Jason Reitman, Edgar Wright talk shop at fest

Inaugural Just Comedy getting positive reviews

MONTREAL -- Two red-hot young filmmakers took to the stage here Friday to discuss their careers and share advice for aspiring talent, while making the audience laugh and take notes for about an hour straight.

In their "unplugged" session at the Just Comedy industry conference, Edgar Wright shared with the audience that he was most influenced by "Raising Arizona" and "Evil Dead 2," which drove his realization that he could and wanted to make movies, too.

"For me it was 'Clerks,' " Jason Reitman said. "I thought I could become a director, too."

He recalled the reaction that Kevin Smith gave him when Reitman mentioned this to him: "He said: You are the son of Ivan Reitman. You needed me?!"

Wright's early U.K. TV work was also a topic of debate, as "Spaced" comes out on DVD Tuesday. "I turned down a lot of TV offers in the three years (we worked on 'Shaun of the Dead')," he said.

Reitman, who also had to see through all sorts of delays and challenges until he could finally make "Thank you for Smoking," said that having to persevere seems to be a trend among young filmmakers.

This led to an exchange about the advice the two up-and-comers had for aspiring filmmakers, which had the crowd in stitches.

"Don't give up," Wright said, and Reitman countered: "Follow your heart."

After some banter, Wright suggested they end the session right then and there as all the important stuff seemed to have been said.

The program of the inaugural Just Comedy ended later that night with a special "Apatow for Destruction" stage show hosted by Judd Apatow and featuring Seth Rogen and other comedians who work closely with the comedy powerhouse. The show was sold out, with industry also crammed into most of the standing room.

Overall, the inaugural Just Comedy got positive reviews from industry attendees.

Organizers said they were also happy with their first annual event and said they had more than 400 registrations from people in the industry.