James Zahn is no stranger to the artistic community.
Born in Chicago Heights, IL in 1976, James spent much of his childhood residing in the South Suburbs of Chicago. As with many children growing up in the eighties, he found himself fascinated with pop-culture of all kinds, becoming obsessed with television, music, and film. From an early age, he expressed his creative vision, mostly through literature and art, even winning an Illinois Young Author’s Award in 1987 for his short story, “The Little Champ”, a story of an underdog race horse originally conceived as a fifth grade project. By 1989, James had completed his first short film, “Art Attack” and presented it to his school on 8mm film.
In 1992, at the age of fifteen, James moved to the Quad Cities with his father and entered the world of television with a weekly spot on local cable. Originally labeled “The Jim Zahn Show”, “ZTV” became something of a local phenomenon, mixing together sketch comedy, special interest segments, and music videos. By the fall of ‘92, the show was popular enough that nationally-known bands such as Faith No More, Stone Temple Pilots, White Zombie, and Megadeth had appeared as guests. An amazing feat for a Cable Access program.
In 1993, James began writing music reviews and features for the Moline, Illinois-based Oil: The Music Tabloid, and later writing for publications such as Slowfish: The Underwater Magazine, and the Quad City-based River Cities' Reader.
In 1994, Zahn graduated High School and went to College for a year, before quiitng to focus on music as a founding member of the alt-rock outfit known as Odlid!, who would release one album, and appear on several compilation CD's throughout the mid-90's. While performing in Odlid!, Zahn also ran the Chicago-based Indie label Sock Monkey Records, serving as Executive Producer on one nationally released compilation, Twisted America, in 1997.
By the end of 1998, Zahn took a break from music and focused on a career in the "corporate world". By 2000, Zahn was ready to get back in the game and began working on music again, eventually being selected as one of 12 artists to do music for the Blair Witchmix, a promotion sponsored by Artisan Entertainment and the now-defunct IAM.com to promote the release of Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2. Zahn's track, "Burkittsville: Take a walk with me" was featured alongside tracks from artists including Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins among others during a three-day webfest promoting the release of the film.
By 2001, confident that the corporate world was not where he wanted to be, James left his career behind to focus on his true passion, film. After joining Chicago Filmmakers and the AIVF, he soon founded Finely Made Films & Entertainment as an outlet to bring to life the creative visions of himself and other like-minded independent artists of various disciplines. 2002 saw Finely Made Comix and a revamped Sock Monkey Records enter the fold, followed in 2003 by the launch of FMFE Magazine & FMFE Gear, a new line of lifestyle clothing and accessories.
James currently resides with his wife in Gurnee, and finds himself busy directing short films and music videos. His first feature-length effort, “HyperFANatical” is currently in Pre-production and is expected to hit film festivals and see a DVD release sometime in 2004.
For more information, visit their website: http://www.finelymadefilms.com
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