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“I’m always pushing for something new and fresh in the way things are shot, and the rest happens in the editing room. … The real speed comes from the cutters and what they do with the celluloid.”

Mr. Scott bombed with his debut, 1983’s supernatural romance “The Hunger,” with David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve. He vaulted into Hollywood’s top ranks the next time out, with “Top Gun,” followed a year later by “Beverly Hills Cop II,” both with producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

The two brothers ran Scott Free Productions and were working jointly on a film called “Killing Lincoln,” based on the best-seller by Bill O’Reilly. Along with countless commercials, their company produced the CBS dramas “NUMB3RS” and “The Good Wife” as well as a 2011 documentary about the Battle of Gettysburg for the History Channel.

Tony Scott said he gained perspective by mixing things up between film, TV and commercials. “I like changing the pace of my life, changing my discipline. It gives me ideas for how to see the world differently,” Mr. Scott said in a 2007 interview.

Besides “Unstoppable,” Mr. Scott worked with Mr. Washington on four other movies: “Crimson Tide,” “Man on Fire,” “Deja Vu” and “The Taking of Pelham 123.”

Other Tony Scott films include “True Romance,” written by Quentin Tarantino, “The Fan,” with Robert De Niro, and “Enemy of the State,” starring Will Smith.

Mr. Scott was married to actress Donna Scott, who appeared in several of her husband’s films. They have twin sons.