J.J. Abrams Pulls Back the Curtain on ‘Super 8′
J.J. Abrams on the set of 'Super 8' (Photo: Paramount Pictures)
J.J. Abrams was another budding cinema fan who idolized Spielberg since childhood, so when he became one of Hollywood's hottest directors, he decided to make a film that would stand as a tribute to the films he grew up with. But instead of just copying Spielberg, he worked with the man himself. The result was "Super 8," which Spielberg produced and Abrams wrote and directed. And, of course, it features that classic Amblin logo.
With "Super 8" now available on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download, I spoke to Abrams about the best advice he got from Spielberg, lifting the veil of secrecy he likes to work under, and what having the Amblin brand on his movie meant to him.
Matt McDaniel: I watched "Super 8" again on Blu-ray, and it really holds up to repeat viewings. Is that a particular focus of yours?
J.J. Abrams: You hope that whatever you're working on is something that will sustain, but clearly there is no — I am not sure that there's any sort of trick to that other than you try and do things that you think, "Oh, this is something that is being referenced that people won't get on first viewing, but if they watch it again, it will have more meaning."
So little tiny, subtle, stupid things that don't necessarily need to be there, but you realize later actually had some importance can be enjoyed in a different way the second time you see it. But I think what you're describing is mostly about characters, -- meaning actors who bring it to life that you relate to and hopefully that's something that "Super 8" has.
MM: It's well-known that you keep a premium on secrecy before the movie comes out and tried to let as little out as possible. Is it a relief then after the movie comes out, that you can talk about it and open up?
JA: It is! It's funny. The only reason why I try to keep quiet about things is just so that people can actually enjoy the experience of seeing a movie and not feeling like they've already heard so much about it that they don't need to see it. But it's a weird feeling because sometimes when a movie comes out, it's been something that the people working on it know intimately but it's been the kind of secret. And suddenly you're sharing it with everyone, and it's sort of this weird tidal wave of awareness and questions about this thing that just the editors and producers and crew and actors knew about. So it always strikes me as a little bit of a sudden step into sunlight from a sort of dark cave.
MM: So once the movie came out, were there specific reactions from fans that you saw that surprised to you, that you weren't expecting it to be interpreted or taken in a certain way?
JA: Well, there were certainly moments in the movie that I hope people would see and I didn't know if they would respond to that they did that I was thrilled about.