James Frost began his career in 1997 as part of the British directing duo James & Alex [Smith]. The pair produced work together starting at the Artists Company, and lat
er at Ridley Scott Associates (RSA Films). The pair stopped working together in 2001 with Turin Brakes "72" being the last video they created together.
In 2004 Frost started Blip Boutique. Successful collaborations have since been created under the Blip Boutique banner including work with The White Stripes, Elvis Costello, OK Go, Phish and Robyn and a video for Interpol using data visualization in collaboration with data visualizer and artist Aaron Koblin along with Frost's creative partner at Blip Boutique Mary Fagot. Blip Boutique has since moved more into the world of Interactive digital media and social network applications.
His 2008 "House of Cards" video for Radiohead, with technological assistance by Aaron Koblin, premiered on Google. No actual camera footage is used in the video; instead, it used LIDAR technology similar to that used in Google Maps. The video was made with assistance by students of the G-Star School Of The Arts, and was nominated at the 51st Grammy Awards for Best Short Form Music Video in 2009.
Although Frost has been directing for a number of years, his innovative work with Radiohead on House of Cards garnered him a position in the 2009 Saatchi & Saatchi Showcase in Cannes.
In 2010 James Frost collaborated with the rock band OK Go and engineering collective Syyn Labs to create a giant Rube Goldbergmachine for a music video for the song "This Too Shall Pass". The video took 5 months to design and build and two days to shoot. It was shot on February 11 and 12, 2010, in a warehouse in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles; the final version is one continuous take. It was released via YouTube on March 1, 2010 and by October 2010 had been seen 16 million times. The video was awarded the AICP award and is part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)in New York. From the songs that he has directed you can identify that he enjoys a sort of rock/indie type of music, and is it to interesting videos for example the OK GO song had a video that looked like it took ages to make and very hard to direct. The video's inspiration was from the band, who wanted "a giant machine that we dance with", a long-term aspiration of the band and inspired by other Rube Goldberg machines shown in videos on YouTube, including the interstitials used on the Japanese children's show, PythagoraSwitch. While they considered the idea of the machine for each song on Of the Colour, they opted to use "This Too Shall Pass" to make the end result "majestic and epic", even though it already duplicated the previous marching band video. They sought help through online science message boards, eventually coming in contact with Syyn Labs. From a pool of talent at a Syyn Labs-hosted "Mindshare LA" gathering, about 55 to 60 people from Syyn Labs, the California Institute of Technology (including some who work at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and participated in the Mars Exploration Rover program, hence the model rover seen in the video) and MIT Media Lab helped to design and construct the machine. Damian Kulash's father (Damian Kulash Sr.) also participated in the machine's construction.