July 18, 2008 / 6:55 AM / 10 years ago

Reitman & Reitman draw laughs at comedy fest

MONTREAL (Hollywood Reporter) - Father-and-son filmmakers Ivan and Jason Reitman traded quips and reminiscences for an eager hometown crowd on the opening day of the inaugural Just Comedy conference Thursday.

"Juno" director Jason Reitman (R) and his father, director Ivan Reitman arrive at the 2008 Film Independent's Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California, February 23, 2008. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

Asked how his father had influenced him and his work, “Juno” director Jason Reitman had a simple reply: “I saw “Animal House” way too young.”

Ivan Reitman, in turn, complimented his son on the success of “Juno,” the Oscar-winning comedy that earned $230 million at the worldwide box office.

But the veteran filmmaker chided Hollywood studios for being too focused on blockbusters. “99% of their resources is in finding the next Batman,” he said. “Once in a while, a ‘Juno’ comes along. But they don’t (usually) really nurture that.”

Jason, meanwhile, said he then had to wait years to do the film he really wanted to do while rejecting teenage romantic comedies and other films.

“‘Dude Where Is My Car’ came in twice,” he deadpanned.

The elder Reitman reminisced about how Bill Murray didn’t commit to “Meatballs” until a day before shooting began. And he thanked Murray for easing his initial nervousness about the directing job. “You should relax a bit,” Murray suggested, he recalled. “You make people (in the movie) nervous.”

The two-day Just Comedy conference, which will feature a tribute to prolific comedy filmmaker Judd Apatow (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin”) on Friday, is part of the Just For Laughs festival (July 10-20).

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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