James W. Skotchdopole

A versatile and prolific producer-director for more than three decades, James W. Skotchdopole worked steadily from production assistant in the early 1980s to producer on the Oscar-winning "Birdman" (2014), among numerous other film projects. The son of Walter Skotchdopole, an assistant director on Philip D'Antoni's "The Seven-Ups" (1973) and several other New York-lensed crime pictures of the 1970s, Skotchdopole began his own film career as a production assistant on both studio and independent feature films, including "Easy Money" (1983) and Francis Ford Coppola's "The Cotton Club" (1984). By the middle of the decade, he was serving as first or second assistant director on features like "A Chorus Line" (1985) and Brian DePalma's "The Untouchables" (1987); in the 1990s, Skotchdopole was dividing his time between assistant director assignments on "Days of Thunder" (1990) and "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993) and stints as associate or executive producer. In the latter capacity, he forged a lengthy relationship with both writer-director Quentin Tarantino and Scott Free Productions, the company overseen by directors Ridley and Tony Scott. Skotchdopole was co-producer on the Tarantino-penned "True Romance" (1993) for Tony Scott, and continued to work with both Tarantino and Scott on "Crimson Tide" (1994), "Enemy of the State" (1998), "Man on Fire" (2004) and the "Death Proof" segment of Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's "Grindhouse" (2007). By 2005, Skotchdopole had moved exclusively into the producer's chair on, among other titles, Tarantino's Oscar-winning "Django Unchained" (2012) and "Birdman" (2014), which took home the Best Picture Oscar in 2015. That same year, he reteamed with "Birdman" director Alejandro Iñárritu to producer "The Revenant" (2015), a period adventure/drama with Leonardo DiCaprio.