Hollywood hitmaker Judd Apatow says that changes in technology affect the way we watch movies and TV shows, but that some aspects simply aren’t productive to think about if you’re actually the one making them.
For more than a decade, Apatow has been behind many of comedy’s biggest success stories, including movies like “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” and “Bridesmaids.” And, recently, he has seen firsthand the industry change brought on by the rise of streaming services like Netflix, where he has a show called “Love,” which will premiere its second season in March.
But Apatow doesn’t let the way people consume video — either on TVs or laptops or phones — affect the way he works, he told Business Insider this week at an event promoting “Crashing,” his new HBO show.
You can’t think about that “the way you can’t think about whether your joke will land in another country,” he said. And that’s coming from someone whose Netflix show “Love” is released simultaneously to customers all over the world. Sure, whether a joke will land in a particular place might have an effect, in some tangential way, but it’s not productive for the creative process to dwell on it.
What Apatow does think about a lot is the increased prevalence of binge-watching, and how that changes the way people experience shows. He said he assumes many people will watch an entire comedy TV show in a couple of sittings, not an episode a week. This is especially true of “Love,” but also of TV shows generally, he said. In a stand-up set later in the night, Apatow referenced how his daughter ropes him into binge-watching entire old shows that ran for years and years, refusing to move onto a new show until she’s finished the whole gargantuan undertaking.
Apatow also confirmed that Netflix, ever-secretive about its data, doesn’t tell him how many people are watching “Love.”
Here’s the pilot for Apatow’s new HBO show, which premiered Sunday: