Gary Winick, Director of LETTERS TO JULIET & BRIDE WARS Dies, Aged 49

The day of the Oscar ceremony is supposed to be the most celebrated night on the film calendar but Matt Dentler tweeted last night the tragic news that director Gary Winick had passed away, just weeks short of his 50th birthday.
"Gary Winick died today. Too late to make the Oscars tribute, but way too early. He leaves behind a legacy of supporting indie film and NYC."
Winick was an active studio director, having turned in the melodrama Letters to Juliet just last year, and previously for helming Bride Wars, 13 Going On 30 and Charlotte's Web. Without a doubt he was pivotal in the shaping of Jennifer Garner, Anne Hathaway and most recently Amanda Seyfried into genuine film stars, giving them a loving direction (his camera was always in love with his beautiful film stars & their locale) and a generous platform to shine - but according to Coming Soon, his biggest contribution to film was on the Independent circuit...
Before going the studio route, Winick was a mainstay in the New York City indie circuit, directing low-budget films throughout the '90s and early '00s, including The Tic Code and Tadpole. More importantly, as co-founder of InDigEnt, short for Independent Digital Entertainment, Winick helped start a movement of filmmakers making films for under $100,000 using then-burgeoning digital video technology, producing 19 films including Richard Linklater's Tape, Ethan Hawke's Chelsea Walls, Rebecca Miller's Personal Velocity, Peter Hedges' Pieces of April and Steve Buscemi's Lonesome Jim.
Our thoughts are with his family today.
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.