Steve James Wiki: Everything To Know About The ‘Abacus: Small Enough To Jail’ Director

Get to know more about Steve James, director of over 20 documentaries and an Oscar nominee. Below are facts about him, including his net worth.

Steve James: Director and producer of documentaries

If you have had a chance to watch some of Steve James’s documentaries, then you know that he does some fantastic work. James is one of the most renowned producers and directors in America, who makes the best documentaries. To James, it’s all about telling a story to the world in the form of film. The world happens to have a lot of events, documented and non-documented! Some of these events are worth telling and if there were no directors like James, the events would be stories never told. Steve James is the director of over 20 documentaries some of them being “Life Itself,” “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” “The Interrupters,” Stevie,” “Hoop Dreams,” and 2018 one, “America to Me.” If you are a fan of James and his work, you must be looking forward to watching “America to Me” which will be released very soon. 63-year-old James was born and raised in Hampton, Virginia. He grew up interested in film. There is a story said about James that he used to take the family’s camera and record the kids playing around. Most people shoot videos with their phones. For James though, it was a different case. It inspired him to be the director he is right now. James studied at James Madison University and Southern Illinois University Carbondale and graduated with a filming degree. He has been actively making documentaries since 1986.

He gives his subjects all the control

Facts about the director

James was asked what he does when he is faced with an ordinary documentarian dilemma, when the people he is filming about are going through tough situations or aren’t comfortable with him knowing about their private lives. James said that he had been that situation where the subjects asked him to stop filming because they were not comfortable. Sometimes, he felt it himself that he needed to pull back and stop filming. James further stated that he was fortunate to shoot his films in some difficult situations. According to Steve James, one of the keys to success in filming great stories is allowing your subject to be the main participant in the process. He added that when your subjects feel confident that they own the show, they let you do what you want as far as filming is concerned. James stated that in his previous documentaries, he allowed his subjects understand that he was doing it together with them and even though he tried to change the minds of some, he still respected their decision. It’s one way of making a successful film that can make him a decent net worth.

He is used to shooting in urban minority communities

When asked if he experienced challenges when gaining access to urban minority communities, for instance, Chinatown and the inner city that he wasn’t experienced in, James stated that he had spent far more time of his career in besieged neighborhoods inside of Chicago and he had developed more comfort working there. James also mentioned that whether in New York’s Chinatown or Chicago’s Englewood, he has to have film subjects to help him navigate through. For instance, James had Mr. Sung help him move around Chinatown, and everyone was very supportive because they knew Mr. Sung as an important figure in their community. The film made him a good net worth.

James stated that Roger Ebert deserved a documentary

James made the documentary “Life Itself” as a dedication to the late Roger Ebert. The film covered the film critic’s final months of his life and his wife, Chaz. The movie was acclaimed for capturing every detail of the late Ebert from his passion and the commitment he maintained while in his hospital bed. When asked if it was important to do the movie, James stated that Roger deserved a documentary because his life was pretty exciting and he was ready to share the story of his suffering and soldiered on until he succumbed to his illness.

He always prepares questions for them

James that before he goes out to create the scenes of a documentary, he usually prepares questions and even writes them in advance so as not to forget. But they are not questions literally but subjects. But there are times that James goes into interviews without the subjects. James stated that there are two types of interviews. The more formal one is the sit-down one that is usually set up in advance and the second kind of interview is the one that questions happen at the moment.

The director was nominated for Oscar 2018

One of his documentaries, “Hoop Dreams” was received well for the strong story that it told. Other of his own that the world can’t have enough of are “Life Itself,” “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” “The Interrupters,” Stevie,” and the upcoming “America to Me.” It’s one of these documentaries that got an Oscar 2018 nomination, “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail” and it seems it has contributed much to his net worth. It’s now evident that his documentaries are becoming everybody’s favorite.

His net worth

Steve James’s net worth is not known. But most definitely, the director has made quite a fortune making all his documentaries.

We can’t wait for the 2018 film, “America to Me and hopefully, James will tell us more stories on the coming years in a way that he knows better, making documentaries. Let’s hope that James takes home the Oscar 2018 award.