Little is known of James' early life, or what his relationship with his older sister was. Likely it was a good relationship, as he cared enough to try and find her later on in his adult life. Lisa noted that for as long as she had known James he had been searching high and low for answers about Heather. This was not too different from his sister Heather, who herself ventured into the Black Hills forest because she wanted answers.
After his sister's disappearance and the recovery of her footage, it is likely that when James was old enough he viewed the footage himself. This would explain how he knew about the house of Rustin Parr, as his friend Lisa was also aware of it.
20 years later, at the age of 24, James was a paramedic. He had a close friend in Lisa Arlington, who he may or may not have had an intimate relationship with. He was also friends with Peter Jones, who had taken part in the searches conducted by the authorities to try and find Heather and her crew. At one point, James stumbled across a video on YouTube, which was reportedly found near the site where Heather disappeared. The video showed a frightened individual running through a decrepit house, at one point running past a mirror. James was intrigued by the reflection, believing it to be his long lost sister Heather. He confided his thoughts in Lisa, who herself wanted to shoot her own documentary. Lisa expressed doubt at Heather's survival, but she supported her friend.
James and Lisa recruited Peter and his friend Ashley Bennett for the trip, and the four of them gathered their filming equipment for their trip into the forest. First they decided to track down the couple who uploaded the video; Talia and Lane. James was eager to learn where they had found the footage from, but the couple expressed their desire to join them on their trek rather than give them directions. James had not anticipated this, but desperate to find his sister he agreed. They entered the Black Hills Forest and began their trek. During their first night, James was first to be awoken by the strange noises from outside.
After a disturbing night, and finding stick figures hovering outside their tents, James and his crew decided to leave. But when Lisa discovered Lane's string wrap and accused him of setting them all up, Lane was forced to come clean. James was left devastated by this revelation, and more than a little worried. But Peter supported him and they continued through the woods. But they somehow ended up in the same camp as the previous night before. That night, James and the entire camp were disturbed by terrible phantoms, which caused all of them to run off into the night, James and Lisa managed to stay together, but Ashley and Peter became separated from them and met their individual deaths.
After stumbling through the dark for hours, James was suddenly enticed by the sight of Rustin Parr's house. Believing he had found his sister after all, a reckless daring came on him. Lisa begged him not to go in, but James ran into the house, Upon entering the door closed of its own accord, trapping him inside. He worked his way through the long dark corridors. At one point he glimpsed Peter standing in the corner of a room, but it was an apparition which vanished soon afterwards. Out of the darkness a girl's voice called for James. He then spotted a strange girl running through the corridors. James thought it was his sister and followed her into a bedroom. Finding nothing there, the door suddenly slammed shut of its own accord. Panicked and scared, James looked around the room. A flash of lighting lit up the room, and in a brief instant the ghost of of his sister, Heather, was revealed before him, causing him to scream. At some point he must have escaped this room, because he somehow found Lisa as she was running through the cabin.
Reunited the two of them were cornered in the attic room. James had one last thought and pulled Lisa into the corner with him as the Blair Witch entered. James began to cry and apologised to Lisa for leading them all here. But then he heard a voice speaking to him, believing it to be Heather. He turned and vanished from sight, as Lisa did not see his body before she too was lost.