I wrote my first story at age 11 and that, coupled with a lifelong love for movies, solidified my desire to write and direct feature films.
My name is James Dinkins and I was born & raised in suburban Philadelphia. After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh, where I studied film analysis, production and screenwriting, I journeyed to Los Angeles to pursue my passion for storytelling.
A year after landing in Los Angeles, I landed a gig as a production assistant for Steven Bochco Productions on a show called “City of Angels”, which starred Blair Underwood and Vivica A. Fox. The following year, I became the assistant to Emmy Award-winning Producer/Writer Alison Cross when she co-created a Steven Bochco show called (oddly enough) “Philly”.
When I came up with the idea that would take shape as “The Vacancy”, I found that I had just enough money to mount a stage production. It wasn’t the cinematic experience I’d always dreamed of, but I knew it would be an important stepping stone and the beginning of my do-for-self spirit. I wrote the feature screenplay in the summer of 2005. By the end of that year, I’d embarked on my first project— I re-wrote the story for the stage, shopped for an affordable playhouse, auditioned actors, hired a tiny crew and mounted a play!
The self-financed production opened in January 2006 at the Two Roads Theater in Studio City, California. It ran for three weeks, with a number of sold out performances. Later that year, I received an award nomination for “Best Original Play” from the 13th Annual Artistic Director’s Achievement (ADA) Awards, hosted by Fred Willard and presented by the San Fernando Valley Theaters in Canoga Park, California.
In 2012, I financed & directed a short film version of “The Vacancy”. Once again, I proceeded to search for actors and crew, location scout and call in favors. Produced on a shoestring budget, the film has gone on to receive four nominations and two wins for Best Short.
While I’m currently in the development stage on the feature version, I continue writing other scripts, one of which should be receiving the short film treatment any day now….