Top Ten Most Interesting Directors of the Now – JJ Abrams
Part of an ongoing series by G-FUNK
If you’re new, you can catch up on the previous entries in this series here. Now we look at the works of J.J. Abrams.
J.J. Abrams often seems to be this generations representative in Hollywood. Drawing his influences from family films of the 1980’s, clever marketing and classic sci-fi tropes he’s re-invigorating a sense of wonder in his viewers.
Born in New York and raised in Los Angeles, Abrams was the son of two television producers, giving him a family tie to the business he would go on to make his mark in. Although he’s only become a household name the past decade he cashed his first paycheck at the age of 16 for composing the music for Don Dohler’s Nightbeast.
Not one to waste time, Abrams sold his first treatment during his first year of college to Touchstone Pictures, the Belushi comedy Taking Care of Business. He followed the success of this first sale with the Harrison Ford starring Regarding Henry and the Mel Gibson vehicle Forever Young.
After this early start Abrams continued to move further up the Hollywood hierarchy. He began collaborating with mega-producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Michael Bay on Armageddon whilst co-creating the television series Felicity with Matt Reeves.
2001 saw Abrams break out on his own, founding the Bad Robot production company. It was from this point that Abrams starting to set his unique approach in concrete beginning with the television show Alias followed by Lost. The latter in particular demonstrated Abrams’ ability to manipulate audience expectations and generate a sense of mystery. Debate about Lost became commonplace in pop-culture circles and continues even after the series has ended.
In all of these shows Abrams also composed the theme music.
Abrams continued to pick up as a writer and a producer, taking on various roles in Joy Ride, writing an unproduced Superman screenplay, What About Brian and Six Degrees before making his feature film directional debut with Mission: Impossible III, one of the strongest in the series.
His style of creating striking visuals and marketing films came into play again when he worked as producer on Cloverfield and director on Star Trek. Keeping the bulk of information about the movie Cloverfield under wraps he created a wide marketing campaign encompassing websites and puzzles for involved viewers to solve.
Bright and exciting action sequences throughout his movies indicate a strong influence from Steven Spielberg’s early works, and the two film-makers collaborated on the 2011 film Super 8 with Spielberg producing and Abrams writing and directing. More than any other project the movie is directly influenced from family adventure film such as The Goonies.
At the current time JJ Abrams is working on a sequel to his successful Star Trek reboot. With often multiple projects in the works at any times it’s likely that Abrams will have more in the works before long.