Saturday 3 December 2016

Art imitating life for JJ Abrams

Published 30/03/2011 | 17:12

JJ Abrams made his own horror films when he was a boy
JJ Abrams made his own horror films when he was a boy

JJ Abrams found making his latest film Super 8 "oddly disturbing" - because it felt like going back to childhood.

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The 44-year-old, who made his own horror movies when he was a boy, directed the adventure about a band of youngsters who shoot a monster flick and end up documenting a train wreck that unleashes an alien force.

"There are moments where I was like, 'My God, this is exactly what it was like.' The set dressing, the costumes. Certainly, some of the subject matter was just very transportive," JJ revealed.

"It was sort of an uncanny thing shooting it, because it felt like I had gone back to my childhood in a way that was just incredibly surreal and oddly disturbing."

Super 8 began as a quiet drama about teen filmmakers in a small town. The Star Trek and Lost director decided that while he loved the characters he had created for that scenario, it needed something to make it an event audiences would want to see.

At the same time, he was working with distributor Paramount Pictures on a sci-fi adventure about a train that crashes while carrying an alien presence from Area 51.

"The problem with that premise is I didn't have characters that I loved and cared about inside that world. So I had a sort of premise on the one hand with no characters I could get inside of, and on the other, I had characters I was inside of with no story. So I thought, fit them together," he explained.

"Why don't they answer each other's problems and become one thing?"

Super 8 counts among its producers Oscar-winner Steven Spielberg, whose blockbusters include E.T. the Extra-terrestrial and War of the Worlds.

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