MEET A MEMBER - JAMES LONGMAN

Meet James Longman from London who moved to LA 1 year ago to pursue Television Producing on the Late Late show with James Corden


Was there a particular reason you chose LA?

I have been working in comedy TV for several years on such shows as Friday Night Project, Big Brother’s Big Mouth, Alan Carr Chatty Man and Never Mind The Buzzcocks but got offered a role producing the guest comedy segments on The Late Late Show with James Corden

I have always wanted to work in the US and this was too good an opportunity to turn down. My job is to come up with ideas for and to produce sketches with celebs like Matt Damon, Ryan Reynolds, Renee Zellwegger, Ice Cube and Zach Galifianakis to name a few.

What do you miss most from home?
Other than the standard things (friends, family), I am a huge West Ham fan, so I miss going to matches to watch us (lose) every week. On March 4th, I am putting on a
screening of the new West Ham documentary called ‘Iron Men’ about the move from the Boleyn Ground to The Olympic Stadium.
The film is great, and I thought the screening is a brilliant opportunity to bring sports fans together to share in the passion and the ups and downs of supporting a team. It should appeal to anyone who loves sport/passion, or anyone who loves documentary.

What was your first impression of LA and has it changed since? 
It felt quite daunting at first but now I’m getting to know the areas, it feels more manageable and welcoming. I used to zip around on a scooter in London, so needing a car was a new experience. Other than people trying to kill me on the roads, I’m starting to feel more settled.

What do you find the biggest difference is living here versus London?
In London, my work was always very social, and people would be out lots of nights during the week. As there isn’t an amazing commuting system here like the tube, you can’t just jump on the train after a few beers. It's such a driving culture here. Everyone here is also a lot more clean living - when I first started at work, I suggested us all going out and one of the guys agreed and said he was organizing a hike! That wasn’t quite what I meant. Often I will go to a comedy club and the majority of people are sat there with water - you’d get kicked out of a comedy club in London for that!

Do you have a hidden gem in LA that you want to share with us?
I’m not a huge baseball fan but I walked past a tiny LA dodgers shop on Hyperion in Los Feliz the other day. Just a small room full of knick knacks and curiosities. I’m not even sure it was a store as it wasn’t open but it looked like something out of time. I’ve just tried to find it on Google and can’t - that’s how hidden it is!
marerestaurants.com


Food wise, my wife and I love Mare on Melrose (and soon to be in our neck of the wood, Los Feliz too) - have to queue but they serve you with toasted cheese sarnies as you wait - win win. And the tacos out here have been a game changer for me…

What would you suggest to others who are thinking about making the move here?

There are a lot of minor annoyances moving country - Little Britain’s “computer says no” is never more relevant than here: 
the banking system feels antiquated (who still gets paid in cheques?!), getting a car, this weird credit rating they are hung up on, have I mentioned people will try and kill you on the road? but once you get past all of that, the weather is great and you’re never more than 3 hours from the beach / ski-ing in the mountains / hanging by the pool in the desert / hiking up hills. Career wise, LA makes you feel like things can happen. It’s exciting. 

Lots of our members join our group Brits in LA seeking out words of wisdom - what is the best piece of advice you've been given?
Try and not be too British. It’s not generally in our nature to be direct, overly confident and out going, so you have to really push yourself. You don’t need to be arrogant but you should believe in what you can do, and then do it (or at least try to and valiantly fail).

Lastly, how can we find out more about you ? Are you working on anything at the moment ?
The Late Late Show is on Monday to Fridays on CBS and you can obviously subscribe to our channel on YouTube.

I am currently working on a feature script for a horror film after we made a short which got into the BFI London Film Festival.

Also, if you are keen to go to the Iron Men Screening on March the 4th,(and don't mind West Ham / football fans!),
 please drop me a line on longers1@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter at @longers1. I tweet a lot of nonsense but mainly bits from my show / film / tv and sport.

Comments

  1. truthfully..I felt the exact same way about London drivers. They drive two-ways on streets the size of potato chips with cars also parked on them, all the while shifting gears and trying to text, tweet, and/or talk and take pictures at the same time. Now that was frightening..

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