Feel The Heat
'Bridesmaids' director Paul Feig returns with new comedy, and shows it off in 92Y Tribeca finale
By Michael Shashoua / Jester editor-in-chief
If Paul Feig’s appearance at 92Y Tribeca’s final event June 25 is any indication, “Bridesmaids” is just the beginning – his next comedy, “The Heat,” opening June 28, will confirm his ability as a premier director in the comedy genre.
As Feig made clear in how he answered questions posed by moderator David Schwartz of the Museum of the Moving Image, and by audience members, being a comedy director means taking charge and responsibility for the process, but at the same time not being a control freak.
On “The Heat” (the event audience was treated to three great clips from the movie that complemented its director’s thoughts), Feig insisted on having screenwriter Katie Dippold on set to revise scenes and build on the original script.
Going back years to Judd Apatow’s production of the TV series “Freaks & Geeks,” for which Feig directed several episodes, Feig recalled Apatow telling him to rip up the scripts and play with all the characters and scenes. Feig said he carries that forward into how he kept Dippold involved in the process of making his newest film.
With experience in both movies and television (he’s also directed for “Mad Men,” “Parks & Recreation” and “Nurse Jackie”), Feig does see movies as more of a director’s medium than TV. In TV series, a director must be constrained by the overall vision and plan for the series from the showrunner or producers, but in movies, a director bears more responsibility for effectively telling a story – and shouldn’t blame a bad script for sinking their film, Feig said.
What it all comes down to for Feig – who witnessed a lot of media chatter with the success of “Bridesmaids” about the so-called sudden rise of women in comedy – is that it’s about funny people, period. He said that he hopes when guys see Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock on a poster for “The Heat,” they simply think those are funny people, and want to see it.
Postscript: 92Y Tribeca is closing down after five years of excellent programming, particularly in comedy performance. A lot of those events have been covered on this site, and we’ll miss the venue.
One of the first big comedy events at 92Y Tribeca featured Zach Galifianakis only a few months before he became a household name with “The Hangover.” That performance, reviewed here [link], has since taken on a legendary status in the comedy community.
Feedback? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
© 2005-2017 Michael Shashoua