JJ Abrams: Man Of Mystery

In the last week we have learned more about the ultra-secret new Star Trek movie being made by JJ Abrams than we learned in the previous 3 months. We have a picture of the Enterprise, a trailer, Q&A w/ Orci, Q&A w/ Abrams and Crew, a (fuzzy) shot from the bridge, a viral site (w/ secret images)…we got a lot. And yet, like after watching a great episode of his hit show Lost…it is all still a mystery.

JJ talks about Mystery and his mystery box.
No only is Abrams the co-creator of Lost, but he is also a Twilight Zone fanatic, so it is no suprise that he loves a good mystery. Last March we reported that Abrams spoke at the TED conference about this, and now this is available on video. In the video Abrams talks about how mystery is the key to good storytelling. He also talks about the making of Lost and MI3 and special effects. Since this was almost a year ago, he doesn’t talk Trek, but you still get a good insight into the creative process of the man who is currently driving the franchise.

Hi res version and downloads available at ted.com

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January 26, 2008 12:58 am

I like this mystery – keeps me going, and doesn’t spoil too much about the new movie!

Michelle
January 26, 2008 1:04 am

Dang it! I still want to know what’s inside that box.

SirMartman
January 26, 2008 1:12 am

The more you find out,,,,, the more you dont know,,,

Seems like a Homer Simpson moment to me,,,

*DoH*

deleted
January 26, 2008 1:24 am

deleted by admin

Doorchime
January 26, 2008 1:33 am

Doubt is the only way to understanding.

Dafydd1971
January 26, 2008 1:48 am

There’s a great episode of Felicity dedicated to another “box” made in the style of a 60s Twilight Zone episode. If you have any doubt JJ can do justice to TOS, then track down this episode, it’s fantastic.

January 26, 2008 2:25 am

That’s why we saw Abrams wearing an Infocom shirt. Does anybody remember old school text adventure games? ;-)

Drew (TN)
January 26, 2008 2:58 am

Couldn’t be more pleased with JJ & co’s responses…I’m more excited than ever…I hope they do another after the wrap

January 26, 2008 3:21 am

“Don’t worry. Just be profound.”

“Harry. It’s better than the drugs.”

“Take two would be a bitch.”

Classic stuff.

January 26, 2008 3:25 am

-COOL!!!

MotoQ9mQueerUser
January 26, 2008 3:56 am

#6 Thanks Willow, tell Tara hi ;)

Seriously, I wish my question had been answered about if there are any gay characters in the new movie. All the captains minus Shatner, Takei, & Gene Roddenberry himself have all shown support in their time. I’m wondering what the new creative team’s view is. What’s the spirit of Star Trek without IDIC?

Commodore Redshirt
January 26, 2008 4:06 am

WOW!

JJ, you are the EF ‘n BEST person in the world to have the helm of TREK!

I TRUST YOU!
NOW GO, MAN!!!!!

bono luthor
January 26, 2008 4:15 am

A mystery indeed.

Commodore Redshirt
January 26, 2008 4:20 am

THE BOX SAID “this above all else, to thine own self be true”

It's Early-and-I'm-Cranky-Stanky McFibberich
January 26, 2008 4:33 am

Despite all the worship and bootlicking, it’s 99.9999999% talk and very little to actually go on. The only thing that will convince me is the hard evidence…what it really turns out to be. These little bits and pieces that excite some people to joy and rapture really don’t do much for me.

I appreciate the effort to have the director and cast, etc. participate in Q & A, but again, nothing was really said there other than the usual “in good hands” and “vision” and “rah-rah-rah” type stuff. I just don’t get the level of excitement people have over little things like a portion of a bridge panel or some blurry viral (ugh) site images. If the movie turns out to be something I like, I will say so, but for Pete’s sake, get a grip!

There, Xai…now do you believe it’s me? ;)

Commodore Redshirt
January 26, 2008 4:37 am

wow, spankster is a crabapple ;)

trekee
January 26, 2008 4:51 am

I think all the talk is important though. He does show nice comic timing and my biggest fear was that we would have Transformers level humour or a dumbing down of the whole thing and that would seem not to be the case.

Yesterday was pretty special. We can’t say the fans are being ignored…

Smike van Dyke
January 26, 2008 4:53 am

“a (fuzzy) shot from the bridge” ???

Hu? What BRIDGE? Wasn’t that supposed to be a CORRIDOR? Or am I actually missing something?

c0mBaTkArL
January 26, 2008 5:00 am

Smile van Dyke – “Hu? What BRIDGE? Wasn’t that supposed to be a CORRIDOR? Or am I actually missing something?”

That’s right, a fuzzy shot from the bridge – of JJ on the bridge set using a console station as a desk for his laptop. Giggidy-diggidy!

Smike van Dyke
January 26, 2008 5:12 am

Thanks…I must have missed that fact…

Jon C
January 26, 2008 5:23 am

Gee,I love creative people.

Jon C
January 26, 2008 5:31 am

His insight into the Brody character from’ Jaws’ and his observation of ‘ET’ has me looking forward to a very character driven ‘Star Trek’.I’d love to know what His view of the Kirk,Spock,McCoy dynamic is.I guess we’ll find out in Dec.

Gustavo Valente
January 26, 2008 6:13 am

I will just say that….Star Trek is in fine hands

CanuckLou
January 26, 2008 6:17 am

@24 Indeed. JJ Abrams really acquits himself quite well. My excitement for the new film has grown exponentially based on the happenings of the past week here.

The adventure continues….

Woulfe
January 26, 2008 7:40 am

Satr Trek in itself is one great big Mystery Box.

What does the future hold for us ?

– W –
* We’re in for one heck of a ride *

Woulfe
January 26, 2008 7:42 am

^ dang typos…. it’s too erly in the morning =P

– W –
* Meh *

JimJ (Jim, my name, is Jim)
January 26, 2008 7:50 am

I understand where Stanky is coming from, and, in some ways I do “feel his pain.” BUT, what I am liking is the fact that JJ & Co. are being much more forthcoming than Berman ever was. PLUS, they all seem genuinely excited, unlike Berman who always said the same thing: “The studio liked many aspects of the first script and greenlighted our (insert # here) draft.” Describing the movie as a whole: “We’re very pleased.” There wasn’t any of this interaction, there wasn’t ever actually anyone looking at what we’ve said or wanted to ask (you really think they didn’t read the mass majority of our questions, even though they didn’t have time to answer them all?). Frankly, the feeling I get in my GUT is that these people really understand what they have stepped into and are genuinely starting to jump start this franchise for the next 40+ years…while being totally reverent to the people who started it all. Honestly, I don’t view this exactly as a prequel (Enterprise was the actual prequel)…I view this as the beginning of something very special. I’m gonna think that way until the movie proves me wrong. Besides, Stanky, isn’t it more fun to be happy than crabby? LOL (Actually, Stanky, I love your posts!)

Lou
January 26, 2008 8:17 am

LET’S SEE WHAT’S IIIIIIN THE BOX!!!
NOTHING!!! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!!! STUUUPIIIIIID!!! YOU’RE SOOO STUUPIIID!!!!!

gotta love UHF! :D

Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar
January 26, 2008 8:49 am

The Twilight Zone, best episode (and the most touching) is the one with Donald Plesance playing the old college prof. and al the students he influenced who passed away (mostly because WWII) come back to see him one last time. Think it’s called the changing of the guard. What a perfect tv episode. The second best was Deaths Head. The one were the Death Camp guard (who looks like Zero Mostel but was not Zero Mostel) visits his old camp 15 yrs later and is haunted by the residents of the camp.
That’s part of the reason Lost is so magical, those Twilight Zone like elements that are neatly incorporated without being heavy handed.

Nice couple of days for the fans Anthony. You should be proud to make so many happy and have accomplished what you have. Just do us a favor and stay off the bridge. Red Railings can be a dangerous place and we don’t want to lose you.

The Very Skeptical and Reserved Stanklin T. McFibberich
January 26, 2008 9:04 am

re:28. JimJ (Jim, my name, is Jim)
“Besides, Stanky, isn’t it more fun to be happy than crabby?”

I’m happy about some other stuff. :)

My point is just that if you can get all pumped up over this little stuff, what’s gonna be left when you see the movie?

In my younger days, I was more interested in these early “details.” After awhile I got tired of having things turn out to be much less than they were made out to be. Yet, for some unknown reason, I still come here daily for my dose of rah-rah jabberwocky. ;)

Just imagine my upcoming joy if my criticisms turn out to be unfounded. Like that’s gonna happen. :)

sean
January 26, 2008 9:05 am

There’s a great episode of TNG about this very thing that JJ probably loves (or would love if he sees it). It’s called ‘Clues’, and in it Picard explains to an alien why they’ve returned, and he says something to the effect of ‘It created a mystery. And if there’s one thing humans can’t resist, it’s a mystery.’

That statement holds true for most people (Stanky being the exception, of course). Even if it’s something we aren’t particularly interested in. If there’s an air of mystery around it, it tends to pull us in. Mysteries beg to be solved, and with every new ‘clue’ that JJ & co drop on us, we only want the answers more. Hitchcock was good at this game too, with his less-is-more approach.

Say what you will about it, but it works!

Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar
January 26, 2008 10:44 am

Ballzio, Adam Cohen, CmdrR, Xai where are you guys?????

All these new faces around here the last few days make me nervous I may have my mute henchmen do some nasty work on the newbies!!!. I am excited as hell but I miss the days of us handful of guys bitching at one another over shoddy remastered CGI. And more importantly since JJ, Orci and (yes you) Anthony were too chicken pants to answer it. If you could build a practical time machine and go back specifically to 1981. Which Landers sister would it be, Judy or Audrey????

Petitspock
January 26, 2008 10:54 am

The more I learn about Abrams, the more convinced I become that he’s the right person to take over Trek.

Kirkwannabe
January 26, 2008 11:01 am

Very entertaining bit by JJ.

The part that very much cemented my optimism that the movie will be everything we hoped it could be: JJ’s enthusiasm for the scene he played from Jaws with Roy Scheider and his kid. That was a great little character moment in an otherwise suspenseful action oriented film. Those “little” moments between Kirk, Spock and McCoy are what make the episodes so rewatchable for me.

JJ’s emphasis on character, and his apparent understanding of what makes ST tick, gives me great optimism in this film.

All our hopes…

January 26, 2008 11:44 am

Mystery is part of what propels humankind forward. Hey that is an element of TREK. JJ a good match the mystery will be revealed in December. I do like the talk and how important family is to him. It is the human emotional element that is very important in creation. Watching early TREKs recently I realize more and more that element was important in those shows and I hope it is a big part of the new film.

DavidJ
January 26, 2008 12:17 pm

15

Why do we get excited over little things like a blurry pic of a bridge console? Because we’re Star Trek fans, that’s why!!

Obviously all of us here realize the movie could still suck in the end– and if it does you can be sure we’ll be VERY vocal about it– but in the meantime what’s so wrong with having a little optimism?

Ever since I was a little kid, the ANTICIPATION of a big movie like this has been half the FUN of the whole thing. Yeah we’ve all gotten burned before with movies like Phantom Menace, but I don’t regret for a second all the enthusiasm and excitement I invested in Star Wars the year leading up to it. It was a damn fun time to be a fan.

If this Trek movie doesn’t live up to the hype, so be it. Being negative and cynical about it for an entire year isn’t going to change the final result, so why not have our fun now?

DavidJ
January 26, 2008 12:21 pm

Oh yeah, and that was a really cool talk JJ gave. I saw him at a Wondercon a couple years ago, and he was JUST as entertaining and energetic there too.

January 26, 2008 12:25 pm

One of the questions I wanted to ask J.J. was whether he has control/rights to a Star Trek TV Series? I realize he is going the movie route, but in my opinion, Star Trek was always made for television. Whereas Star Wars belongs in theaters. We’ve got a reverse now. Anyway, this guy is so terrific at creating TV shows, I just think a Trek TV show would do more for the franchise…….someday.

I AM THX-1138
January 26, 2008 12:35 pm

Hey, Garth, when do I get to be a member of the club? Maybe I’m just too nice. Or maybe it’s my handle. But trust me, I am a WAY bigger Trek fan than a Star Wars fan (which I love). It’s just that nobody else had chosen it, and it’s a cool looking name (although after awhile, this site made me add the “I AM” part or I couldn’t post).

But I guess I’ll always be a lone wolf, meant to ride alone. Don’t try and stop.me, I’m too dangerous to get close to. And I don’t want to see you get hurt.

AAAARROOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Ban An Appeal
January 26, 2008 12:40 pm

“In the video Abrams talks about how mysery is the key to good storytelling. ”

I’ve been myserable most of my life. Never resulting in a good story.

Sorry. Couldn’t resist.

January 26, 2008 1:14 pm

One more interesting thing I noted from this clip is about how JJ brings up anyone creating their own films with the technology they have at home. Like say all these various STAR TREK fan projects with many focusing on the original series years. I sometimes suspect maybe STARSHIP EXETER, NEW VOYAGES, etc. had some influence in some small part in a original series type film happening. Things come around and with JJ seeing the Apple video Ipod showing some of LOST at a Steve Jobs talk that showed some of this. Now the interesting irony of sorts with JJ is doing an original TREK film. Fate has a funny way of working out.

Now this new STAR TREK film could end up being a major dud, but hey the journey up to it’s presentation looks like fun and the creator of it seems like an interesting person in bringing it to the screen. I would rather have a creative type with some vision, energy and love of what they are working on doing something like this. Here is to a good beam up.

Nina
January 26, 2008 1:42 pm

I always thought JJ was a bit overhyped, but seeing more of him over the past through days through this website has changed my mind a bit. I still think his plot resolutions are kind of, er, not very good, but he seems true blue and clever and funny and certainly innovative. I look forward to hearing more from him and what he thinks about the creative process and Trek.

Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar
January 26, 2008 2:05 pm

Anthony – of course…………. After a fashion. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA Ha… cough… cough…ahem

THX – your in brother !!!!! But first you must answer the question…. Judy or Audrey Landers (hint maybe a trick question)

Nate
January 26, 2008 2:15 pm

The Star Trek Teaser trailer is now on Apple’s website (QuickTime 7 Required):
http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/startrek/

Xai
January 26, 2008 2:35 pm

Ok, I open Christmas presents on Christmas day. I don’t expect to open them or know what they are until then. If the gift-giver wants to hint at my gift, cool. If not, cool.
I LIKE the subtle hints, the guesses at what this movie may become. I LIKE the mystery and the expectation. Let them be mysterious, it’s cool

STANKY… what do need? Coffee, Xanax? I’ve not been on your case in weeks. But I’ll make you a deal. If you live close by, I’ll go with you and even buy the ticket. I am in Western Iowa… where are you?

Stanky Grant
January 26, 2008 2:38 pm

re:32. Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar
“Which Landers sister would it be, Judy or Audrey????”

After considerable thought over many years, I must say………Judy.

or “Judy, Judy, Judyyyyy”

Lord Garth, Formerly of Izar
January 26, 2008 2:48 pm

Stankalicious Archibold Leach …. Excellent quite viable answer…. BUT WRONG!!!!!!!! try again…… think man!!!!

neal
January 26, 2008 3:22 pm

That … dude … talksrealfastman!

January 26, 2008 3:34 pm

#27,(I’m gonna go with Jim) you bring up a good point and your Berman quote was perfect. =€
Berman was kinda a stiff guy publicly anyway. While the young producers like Braga, Piller, and Baer all seemed a bit more relaxed.
^
JJ definitly seems relaxed that’s a good sign. I also like that I can just type JJ and everyone knows who I mean. That’s a time saver.
^
Great Job on this amazing interactive Q and A interview.
Thanks Again Anthony!!!!!

Ps. Everyone Mac Pro, is industry standard. There’s no product placement going on.
However it would have been funny to see a picture of the Mugato taped to the back… :)

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