Magazine article Variety

TV Exerts Remote Control on Abrams

Magazine article Variety

TV Exerts Remote Control on Abrams

Article excerpt

Smallscreen influences Founders Award honorées approach to film production

AS A PRODUCER, DIRECTOR and writer who's whipped old franchises into shape for the new century ("Star Trek," "Mission: Impossible"), then spun ripping original yarns ("Super 8") with an equally deft touch, it's no surprise that J.J. Abrams is the go-to man in Hollywood these days.

But Abrams' early success came out of television, from such shows as "Felicity" and "Lost," and as this year's recipient of the Inti. Emmy Founders Award says, he owes a lot to TV for keeping his approach to features fresh.

"Part of the joy of television is being a part of something that is an organic, living, breathing, evolving thing," he says. "It's an evolution, and you're constantly making decisions based on the results you're getting - it's a whole other form of entertainment (than movies) that way."

Working in TV gave Abrams insight into keeping movie budgets under control. In features, he notes that there's this attitude of "What do you need? We'll make it!" whereas in TV, "You make do with what you've got."

"One thing I've tried to do with the movies I make is to take a TV production approach to a sequence or a scene," Abrams says. "Rather than say, 'We don't have what we want,' it's 'How can we do it? …

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