If you're the kind of person who measures success by awards then you'd already be aware of Rouse's pre-eminence. He has directed two Grand Prix winning films at Cannes, including this extraordinary film for the Red Cross in 2018.
If you're the kind of person who measures success by versatility then you'd already be aware of Rouse's extraordinary range. The strongest common theme is performance but his animated Christmas ad for Sainsbury's in 2015 demonstrated that he doesn't need human actors to make a great commercial.
Having said that, he is undoubtedly a master of performance, consistently finding that poignant space that sits between comedy and drama... something you can see in this ad for Pedigree.
In a CraftWorks interview at the LSE that same year, Rouse talked about the immensely emotional process of making this film, and became so overwhelmed when recollecting how he'd coaxed the performance from the young actress, that he was unable to speak, leaving his cinematographer to bail him out (probably not for the first time!). Ironically, nothing could have more clearly articulated how passionate and committed he was to the project than his inability to articulate anything at all for a few minutes.
This is the kind of film Biscuit MD Rupert Reynolds-Maclean presumably had in mind when he said this about his new signing: "James is an incredible director, I’ve always been enamoured with his ability to work with actors to develop both comedy and drama with them - often in equal measures. This coupled with the way the camera becomes intrinsic to observing that performance is something I admire a lot"
And he may well have been thinking about this fantastic film for the BBC from Christmas 2021. It was criminally underexposed after a curious decision by the BBC to limit the hero version to online.
If you're the kind of person who measures success by decency and kindness then you should know that James Rouse is one of the very best people in our industry. Quietly funny, he looks at the world askance, and often spots something the rest of us have missed.
For more on James Rouse or any of the directors on Biscuit's roster, contact Rupert using firstname.lastname@example.org