fell into the film business in the early 90’s after several weeks of cold-calls and mailing resumes to production companies up and down the west coast. His first film opportunity found him in Southern Oregon as an unpaid intern on a Grizzly Adams picture. By the end of that three-week gig, he was the Best Boy Grip and had received an invitation to Tinsel Town to work on a real Hollywood production.
Throughout his 22-year industry tenure, WilderHancock has held numerous behind the scenes positions on small, independent films like My Name is Bruce and Shiloh to large-scale productions such as Seraphim Falls, The Ring, and Into the Wild. In 1999, WilderHancock served as a segment producer, writer, and director for IFC’s Split Screen. He worked on multiple seasons of hit television series Leverage, and Grimm, and recently completed work on Laika Entertainment’s The Boxtrolls.
“I often say that I make movies because I have to. What I mean by that is the challenge to engage, enlighten and entertain through the cinematic medium is what drives me. This is my joy! My purpose.”
– James WilderHancock
In 2007, applying all the lessons he had learned in the previous 14 years about building a film from the inside out, he produced his first feature production. 180 films’ critically acclaimed WWII drama 'Everyman’s War', explores the heroic events of decorated veteran Don Smith's courage and struggle between duty and desire. The bio-pic was released in 2009 and is still finding fans worldwide today. With the goal of creating a globally competitive brand, he spent the next few years developing a slate of projects heavily focused on herioc family fare. 'Blue Lights', a family feature based on the Young Adult book “Invasion of the Blue Lights”, by Ruth Glick is one of those projects.
James recently ended a 6 year term on the board of the Oregon Media Production Association where he developed, chaired and co-produced the first two NW Film Financing seminars, designed specifically to raise the business acumen of NW producers to compete on a global playing field. As a founding member of the Oregon Producers Alliance, he drafted and wrote the proposal for the Indigenous Oregon Production Incentive Fund (iOPIF) as a way to incentivize growth of local and economically viable production companies. The iOPIF rebate is now an integral part of Oregon's solid program of film incentives and has achieved the stated goal of evolving local professional filmmakers and producers into market players.
When he’s not making films, he can usually be found watching them; or plotting the completion of his rotary-wing flight training. There is also a script based on his experiences as a founding member of the Army's elite 3rd Ranger Battalion (Fort Benning, GA) simmering on the back burner.