Ankers had experience photographing Franklin Delano Roosevelt and producing training films during WWII. In a 2005 interview, Ankers recalled his association with the Muppets: "Jim and his wife Jane had a little show on WRC’s 11 p.m. news broadcast and one guy who worked for the station thought it would be a good idea to film a commercial with the Muppets holding a can of Wilkin's Coffee (sic)." Ankers served as cinematographer on these and subsequent commercial spots, including those for Wilson's Meats. He was featured in the first Wilson's Meats Meeting Film along with his brother, Gene Ankers. He continued to work with Henson until Muppets Inc. relocated to New York City.