This Is 40's Judd Apatow On Taking Stock And Making Life Work Better

By Eric Eisenberg 2012-12-20 13:03:58discussion comments
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And thatís something I definitely noticed about this film. The structure is more free-flowing than your previous movies, and it really does lend the story a ďweek in the lifeĒ kind of feel, and Iím assuming that was completely on purpose.

I like movies by Robert Altman and John Cassavetes that arenít tightly structured. For me one of the great pleasures of going to the movies is having absolutely no idea where itís going. A lot of movies, as soon as it starts you can almost feel what the structure is going to be. ďOkay, heís looking for that guy, heíll find that guy, maybe theyíll get into a fight, and thatíll lead to the treasureÖĒ You can pace it out in your head. I like to make movies where in every moment you have no idea what the next scene can be. Because thatís what life is like Ė itís so random. So then it becomes how can I keep this amusing and dramatic while doing that. Because in this movie there is no goal. Itís just life. Theyíre just trying to get through it and get along, and stay in love, and have their kids not be too screwed up [laughs].

When you are developing new projects, is there an entry point into a story or a character that you typically look for to get things going?

Usually I have the larger idea and I start figuring out what the small details of it are. So if itís mortality with Funny People, at some point I thought, ďOh, maybe I can combine this with another idea I had about comedians and why people are interested in that line of work and how it affects them.Ē And I just start making lists of ideas and thoughts about it and a structure starts revealing itself. I know, first of all, that I would like to do a movie about someone dealing with the fact that they almost died. And with Knocked Up I knew I wanted to talk about getting someone pregnant who you didnít know at all and trying to see if you could make the relationship work Ė wanting to give it a try for the baby. So with this I just thought, I would like to do something about what my life feels like right now,Ē and even though itís fabricated this is about all of the emotions that we have about the things that are in our lives and the things that weíre struggling with, and I donít have the next idea, so weíll see. Maybe it will present itself.

And thatís a thing in itself - you announce your projects one at a time. But is there a notebook or a drawer somewhere that you use to get down all of your potential ideas for future projects?

Well, I have one idea for a play that Iíve been working on and Iíve done a lot of research, and I donít know if Iíll suddenly explode into watching that or it will take me a while. I like the idea of working in the theater Ė Iíve never done it before and I think the interplay with the audience and developing the project would be really fun for me. But talk about a project thatís really difficult to execute.

Just the idea of doing it on stage or the specific type of thing that youíll be doing?

Just to write. Itís a great idea, but it contains characters who have a life experience I donít have, so I have to do a lot of research and itís not how I usually work. So weíll see what happens.
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