Matt Hurwitz: How did those Super 8 movies you made as a kid impact this film?
J.J. Abrams: That was a funny time. It was something that felt like a job, in the best possible way, even when I was a kid. Meaning, it was like the dream job that I managed to do myself. To get to use my dad’s camera – or, later, when my grandfather bought me my own, was incredibly fortunate. I started making movies when I was 8, so to be 11 or 12 or 15, or whatever, and to be making movies for half your lifetime! I remember being in high school, and doing these movies, and it really was a lifesaver. It let me escape into some kind of other place and gave me a sense of purpose. And that’s pretty much how I still feel, which is that I get to, at the moment, at least, work on movies and stories that I can sort of lose myself in. I just cannot imagine a better job.
I didn’t start too early (as J.J. Abrams) in creating short films, but I too treat it as a job (and something I see myself doing in the future). I think it’s scary business to be actually involved in making full-length films, but I really hope I could. It’s great to be able to touch people’s lives, and for me it feels more rewarding to do it through film.
When that day comes though (and I hope it will!), I think I would look back to this day and tell myself “This is what J.J. Abrams inspired me to do.”