headshot photo of James Dutcher

James Dutcher

Assistant Professor, Interim Film Chair
Artistic Faculty
Lawrence and Kristina Dodge College of Film and Media Arts
Expertise: Feature Writing; German TV; Comedy
Office Location: Marion Knott Studios 323
Phone: (714) 289-3597
State University of New York At Albany, Bachelor of Arts
University of Southern California, Master of Fine Arts


Dodge College Courses: Feature Screenwriting II, Fundamentals of Screenwriting

After graduating college, James Dutcher jumped into the world of writing and performing sketch comedy. But, “Once I tried to write something longer than three minutes, I knew I needed help,” which led him to study screenwriting in graduate school.

After polishing his writing talents, Dutcher was presented with the opportunity to work for German television—“it’s a long story!” he insists. To date, he has scripted a dozen projects for Germany and had seven produced. He loves crafting stories for a foreign country, since “The feeling of communicating so well with someone so far away in a language I don’t even speak has not been matched.”

Next to writing, teaching has become a great passion for Dutcher. “I grew up in rural New York with three channels to choose from,” he says. “All the choices that students have today actually lessen the number of films they see. It is my mission to expose students to movies they wouldn’t find on their own. It’s very satisfying when a student thanks you for turning them on to a film.”