Co-founders Tom and Mary James opened The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art in 2018 in order to revive interest and passion about the history of the American West. They are dedicated patrons of Western Art, supporting countless contemporary artists and amassing an impressive collection of works that evoke the spirit of the wide open frontier and the beauty of life in the wild. They aim to engage the community through programs and public events that celebrate and connect this narrative to our lives today.
An atypical project for us, we were approached to create the orientation film that would be shown in the museum’s theater before visitors entered the galleries. This video would be one of the first impressions people had of the collection and needed to give them the context for the artwork, setting the mood for their visit. Our audience for this video would be more or less captive, but their various ages, educations, and attention spans made them an unpredictable group to engage with.
In keeping with the enveloping environment of the museum space, we aimed to immerse the audience in the story of the American West. Under a decidedly Western voice-over narration, we incorporate interviews from Tom and Mary James, four artists from the collection, and feature process shots of the artists at work, drone footage of western landscapes, and sneak peeks of the museum galleries and the art they’re about to see. It’s a quick, yet thorough introduction to the history of the collection that ultimately asks and inspires our audience to, “Go West!”