Author Topic: Judd Apatow  (Read 9318 times)

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Judd Apatow
« on: December 12, 2005, 12:30:16 PM »
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Fun with Dick and Jane and Judd
The acclaimed filmmaker who mined elements of his own life to create ‘Freaks and Geeks,’ ‘Undeclared’ and the blockbuster ‘40-Year-Old Virgin’ is also behind Jim Carrey’s latest.
Source: In Focus Magazine

The world, it seems, has caught on to Judd Apatow.

Until last year, the writer-producer-director enjoyed a peculiar and frustrating position in Hollywood’s comedy universe: He had talented friends and never lacked for work — he’d been writing steadily since “The Larry Sanders Show” in 1992 — but he’d also engineered a string of brilliant, quickly cancelled TV shows and never-seen pilots.

Project after heartfelt project earned critical raves, rabid cults … and tiny, tiny audiences. He wrote and produced the seminal “The Ben Stiller Show,” followed by “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared” — two of the sharpest comedies about school life ever broadcast. None of these lasted more than 18 episodes.*

And then, over the last two years or so, Apatow’s success caught up with his standards.

DVDs of “The Ben Stiller Show,” “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared” introduced his best work to new audiences. Comic actors he’d befriended and employed during their nascent careers (Stiller, Will Ferrell and Owen Wilson, to name a few) acquired sizeable followings. And two films — “Anchorman,” which he produced, and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” which he wrote and directed — became bona fide box office hits. Last March, The New York Times’ Sharon Waxman all but declared Apatow the co-godfather of a sort of “comedy mafia” that includes frequent collaborators Stiller, Ferrell, Wilson, Jim Carrey, Vince Vaughn, Jack Black, Steve Carrell and “Anchorman” writer-director Adam McKay.

Here’s what Apatow has in the pipeline: He’s writing and directing an untitled romantic comedy starring “Freaks”/”Undeclared”/”Virgin” actor Seth Rogen; he’s producing the McKay/Ferrell NASCAR comedy “High, Wide, and Handsome”; and he co-wrote a remake of the 1977 Jane Fonda/George Segal comedy “Fun with Dick and Jane” — starring Jim Carrey and Téa Leoni as a pair of larcenous yuppies.

In Focus talked with Apatow about “Dick and Jane,” “Virgin,” the joys of reality TV, getting to know past and future comedy legends, the cult of “Freaks and Geeks,” and much more. An edited transcript follows.

_______________

DICK, JANE
AND HAROLD


I’m not sure you’re the first guy I would have thought of to write a remake of “Fun With Dick and Jane.”
I used to love the original “Dick and Jane” when I was a kid. It was a real touchstone movie for me and my family — we all went together and loved it. A real pleasant moment in my childhood. And it had Jane Fonda wiping herself with toilet paper — which was shocking back then. [laughs]

But it also seemed like a fun way to satirize how out-of-control corporations are right now: You could use the template of the movie to talk about how the country has suffered a bit as a result of greed — of corporations being so obsessed with profits that people get hurt. And being mad about something is always a good starting point for comedy.

We just interviewed Harold Ramis — and he said you’d be interviewing him in front of an audience at the Austin Film Festival.
That’s right. I’m just a giant fan of Harold Ramis. They showed “40-Year-Old Virgin” at the Deauville Film Festival in France, and they were showing [“Ice Harvest”], too — so Seth Rogen and I were just stalking him. Everywhere he turned, we were there. His work is the gold standard for what we all try to do. All the new big-hit comedies are in some way inspired by movies he’s made.

I noticed the direct homage in “Wedding Crashers” — where they actually set a montage to Otis Day and the Knights’ “Shout” … and, uh, brought breasts back to mainstream comedy.

Yes. Exactly.

What sort of questions will you be asking him in Austin?
It’s a great opportunity to ask him things that are only helpful to me. [laughs] I can ask him very obscure questions about his approach to writing. And I’m always interested in what their intentions were when they were making those movies: Did they know what the point of these movies were? Or were they just funny comedies?

Ramis told us about something Bernie Sahlens of Second City told him: “Work from the top of your intelligence” — don’t talk down to your audience, use real information, and any character can know anything. Does that resonate for you?

I just try to make things I would like. That’s the only hard-and-fast rule. I never want to do anything I’d be ashamed of. I don’t mind watching crap — I just don’t wanna make it. I love all sorts of terrible shows and bad movies; I’ll watch any kind of car-wreck piece of “art.” I just don’t want to be responsible for it.

A lot of what I learned about writing I learned from Garry Shandling when I worked on “The Larry Sanders Show.” For him, it’s always about being honest, and what would really happen in that situation. So that’s how I approach things. I’m probably most influenced by Hal Ashby movies and people like Cameron Crowe and James Brooks.

_______________

'BREAKING BONADUCE'
and the JOY OF IMPROV


You’ve said the only TV you watch these days is reality shows.

For the most part, yeah.

Is this connected to the unusual amounts of improvisation you use in your films and TV shows?

I’ve always been a fan of unscripted television — just because human behavior’s so interesting. And no matter how bad the [reality] show is, you’re still seeing people react honestly, even if the situation is completely fabricated. I’ll run home to watch “Breaking Bonaduce.” I feel no shame about that. I’m also a fan of things like “Nip/Tuck” and “The Sopranos” — there’s a lot of great stuff happening on cable, and if something’s really good, I’m the first person to be obsessed by it — but at the same time, I’ll be conflicted because “Being Bobby Brown” is on at the same time as “America’s Next Top Model.” [laughs]

“The Ben Stiller Show” (1992-1993)When did you decide that improvisation could advance your material?

The first time I saw people improvise was when I was producing “The Ben Stiller Show.” Ben loved to throw scripts out and make stuff up off the top of his head, and have me hang out behind the camera and throw him “areas” in which he could improv — and then we’d go to the editing room and piece it together. We used to do sketches where Ben would pretend to be an agent, and we’d have someone like Howie Mandel come in, and Ben would pitch bad career moves. And then, after Mandel left, we’d shoot Ben’s side for another hour — and he’d say things that were even more offensive or made fun of him.

Then I worked on “The Larry Sanders Show,” and Gary [Shandling] is open to improvisation in both rehearsals and during the show. There wasn’t a lot of improvisation during the scene work, but when Gary did the talk-show segments, during the commercials he’d really let it open up — and really interesting things happened.

So when I made “Freaks and Geeks” with Paul Feig, my idea was to hire kids who were very similar to the characters — and create the characters around their real personalities. If they’re, for the most part, being themselves, it’s easy to improvise. And when you hire interesting people who are good actors, they say things that are very specific to them that you couldn’t write in a million years.

And when we did the TV show “Undeclared,” I made a point of hiring only people who were capable of that. We worked very hard on the scripts, but everyone knew that I didn’t think I was David Mamet and that you couldn’t change a line. And sometimes, dare I say, magical comedic moments would come out of that freedom. The actors saw that I trusted them, so they’d take big chances.

We did the same thing on “Anchorman.” There were so many funny improvisations, we just put tons of it on the DVD. That’s what we did on “Virgin,” too.

_______________

THE POWER
of the ‘VOMIT PASS’


You told the WGA about writing what you call a “vomit pass” on your scripts. Could you explain this for the aspiring scenarists in our audience?

I read a book by Ann Lamott called “Bird by Bird,” and in the book she talks about the “Down-Up Theory” — “Get it down, then fix it up” — and how you shouldn’t judge yourself when you’re writing your first draft. That should be a moment for pure creativity, and being too hard on yourself prevents you from finishing.

So I’ve taken that advice. I call it a “vomit draft,” which means I try to write a first draft really fast and not judge myself — and then I look at it and see what the hell happened, then deal with it in a more critical way.

Other people I worked with when I was a show-runner on TV shows could literally sit in a room and obsess for hours and hours over whether or not to put a comma somewhere. And you could see how much pain they were in as they were writing, because they were judging the work as they were writing it — and that’s impossible. I guess it’s possible — some people do it — but those are the people that take a long time to write, or suffer through it.

Do they tend to burn out earlier?
I don’t know. I just think it makes you write less. I read a lot about writing and how the brain works, and it’s true that your brain is cut in half, and one half judges and one half is really creative — and you shouldn’t have ’em working together.

_______________

JUDD APATOW’S
PRIVATE COMEDY COLLEGE


You interviewed a bunch of professional comedians for your high-school radio station. Do you still have those interviews?

I do.

Do you have a favorite?
I haven’t really listened to them, because I have such a high voice and such a thick New York accent that I’m mortified every time I listen to them. I listened to one recently, and I was interviewing Jay Leno, and I was about 15 years old…

You did an impression of him on “The Ben Stiller Show,” as I recall…
Yeah. And this was way before “The Tonight Show”; this was when he was working in comedy clubs. And I said, [adopts high voice with thick New York accent] “How d’you think you’re doin’ in your career now? I mean, you’re doin’ pretty well, but you’re not exactly playing the Universal Amphitheatre.”

[laughs] Jeez!
I was a dumb, cocky kid. So they’re kind of rough to listen to. I wasn’t a very refined, uh, teenager.

How did Leno respond to that question?
He just laughed! He laughed really loud! “No, I’m not playing the Universal Amphitheatre.” [laughs] This was years before he became a gigantic star. But he was nice enough to let me interview him twice. I interviewed him and Seinfeld twice — after showing up with my enormous tape recorder from the A/V squad, they actually let me do it again. That’s what those guys are truly like.

When I interviewed Seinfeld, I was grilling him for literally 45 minutes about how to write jokes — and he tells me, in incredible detail, using examples from his act, how he thought of it, how he developed it, what the stages were…. It became a blueprint for how to be a comedian and a comedy writer. So when I started writing, I already had 15 hours of conversations about how to do it. And I didn’t just interview comedians; I interviewed writers like Michael O’Donaghue and James Downey….

That’s like comedy college.
I interviewed Harold Ramis back then. I interviewed John Candy, Martin Short, Franken & Davis, Bruce Feirstein, all sorts of people — so it wasn’t like I got one opinion. I interviewed everyone from Steve Allen to “Weird” Al Yankovic. [laughs]

Have you ever considered collecting these or getting them out there somehow?

I was going to write something about that experience; I’ve thought about putting them out in some form, maybe a book of transcripts that might have a CD on it…. I’m not exactly sure how many comedy nerds would care.

I interviewed some people before they became popular, and they basically lay out their career plans — and you see how many of them achieved their goals. I did a long interview with Garry Shandling where he talked about how his dream was to do a TV show that he created where he played himself. And he did exactly that.

And then you ended up working for him.

Yes, yes. I’ve never played it for him, though. For anybody. The only person who remembers that I interviewed them is Alan Zweibel; he found a letter from me requesting the interview or thanking him for the interview, and he laughed his ass off when he found it.

_______________

LONG-TERM RESPECT
and MAKING ‘VIRGIN’ SING


You’re at an interesting point in your career. You’ve said that, when confronted with idiotic producer directives, “my usual instinct is to tell everyone to take a hike.” And that caused you a lot of pain for a lot of years. But now it seems to have earned you respect and success. Was there a dark time somewhere in there when you thought you’d have to bag it?

No — because there never was a time when I thought I was never gonna work again. Even when I was in the middle of the worst battles, there were enough people who liked what we were trying to do that I would be allowed to continue.

When “Freaks and Geeks” was being shuffled around and not treated well, the people at the other networks liked it and would say, “Well, do something over here.” So it wasn’t like I was in a precarious moment in my career. But then you’d go over there, and they’d behave in the same manner.

And I care most that the work is good, so I don’t enjoy it being a bloodbath — but I’m always happy that I like what we created, and it’s always worth it, even if every once in a while you have to have major back surgery. It was really unpleasant during “The Ben Stiller Show” and “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared” a fair amount of the time — but I always knew I’d be proud of what we’d made, and that people would see it at some point in some format.

I enjoy working with the writers and the actors, and the shows are well-run, so the stress doesn’t come from making the shows. The stress comes from being really excited about the shows and having people tell you what’s wrong with it when you know it’s in pretty good shape.

I just interviewed Joss Whedon, and it strikes me that you two would have a lot to talk about.

Well, he’s had a very good television experience.

Until “Firefly.”
I had several shows cancelled because they were up against “Buffy.” [laughs]

What was it like working with Clint Eastwood’s cinematographer, Jack Green, on “The 40-Year-Old Virgin”?

When I was looking for department heads for my first film as a director, I thought, “Well, I should get real veterans, so I can’t screw this up.” Jack Green had just finished “Serenity” at Universal for Joss Whedon, and they said I should consider him, and I said yes instantly — I’m a big fan of his work, and he did a great job on the Adam Sandler movie “50 First Dates.” I remember meeting him on that set and thinking, “How come I never get to work with a guy like that?”

He runs his crew like an army, right?
Two of his sons work on the camera crew, and they’re the best at what they do. It allowed me to focus on the story and the performances, because the visual aspect isn’t my strongest suit. [laughs] I also hired Jackson DiGovia to be my production designer; he did one of the “Die Hard” movies, and he’s one of the reasons the movie looks way better than it should.

“Virgin”’s end-credits sing-along to “Let the Sunshine In” is just a little too affectionate to be a mere sendup. Are you a closet “Hair” fan?

Well, we knew we needed an ending that signified that he had sex and it was really good. It was Garry Shandling who advised me often during the writing of the movie that you have to point out that his sex — when he finally has it — is better than everyone else’s because he’s in love. I wasn’t sure how to tackle that. I didn’t think I could show great sex, but I knew there had to be some sort of “aftermath” moment.

And you can’t have Howard Cosell call it like a sportscast.

Yeah. So we were kind of stuck. And then Steve said, “What if I just sing a song?” And I immediately said, “Yeah — like ‘Let the Sunshine In.’” And that was it. We didn’t think about it any more. We just did that.

But I didn’t really know how to shoot a musical — I just knew I wanted to allude to the musical “Hair,” but I didn’t want to do a direct spoof of it, because it’s meant to show that he’s really happy and released. Which is a tricky line — because people kept walking up to me and asking, “Well, are they wearing beads? Are they wearing pooka shells? What are they wearing?” And I kept saying, “Well, I think it’s a hint of ’60s, but it’s a funny line where it’s just guys with pants and no shirts on.” [laughs] In a weird way, we hit that part perfectly, based purely on blind luck.

My executive producer John Poll — who’s also a great editor and who did all the “Austin Powers” and “Meet the Parents” movies — helped me figure out what the shots would be. And Jack Green? Amazing on those days. I can take credit for very little. I did a lot of delegating. My biggest contribution was, “Hey! It would funny if Seth sang!”


_______________

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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #1 on: December 12, 2005, 12:30:31 PM »
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SETH ROGEN:
FUNNY FROM THE WOMB


Let’s geek out on the genius of Seth Rogen.
Well, I’ve known Seth since he was 16. Someone sent me a tape of him auditioning for “Freaks and Geeks” in Canada. I was fascinated by this weird kid with this froggy voice — and, at that time, he had a much thicker Canadian accent. It made me laugh. He had such a weird energy.

He’s deadpan.
And he knew what he was doing. So we created a part for him on the show — and as the weeks went by, it became clear that he was a gifted comedy mind. He was trying to write an episode of the show — I never read it, but he was working on scenes. And when a scene didn’t work, I always knew I could bring him into the office with another actor and have them goof around and improvise, and they’d come up with some hilarious stuff.

When I did “Undeclared” [in 2001], he was only 18, but I put him on the writing staff and in the show — and he quickly became one of the best writers. So when I wrote [“40-Year-Old Virgin”], I wrote a part for him, and then I made him a co-producer — which basically meant I forced him to go on the set every day, all day, and help me to make things funny, even if he wasn’t saying them.

His story, in some ways, parallels your own. You interviewed professional comedians in high school, jumping right into the deep end of the entertainment pool at a young age. Do you feel a kinship with him because of that?
I never thought of it that way; I never made that connection. I was a guy who was trying to be a comedian at 16, 17 — and Seth, I think, was in comedy as early as 14 in Canada. I was just more amused by the fact that he seemed to come out of the womb with a fully formed comic persona — and I just didn’t understand why he was so funny at such a young age. And any time you realize someone’s funny and the rest of the world doesn’t know it yet, it’s really exciting.

The aspect of the work that I’ve enjoyed the most is working with people before they break — then trying to find out how to execute the projects that cross them over.

In many ways, that’s the story of your career. I just saw John Francis Daley [who played Sam in “Freaks and Geeks”] in “Waiting…”
And he’s in “Kitchen Confidential” now.


Can relentless Judd Apatow promotion of another “Freaks and Geeks” standout, Jason Segel, be far behind?
Well, he’s on this new show on CBS called “How I Met Your Mother,” and that’s getting rave reviews. He’s another one of the guys I believe really could be part of the next generation of comedy stars — kind of an interesting variation on what Ben Stiller does in movies. I did a pilot with him [“North Hollywood”] that didn’t get picked up that I thought was really funny. I’m excited for him to get some acclaim; we have ideas.

Since you’ve achieved some mainstream success, is your career these days about righting wrongs – about getting good projects to overlooked talent?
I think of it more in terms of working with people that I like and trying to hit untapped reservoirs of comedy. And I try to be more and more personal with the work as the years go by.

The fun part is that there are a lot of funny people out there who aren’t going to get shots, so if you’re in a position to give it to them, that makes it more gratifying when they succeed. It’s fun that Steve Carrell had never starred in a movie, and we made this movie together and it became a big hit. I didn’t know what all of Steve’s moves were — I didn’t know how he worked as a leading man — so we had to figure all of that out together. There’s no trail of bread-crumbs to follow.

_______________

FAILED PILOTS,
‘FREAK’-Y FANS


We keep hearing about these wonderful failed television pilots these days, thanks to the Internet -- I’m thinking of “Heat Vision and Jack,” “North Hollywood,” “Life on Parole,” “Sick in the Head”…. When are people going to start issuing these things on DVD?

It’s usually all sorts of rights issues when they want to release these things. Friends of mine were trying to put out a few of them, and I think you have to pay everybody again or something like that. Sometimes they’re co-owned by a production company and a network, which is kind of tricky, and there’s music-clearance issues….

On “North Hollywood,” the version I liked best is about 10 minutes longer than the version we handed in to the network. So at the Austin Film Festival, I’m going to show a 32-minute version of the pilot that wasn’t even online — it’s a straight-out Avid, and it’s not mixed, but that’s the version I liked. So for me to finish it, I have to spend an enormous amount of money to mix some sound and pay for the music.

You’ve said you make no real profit off these beautiful DVD sets for “Geeks” and “Undeclared.” So — if I may ask an extremely leading question — why put them out?
It’s just weird to work really hard on something and have nobody ever see it again. So I couldn’t be happier that Shout! Factory put out those two shows — at great risk to themselves, because they had to pay almost a million dollars in music clearance to put “Freaks and Geeks” out on DVD. It turned out really well for them, and as a result, they took a risk on “Undeclared,” and that’s turning out really well, too — but the music on that show was also really expensive.

But the main reason I do it is that they give me an enormous amount of freedom in the packaging, in the extras. They’re not cheap in paying for all of the things I want to put on them. And I actually enjoy it more because I don’t make any money on it — I can beg people to buy it and they know I’m not begging because I’m going to fill my wallet. So that’s nice.

Have you sold out of those deluxe, eight-disc “yearbook editions” of the “Freaks and Geeks” DVD?
I think we’re pretty close. We made about 10,000 of them, and I think there might be 1,000 or 2,000 left. So anyone who hasn’t gotten it? The clock is ticking!

You’ve been clever about using the Internet to rally support for your shows — even inviting some Internet fans to contribute to DVD box sets. You also distributed some unaired episodes over the net after cancellation. Does this give you mixed feelings about online file-sharing?

The only thing I can say about file-sharing is that I don’t do it. It feels wrong in my gut. I don’t do Napster. I don’t download movies for free. Maybe that’s because I have money and don’t need to. Maybe it’s because my grandfather owned record companies when I was a kid. Somewhere in me, I know that’s stealing.

But I love the Internet. From the very beginning of “Freaks and Geeks,” Paul Feig always said, “This is a show made for the Internet.” The fans were really into our Web site, so we worked really hard on it — that’s how we got the information out about the campaigns to keep it on the air. Although we still didn’t last that long, it still may have kept us on the air another four or five episodes.

I understand you incorporated story ideas from your online fans.

Yeah — if we were looking for a name for a bad local band, I’d post on the site, and there would suddenly be a string of 30 names….

We’d use the fans in all sorts of different ways. One fan, Tammy, watched every piece of footage we shot on both “Freaks and Geeks” and “Undeclared,” and told us what she thought would be good to put on the DVDs. In fact, right now I’m trying to put together a Loudon Wainwright DVD anthology of all his performances over the last 30 years — and she’s helping watch all these old “Mike Douglas Show”s and things like that.

And sometimes when we have things that need proofing or fact-checking, we’ll ask the fans and they’ll tell us if we screwed something up. When we put out “Freaks and Geeks,” before they went to press, we gave the DVDs to five different fans and told them to tell us if we messed anything up. We had fans do the [DVD] menus.

“Freaks & Geeks,” “Undeclared” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” all seem to follow a similar theme — the geek’s quest for love and acceptance. You’ve even described “Virgin” as a 20-years-later sequel to “Geeks.” Do you think this will forever be a defining theme in your work?
I don’t think so. You tend to write about things a little bit earlier in your life; now I’m going to write about marriage and having kids, and that’ll be the next phase. That starts a little bit with “Dick and Jane” and the romantic comedy I’m going to do with Seth after that.

I’m just beginning to have enough distance to start writing about my young adulthood and having kids and being married. And then later I’ll write about what it’s like to be in Hollywood — and then I’ll lose touch with my audience and be rejected by the system. [laughs] That seems to be the last step in almost any writer’s career: He does well and then he has nothing to write about, and it’s over. 

*Apatow frequently jokes that he has grown wary of being honored by the Museum of Television & Radio. “Freak and Geeks” was cancelled almost immediately after it the museum feted it. The exact same thing happened with “Undeclared.”
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

I Don't Believe in Beatles

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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2006, 08:38:55 PM »
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Have you guys seen this already?

http://www.harpers.org/DontHaveACowMan.html

[Correspondence]
Don't Have A Cow, Man
Posted on Thursday, May 13, 2004. From an exchange of emails in fall 2001 between Judd Apatow, the creator of the sitcoms Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared and a successful writer of Hollywood screenplays, and Mark Brazill, the creator of That '70s Show. Topher Grace is one of the stars of That '70s Show. Originally from Harper's Magazine, March 2002.
Sources

Mark,

I am writing you because I left a message but did not hear back. I understand that you were upset about me not calling you to ask if Topher could do our show. Since Fox executives were talking to Topher about it, I thought it was cool with you. Also, since I hadn't written it yet, I wasn't at the point of asking if it was possible to have him do it. I would have called your show then. I didn't realize it would create a problem. I never wished to offend you. If there is some protocol for people on Fox doing guest shots on other Fox shows, I didn't know what it was. Regardless, I'm sorry that this resulted in such a mess. If you are mad at me about this or something else from our past, please tell me. I only remember us having fun in the early nineties and it troubles me that it seems like you have a beef with me.

Best regards,

Judd Apatow

* * *

Judd,

Yeah, we were friends in the early nineties. And if you don't recall what happened, I'll remind you. I had a pilot at MTV called "Yard Dogs" about a rock band living in Hollywood. I told you about it and you proceeded to completely rip it off, storyline and all, for the Ben Stiller show. You called it "Grungies." MTV and UTA [United Talent Agency] were working on an overall deal (MTV's idea) with me, based on that pilot. When it turned up on your show everything went away overnight. I had just had my son Jack and I had no job, no money, nothing. There's a saying, "I forgive but I don't forget. And I don't forgive." So, now you know. Although I kind of think that you already did.

Mark

* * *

Mark,

I truly don't remember anything you are talking about. Jeff Kahn wrote "The Grungies" sketch, a parody where we did Seattle bands as The Monkees. I don't remember you ever calling me after that saying you were mad. Ben and I would get fifty sketches a week from the writers and then we'd pick the ones that we thought were funny. I never connected the two. Even now they don't seem similar. Ours was a goofy over-the-top parody, not a situation comedy about musicians in L.A. Nobody watched our show so I don't see how that could be the reason your pilot died. I am sorry you are upset. I am not a thief of ideas. I'm sorry you believe differently.

Judd Apatow

* * *

Judd,

The show I wrote was also over-the-top and it let down the fourth wall. Since it's registered at the WGA [Writers Guild of America], you could compare the two. And as an Exec Producer, we both know you have input into every sketch. As for no one seeing the show, everyone knows everything in Hollywood. There are no secrets. Personally, I feel you've made a career out of being a sycophant to Carrey or Shandling or Roseanne, and when you weren't kissing ass you were stealing from lesser-known comics or leeching off other people's ideas ("Celtic Pride," "Cable Guy"). I noticed how outraged you were to not get a writing credit on "Cable Guy" until it came out and was panned. You dropped that cause like the showbiz weasel you are. You may not think you're a thief, but most comics know otherwise. And again, you know that too. Have you ever read "What Makes Sammy Run"? I think you'd like it. Get cancer.

Love,

Mark

* * *

Mark,

Come on, we all wrote for comics at the beginning of our careers. I wrote for Roseanne, you wrote for Dennis Miller. If that makes me a sycophant, then I guess I am. And so are the writers for "Caesar's Hour." I dropped my "Cable Guy" lawsuit not because the film got bad reviews but because I spent eighty grand on it and my lawyer told me I was going to lose. You would be upset if you rewrote the vast majority of a script and received no credit. I wish you had called me about this years ago. I'm sure we could have worked it out. Try not to be so angry. Not everyone is as bad as you think. You should call Jeff Kahn and ask him how that sketch originated. If it turned out that I didn't steal your idea would you still want me to get cancer? I swear to God that I didn't know you were mad about this. Until six weeks ago I was still referring to you as an old friend. Maybe one day I'll be able to say that again.

Judd Apatow

* * *

Mark,

It's come to my attention that you are upset with Judd Apatow about the sketch "The Grungies." I completely understand why you would have been pissed off about seeing something similar to what you were working on at the time. However, the idea for "The Grungies" and all the initial writing and rewriting came from me. I also cast it, acted in it, and edited it. I was and still am influenced by pop music, and I thought it would be funny to satirize the seriousness of the Seattle grunge music scene with the ridiculous superficiality of "The Monkees" 1960s show. I hope that this clears up any misunderstanding. By the way, I am a huge fan of "That '70s Show." Congratulations on its well-deserved success. I also think it's cool you set it in Wisconsin. I went to the University of Wisconsin at Madison and loved it. If you have any other questions don't hesitate to email me.

Jeff Kahn

* * *

Mark,

I have no interest in talking with you on the phone anymore. I know you are very successful and think that gives you the right to judge people and berate them regardless of the facts, but I have had enough of you for one day. I know it's hard to believe that your rock band TV idea, which every writer in this town has thought of at one point, was not on my mind half a year after you told it to me. Yes, you thought of breaking the fourth wall. Groucho and George Burns stole it from you. Why don't you sue the guys who have that new show "How to Be a Rock Star" on the WB? I must have told them your idea. Nobody has ever goofed on rock bands, not "Spinal Tap" or The Rutles or 800 "Saturday Night Live" sketches. I should have told everyone on the show, no rock band sketches, that's Brazill's area. So hold on to your hate and rage, even though it makes no sense. I'll go back to my life of thievery and leeching. As for the cancer, I'll wait till you get it and then steal it from you. By the way, that joke was one of my writers', Rodney Rothman (see, I credited him). See, I have no original thoughts. Sorry I bothered to figure this out.

Judd

* * *

Judd,

How appropriate that you had to use someone else's joke to take a swipe at me. I told you my idea. You did it two weeks later, VERBATIM. Spew revisionist shit all you want. Everyone knows you're a hack. Also, everyone knows how you fucked over Paul Feig on the new show. All your press mentions "your" brilliant "Freaks and Geeks," as if Feig didn't even do the series. It must have killed you when the true genius behind it got nominated for an Emmy. Is your wife still livid about someone in the neighborhood building a house just like hers? Tell her I know how she feels. The reason I called was to tell you to piss off. We'll never be "friends," regardless of the pussy whining from your last email. I respect you zero. See ya at the upfronts, bitch! Well . . . unless you get canceled before that. Until then, die in a fiery accident and taste your own blood. (Is that too angry?)

Love,

Brazill

* * *

Mark,

I hope your anger is a joke, because if it isn't . . . wow. Here's a line by line reply. I have starred (*) the replies if you are confused by my format.

>How appropriate that you had to use someone else's joke to take a swipe at me.

***That was the joke. How interesting that you couldn't understand that. You would think someone with the lineage of "Yard Dogs" would have the intellectual acumen to pick up on that. I feel for the writers that have to pitch to you. Never doubt how much they hate you.

>I told you my idea. You did it two weeks later, VERBATIM. Spew revisionist shit all you want.

***How could I hear your idea, steal it, and then have it air two weeks later? It was a filmed sketch show. Sketches were written months before they aired. They were filmed six weeks before they aired. I thought you were a producer. Shouldn't you understand how these shows are made? Do you start writing episodes two weeks before they air? Maybe you stole "Yard Dogs" from me.

>Everyone knows you're a hack.

***That's why I kiss the ass. Let me know who thinks I am a hack so I can kiss their ass as well. I also suck dick lately. That's how I got my Dreamworks deal.

>It must have killed you when the true genius behind it got nominated for an Emmy.

***I'm sure it's hard for you to believe, but I do not control the national media. That is only true in your paranoid mind. If I create a show they often mention the last show. When they write about "That '80s Show" I am sure they won't ever mention "That '70s Show." I wrote an entire article in the "L.A. Times," a cover story in the calendar, that credited Paul for his work. He went from a struggling actor to an established writer/producer over the course of a year. He is still my friend and I am very happy that he was nominated for two Emmys. He deserved it. I wasn't upset about his Emmy nominations, I already have enough. The certificates are so big you can only hang so many before it starts looking tacky.

>Is your wife still livid about someone in the neighborhood building a house just like hers?

***Yes.

>Tell her I know how she feels.

***I'm on it.

>The reason I called was to tell you to piss off. We'll never be "friends," regardless of the pussy whining from your last email.

***The funniest part of these emails is how bad your sense of humor is. You neither get nor can tell a joke. After you said "get cancer" did you really think I was looking to heal our relationship? Usually the cancer insult is a closer. I'm sure everyone who has suffered with that appreciates your sharp wit.

>I respect you zero.

***Oh no.

>See ya at the upfronts, bitch! Well . . . unless you get canceled before that.

***If you think cancellation hurts me at this point, you haven't been following my career as closely as I thought. I guess you are too busy tracking my real estate problems.

>Until then, die in a fiery accident and taste your own blood.

***That's a Sam Kinison line, you stupid fuck!!!! Hypocrite!!!! J'accuse!!!!

>(Is that too angry?)

>Love, Brazill

***Mark, I have enjoyed this. It's good to see the tragedies of the past few months haven't watered down your passion. I guess if Mark Brazill doesn't go insane over stuff that makes no sense, the terrorists win. Good luck with "That '80s Show." And I look forward to "That '90s Show."

Judd Apatow
"A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what's behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later." --Stanley Kubrick

Pubrick

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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2006, 09:13:00 PM »
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Have you guys seen this already?
i hadn't. thank u, that was brilliant. ownings don't come much sweeter.
endless 'nothing is what it seems'-isms

modage

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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2006, 10:01:26 PM »
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haha, UNbelievable.  someone should make a show about that.  i love apatow.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

pete

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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2006, 12:16:32 AM »
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I wish they hadn't stopped corresponding.  I wish their fight lasts until today.  I wish everyday I can just go home with the comfort of the knowledge Judd is gonna say something awesome to Mark.
“Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot.”
- Buster Keaton

modage

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Judd Apatow
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2006, 01:07:31 PM »
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Knocked Up set visit here: http://aintitcool.com/display.cgi?id=23862

and

Apatow, Rogen hooking up for 'Super Bad' pic
Source: Hollywood Reporter

Judd Apatow is reuniting with his "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" star Seth Rogen for the comedy "Super Bad" at Columbia Pictures. Apatow is producing the high school-themed film, while Rogen is penning the screenplay with Evan Goldberg and will co-star.

Greg Mottola ("The Daytrippers"), who directed several episodes of Apatow's short-lived TV series "Undeclared," will helm "Super Bad," with Apatow regular Jonah Hill and Michael Cera on board to star. "Saturday Night Live's" Bill Hader is in talks to co-star.

The story revolves around two co-dependent high school seniors (Hill and Cera) who set out to score alcohol for a party, believing that girls will then hook up with them and they will be ready for college. But as the night grows more chaotic, overcoming their separation anxiety becomes a greater challenge than getting the girls.

Apatow brought the screenplay to Columbia, and UTA packaged the project. The studio is fast-tracking "Super Bad,"– with a fall start date being eyed.

Sony's Matt Tolmach and Jonathan Kadin will shepherd for the studio.

Shauna Robertson ("Virgin") is producing alongside Apatow, while Rogen and Goldberg are executive producing.

Mottola, who also directed multiple episodes of "Arrested Development," worked with Cera on the critically acclaimed TV series on which the teenage actor starred as George-Michael Bluth. Mottola is repped by UTA and attorneys Warren Dern and Robert Offer. Cera, who next stars in Dimension Films' comedy "Parental Guidance Suggested," is handled by Paradigm, Thruline Entertainment and attorney James Feldman.

Hill, whose credits include "Virgin," next appears in the high school comedy "Accepted," "Evan Almighty" and Apatow's "Knocked Up." He is repped by UTA, Principato-Young and attorney Karl Austen.

Rogen, whose writing credits include "Undeclared," "Da Ali G Show" and the Owen Wilson starrer "Drillbit Taylor," is onscreen in "You, Me and Dupree." He is handled by UTA, manager Marsha McManus and attorney Fred Toczek.

Goldberg's writing credits include "Da Ali G Show." He is repped by UTA and attorney Toczek.
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2007, 10:34:10 PM »
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Judd Apatow, the mayor of comedy
Hollywood's funnymen agree: the writer-director-producer knows how to set up a jokester.
Source: Los Angeles Times

AS an 11-year-old growing up on Long Island, Judd Apatow began each week by studying the newspaper's TV section and highlighting all talk show guests of Mike Douglas, Dinah Shore and company. He spent afternoons holed up in his room watching TV, hanging out in his head with Charles Nelson Reilly. "I couldn't have had more fun in the saddest, lonely way," he says. "There was a period when I would get home at 3 and watch TV until 11, and I couldn't be happier." Eventually his parents became concerned. "In eighth grade I made some friends who drove dirt bikes. My parents were deathly afraid of dirt bikes, but they were so thrilled that I had a hobby outside of my room that they bought me a dirt bike and got me out of Merv Griffin."

Along the way, he learned to do impressions of Henry Kissinger, kept notebooks of jokes like "How come all the people on 'Gilligan's Island' had so many clothes if they were just on a three-hour cruise?" and transcribed tapes of "Saturday Night Live." He was consumed by show business — never more so than when his grandfather, who owned a jazz record label, took him to see his pal, the zaftig comedian Totie Fields, when Judd was 9. "Here was this woman — she had only one leg. She playing to a standing ovation because she's hilarious. I only wanted to be a comedian. Everything I've done happened because I couldn't be a great comedian."

Apatow is only partly joking. Sitting in his Santa Monica office, the 39-year-old writer-director-producer appears to be just another vaguely neurotic, schlubby, bearded comedy guy — the kind that seems to grow like brush sage in certain precincts of town. He appears utterly ordinary. But perhaps that's part of the shtick. In actuality, Apatow is known in town as the Mayor of Comedy — the guy with some rare combination of talent, self-assurance and the deft ability to handle big egos that has allowed him to befriend and collaborate with every major comic of his generation, from his former roommate Adam Sandler to Jim Carrey, Garry Shandling, Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell, to a new generation of comedians whose careers he's fostered, including Steve Carell and Seth Rogen.

With the success of 2005's sleeper hit "The 40 Year-Old Virgin," his directorial debut, he's also become the town's leading comedy entrepreneur. Apatow is producing and/or writing no fewer than seven films in various stages of production, including the rock biopic parody "Walk Hard," the Ferrell movie "Step Brothers," the ultra-profane teen comedy "Superbad" and the Sandler flick "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," about a former Mossad agent who fakes his own death so he can pursue his real love, hairdressing. That's not including his directorial follow-up to "40 Year-Old Virgin": "Knocked Up," which opens June 1, about an insensitive slacker who impregnates a girl way, way, way out of his league. The film, backed by Universal, has already set Hollywood buzzing.

Apatow has spearheaded a return to R-rated, profane comedy — stocked with more than its fair share of pot-smoking, sex-obsessed slackers who live to amuse each other in ribald camaraderie. Into this world of arrested adolescence wander women who are way more self-possessed, self-aware, confident and good-looking. Yet, despite this apparent inequality of social cachet, the frog princes always win the day. Geeks rule — particularly after they learn to release their inner mensches. At the end of "The 40 Year-Old Virgin," the movie's formerly virgin hero, played by Steve Carell, dances deliriously with Catherine Keener in a loopy Age of Aquarius sequence.

To those who might carp that his material is socially retrograde, Apatow says, "I'm not misogynistic. When I have characters who are misogynistic, I'm doing that on purpose. I'm trying to show people who need to grow up. Some of it is hilarious, and some of it is hilarious because it's so wrong." He adds, "You should be able to make fun of everybody if your heart is in the right place."

While much of comedy for the last decade has been hijacked by star comedians such as Adam Sandler doing their shticks on the big screen, Apatow's recent work represents a return to the writer-driven comedy of James L. Brooks or John Hughes, where the whole remains bigger than the headliner at the center.

Although Apatow still collaborates with his movie-star friends, many of his new branded projects are starless and Hollywood cheap, between $20 million and $35 million, and hence relatively stress free for his gang and for the studios. As he notes, "There's not much to go to war over. I'm not asking for $200 million to make these movies. You could make 11 of these for the cost of one summer movie."

"He's providing a really efficient business model for himself and for the studio," says Donna Langley, president of production at Universal, which is not only releasing "Knocked Up" but has given Apatow essentially a no-strings-attached kitty to buy scripts from his protégées. "They're high concept ideas, well-executed, and he also has the ability to break talent. Having him put Seth Rogen in two movies — he's created another viable comedy star. It was the same with Steve Carell. I trust him. I trust his instincts."

A friend of the outsider

FOR all his success, failure is a leitmotif in his career. Apatow is not only obsessed with the slacker class, he's perfectly aware that victory is all that much sweeter when snatched from the jaws of defeat. Up until about two years ago, he himself was the poster child for the log line "brilliant but canceled." His first effort, "The Ben Stiller Show," which he co-wrote and executive-produced, won an Emmy but lasted only 12 episodes. The critically praised "Freaks and Geeks," about those kinds of kids in high school, stayed on the air 15 episodes. Its follow-up, "Undeclared," lasted 17 episodes.

Those latest wounds still hurt. Like many highly successful people, Apatow appears more emotionally attached to his flops than his hits; he's the only one around to love these neglected children. Of the failure of 1999's "Freaks and Geeks," he says, "It was devastating. I don't know if I was emotionally equipped to deal with it."

In fact, many who now work in the Apatow shop, such as directors Jake Kasdan and Greg Mottola and actors Rogen and James Franco, worked on his TV shows; Apatow hired the whole writing staff of "Undeclared" to write movies for Apatow Productions. In a way, "everything that we're doing now is almost like we're continuing to do 'Freaks and Geeks,' " he says repeatedly. "You can say that 'Knocked Up' is Seth Rogen's character in 'Freaks and Geeks' — a little bit older and he gets a woman pregnant. It's not that different except we're not handcuffed by broadcast standards."

Comedy manager Jimmy Miller remembers seeing Apatow, then about 20, backstage at the first "Comic Relief" show for HBO. At the time, Apatow was working for the charity setting up college comedy shows and booking friends like Sandler. "He was dealing with [HBO honchos] Michael Fuchs and Chris Albrecht," Miller says. "He was so impressive dealing with administrators and executives, but he was clearly a comic at heart. He was always awfully good at talking to the talent."

During high school in Syosset, New York, he ran the student radio show and used the opportunity to interview Howard Stern, Jerry Seinfeld and other famous comedians. By the end of high school, he was going to open mike nights at local clubs. Apatow doesn't think much of his own Bill Maher-inspired routine: "I had a decently well-written act but not much of a personality."

"Freaks and Geeks" creator Paul Feig spent a lot of time with Apatow in his early Hollywood years, mostly hanging out all night and playing poker with other comics at a friend's pad they called the Ranch. "I break the world into guys who [sleep with women] in front of each other and guys who don't. There are the guys prowling around who look like they could beat us up, and then there are us. I remember one of us was getting married, and somebody threw a bachelor party. We were having a poker game, and a stripper arrived. Everybody escaped into the other room — they were so uncomfortable. That's what I love about the comedy guys, the geeky guys, the outsiders."

Apatow, notes Feig, is a "superfan." "If he likes somebody, he's just a huge fan. He listens to them, and he learns from them. He just knows how to get the best out of people." He also wasn't that invested in being a performer himself, so he wasn't competitive.

Miller, who is Apatow's manager, hooked him up with some of the comics who made his career. Before Carrey starred in "In Living Color," "he was looking for somebody to collaborate with out on the road. I said I got the exact guy: Judd Apatow. Take him out on the road, have him be the middle act, and save money on the MC" — Apatow would do that too — recalls Miller, who also introduced Apatow to Shandling, who hired him for five years as a writer on "The Larry Sanders Show."

"If I were going to stress anything about Judd, it's that he loves comedy," adds Miller. "He'll do it for free even though he's a highly paid guy. All those great Jim Carrey 'Tonight Show,' 'Letterman,' 'Conan O'Brien' appearances — most of those are things that he and Judd crafted together."

Apatow tends to downplay what he did for Carrey, calling much of it transcription. During his early days, he also wrote for others, including Roseanne Barr. "I would be sitting in my living room in the Valley writing jokes as if I was a middle-aged, overweight housewife. I remember writing a whole bit about stretch marks and the only way to get rid of them was to put on an extra 10 pounds just to kind of bang them out."

In his new incarnation as producer-writer-impresario, Apatow has rectified everything he didn't like about being a writer for hire. He never fires writers, and he allows them to stay on projects through all the stages of production. He keeps no development staff and instead personally supervises the dozen projects in development. He works only with friends, though that is a constantly expanding circle. He doesn't have a studio overhead deal, so he can place his wares where he wants, mostly at Universal and Sony.

Plenty of material

MANY of the films now in production come from scripts that sat on Apatow's shelves for years but recently were revived with his newfound producing mojo. Once a film's in production, he shares the producing burden with Shauna Robertson, a tiny, energetic Canadian; Apatow likes to show up on a set for the beginning and the end and for days when emotional scenes are being shot, to make sure that the character beats don't get lost amid the guffaws.

He also writes specifically for certain actors. He co-wrote "The 40 Year-Old Virgin" with and for Carell, taking a character Carell had conceived for an old comedy skit and expanding his universe. "Knocked Up" was born out of a conversation he was having with Rogen, who was in the midst of pitching him big sci-fi ideas. "I was preaching to him that I thought he didn't need all the bells and whistles to be funny. [I said,] 'You're funny just sitting in the stock room in "40 Year-Old Virgin" — you barely move and you're funny. You could be funny in any normal situation — like you could get a girl pregnant.' " Apatow quickly realized this might be something he wanted to personally write — a place where he could download some of his own experiences about relationships.

While Apatow credits Shandling as his mentor for pressing him to write more character-driven comedy, he also credits Rogen, now 25, with being an influence to become more outrageously dirty. Apatow discovered the burly Rogen as a 16-year-old aspiring stand-up in Vancouver, Canada, and cast him in "Freaks and Geeks" and later in "Undeclared." Around 2001, Rogen gave him the script for "Superbad," which he had begun writing with his friend Evan Goldberg not long after they met in bar mitzvah class.

"Superbad," which premieres in August, is probably the dirtiest high school movie of the last 30 years. It's about three hapless, sexually panicked teenagers hunting for liquor to impress girls. "Seth has always promoted the really edgy movie," says Apatow. "I think that is a lot of the reason why we've gone farther than I might have gone."

"I definitely was a loud voice in making ['The 40 Year-Old Virgin'] filthy," says Rogen. "Carell is the sweetest, nicest guy in the world. What's funnier than surrounding him with the dirtiest guys you can possibly imagine?"

Apatow not only wrote "Knocked Up" for Rogen, but also cast Rogen's real life best friends, actors Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel and Jason Segel, as his toking, porn-obsessed roommates. For the other story line, about a bickering married couple featuring a controlling, stressed-out wife and an affable but emotionally immature husband, Apatow cast his friend Paul Rudd as his alter-ego and his own wife of a decade, Leslie Mann, and his two daughters, Iris and Maude.

Apatow wrote the initial draft in his trailer in North Carolina on the set of "Talladega Nights," sending pages to Rogen as he wrote, but he then subjected it to his own idiosyncratic quality control — the now famous "table read," a staple of the TV process but rarely done for films. He asks actors to read the script out loud and invites a host of friends to critique. In the case of "Knocked Up," he repeated this process five times.

"Some of those readings — they're like reunions," says Rudd, who also appeared in "Virgin." "But it's also intimidating. You want to be funny because Garry Shandling is sitting across from you."

Although Apatow does write a finished script, the improvisation continues during shooting. Afterward, he again solicits the input of his comedy SWAT team. "He literally takes a cut, three hours long, puts it into a small theater, invites 50, 60 people, friends and friends of friends, and then shows the long, long version of the movie, and then sits there and takes notes from everybody as long as you want to go on," says Miller. He then obsessively screens the film for test audiences.

Privacy, schmivacy, says Apatow, who freely flouts Hollywood's penchant for self-important secrecy. "I try to have a very open process. A lot of people in Hollywood are obsessed with keeping their scripts a secret and put secret watermarks on them. I just go the opposite way….

"I think it's all helpful as long as it doesn't result in someone who doesn't understand what I do forcing me to change it. It's not the next 'Star Wars,' where if you know how the guy dies, it's going to bomb. People know she's going to have a baby. There's not a huge twist. The baby is not abducted by aliens. It's more important how we get there."

Spoken like the mayor of comedy — with certain words bleeped out.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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modage

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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2007, 05:04:39 PM »
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Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

MacGuffin

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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2007, 09:05:06 PM »
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Jack Black, Judd Apatow team up
Duo to work on 'Year One' for Columbia
Source: Variety
 
Jack Black is starring in "Year One," a comedy Judd Apatow is producing for Columbia.

Harold Ramis, who appears in a small role in Apatow's "Knocked Up," will direct and co-produce, and Michael Cera, who stars in "Superbad," another Apatow production for Col, is also attached to star.

Ramis co-wrote the project with "The Office" scribes Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, based on his story. Owen Wilson will exec produce.

Black, who last starred in "The Holiday" for the studio, recently wrapped Michel Gondry's "Be Kind Rewind" and "Margot at the Wedding," directed by Noah Baumbach. Both will be released this year. He is currently voicing the lead in DreamWorks toon "Kung Fu Panda."

Besides "Superbad," Cera will soon appear in "Juno," Jason Reitman's follow-up to "Thank You for Smoking" for Fox Searchlight. The "Arrested Development" star recently launched the online skein "Clark and Michael," which he wrote, produced and stars in alongside Clark Duke.

Fellow multihyphenate Ramis has a long line of writing, directing and acting credits dating back to SCTV and "Animal House." Most recently, he directed episodes of "The Office," starring Apatow repertory player Steve Carell.

Besides "Superbad," Apatow is producing and in some cases co-writing a series of Col projects, including "Walk Hard," "Pineapple Express" and "You Don't Mess With the Zohan." Latter stars Adam Sandler, a former roommate of Apatow's.

Apatow is producing "Drillbit Taylor" for Paramount and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" for Universal, the distributor of "Knocked Up" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," his directorial debut.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #10 on: October 08, 2007, 05:52:53 PM »
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Apatow Tells How He Got Hero's Autograph

Judd Apatow, writer and director of comedy hits "Knocked Up" and "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," is doubtless already a hero to kids who want to break into film or comedy. But once, he was just a kid dying for the autograph of his own hero, Steve Martin.

Apatow regaled an audience at the New Yorker Festival this weekend with the tale of how, on vacation in California as a boy, he had spotted Martin washing his car in front of his home.

The young Apatow jumped out of the car and asked for an autograph, but Martin said he didn't give autographs at his home. "Please, we won't tell anyone," Apatow begged. Sorry, Martin said, but no.

So Apatow went home and wrote Martin a nasty letter, in which he gave an early glimpse of his now well-documented talent for profanity. Three months later, he received a package from Martin that contained a copy of his book "Cruel Shoes."

"I'm sorry," read Martin's inscription. "I didn't realize I was speaking to THE Judd Apatow."

THE Judd Apatow's latest hit, as a producer, was "Superbad," one of the most popular comedies of the summer. The movie, which chronicles the final high-school days of two teenage friends (Michael Cera and Jonah Hill), was written by Seth Rogen (the star of "Knocked Up") and Evan Goldberg, and directed by Greg Mottola.

Rogen, who also appeared with Apatow at the New Yorker Festival, discussed how similar his real life with his buddies is to "Knocked Up," in which his real friends actually appear with him, living and acting in ways best described as juvenile.

"I've lived with them, in conditions that are humiliatingly similar," Rogen said.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2008, 10:50:31 PM »
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Sandler reteams with Apatow
Untitled comedy pic will costar Rogen, Mann
Source: Variety

Judd Apatow has tapped Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and Leslie Mann to star in the next comedy he'll direct. Untitled pic will be a co-production of Universal Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment, with production to start in late summer or early fall.

Apatow, the sole writer on the project, is keeping the plot under wraps. While the studios will split the costs, U will distribute worldwide. Dealmaking is under way with his cast, and producing credits are still being worked out.

Apatow continues to work with familiar faces: He and Sandler collaborated to write, with Robert Smigel, "Don't Mess With the Zohan," the Sandler starrer that Columbia will release June 6. Rogen and Mann starred in Apatow's first two feature directing efforts, "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" and "Knocked Up."

Mann (who is married to Apatow) stars with Owen Wilson in "Drillbit Taylor," which Rogen co-wrote and Apatow produced. Paramount releases the comedy March 21.

Apatow also produced "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," the comedy that stars Jason Segel, who, like Rogen, began in the ensemble of the Apatow-exec produced TV series "Freaks and Geeks" and "Undeclared." Universal releases that comedy April 18.

Sandler is shooting the Adam Shankman-directed comedy "Bedtime Stories" for Disney, while Mann stars opposite Zac Efron in the Burr Steers-directed "17 Again" for New Line. Rogen, who lends his voice to "Horton Hears a Who," which Fox releases Friday, is shooting "Zack and Miri Make a Porno."
Christopher Nolan's directive was clear to everyone in the cast and crew: Use CGI only as a last resort.

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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #12 on: June 01, 2008, 11:38:16 PM »
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Adam Sandler To Star In Judd Apatow Movie About Stand-Up Comics
'I haven't done stand-up in, like, 10 years,' Sandler confesses about upcoming flick, which co-stars Seth Rogen.
Source: MTV

He's one of the brightest bulbs in the comedy firmament, but if you miss a punch line in the newest Judd Apatow film, the still-untitled "Adam Sandler Project," don't worry, co-star Seth Rogen told MTV News: There will be a lot more to come. No, we seriously mean a lot.

"[The plot will center on] stand-up comedians," Rogen revealed at Friday's screening of "Pineapple Express," where he was on hand to close out MTV's first-ever Sneak Peek Week.

Apatow, Sandler, Rogen and Leslie Mann in a comedy club? It's a setup Rogen called "hilarious by default." So what's not to like?

"I've got to write an act again. It's been a long time. I haven't done stand-up in, like, 10 years. Even more," Sandler said. "That's why I want to kill Judd Apatow right now. I was so much happier doing nothing!"

For the 41-year-old star of "You Don't Mess With the Zohan," who will be named MTV's fourth-ever Generation Award winner Sunday night at the MTV Movie Awards, accepting the role of a stand-up comedian means having to do something he hasn't done in, well, a generation.

And if you're lucky enough to be at the right comedy club this summer, you can join in the misery, Sandler teased.

"You will see me bomb for 15 minutes and walk off [the stage] and punch Judd," Sandler joked of his plans to return to the hot lights of L.A. comedy clubs.

But while the two main characters are both comics, the overarching tone of the movie won't be entirely comical, Sandler cautioned, calling the film "pretty heartbreaking" in parts.

"It's very, very funny. [Me and] my friends who have read the script, all of us were baffled how funny it is," Sandler said. "But there's a lot of stuff going on in the movie."

Indeed, his film about comics might be the most "adult" thing he's ever written, Apatow told MTV News back in March.

"It's a comedy, but it has more drama in it. A hilarious drama is what I'm going for," Apatow said. "Every movie, I'm trying to find a way to go deeper, to tell stories about subjects that are important and make them less and less broad while making them equally as funny. [This film is] another step in that progression.

According to Rogen, the film is scheduled to begin shooting in September.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #13 on: June 03, 2008, 01:05:30 AM »
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Eric Bana in Judd Apatow's Next Dramedy?
Source: CHUD

CHUD is reporting that Eric Bana is in talks to star in Judd Apatow's next untitled dramedy about stand-up comics.

Bana, who started out as a comic himself, would join Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and Leslie Mann in the Universal film, scheduled for a release on July 31, 2009.

The site says that Bana has been approached to play Clarke, Mann's boyfriend.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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Re: Judd Apatow
« Reply #14 on: June 12, 2008, 01:03:50 AM »
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Trio joins Judd Apatow film
Bana, Schwartzman, Hill are 'Funny People'
Source: Variety

Judd Apatow has rounded out the cast and picked a title and start date for his next directing vehicle.

Eric Bana, Jason Schwartzman and Jonah Hill have joined the ensemble of "Funny People," which will be co-financed by Universal Pictures and Columbia Pictures, with Universal distributing worldwide next summer.

Apatow set Adam Sandler, Seth Rogen and Leslie Mann in the comedy earlier this year.

The filmmaker, who last wrote and directed "Knocked Up," was deliberately vague about subject matter, allowing only that the movie takes place in the world of standup comedy and the focus is on a comedian who has a near-death experience.

Pic's a co-production of Apatow Prods. and Happy Madison, and Apatow is producing with Clayton Townsend and Barry Mendel. Jack Giarraputo, Rogen and Evan Goldberg are exec producers. Production begins in mid-September in Los Angeles.

Bana began his career as a comic on the standup circuit in Australia and starred in the sketch comedy series "Full Frontal" and "The Eric Bana Show" before remaking himself as a dramatic actor. Bana most recently shot "Star Trek" and "The Time Traveler's Wife."

Hill starred in the Apatow-produced "Superbad" and appeared in "Knocked Up" and "The 40 Year-Old Virgin."

Apatow and Sandler teamed with Robert Smigel to write the script for current release "You Don't Mess With the Zohan." Apatow is also producer of the Adam McKay-directed "Step Brothers," starring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, and the stoner comedy "Pineapple Express." Col releases "Step Brothers" on July 25 and "Pineapple Express" on Aug. 8.
“Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” - Andy Warhol


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