inspired by John Woo’s Hard-Boiled.
James has gone on to direct 12 Arrow episodes & one Supergirl to date. With his promotion to Producer/Director of Arrow he is the primary Director for the series, directing crossovers, premiere and finale episodes.
WON – TOIFA (Times of India Film Award) – Best Action – Ek Tha Tiger
WON – Leo Award – Best Stunt Co-ordination in a Television Movie – Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
NOMINATED – Leo Award – Best Stunt Co-ordination in a Series – Stargate Universe
WON – World Police and Fire Games – Bronze Medalist Karate – Team Canada
BamBam is a popular convention guest with stories from set and co-ordinating stunt shows.
2006 Vancouver – Stargate Convention Creation Entertainment
2006 Australia – Stargate Convention Best of Both Worlds
2008 Vancouver – Stargate Convention Creation Entertainment
2009 London – Stargate Convention Wolf Events
2010 Birmingham – Stargate Convention Show Masters
2010 Vancouver – Stargate Convention Creation Entertainment
2011 London – Film and Comic Convention Show Masters
2015 San Jose – Heroes & Villains Fanfest