JJ Abrams Sponsoring Young Filmmakers Contest For Super 8 + Talks About Young Actors in Star Trek & Super 8

To promote Super 8, a movie about some 1970s kids who discover something while shooting a movie, Star Trek director JJ Abrams is sponsoring a contest for aspiring (under 18) filmmakers. Watch a video of Abrams explaining how you can get your big break, plus he compares Super 8 and Star Trek actors, and also talks film influences.


Super 8 Young Filmmakers Contest

Star Trek director JJ Abrams is sponsoring a new "Super 8: Your Directorial Debut" contest (with Chanel One). Here is a video clip of Abrams explaining how young aspiring filmmakers can win prizes, including a chance to have your film screened before Super 8 on opening day.

Here is the official description:

In Super 8, debuting in theaters everywhere on June 10th, a series of creepy and mysterious events follow a horrific railroad crash witnessed by a group of friends making a film. Now it’s your turn to be the filmmaker and create your own 3-minute movie! Your film can be about whatever you want, and shot however you choose. If your movie is selected, you’ll win a Mac loaded with movie-editing software, an iPad 2, a camcorder, $1,000 for your school’s drama or arts department, and best of all, a chance for you and five of your friends to see your movie screened before Super 8 on opening day! One runner-up will receive an iPad 2.

The contest is open only to US residents between the ages of 13 and 18. To enter submit your video at ChannelOne.com by May 20th. They even provide some music you can use. Details at Channelone.com.  

JJ compares Super 8 & Star Trek young actors + talks film influences

JJ Abrams spoke to MTV.com about Super 8 and one of the questions was about working with young actors. Abrams contrasted his last film, and Super 8:

I don’t think working with actors, young or old, is ever very easy or a given. Everyone’s different. There are some actors with whom I feel I have this crazy psychic connection and I don’t feel like I have to say anything and they get what it is. When you’re casting, the most important thing is casting people who don’t necessarily have to be told what to do at every turn but will inspire you by coming up with things you never would have thought of. Working with kids is something I had done only sparingly. In "Star Trek," there was a young Kirk and a young Spock. But never really like this, and frankly I was terrified. I was dealing with two main actors who had never been cast before and never been on a set before. They didn’t know the most fundamental things about how a crew works. Everything was an alien experience for them. The fun of working with them, partly, is they weren’t professional kids. And then there was Elle Fanning, who’s from another planet herself. There’s a
kind of innate brilliance and sophistication, the likes of which I’ve never seen in an actor, especially an actor who when I worked with her was 12.

Also last week JJ spoke to the LA Times about the "Seven Films that shaped Super 8", which were:

  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
  • Jaws (1975)
  • The Thing (1982)
  • Alien (1979)
  • Slumber Party Massacre (1982)
  • Scanners (1981)
  • E.T.: The Extra- Terrestrial (1982)

JJ Abrams directing "Super 8" – influenced by horror & sci-fi films of  late 70s & early 80s

Here is the Super 8 Trailer.

More about Super8 at the official site.

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No. 1 on my list of must-see films in 2011. Looks fantastic.

I will be growing roots at my theater this summer, that’s for sure!

Look, I’m sure both Abrams and Speilberg are jazzed about doing a feature film like Super 8, that really is just an homage to their own early days as kids using said equipment to learn the craft of film-making. Okay, fun times over JJ, it’s time to put away your toys and concentrate your efforts on something really important, like the next Star Trek movie!!!

Yeah, forget about this nostalgic Super 8 movie, Abrams, and concentrate on making the sequel to a reboot of a TV show from 60’s.

Yee-haw! Boldly go!


Correction: THE 60’s… man.

My teens will be working hard for the deadline!!! :D

u go J.J!!

#3 –

Yes… Harry Ballz! … because if they think I’ll keep talking about the other movies of them, without they show service at Star Trek 2012… the guys are mistaken! … period! … LOL

:-) :-)

What? No Goonies? The trailer totally reminded me of ET and The Goonies.


Ya got that right, baby! Group hug, everybody!

Love the contest!

I’m stokked for the next cool sci fi film, especially because my son is getting old enough for them. But Trek 2012 is going to make all of them look smaller, much less epic. If I have faith in anything, it’s Trek and it’s mission…boldly going.

Definitely seeing Super 8 when it comes out!

im soo looking forward to doing this.. but idk if i can complete it in time. i just heard about it as well. and i would just sooo appreciate that maybe it could be due on Monday. that gives the weekend. PLEASE JJ.. ur my idol i would just hope that this can really be pushed throuhgh. i so look forward to making thsi though.. if i have time.