Extraordinary Professor of Digital Filmmaking
M.F.A., Louisiana State University
B.A., Louisiana State University
Jim Gabour is Grammy-nominated, RIAA-platinum video director, writer, and novelist. Throughout a long and illustrious career, Jim has worked with household names such as Norah Jones, Al Green, Flaming Lips, Terence Blanchard, Ice T, and James Taylor. In 2002, he produced and directed Norah Jones’ concert long-form for Capitol Records and Blue Note Records. The resulting multi-platinum DVD spent five weeks at #1 in worldwide sales. A documentary Jim produced on composer and trumpeter Terence Blanchard received a Grammy nomination, and competed against films about Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Gorillaz, and Death Cab for Cutie. An official selection of festivals in Rotterdam, Buenos Aires, and around the world, the documentary has been made a part of the permanent collection of the American Jazz Museum.
For over thirty years, Jim has been highly involved in documenting and sharing the culture, music, and history of New Orleans. He directed a worldwide live broadcast from Mardi Gras in Rio, Trinidad, and New Orleans for the BBC, and has contributed almost 300 hours of historic New Orleans music footage to the WIlliam Randolph Hogan Jazz Archive at Tulane University’s Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. Jim has also given an annual presentation on Mardi Gras and the unique nature of neighborhood carnivals for the last five years; in 2016, he focuses on the music of carnival.
In addition to his visual work, Jim is an accomplished international columnist, and his articles have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, and People Magazine. Since 2006, he has written regularly for London-based openDemocracy, the world’s leading independent website on global affairs, Beijing-based China Dialogue, and The Guardian, where he has been a regularly-featured writer since January 2015. Besides writing columns, Jim has also published works of fiction and nonfiction. He introduced his novel, Unimportant People, in an introductory essay in The Guardian and serialized six chapters on openDemocracy’s website. Undercurrent, his nonfiction essays concerning life in post-Katrina New Orleans, is also available worldwide.
In 2005, Jim joined Loyola University and FAMIS as a faculty member, and now serves as director of the Digital Filmmaking (BFA) degree program. Jim strives to expose his students to accomplished industry leaders and experiences within feature film and television productions. His guests have included French film director Bertrand Tavernier, Comedy Central/Adult Swim producer and director Dave Willis, Pulizer-winning author David Henry Hwang, and Chairman of the NARAS Board of Trustees George Flanigen, many of which also host workshops for students.
Jim also recruited industry legend and producer/director/actor Harry Shearer, famous for the dozens of characters he voices on The Simpsons, to become Loyola’s Artist-in-Residence. Harry conducted comedy, film, animation, and voice workshops with students, and shot a six-episode web series in the university’s studios. In 2013, Jim recruited award-winning actor John Goodman to speak to students about his industry and movie experiences.
Besides renowned guests, Jim also has worked to get Loyola students experience on actual productions. He arranged for 32 Loyola students to work as paid extras twice on HBO’s “Treme,” including the final scene of the award-winning series. He arranged for his class to spend a day on the set of Taylor Hackford-directed Parker, with actors Jennifer Lopez and Jason Statham. The same classes later spent another day on set with Statham, this time for Sylvestor Stallone’s feature “Homeland,” with Director of Photography Theo Van de Sande, A.S.C.
Jim participates in the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, National Academy of Cable Programming, International Film & Television Festival, and the International Broadcasters Conference. In 2001 and 2004, he was featured director of the year at the International Broadcasters Conference in Amsterdam.