Get unlimited digital access to $0.99 for 4 weeks.
Entertainment Movies

A few of Jason Winer's favorite filmmakers

Jason Winer comes to feature films from TV's "Modern Family." But he always dreamed that someday he'd make movies. These are three of the filmmakers who helped shape his approach to directing:

Woody Allen "From an early age, I was oddly into Woody Allen — like, when I was 7 years old. From a very early age, I enjoyed watching 'Annie Hall.' I watched it again in preparation for 'Arthur' because it was another iconic New York movie. I was watching it and wondering, 'What did I possibly love about it when I was 8 years old?' For the life of me, I'm not sure what connected with me back then. But it did."

Judd Apatow "I'll tell you what's frankly out of the Judd Apatow mold: In the old days, they didn't keep the writer involved during the making of the film. But to me, it's crucial that our writer be present — that also comes out of my experience in television, a writer-driven medium. On 'Arthur,' the writer, Peter Baynham, sat in on all the rehearsals, and as we heard the words out loud with our cast for the first time, we made more changes and incorporated them into the script. We would keep a binder of all the "alts" and different ideas that had come up throughout rehearsal. You can call this way of working 'improvisational,' but it's improvisational as a result of a long process of writing and improvisation."

Sydney Pollack "I was so proud that for one of the billboards, the studio picked that image of Arthur and Hobson walking amidst the crowd, because that was my homage to Sydney Pollack and 'Tootsie.' That movie, tonally, was such a specific influence for me, in some ways more than the original 'Arthur' was. I was happy to give it a nod with that image. Sydney Pollack is one of my heroes, and he's a guy who crossed genres throughout his career. He made 'Tootsie' and he also made 'The Firm.' I'm eager not to do a straight-up comedy next. I'm looking for additional dramatic or action components, or a thriller with comedic components. I'm hoping to stretch, genre-wise, and bounce back and forth between movies and TV for a very long while."

Michael Sragow

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Baltimore Weekend Watch: What to do & where to go
    Baltimore Weekend Watch: What to do & where to go
  • Review: 'Black or White'
    Review: 'Black or White'

    Is there anything more dispiriting than a sentence beginning with the phrase "It means well, but …"? Here's a variation on that, and a dispiriting movie to go with it. "Black or White" may not be racist, exactly, but it patronizes its African-American characters up, down and sideways,...

  • Review: 'Still Alice'
    Review: 'Still Alice'

    Losing your mind is a terrible thing to watch, but the splendid acting in "Still Alice" makes it worth the pain. Scarier than any Elm Street nightmare, it succeeds despite itself not because of one strong performance but two.

  • Review: 'A Most Violent Year'
    Review: 'A Most Violent Year'

    Writer-director J.C. Chandor has made three good movies in a row, and they're his first three. He's a heartening exception to the usual percentages.

  • Review: 'Mr. Turner'
    Review: 'Mr. Turner'

    Some films assert their rightness and sureness in the opening shot. Mike Leigh's excellent "Mr. Turner" is one of them, though Leigh and his inspired cinematographer, Dick Pope, are less concerned with conspicuous camera movement than with a charged sort of stillness. It's a beautiful film, and...

  • Review: 'Strange Magic'
    Review: 'Strange Magic'

    There are good things in the animated musical fantasy "Strange Magic": the ultra-detailed, photorealistic animation; the name-that-tune pleasures of a mashup jukebox soundtrack; fine vocal performances from the cast's actor-singers; and a transcendent sequence featuring the 1975 title song.