James Schamus

James Schamus

Highest Rated: 100% Driveways (2020)

Lowest Rated: 12% Office Killer (1997)

Birthday: Sep 7, 1959

Birthplace: Not Available

Since his initial efforts of the early '90s, independent film producer and screenwriter James Schamus has learned a lot about international culture through his frequent fruitful collaborations with celebrated film director Ang Lee. "I can order a beer in Chinese now," jokes Schamus "and not just by saying Tsing Tao. I can actually say 'beer' in Chinese." Multilingual restaurant beverage ordering jokes aside, Schamus has been a key component in the production of some of the most provocative and intriguing independent films of the '90s, often recognized for taking necessary risks to bring challenging stories by innovative filmmakers to the screen, as well as consistently forsaking conventional confines in favor of artistic freedom and vision.Take a look at any list of important independent films of the past decade and it's likely that Schamus' name will appear somewhere in the credits. Aside from his collaborations with Lee, Schamus has worked with such notorious filmmakers as Todd Haynes and Todd Solondz, often producing (through his Good Machine production company) fiercely defiant and shockingly compelling films that may otherwise have been lost in a sea of mediocrity and studios unwilling to take the needed risks in bringing these stories to light. Aside from his work with Solondz and Haynes, Schamus' most enduring cinematic relationship may lie with Lee, with whom he has collaborated as screenwriter on all of Lee's films except Sense and Sensibility (on which Schamus served as co-producer). Schamus' keen ability to capture the complex emotional intricacies of characters in difficult situations has been a driving factor in the success of his scripting of Lee's films, including The Ice Storm (1997), Eat Drink Man Woman (1994), and the phenomenally successful Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), which was produced by Good Machine and earned Schamus Oscar nominations for Best Music (Song) for his lyrics to the film's "A Love Before Time" and Best Adapted Screenplay (along with co-writers Wang Hui Ling and Kuo Jung Tsai). Not speaking the Mandarin language in which the film is presented, or in which the original novel was written, Schamus describes the experience of writing the film as both rewarding and nerve-wracking. "It was weird because on the one hand, I was writing an original screenplay because I didn't know the novel...And on the other hand, I knew that I had to maintain fidelity to something I didn't know."


Highest Rated Movies



92% The Assistant Producer 2020
100% Driveways Producer 2020
74% Adam Producer 2019
41% The Tomorrow Man Producer 2019
92% A Prayer Before Dawn Executive Producer 2018
57% Alone in Berlin Producer $19.9K 2017
81% Casting JonBenét Producer 2017
81% Indignation Director Screenwriter Producer $3.4M 2016
73% Suffragette Executive Producer $7.2M 2015
49% Taking Woodstock Producer Screenwriter $7.4M 2009
72% Lust, Caution Producer Screenwriter $4.7M 2007
87% Brokeback Mountain Producer $83M 2005
62% Hulk Producer Screenwriter $132.2M 2003
71% Auto Focus Executive Producer $1.9M 2002
No Score Yet The Tomorrow Man Producer 2002
97% Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Executive Producer Screenwriter 2001
73% Buffalo Soldiers Executive Producer 2001
64% Ride With the Devil Producer Screenwriter 1999
40% Lola and Bilidikid (Lola and Billy the Kid) (Lola + Bilidikid) Producer 1999
86% The Lifestyle Executive Producer 1999
81% Happiness Executive Producer 1998
12% Office Killer Executive Producer 1997
85% The Ice Storm Producer Screenwriter 1997
60% The Myth of Fingerprints Executive Producer 1997
No Score Yet Wonderland Executive Producer 1997
61% She's the One Producer 1996
88% Walking and Talking Producer 1996
No Score Yet What's Underground About Marshmallows: Ron Vawter Performs Jack Smith Producer 1996
98% Sense and Sensibility Producer 1995
89% The Brothers McMullen Executive Producer 1995
86% Safe Executive Producer 1995
No Score Yet Tui shou (Pushing Hands) Screenwriter Producer 1995
No Score Yet Terminal USA Producer 1995
90% Eat Drink Man Woman (Yin shi nan nu) Screenwriter 1994
90% What Happened Was... Executive Producer 1994
96% The Wedding Banquet (Xi yan) Screenwriter Producer 1993
91% Simple Men Producer 1992
77% Poison Producer Executive Producer 1991
70% Swoon Executive Producer 1991
No Score Yet Thank You and Goodnight! Producer 1991
No Score Yet The Golden Boat Producer 1990


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