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Gary Winick, Director and InDigEnt Founder, Dies at 49

Photo of Dana Harris By Dana Harris | Indiewire February 28, 2011 at 4:16AM

Director Gary Winick died Sunday afternoon in New York, after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 49.
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Director Gary Winick died Sunday afternoon in New York, after a long battle with brain cancer. He was 49.

Winick was known most recently for directing major-studio pictures, including "Bride Wars," "Letters to Juliet," "Charlotte's Web" and "13 Going On 30."

However, he was also the founder of InDigEnt, an independent film company that produced "Pieces of April," "Personal Velocity" and "Tadpole," which Winick also directed.

Launched in 1999 with Winick, IFC Productions' Jonathan Sehring and Caroline Kaplan and attorney John Sloss, InDigEnt was also noted for its early recognition that digital video production had the capacity to unlock new capacities within short- and low-budget shoots.

"Personal Velocity" received a John Cassavetes Award at the 2003 Independent Spirit Awards and received the grand jury and cinematography prizes at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.

Winick spoke with indieWIRE about InDigEnt in 2002. Digital production, he said, shouldn't be mistaken for being easier. "You have to be more disciplined because you have more freedom," he said. "If I went in there and said, 'Well, I'll just wing it, it is DV, it doesn't really matter. We can just walk in this location, they don't care. And the actors can do it 100 different ways because it's DV so they don't have to work on the script.' Bullshit. That's why I go after experienced filmmakers. Because of that discipline.

indieWIRE is working on a more detailed obituary with remembrances from those who knew him best. To contact the editors: editors@indiewire.com.