Born in 1987, Jim Cummings is an American actor, director, writer, and producer known for his advocacy in independent film. After briefly working for CollegeHumor, Cummings decided to make a short film about a police officer mourning the death of his mother that would eventually go on to win at Sundance in 2016. The short, Thunder Road, was promptly adapted into a feature that hit select theaters in 2018.
The success of the short led to a production deal between Cummings and the streaming platform Fullscreen to create six single-take short films in the style of Thunder Road, which were released as a series under the title Minutes throughout 2017.
Tropes frequently associated with Jim Cummings:
- Actor Allusion: His biggest role is a police officer, whom he played for his short and its feature adaptation. His cameos in "The Robbery" and "The Stop" are both as a police officer.
- Cosmic Plaything: In addition to literally everything that could go wrong going wrong for Officer Arnaud in Thunder Road, the Minutes shorts also typically focus on bad things happening to their protagonists, such as "Parent Teacher."
- Dramedy: This guy loves off-beat dramedies that make you question whether to laugh or cry.
- Drugs Are Bad: Played for Drama at the end of Thunder Road, but averted in "The Stop," which plays comedically into a Higher Understanding Through Drugs.
- Higher Understanding Through Drugs: As mentioned above, Cummings utilizes both this trope and The Oner in "The Stop" to impressive effect, even if that was one of the shorts he didn't direct.note
- Manchild: Officer Jim Arnaud certainly falls into this in both versions of Thunder Road.
- Manly Tears: Jim cries on camera a lot. See Prone to Tears for details.
- The Oner: How the original Thunder Road short was shot, followed by the series of shorts Cummings helped write and produce for Fullscreen. The feature is also relies heavily on this.
- Prone to Tears: He's cried in both versions of Thunder Road and his two short films Us Funny and The Mountains Of Mourne. Needless to say, his characters could typically use a hug.