Born in New York City, Richard Shepard was introduced to movies by his father, who frequently took him to local revival theaters. Shepard began making his own Super 8 shorts while in grade school, and studied filmmaking at New York University, though he did not obtain his degree. His professional career began with direct-to-video and -cable efforts like the offbeat "Cool Blue" (1990) with Woody Harrelson and "The Linguini Incident" (1991) with David Bowie. In the midpoint of the decade, Shepard began to divide his time between television and feature projects, helming episodes of "Remember WENN" (AMC 1996-98) and overseeing such critically praised independent pictures as "Oxygen" (1999), starring his NYU classmate Maura Tierney as a troubled detective on the trail of a psychopath (Adrien Brody). In 2005, Shepard scored a modest hit with "The Matador," an offbeat dark comedy about the friendship between a hit man (Pierce Brosnan) and a businessman (Greg Kinnear), both in a low point of their respective careers. He soon returned to television to direct and produce the pilot for "Ugly Betty," for which he won an Emmy, as well as episodes of "30 Rock" (NBC 2006-2013) and "Criminal Minds" (CBS 2005) before returning to features with "The Hunting Party" (2007), with Richard Gere and Terrence Howard as unorthodox journalists pursuing a Serbian war criminal. Shepard directed "I Knew It Was You: Rediscovering John Cazale" (HBO, 2009), a well-regarded documentary about the late star of "The Godfather" (1972) and "Dog Day Afternoon." With the project's producers, Sean and Bryan Furst, who also produced "The Matador," Shepard set up his own production company, Ole, which struck a two-year deal at CBS in 2011. He then directed episodes for the third season of "Girls" and earned some of the best notices of his directorial career for "Dom Hemingway" (2013), a black comedy about a criminal (Jude Law) who revives his career after being released from prison.