Welcome to Turnip Films

Three films I was involved with are screening in North Carolina!

  • September 18: Quantum Doughnut, 7PM at the Cary Theater (I shot this film for Ray Petrolino)
  • September 22: Katie's Dog at the Peak City Film Festival. (co-wrote the script and directed this film)
  • September 29th, Me (with You) screens as part of Narrative Shorts block at 12:30 at the Charlotte Film Festival.
  • November 17th, Katie's Dog screens at Carrboro Film Festival block at 2:30 at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro.

I’m filmmaker Jim McQuaid. Turnip Films is the umbrella for all of my filmmaking work.

Recently, after some years of hoarding my films with the thought of film festivals and delusions of VOD income, I realized that I'd rather allow anyone to become part of my audience, even maybe a fan. So you will now find that most of the pages under "Turnip Films" above have a new submenu option: Watch The Film.

Please enjoy my films and let me know what you think. Get on my mailing list and receive updates four times a year (or so).



What does it mean to say that I’m a “filmmaker?” Of course, the overall idea is simply that I make films. But what does it really mean?

First, I am a screenwriter. I care about writing because no film is better than its script. This is why I help moderate a screenwriting group. Screenwriting is a unique, arcane practice and getting informed feedback requires a community.

Second, being a “filmmaker” at the low end of the indie scale means that I’m generally also the producer of my films. I support my filmmaking habit with commercial video projects and I work within my own resources as much as possible. And it means I try hard not to waste anybody's time on set.

Third, I love working with actors. Acting is a great mystery in my experience, a skill that I can intellectually understand, but in reality I find magically inexplicable. Directing therefore is always a learning experience, always a journey.

Fourth, I love the photographic image. I taught photography and I worked for years with a 4x5 View Camera (look it up) mastering the art of the silver print. Here's an image from my last film.

Community underlies most of this. I am always interested in meeting other filmmakers in the Triangle. I am always willing to read a script, give production advice, connect two people who might work together and come on set to shoot your film or help wrangle the schedule.

The Newsletter

A couple of times a year (four at most) I report on my film projects, writing, thinking and collaborations. Please sign up HERE.

  Commercial Work?

I also do a variety of commercial projects ranging from reality shows to simple interviews. That work is described on the Turnip Video web site, turnipvideo.com.