How To Make Your Own Judd Apatow Movie
Have you ever wanted to make a smash comedy hit, just like Director/Producer/"Writer" Judd Apatow? Now you can! Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to crafting a wry, witty, irreverent romantic comedy chock full of heart, without ever having to generate a single fresh concept! Difficulty: Can be tricky the first time, but once you’ve got the hang of it, you can pump them out yearly. Time: 6 months (4 hours for scripting and casting, a weekend for shooting, and 5 months and 28 days for editing, advertising and “make ‘em wait” time). Things You Will Need:
A beloved failed TV show from which to pull your cast
A thorough knowledge of basic sexual slang (for help with this, see my other manual, “From Pearl Necklaces to Donkey Punches: the Eight Comedic Sexual Maneuvers”)
A disdain for continuity
An old High School yearbook from which to pull ideas and characters
A shitload of film to allow actors time to improvise (ie, “write the script”)
An understanding of improvisational comedy that entails two guys speaking in unconnected one-liners
Paul Rudd's phone number
A giant bag of weed (usually Paul Rudd can provide this)
1. The Script: Your script is the blueprint for your film, and will define it down to the last detail. A carefully constructed script will show everyone involved that you have taken great care to craft your film deliberately and with a clear vision. Just kidding! Usually throwing together a few ideas on a cocktail napkin with your buddies the night before a pitch meeting will do the trick. And don’t worry, you can still give yourself a screenwriting credit.
When jotting, you’ll basically want to get a protagonist, a problem, and half of a character arc. To create your protagonist, simply take yourself (unless you are a woman, in which case take yourself with a penis), then graft on a glaring flaw that would have made you the subject of fun in High School (a virgin, fat and lazy, a complete pussy).
Make sure it’s a flaw that doesn’t prevent them from being charming (such as “face burnt off” or “is Hitler”) and can be easily solved in fifteen minutes (has sex, decides not to be lazy, has sex with Mila Kunis). Do not expect your protagonist to be more charming than Paul Rudd. This is not necessary, nor is it possible.
Now that you’ve got your protagonist, pick a girl from your High School yearbook that you always had a crush on. Put her in the script. Congratulations, you are done!
You have a main character (you), a minor problem (you’re mildly undesireable), and a conflict to drive the story (you’d like to sleep with a woman, and yet you’ve got that mild undesirability to deal with). The rest will work itself out in editing.
When not blogging for Cracked, Michael drily analyzes things he wishes he had made as head writer and co-founder of Those Aren't Muskets!