Bulger attended Fordham University in the Bronx, where he boxed in several New York Golden Glove tournaments. Photographs of his fighting launched him onto the cover of Vogue and then modelling for brands such as Armani, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Kenneth Cole, and Hermès.
After a 2-year bout with cancer, Bulger dedicated himself to writing and directing and has since published cover stories and feature articles for Rolling Stone, New York, and GQ. He has directed music videos and commercials for bands such as the Hold Steady, Nightmare of You, Permanent Me, and Playradioplay; and brands such as Pepsi and Disney.
For Bulger's article "The Devil and Ginger Baker" in Rolling Stone, Bulger lived with the rock drummer Ginger Baker in South Africa where Baker had spent the previous decade living in seclusion. The article and the numerous hours of interviews Bulger captured on film became the premise for his documentary Beware of Mr. Baker, and in the spring of 2010, Bulger returned to South Africa with a small film crew to finish making the film. Beware of Mr. Baker premiered at the 2012 South by Southwest Film Festival and won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary.
In 2014, Bulger directed the album, “The Process” with Chad Smith, Bill Laswell, and Jonathan Batiste. For his second feature, Counterpunch, Bulger set out to capture the state of boxing in America. As boxing's popularity declines, three fighters at different stages of their career persevere in order to pursue their dreams of becoming champions. The film earned Bulger and Netflix an Emmy nomination.In his third feature, Their Heads Are Green and Their Hands Are Blue, Bulger retraced Paul Bowles’ 1959 expedition throughout Morocco, in which he set out to record the country’s various tribes and their music. The film is set to be released in fall 2019.
In 2018, Bulger played the lead role of Hunter S. Thompson in the film Freak Power, directed by Bobby Kennedy III.
- Coronado, Kris (3 March 2012). "Washington native Jay Bulger's first documentary film, about drummer Ginger Baker, will premiere at South by Southwest Film Festival". The Washington Post. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Bulger, Jay. "Are You Ready for Paz?". New York Magazine. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Bulger, Jay. "Prince of the Professional Nobodies". New York Magazine. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- "Rihanna - GQ Obsession of the Year 2012". Gq.com. 2014-01-04. Retrieved 2014-07-18.
- Blog, Vman. "Rising Above". VMAN. Archived from the original on 29 August 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Stone, Rolling. "The Devil and Ginger Baker: Behind Our New Feature". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
- Murphy, Mekado (14 March 2012). "'Beware of Mr. Baker' and 'Gimme the Loot' Win Grand Jury Prizes at SXSW". New York Times. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
https://www.aspendailynews.com/news/action-battle-for-aspen-finally-in-production/article_29ccd918-b942-11e8-83d6-3366c6fc8c58.html https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/jm559b/guitar-moves-with-doueh-master-guitarist-of-morocco https://www.ringtv.com/534801-boxing-documentary-counterpunch-vies-sports-emmy https://www.musictimes.com/articles/14225/20141103/tale-chad-smith-jon-batiste-john-zorn-dave-lombardo-miles.htm