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James Schamus Took Inspiration from Multiple Directors When Making His Own Film

As the former head of Focus Features, James Schamus has had a lot of experience making big decisions on a slew of recognizable and successful films. When it came time to try his hand at his directorial debut, Schamus has no qualms about admitting his influences working with the likes of Ang Lee and the Coen Brothers.

“I’ve sponged off of Ang, but I’ve also sponged off Edgar Wright, Gus Van Sant, the Coen Brothers,” Schamus tells Deadline about helming his film Indignation. “I’ve always had the benefit of a front row seat, watching these filmmakers and maintaining a conversation with them. One thing I learned was not to learn too much from them, because every filmmaker’s different. They run sets differently. You can’t just say, ‘Well, Ang does it this way so that’s the way to do it.’ Ang does it that way because he’s a genius and he can get away with doing it that way, but you don’t want to do it Ang’s way if you’re not Ang.”

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