Writer-producer-director Judd Apatow came home Monday, bringing his crew to film the season finale of an upcoming HBO comedy, “Crashing” at Sands Point Preserve.
“It’s rare that I get to shoot on Long Island,” says Apatow, 48, who grew up in Woodbury. “I love it!”
The series, which debuts next year, stars comedian Pete Holmes as a young stand-up comic who finds out his wife is cheating on him as he struggles through the New York comedy circuit. The scene being filmed on Monday was one of an adult baptism overlooking Long Island Sound.
“I loved the idea of this naive religious person in the dark world of comedy. It’s everything that I find funny,” says Apatow, who co-wrote three episodes and directed two. “My favorite thing is emotionally grounded comedy. I always feel that if it’s not funny then it’s probably not truthful.”
The show is a direct slice out of Holmes’ real life, warts and all.
“I don’t know if there’s a better meaning to life than taking pain and turning it into something good for others to enjoy,” says Holmes, 37. “I love stories that force unlikely people to go into the deep end.”
Holmes’ character finds himself “crashing” on different couches of various comedians like Sarah Silverman, T.J. Miller, Hannibal Burress and Artie Lange.
“I’m just the central point that the hurricane moves around,” says Holmes. “The challenge is finding new ways to be funny with different people.”
Watching Apatow work is quite entertaining as he has the actors do multiple takes using lines he shouts out in the moment.
“Once a scene is up on its feet, it’s very alive. We shoot what is already scripted then we play around feeding the actors jokes and letting them improvise,” says Apatow, who is also a stand-up comic. “Basically we get a lot of material for editing. This way if a scene is not working, you have a way to fix it. I try to have enough options.”
Apatow seems to be gravitating toward doing more TV these days working on HBO’s “Girls,” Netflix’s “Love” and now “Crashing.”
“I like ongoing stories,” says Apatow, who has been criticized for the length of his movies. “I feel like these TV shows are nothing but a long movie cut up with pauses. People are basically watching five-hour movies, which is my dream.”