JJ Abrams Guest-Edited WIRED Mag Preview – w/ Star Trek Mini-comic

The nice people at Wired Magazine sent TrekMovie their May issue which has a very special ‘guest editor’…the director of the new Star Trek movie, JJ Abrams. The issue is filled with the stuff JJ loves, especially mysterious puzzles. Abrams also writes an essay about mysteries and spoilers. Plus the issue contains a Star Trek mini-comic written by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman and also ‘production notes’ from ST09 the DP . See our Abrams WIRED preview below.

 

The Abrams mystery
JJ Abrams loves a good mystery His favorite show is The Twilight Zone and since he was a child he has kept a ‘Mystery Box’ which he has never opened (and it graces the cover of his issue of WIRED). The issue itself is full of puzzles and riddles to be solved, making the mag almost like a game in itself.

Abrams also has an essay titled ‘The Magic of Mystery’ in which he talks about how wonderful mysteries are, and how they are ageless from the question of God, to the Loch Ness monster to McDonald’s Special Sauce. But this leads the director to go on a bit of a self-described ‘rant’ on how today mystery is disappearing. That the information and and spoiler demanding cuture have ‘demystified’ everything. This is no surprise coming from the man who co-created Lost and the man who demanded that everyone in his Star Trek cast wear hooded cloaks any time they ventured anywhere where a camera could spot them.

Here is one of the points Abrams tries to make for the case of keeping spoilers away from fans:

Spoilers give fans the answers they want, the resolution they crave. As an avid fan of movies and TV myself, I completely understand the desire to find out behind-the-scenes details in a nanosecond. Which, given technology, is often how long it takes–to the frustration of storytellers. Efforts to gather this intel and the attempts to plug leaks create an ongoing battle between filmmakers and the very fans they are dying to entertain and impress. But the real damage isn’t so much that the secret gets out. It’s that the experience is destroyed.


JJ’s Mystery Box on the covered of his WIRED

"When Worlds Collide" mini-comic
What may be the coolest thing in the new JJ Abrams guest-edited WIRED is a six page long mini-comic tied into the new Star Trek movie. The "When Worlds Collide" comic was written by Star Trek scribes Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, with old school art by Eisner-winning comic artist Paul Pope. The story centers on the elder Spock, reminiscing about the old days, with imagery coming from his childhood and his time on TOS (both the show and the movie era). This short little comic also ties into the movie and is worth the price of the issue itself. Here are just a handful of panels.


6-page Trek comic in Wired spans Trek eras

Nokia promo/Production notes from Daniel Mindel – talks ‘lens flare’
Another Star Trek-related component for the new WIRED is a two-page ad from Star Trek promotional partners Nokia & Verizon. One page of the ad is actually more like an article, with production notes from Star Trek director of photography Daniel Mindel. He goves over his approach to 3 scenes in the film: the ice planet, Nero’s ship, and the bridge of the USS Enterprise.

There has been much said about the ‘lens flare’ scene in the Star Trek clips and trailers. Mindel discusses this when writing about shooting on the Bridge:

Here on the Enterprise set, little pinpoints of light are facing the camera. Without them, contrast levels in this scene would be virtually flat. To liven things up, every time the camera moves around, the lights halate to give us this great halo effect. In fact, you can see the halation from the lamps here under Spock’s nose on the edge of the set. We felt that gave us a very realistic feel to an otherwise static scene. We have this motif working throughout the movie and if you’re looking for it, you’ll see it. It adds a lot to of kineticism. 


Mindel thinks the light ‘halo effect’ adds to the realism

Pick it up
The new WIRED is a must for any fan of Trek or fan of puzzles. It is available on select newsstands already, and should be available wide by next week.

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Ooooh, wrinkled Spock! Eeeerie!

that comic looks insane awesome.

For more on J.J.’s mystery box concept, here he is, explaining it himself:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/j_j_abrams_mystery_box.html

dont care, lights still can go *$(@#$!! the graphics on the back screens woudl have been enough.

Sounds like a pretty sweet issue.

Spoilers can only damage cheap, gimmicky film experiences. The experience of a great movie is entirely immune to damage from spoilers.

That said, it’s fun to see Abrams indulge his fetish.

#4 is a bit pushy about it but generally I agree: The lens flare effect was subtle enough in the Kirk/McCoy clip but ridiculously distracting in the Kirk/Spock/Scotty clip. It’s a silly thing to get worked up over but if it’s that overt throughout the ENTIRE movie it’s only going to give me a headache.

not sure about the lens flares, but the comic sounds great!

Cool! Cuz I am already a subscriber!

SJR, I think the world of you and your work, but that’s crazy talk, man!

“No, Luke. *I* am your father” is just one example of something that shouldn’t have been spoiled before seeing TESB to experience it in full, wouldn’t you agree? You can’t really think that was a cheap, gimmicky film experience, can you?

And wouldn’t knowing the ending of every story before you read it break the drama? Most conclusions are spoilers. Knowing the ending in advance impacts the dramatic experience. That doesn’t make most endings cheap or gimmicky.

Am I completely missing your point?

Quote from #6: “Spoilers can only damage cheap, gimmicky film experiences. The experience of a great movie is entirely immune to damage from spoilers.”

Not so Mr. Ross. Spoilers do have a damaging effect on the element of surprise, even for “great movies”. It is true for many aspects of life, whether it be peeking at Christmas presents by tearing away a piece of the wrapping paper, or friends telling you that Vader is Luke’s father before you saw the movie, and it’s true when you read the novel before you see the film.

I don’t mean to imply that you can’t enjoy Star Trek without the element of surprise, but the sheer joy of discovering something exactly how and when the artist wishes you to will be gone from those who are spoiler-hunters.

Me? I’m not against a few spoilers at all, but I do love the thrill of seeing some mysteries revealed in the theater, with full picture, sounds and musical score.

Now that’s a well drawn comic, from the inking to the colouring, that’s what Countdown should have looked like.
Each of the panels is splendid on its own, the linework is great, it’s vibrant and makes the pictures come alive.
The colours give it a marvelously classic feel too.

As for spoilers, they can ruin the first time you watch something. But if something is good you can watch it again and still enjoy it.
Spoilers satisfy and afterwards ruin that craving for wanting to know what is going to happen. But the best films don’t need plot to be great.

That Enterprise doesn’t look right, disaster etc

“Here on the Enterprise set, little pinpoints of light are facing the camera. Without them, contrast levels in this scene would be virtually flat. To liven things up, every time the camera moves around, the lights halate to give us this great halo effect.”

I wish they had solved this “problem” differently… I really don’t like the spot lights.

So, I’m assuming that the comic takes place from Spock Prime’s point of view when he’s on Delta Vega?

@15, the Delta Vega setting is the framing part for the rest of the comic, which is told in snippets of flashback. Spock remembers learning nerve pinch techniques as a kid, surviving the test of manhood in the desert, playing chess with Jim Kirk, playing music for Uhura, helping Kirk outwit Khan with a callback to his 3D chess strategy and so on, then back to Delta Vega again, as he looks up to see the Enterprise from this movie, presumably shooting Kirk in that escape pod toward the surface…

All of star wars was a cheap experience. The latter films just took it to a whole new level.

6. (Written with all due respect to SJR)

To say the experience of a great film is “entirely immune” to the affects of spoilers is way too specific. Sure many great films are unaffected by spoilers, but there are just as many that are completely altered by spoilers. I could name a ton, but two that spring to mind are “The Crying Game” and “The Sixth Sense.” If I knew the twists of these movies as I was watching them for the first time, my experience and feelings toward these films would be forever diminished.

Me no like spoilers. Even for crappy movies.

Those light being more realistic? Riiiiight. The bridge of a space battleship and the crewmen go: “I can’t see! I can’t see! It blinded me again, damn it”. Suuuuure, realistic.

The Paul Pope drawn comic is the most beautiful thing to come out of the marketing of this Trek!

As far as the lens flares go I hope they won’t be strong enough to trigger an epileptic seizure.

#3:
Just watched that whole video and gained a new perspective on just how this movie is going to be.

#19:
Lense flares are only for lenses, real people don’t see them usually. Very realistic unless Jordi is on board, then yeah, he could be blinded.

Bringing back optimism turned out to be as as simple as overlighting the ship interiors. The future’s so bright even Vulcans with third eyelids gotta wear shades.

Brilliant!

The movie is shot on film with anamorphic lenses. They create this flares all the time. After I saw the whole movie, and being a photographer, I can say the flares add to the realism of the movie. Everything feels like it is happening right now in front of you. They do not distract you from what happens on the screen, the movie is so intense that you really do not care about flares.

Funny – when I studied photography, I was taught that lens flare was a tyro’s error and shown techniques to avoid it.

anyone know if Wired mag avaiable in UK? like in newsagents etc or will it be an eBay import job?

@#%# the halo effect
also I’m sick of JJ Abrams Riddler bull@#$%!
WIRED Magazine! It SEEMS JJ Abrams is still trapped in the early 1990’s like this movie seems to be.
Hey JJ! Don’t have a cow, MAN!

There showed up a new Spot on Facebook. Don’t know whether this has been reported here, but it’s slightly different than the previous ones…

Jim – April 18, 2009

Funny – when I studied photography, I was taught that lens flare was a tyro’s error and shown techniques to avoid it.
—————————–
Yes, you are right.
When I studied film and was taught the same thing.

someone posted i really bad Wolverine spoiler in the comments of the Trek v Wolverine box office thread..i was so annoyed when i read it…it wouldve been a great surprise…what an ahole – he didnt HAVE to do it..but he did it

ive been avoiding reading the comments on TM.com ever since the new film premiered as theres BOUND to be people posting spoilers even in the non Spoiler threads – …in fact im feeling abit jittery about reading this one too – all it takes its one dumbass to ruin it…

im with JJ on this one – i HATE spoilers

Wehn it comes to spoilers and information about a movie being given during production, I love it all. It makes me MORE excited because I know what I want to see. When I know nothing about it, then my excitement is built up so much that the movie in question almost never comes close to the hype and excitement I have built up and I am therefore usually disappointed. This is what I am afraid for in this movie. With knowing NOTHING for so long, and even now, the story of the movie is still quite vague, I am afraid the movie will not live up to the expectations that JJ Abrams and the rest of his buddies have made me build up. And the extra FIVE MONTHS of waiting didn’t help either. I actually get quite frustrated thinking about the movie because I literally can’t wait another nanosecond to see it. It’s like, I just want to get it over and done with. LOL!!

For those wondering about Uk – From wiki

“Wired launched a UK edition with Wired UK 1.01 for May 1995, ceasing publication with issue 3.03 in March 2007. The relaunch issue is dated May 2009.”

So shouldn’t be too much trouble tracking one down

You can get Wired here in the UK, in WH Smiths stores.

Hope that helps.

@30…

Don’t worry, you will not be disappointed.

The ‘rightness’ of spoilers depends on what’s being spoiled. If the spoiler is — and I’m ENTIRELY making these up — ‘Scotty uses his idle time on Delta Vega to develop his own wormhole star drive to replace the matter-antimatter engine on the Enterprise,’ some people will be annoyed by this but it won’t ruin the movie for them, and it may indeed spark greater curiosity about how and why. But if the spoiler is, ‘Nero is stopped just as he takes aim at Earth when Scotty opens a wormhole, grabs Nero and jumps into it with him, killing them both,’ people will be honked AND have no need to see the movie. It comes down to mere detail vs. major plot element.

28. darrksan – April 18, 2009
Jim – April 18, 2009
“Funny – when I studied photography, I was taught that lens flare was a tyro’s error and shown techniques to avoid it.
—————————–
Yes, you are right.
When I studied film and was taught the same thing.”

Funny, I have been in television and film production for 22 years.. we use lens flares all the time. Even when I was in school, they taught us how to do lens flares properly so you don’t blow out the camera.

Is it because the public is conditioned to believe that pros don’t have lens flares that lens flares (when used correctly) add to the realism?

I like the use of lens flares artistically, doesn’t bother me in the least.

Funny Spoiler:
————————–
The sequence with “Scotty in the pipes” was shot in a Budweiser brewery in Van Nuys. Hence that oldskool look with all the tubes, tanks and valves.
————————–
Spoiler end.

“Even when I was in school, they taught us how to do lens flares properly so you don’t blow out the camera.”

That is the point they were trying to make, Montreal Paul.

Well, time to pick up a copy of the new “Wired” magazine. They definitely love Star Trek there. That mag actually once published a feature on the fan made “New Voyages” episode featuring an elderly Pavel Chekov.

I LOVE THE FLARES!

Wow, Spock looks ancient in the drawing.

I like the way its being implemented so far. The lens flare that is…I am not concerned about it.

I was kinda impressed with the bridge scene just after Kirk and Scotty come off the turbo lift and the camera moves to Spock with a slight wooosh! I thought that little movement was very cool.

The flares are part of the movie, they are really beautiful…

Thus spake the Scribes, “Abrams also has an essay titled ‘The Magic of Mystery’ in which he talks about how wonderful mysteries are, and how they are ageless from the question of God, to the Loch Ness monster to McDonald’s Special Sauce. But this leads the director to go on a bit of a self-described ‘rant’ on how today mystery is disappearing.” Intriguing. Of course, it will be a net good for spoiled, ADD-riddled Western man if Abrams can capture the imagination of a generation or two lacking an attention span. It will also explain quite a lot about his adaptive story telling techniques – and why certain young people today hurl nasty (and unimaginative) epithets at Star Trek: they don’t understand it and they do not have the wherewithal to take it all in, as Star Trek was about story telling first, last and always. Indeed, it might have taken 50 minutes of air time to prepare the listener for the moral of the story. (Make no mistake about it – Star Trek was written to be heard; visuals were always a distant second priority in the scheme of things. Star Trek was the last chapter in the oral story tradition, by way of stage, radio and teleplays. Its language was stately, memorable, and designed to be recited. The tradition, at least in the SF genre, was effectively killed by Star Wars which was intended as a feast for the eyes, rather than as a spectacular enhancement of the… Read more »

When does this guy sleep???

Sent into tips the other day… reposting here:

On Page 129, there is a continuance of an article from PAGE 508 (there IS no Page 508) which talks about STAR TREK’S GREATEST PUZZLE ((in the case of the article, the Kobayashi Maru)). The article doesn’t seem to reference real world sources, but talks about ways to solve the problem.

All the ads on the page that have websites redirect to the WIRED website.

One ad has to do with puzzles and has a long string of numbers that may mean something, but I am not sure.

I suggest checking it out.

Cool, a Wired about JJ Abrams?
Must buy!

Capt Mike Of The Terran Empire

7Pm May 7th just can’t get here fast enough.

Why does that look like Nimoy Spock and Saldana Uhura?
Wrinkly Spock not too flattering. And the La’Matia too!

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