Jason and his wife, alumna Christina Wise have created multiple projects together and not least among them are three films about wine. The SOMM series have been a cultural hit in wine territories around the world. Their most recent film, SOMM 3 follows some of the individuals who we were first introduced to 7 years ago in SOMM and see them now as prolific figures in wine culture. Most importantly we follow three others who have been in the wine scene for decades and have helped shape how wine is consumed today. Fred Dame, master sommelier, and creator of the wine list many restaurants are accustomed to today; Steven Spurrier, who in 1976 held the Judgement of Paris where an American wine beat out a French wine in a blind taste; and Jancis Robinson, one of the greatest living wine writers. The three meet in a highly anticipated event where the outcome is in line with the magnitude of the Judgment of Paris.
Wise recalls that he never took a documentary class while at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Having been in the film production program, he has been able to use his knowledge of narrative filmmaking to transform his documentaries into more consumable content. “To me, a documentary screenplay is written in the editing, and in a narrative its written prior to that,” says Wise who believes there is no difference between narratives and documentaries. “Documentaries have to have the exact same attention of having an A to B story as a narrative does.”
“I would be honored to knock some sense into film students on things I wish I’d known as a student. Film school is wonderful and one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life,” says Wise. He also mentions, “I will say there are some things you cannot teach.” Filmmaking requires commitment and Wise believes that there is no backup plan to it. This industry is incredibly difficult, Wise points out, and it needs to be worked on collaboratively.
Join Jason and Christina Wise, who also graduated from Chapman and wrote and produced Somm 3, on Monday April 1st for a screening of SOMM 3 and Q&A to follow.