29 August 2018 @ 3:00 pm

Grumpy Sailor

Stories are vital in the way they shape our understanding of the world; they challenge our preconceived notions around value and logic and rationality. Focusing on story is a perfectly valid way of changing hearts and minds. This is why being a storyteller and not being bound to societally set rules and borders is vital to the way Grumpy Sailor works.

In this forum James Boyce, Creative Director of Grumpy Sailor, will talk about the necessity of not only why, but how a project comes to life. The questions, the problematic gaps, and the necessity of being a storyteller is more important to the Grumpy Sailor team than being a product maker, designer or technologist.

Finding the right way to present is the most important part the process, they are agnostic about the delivery mechanism. Their methodology of working and the reason they do the work they do is even more important than the ‘final act’, the product.

The forum will took place on 29 August. A recording of the talk is available below.

Watch a recording of James' talk here


James is the founder and creative visionary behind Grumpy Sailor, an agile, creative team experimenting with digital technology and storytelling. With Business Partner Claire Evans they run a team of 25 passionately curious individuals, Grumpy Sailor do many things including design, concept development, film and digital production, creative direction, idea generation and insanely cool tech-hacks.

James is a creative Polymath, born with a rebellious streak, and an incredibly vivid imagination; a strange cocktail of curiosity and drive exists in James. He epitomises the agile, modern creative bounding between forms and mediums like they are par for the course. His natural proclivity for risk taking is both a blessing and a curse, his career has been defined by pivots based on people telling him something is impossible. Founding a team to specifically fiddle with technology, design and story is one of those impossible things. Enter Grumpy Sailor, now a world recognised studio, working with a wide (wide) variety of collaborators on films, digital experiments, theatre productions, museum exhibits, data visualizations, galleries, interactive products, virtual realities (audio and visual) and of course occasionally, very occasionally – advertising campaigns, though children’s books are preferred.

As Creative Director, James is instrumental in working with collaborators to define, conceptualise, secure and deliver on the often impossible creative vision of a project. Working across a variety of mediums including short films, numerous gallery experiences, large-scale television commercials and advertising campaigns, he has developed interactive products and experiences with commercial and artistic partners. Grumps has and continues to collaborate with many wonderful partners including PunchDrunk, RSC, The Sydney Opera House, Google, ACMI, WWF, Adelaide fringe festival and more.

Basically, he is busy and he makes a lot (lot) of stuff – including children. He has three of those scallywags.