Entertainment Weekly held a few "Visionaries" panels at Comic-Con that brought together some of the greats in the TV, movies and comic book worlds. At the filmmakers panel, it was mostly a kick to see Kevin Smith, Judd Apatow, Zack Snyder and Frank Miller all at one table. It turned into the Smith-Apatow comedy hour, but that seemed to suit the audience members (myself included) just fine. Check out some of the highlights below.
- The whole panel was super bawdy and raunchy, mostly due to Smith and Apatow making dirty jokes about each other. And then there was the smiling, friendly-faced Zack Snyder, who awkwardly bumbled out an answer to a question, after which there were about three beats of silence before Smith said, "Thank God your visuals are so strong, man." Smith later marveled at how awesome Snyder's Watchmen looks, saying he could die once he sees that movie.
- Apatow talked about his raunchy comedies: "You have to find out: how much penis can you show in a movie without clearing an entire room?" Meanwhile, Smith nodded, deadpan, like he totally understood.
- Smith: "I go with my gut, but my gut has lied to me in the past, like, when my gut said, 'Yeah, Jersey Girl's a great idea!'"
- Frank Miller: "Very early on I learned I was incompetent at anything else. So I started to make comic books."
More on comics, geek culture, and how comedians differ from rappers (according to Apatow), if you read more.
- Smith said he knew a while ago that it was only a matter of time before the comic book movie trend exploded. "Why not mine some of the most creative material ever, that's already been around for 50, 60 years? I think geek culture is here to stay. Thank God for Quentin Tarantino."
- When asked whether he might attempt a different kind of movie than those he’s been making, Apatow answered in the negative, stating "There will be no movie with fairies and goblins. . . who can't get laid."
- When asked about their influences, Apatow immediately said — without a trace of irony — Kevin Smith. "He laid down the track. I saw Clerks and I was like, ‘You can do that?!'" Smith reached over and gathered Apatow into a hug.
- Apatow, babbling: "Comedians are not like rappers. Rappers kill each other and comedians like each other…" A few beats of baffled silence ensued before Smith asked, "Did you just step out of 1989? When was the last time a rapper killed another rapper?"
- Frank Miller, on direct-to-internet content and advice for aspiring filmmakers: "Find the places the censors haven't found yet. Cause as much trouble as you can."