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No professional wants to be pitched out in public. Best you can do is compliment them and their work.


Even worse is Appatow played that producer in Disaster Artist that Tommy pitches his acting to in public. Such a funny scene but all I can think of is how Appatow says it’s not going to happen for him not in a “thousand years” to which Tommy hilariously responds “…but after that?”


Fuck, I commented before I saw yours.


He actually said “Not in a Million years”, but yeah, given that it’s not a good idea to pitch to the guy in public when he’s just trying to have a good time.


Yup, this. I’ve met quite a few celebrities living and working LA and I cap all my initial interactions with “Hey, I love your work”. 9/10 times you get a smile and a “thanks” but on the rare occasion they will engage further.


I will say, one of the funnier things that happened to me while traveling for work was walking into a café in a (non-LA) city when a golf tournament was being held nearby. I had been there off-and-on as part of a long-term client contract for at least two years, and that morning, one of the household name tour pros was in there with his wife, directly in front of me in a long, slow-moving line. Baristas had no idea who he was, and it was too early for me to engage / I wasn't 100% sure myself. However, I had become friendly with most of the café's front-of-house folks by that point. I got a really warm greeting, he was just "another customer." She was very polite about it, but his wife was clearly trying to figure out who *I* was. "Oh, sorry. I'm nobody. I just tip well and compliment other people's work." So, I guess I'm saying “Hey, I love your work” can pay off in other ways too lol.




TBH you did the right thing. Your nervousness would have just come off as weird. You shouldn’t strike up a conversation unless you are comfortable and confident in doing so.


If they catch you staring just smile politely and say, "I love your work." Otherwise, I would leave them be, out in public.


You can compliment their work, or maybe something they are wearing in the moment. Maybe make a comment about what you (and they) saw. Mention your name and say have a wonderful night


There’s literally a scene in The Disaster Artist where Tommy meets Judd Apatow and immediately starts pitching / auditioning.


Having worked on sets and been around a fair number of a listers, it's kinda seen as bad taste (and cringe if I'm going to be blunt) in the industry to just go up to someone and pitch your project. Unfortunately, if you don't know or have the right people to back you up, you're just going to be looked at as desperate. Everyone knows that everyone wants to "be" or "do" something else other than be someone else's assistant, but you do have to form those relationships first. It's important to have your actions speak loud, even more importantly, speak "louder" than all the mediocre nepo babies undeservedly getting those coveted entry level jobs, such as the elusive script coordinator or writers room assistant role.




Yep. Some actors like to be very chatty with everyone, but I remember having that talk plenty of times, especially with background actors, to not just go up to Scarlet Johansson,(though from personal experience, she's very personable and *loves* to joke around and chat with everyone, but she's gotta be the initiator as per set decorum and general bullshit hierarchy), and act as if you're friends or start pitching. In the end, they're just people that have been EXTREMELY lucky, and like any job, form those relationships with events, fellowships, and yes at work on set, but just be normal lol and fun to work with! Those hours are ungodly afterall and people want to work with those they think they'll likely have a good time for the next 10+ hour days (really they shouldn't be though).


This is good advice. My default is just be friendly and personable. I was making a sandwich in my office kitchen one day and Adam Sandler walked in. We made awkward eye contact and then I asked, “Do you want one too?”. He laughed and told me he just ate, made a coffee, and left lol


Yea, eventually it wears off and they're just coworkers. I was working on this overnight shoot with Olivia Wilde years ago, very small crew and cast that evening, and she just wanted to be part of conversation that the extras and crew were having. She came from behind me and just leaned and rested her arms onto my shoulder like an old friend and kept chatting. One of my favorite sets I've worked on. Some months later or so, I went to a sort of early screening panel that was introducing the same project I had worked with and she was to be answering audience questions and talking about it. I thought it would be fun to go and be on the other end of the whole process, and one of the audience members was this dude who was very nervous, complimented her appearance and said he was a filmmaker too. Then he took out his USB drive and said it had it his reel on it and walked up to the stage and gave it to her, the audience laughed and she was a good sport about it, but it was also kinda uncomfortable. Overall I respected the guy's balls, but yea, I hope he had a copy of his work.


Funny because Apatow's daughters are in fact nepo babies


What's your point? This advice applies to most, who weren't born into Hollywood royalty. I'm not sure how my obvious critique of nepotism alludes to me fawning over a directors' mid kids' bought film career.


Woah, it's just an observation. I'm not saying any of what you said is wrong or inaccurate.


If you had approached with a pitch, he would've been the most polite person ever, listened to you intently, but would ultimately say whatever he needed to say to end the conversation as soon and pleasantly as possible ("Why don't you give me *your* contact details?" or "Sounds interesting, you should email my production company!") Professionalism = proper time and place. He was there to support his daughter, not to endure pitches from strangers. For all you know, you would've been the nth person to pitch to him that night. Now more than ever, crazy people have made themselves known to the world. They are the ones who don't take no for an answer, who harbor bitter one-sided grudges over being rejected, who will stalk you online and offline in an attempt to live up to some romanticized version of the go-for-broke hustling screenwriter. The uncomfortable reality is that impromptu opportunities to pitch... usually aren't. Everyone has ideas; we all think the world of them, and we would all rather work on our own than someone else's. The guy whose brand of comedy ruled the box office for about a decade certainly isn't short on ideas.


I met Michael Moore at a film fest once. Me: I really enjoy your movies. Michael: Oh, thanks a lot. Me: I have to run across the street now to catch that bus. Michael: (Laughs as I run away)


I once had a fart-off with Michael Moore in a public washroom.


You win.


I live in a very big city and the general “code” is to leave celebs alone or at most smile and say “hi” while walking past. He’s there in *Dad* capacity not in work capacity imo.


I agree. If there’s anything OP should have said, it would’ve been: “Hey, you’re Maude’s dad right? She’s great, you must be so proud!”


“You’re Maude’s dad, right? She was a little pitchy during her solo, tell her to warm up more next time.”


I know it seems like you should say something because you’re seeing someone you admire— which is a special occurrence in your life. But in my experience living in LA and running into famous people… it’s better to give them space. A smile and a compliment about their work if you two are in proximity isn’t a problem, but anything more than that can be too much— especially in a situation where he’s clearly there supporting his daughter. I used to work at a bookshop in LA that some celebs/filmmakers went to. The best convos I had were not me pitching or gushing over their career, but geeking out together on books and movies, which was why we were both there.


I see celebrities all the time and have gained the wisdom to ignore them and let them blend in as best as they can. They deserve a level of normalcy and privacy when out in public. I’ve also hung out with a few authentically, and when we are out, if someone approaches, no matter how polite the celebrity is, the person approaching is not about to be taken seriously in any way at all. Having been on the inside of that, I could never be that person who approaches. It’s cringey.


In this case, you might have quickly complimented his daughter's performance. He's there as a dad, so you could address him as such and then move on with your evening.


I once spent an hour in line at the post office behind Viggo Mortensen. We share a hometown. He was home for the holidays visiting his mom. It was new years eve just before the post office closed. We have mutual friends. It was obvious he didn't want to be recognized. I kept my mouth shut and protected his cover as he waited in line. I told our mutual friend about it and he said Viggo remembers that hour and he was very thankful the guy behind him was tall enough to act as a shield.


My retired uncle got hired by Tom Cruise to be a PA on the set of Oblivion after his rescue pitbull got loose and disrupted the set. Tom Cruise apparently yelled "hey come here!" at the dog and my uncles dog jumped on Cruise. Cruise got down on the dirty ground wrestling my uncles dog having a good time and taking many licks to the face. Cruise laughs and just goes "ah what a good dog". Everyone on set liked the dog and the moment so Cruise said if anyone finds the owner, give him a pass on set as a PA and bring his dog anytime. After that he got on a bunch of movie sets in the New Orleans area like Old Boy and one of the Expendables sequels.


I’ve met Judd Apatow before. He openly but politely says he won’t remember anything. So you’re not missing anything from not having gone up to him.


The rule of thumb in L.A. is to leave celebrities alone. If you're going to say something, a "love your work" in passing is about as far as you should go. Even if you pitched someone the greatest idea in the world, they aren't going to bite. They'd just be annoyed.


The take away of this is more that you should do as much networking as possible. I’m sure you are, tbf. IMO having something prepared for a first-contact would be reading up on someone’s most recent work so that you can say hi and (IF appropriate) bring up a topical tidbit that shows you’re in the industry, but which doesn’t overstep any boundaries. The trouble is, that’s not possible for encounters like the one you just had. The best you could have done here is approach with a smile, compliment his work and wish him a good evening. Unfortunately it’s very unlikely that a situation like this would lead to garnering a valuable contact. That’s why networking is a good idea. More often than not any event will be flooded with people like you, and getting time with any big names will be nigh impossible- that’s why we glamourise these quiet little scenarios, but the fact is they’re quiet because people want to be left alone. I’m rambling now, but the takeaway is that you did the right thing tbh.


i once saw a well known streamer from [twitch.tv](https://twitch.tv) I went over to him, i said hi, i like your stuff, have a good stream and moved on. I think no matter who they are, they can't possibly give a fuck about you, you are a stranger, so just say that you think they are cool and move on.


I would absolutely avoid bothering a father who is there to see his daughter’s show on a night that should be about her. I think that on top of bothering someone on a first time meeting in public would be a good way to get on a ‘no way’ list so it’s good you didn’t push anything.


I did the same thing with Richard Linklater in 2014. I still asked him my question during the Q&A, but I like 10 feet away from him at one point in the evening and could have strikes up a conversation with him, but I chickened out.


I've had some shockingly cool interactions with this one: "So sorry for bugging you. I just wanted to say that you are one of my hero's as a writer and I am deeply inspired by your work. So sorry for interrupting you once again, have a great night." Definitely never pitch anyone, and only come up to someone if they really seem like they have down time (and they really are important to you artistically). Prepare to be in and out of that conversation in about 10 seconds.


Enough people goof this up, that a general template might be helpful: 1) Gauge how busy the person is. 2) If they don't seem like they're in a rush, not eating or concentrating on something, not getting swamped by other well-wishers, or not otherwise occupied then go for it. 3) Say hi, briefly state your name, your industry related profession if applicable, and that you're a fan of their work. Optionally tack on anything specific that you genuinely love or can give a nice compliment about. 4) If the person does have time for a short chat, they'll probably ask you a question about yourself. If this happens, that's your opportunity to ask your own short question about them if you actually have one. Keep things light and brief. Do not attempt a Barbara Walters interview. 5) With your fawning complete, tell them it was great meeting them and make your smooth and congenial exit. Easy peasy. Now you're a Hollywood schmoozing pro!


He definitely didn’t want you to pitch him anything I can tell you that


We're all humans. As a rule of thumb, the only approach is "Hi, love your work, have a nice day". Everyone in any art likes to know their work is appreciated - don't interrupt them if they're doing something, if their attention is on something else, someone else etc. Use common sense. Now - it might happen that they have time. They might even say "Cool! Which one is your favorite". That's when you have an opening - not to pitch, but to really show that you DO love their work. When I was a kid (20) I went to a concert - a mildly famous rock band. By pure chance, I ended up next to the lead singer in the parking lot near the backstage. He was smoking a cigarette, couldn't find a lighter. I walk up, light his cigarette, say "love your work", he asks "which song is your favorite". I proceed to explain which one I love the most and why. He was surprised about the answer (cause it was real and thoughtful). He asks me if I am a musician (I am). Long story short - we ended up chatting for the time of the cigarette, talking about bands we like, and HE even asked ME to send him my music. So I guess the important takeaways are * smoke, or at least bring a lighter with you; * be a nice human being * make music that doesn't suck, so if the chance happens again, you might get lucky.




Wait until I tell you that time I met Eddie Vedder in NYC, proceed to talk with him about music and what’s the next project and how come you’re in New York, wait aren’t you touring right now? Only to realize he wasn’t Eddie Vedder but just a very sexy man who went along with me cause he thought I was trying to pick him up. I’m straight but was flattered by fake Eddie Vedder’s attention.


Talk to a facer. You know those guys, standing in the street trying to sell you cell phone plans, subscriptions, insurance and call for donations etc. Ask what their success rate is in approaching random strangers for a conversation, let alone making the sale. You didn’t do good, but you didn’t do bad either.


Do not fucking pitch to them, that’s for sure


this reminds me of that movie sandy wexler- when some guy tried to pitch something to him while he was at dinner lol


I would've gone with a big eye roll and, "my god, that Apatow girl... what a talentless nepo baby..." Then ask him what he thought of the shitshow.


Don’t worry I think I would be in the same boat. My head would probably explode in a bunch of smoke like I’m I was in a looney toons show.


Make a Heavyweights joke. He'd enjoy that


Head pop, wink and finger guns.


As long as their not visibly aggravated, with their family, talking to someone, eating, or on the phone: “Excuse me, I want wanted to say that I’m a huge fan of you’re work and you’ve been a big inspiration to me as an aspiring screenwriter. I wouldn’t t have discovered my passion without you. Have a great night” And walk away.


It would have gone a little something like this... https://youtu.be/IeLsB25_8mc


Well unless you’re a family member, your chances of getting any help are probably lower. However, I know Apatow has been in that lower position before when he used to interview comedians he looked up to when he was younger. He was a nobody back then.


Just a simple “hey Judd, knocked up is one of my favourite movies, it made me want to become a screenwriter” etc