Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Neat Quote from J.J. Abrams

AVC: If you look at a lot of the TV and movies you've been involved with, like Cloverfield or Lost or nowFringe, you seem to be trying as hard as you can for as long as you can not to reveal the trick.

JA: I think that that's partially true. Like with Cloverfield, the whole idea with the marketing and the quick release was for people to have an experience as it happened, instead of pre-experiencing it by reading all about it. But I feel like withFringe, the mandate is to try to do something week-to-week that's a procedural like CSI, but a skewed procedural, that's as creepy as humanly possible. While with Lost, on the one hand, it is a show that seems to duck answering questions. At the end of the pilot, you have Charlie asking "Where are we?", and that's something the audience still wants to find out. But week-to-week, that show answers a lot of questions, just not always the ones people feel are the ones that matter.

I think that even if you're wondering if two characters are ever going to kiss, drawing out the inevitability is part of the fun. Whatever the genre happens to be. Now in a movie, you get all the answers by the end, except in Pulp Fiction, where you don't ever really get to know what's in that case. But even in movies—a great example is North By Northwest, where you don't really know what the microfilm is, but who cares? By the end of the movie, the answer that you get is not really the answer that you thought you wanted to know. The answer you get is: "Oh, they're in love, and now they're married, and these were the circumstances that led up to that. They almost died a number of times, but they survived and they found each other," I feel like in telling stories, there are the things the audience thinks are important, and then there are the things that are actually important.