J. J. Abrams quotes

  • We used to have more references to things that we pulled out because they almost felt like they were trying too hard to allude to something.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Trying #Trying Too Hard #Used

  • Mystery is more important than knowledge.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Important #Mystery

  • It's more important you learn what to make movies about than how to make movies
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Important

  • I try to push ideas away, and the ones that will not leave me alone are the ones that ultimately end up happening.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Ideas #Leave Me Alone #Trying

  • When I was a kid, it was a huge insult to be a geek. Now it's a point of pride in a weird way.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Kids #Pride #Way

  • Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) is probably the most influential film of my generation. It's the personification of good and evil and the way it opened up the world to space adventure, the way westerns had to our parents' generations, left an indelible imprint. So, in a way, everything that any of us does is somehow directly or indirectly affected by the experience of seeing those first three films.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Stars #War #Adventure

  • 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.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Thinking #Important #Stories

  • I may be even more grateful to George Lucas now than I was as a kid.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Grateful #Kids #May

  • You can never guess or assume what anyone is going to think.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Thinking #Assuming

  • There's something about looking at Super 8 films that is so evocative. You could argue it's the resolution of the film somehow because they aren't crystal clear and perfect,so there is a kind of gauzy layer between you and what you see. You could argue it's the silence of them. You could say it's the sound of the projector that creates a moodiness. But there's something about looking at analog movies that's infinitely more powerful than digital.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Powerful #Perfect #Silence

  • I work with really hard-working people who are really good at what they do.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Hard Work #People

  • What's a bigger mystery box than a movie theater? You go to the theater, you're just so excited to see anything - the moment the lights go down is often the best part.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Light #Mystery #Excited

  • What I'm still grappling with and learning how to do is to be looking and thinking cinematically, having come from television.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Thinking #Television #Grappling

  • One of my favorite things about 'Star Trek' wasn't just the overt banter but the humor in that show about the relationships between the main characters and their reactions to the situations they would face; there was a lot of comedy in that show without ever breaking its reality.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Stars #Character #Reality

  • Making movies was more a reaction to not being chosen for sports. Other kids were out there playing at whatever; I was off making something blow up and filming it, or making a mould of my sister's head using alginating plaster.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Sports #Kids #Blow

  • I think when you're 10 years old, it's too much to see something with the threat of death in every episode. Kids are better left naive about certain things.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Kids #Thinking #Years

  • Stories in which the destruction of society occurs are explorations of social fears and issues that filmmakers, novelists, playwrights, painters have been examining for a long time.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Issues #Long #Stories

  • The ability of a television series to make adjustments is something you've got to take advantage of.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Television #Advantage #Ability

  • When I was a kid, among the other embarrassing things I would do, and there's a list of stupid things, but I would make these dumb comedy tapes. I would often make prank phone calls, but I would also do it with friends.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Stupid #Kids #Phones

  • When I was a little kid - and even still - I loved magic tricks. When I saw how movies got made - at least had a glimpse when I went on the Universal Studios tour with my grandfather, I remember feeling like this was another means by which I could do magic.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Mean #Kids #Feelings

  • The Internet now provides an immediate and very clear consensus of what it is that the audience is experiencing. It's something that you should never let lead you, and yet at the same time, you should never ignore it.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Internet #Should #Clear

  • I mean, my dad's a television producer, and I knew I could get a job as an assistant or a reader with one of his friends, but it wasn't exactly what I wanted to do.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Jobs #Dad #Mean

  • Obviously with the Internet and increased access to other means of watching shows, the audience has dispersed and is all over the place and that is a challenge.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Mean #Challenges #Internet

  • When you go to commercial, you want something to call the viewers back, and if you don't have a decent act out, the audience probably won't be there in the numbers you want when the show returns.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Numbers #Want #Return

  • I'm obsessed with things that are distinctly analogue.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Obsessed #Analogue

  • Pitching is always a weird, difficult thing.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Pitching #Difficult

  • My mother is the coolest, most amazing person I know.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Mother #Most Amazing #Amazing Person

  • On movies like Star Trek and Star Wars, you have so much that will be created or extended digitally, and it's a slippery slope where you can get lost in a world of synthetic.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Stars #War #World

  • I remember being taught to read at a very early age. Like creepy young. I remember being in the crib, reading. My parents were very impressed. My reading speed, comprehension and overall ability has remained at that level ever since.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Reading #Parent #Creepy

  • I'm not as optimistic as Gene Roddenberry was. I fall somewhere in the middle. But as a romantic, I like to think things are going to get bigger rather than worse.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Fall #Optimistic #Thinking

  • The magic that works, to me, is the magic that feels completely grounded and real and tangible.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Real #Magic #Tangible

  • We're always pitching ideas and being told "no thank you." No offense taken, because I would so much rather be told the truth that they're not interested and be able to find the right show for that network down the line.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Taken #Ideas #Lines

  • I was more of a Star Wars kid, actually. I always thought Star Trek was a lot of talk, and it felt a little self-important. It was hard for me to get into it.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Stars #War #Kids

  • I was never really a comic-book fanatic.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Book #Comic Book #Comic

  • With three kids you are just trying to survive. You can't be fastidious.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Kids #Trying #Three

  • I've had the same friends since I was in kindergarten.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Kindergarten

  • I'd love to do a movie where the monster is human, where the issue is not otherworldly, or horror or science fiction.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Issues #Monsters #Fiction

  • As a director/writer/producer, all you ever want is to work with actors who make you look better, who make the work you do seem as good as it can be and even better than it is.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Directors #Looks #Actors

  • Robotics are beginning to cross that line from absolutely primitive motion to motion that resembles animal or human behavior.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Animal #Lines #Behavior

  • If you watch the first [Star Wars] movie, you don't actually know exactly what the Empire is trying to do. They're going to rule by fear -- but you don't know what their endgame is. You don't know what Leia is princess of. You don't yet understand who Jabba the Hutt is, even though there is a reference to him. You don't know that Vader is Luke's father, Leia is his sister -- but the possibility is all there. The beauty of that movie was that it was an unfamiliar world, and yet you wanted to see it expand and to see where it went.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Stars #Father #War

  • I'm actually a huge fan of digital as well. I appreciate how that technology opens the doors for filmmakers who never had access to that level of quality before. However, I do think film itself sets the standard for quality. You can talk about range, light, sensitive, resolution -- there's something about film that is undeniably beautiful, undeniably organic and natural and real.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Beautiful #Real #Technology

  • To me the interesting main character is never the one without flaws.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Character #Interesting #Flaws

  • 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.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Fun #Character #Kissing

  • I do think there's something about the digital age that is increasingly dehumanising us. We're in this very weird place where we're being pulled into experiences that aren't really experiences at all.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Thinking #Age #Digital

  • When I was a kid going into the movies, you weren't force-fed information everywhere you looked about what the movie was going to be.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Kids #Information #Feds

  • Withholding things in a story is no good if you aren't building to something substantial. It becomes foreplay without the main event, and no one wants that.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Events #Stories #Want

  • I'm working on the Star Wars script today and the people in my office have covered up all my windows with black paper. I guess they wanted to make sure no one could see what I was doing. It seems rather extreme.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Stars #War #People

  • I've always liked working on stories that combine people who are relatable with something insane.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #People #Insane #Stories

  • I've just been lucky to work on things that I felt would be cool to see. It's not that I had a strategy or anything.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Would Be #Lucky #Strategy

  • The noise you hear after people see something you do--whether it's a TV show or a movie--that always makes you see that thing slightly differently. Without question. The ability of a television series to make adjustments is something you've got to take advantage of. And test-screening a movie can be helpful too. But the part that can be dangerous is when you take those notes as gospel, instead of taking them with a grain of salt. The key is to use the response as one of the tools in your box, as opposed to using it to determine what you do.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Keys #Tv Shows #People

  • All the times I've been lucky enough to be a part of a show that's actually gotten on the air, it's always that same mixture of excitement and utter fear.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Air #Lucky #Mixtures

  • I'm an impatient guy and tend not to like to stay with one thing for a long time. I'll never be able to write as many scripts as I did for "Felicity" or "Alias" ever again. I'm just too impatient these days. I want to get on to the next project.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Writing #Long #Guy

  • I love stories where the impossible appears believable, plausible and real. Maybe it's silly, but it's one of the reasons Michael Crichton's writing always appealed to me: he took outlandish ideas and made them seem completely within the realm of possibility. I remember reading "Jurassic Park" and feeling like: "Oh, yeah -- no, that's totally happening right now. They're bringing back dinosaurs!
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Real #Silly #Reading

  • People never know what they want, though everyone says they do. If they did, nobody would ever be surprised.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #People #Want

  • But I'm grateful for everyone who would want to read a spoiler because it means that they care and want to see the movie … I know what it feels like, as an enormous Star Wars fan myself.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Stars #War #Grateful

  • It's cool to be a nerd. There's a general understanding that smartphones didn't come from jocks. The digital age was foreseen by a group of short-sleeved, buttoned-down, white-shirted guys and their female equivalents designing the very stuff that's now ubiquitous.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Success #White #Smartphones

  • We live in an age of instant knowledge. And there's almost a sense of entitlement to that.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Age #Entitlement #Instant

  • I believe in anything that will engage the audience and make the story more effective.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Believe #Stories #Audience

  • Whenever a toddler sees a pile of blocks, he wants to tear it down.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Block #Tears #Want

  • As a kid, 'Star Wars' was much more my thing than 'Star Trek' was.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Stars #War #Kids

  • I am lucky, I'm the first to admit that.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Lucky #Firsts

  • I don't think I have a signature.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Thinking #Signatures

  • I love recording music.
    -- J. J. Abrams

  • I love movies with spectacle but spectacle can be a performance, it doesn't have to be a creature.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Movie Love #Performances #Creatures

  • I hope to make movies that are so small they don't need to make anything to be profitable.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Needs

  • I have nothing against 3-D in theory. But I've also never run to the movies because something's in 3-D.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Running #Theory

  • It's what happens. You love, then you lose, then you die. Even if you survive, you die.
    -- J. J. Abrams

  • It's not a bad way to live once you let go of the idea that you deserve more.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Letting Go #Ideas #Way

  • I think admitting youre an addict is the first step towards recovery.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Recovery #Thinking #Admitting

  • I'm not trying to be coy or manipulative or Machiavellian, I want to spark people's imaginations.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #People #Imagination #Trying

  • My work isn't any more important than anything else in the family
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Important

  • When there's an authentic mystery, as opposed to just a question being asked, that's what makes you lean forward.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Mystery

  • Maybe there are times when mystery is more important than knowledge. I realized that the white page is a magic box. Ultimately, the mistery box is all of us. Ubiquitous technologies. What comes next ? Mystery as catalyst for imagination.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Technology #White #Imagination

  • Ratings have changed, viewer habits have changed and the options for the audience have grown enormously, but I don't think how you tell a story is fundamentally different.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Thinking #Different #Stories

  • I find that it's hard to fully examine one's life and not have faith be part of the discussion.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Have Faith #Discussion

  • Directing's the best part. Whenever I've directed something, there's this feeling of demand and focus that I like. And secondly, it means that you've gotten through all the writing stuff, and the producing stuff, and casting, and prep, and all those stages that are seemingly endless. So directing is sort of the reward for all the work you put in before. And then there's the editing, which is another amazing stage of the process. It's incredible the moments you can create.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Mean #Writing #Editing

  • I quickly said that because of my loyalty to Star Trek, and also just being a fan, I wouldn’t even want to be involved in the next version of those things. I declined any involvement very early on. I’d rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making them.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Loyalty #Stars #Knowing

  • I hate to look at the stuff I've written and consider what it means or why I do it.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Hate #Mean #Looks

  • I feel like obviously the standard for what TV looks like changes all the time.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Looks #Tvs #Standards

  • I'm literally open to any medium that will have me.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Mediums

  • I love the idea of anthropomorphizing machines. I love the idea of taking technology and giving it a personality.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Technology #Ideas #Giving

  • I love working with the right actor, and if the right actor happens to be unknown, that should be allowed, too, I think.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Thinking #Actors #Should

  • I think you have a passion and an obsession for something when it's not necessarily ubiquitous.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Passion #Thinking #Obsession

  • I try to work on shows that I would want to watch.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Trying #Watches #Want

  • I will say that what’s been funny is, since the lightsaber’s come out, I cannot tell you how many contradictory emails I have received from people who have both defended it with unbelievably detailed graphicsI’ve gotten things that are nuts, and I’ve gotten people who’ve shown how it’ll kill you and how it doesn’t make any sense.  It’s been the funniest thing to see the arguments that have developed over this thing.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Nuts #People #Email

  • It's a leap of faith doing any serialised storytelling.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Leap Of Faith #Storytelling #Leap

  • I feel like the beauty of this age of filmmaking is that there are more tools at your disposal, but it doesn’t mean that any of these new tools are automatically the right tools. And there are a lot of situations where we went very much old school and in fact used CG more to remove things than to add things.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #School #Mean #Age

  • Whenever I've directed something, there's this feeling of demand and focus that I like.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Focus #Feelings #Demand

  • When you work on something that combines both the spectacular and the relatable, the hyperreal and the real, it suddenly can become supernatural. The hypothetical and the theoretical can become literal.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Real #Spectacular #Hypothetical

  • There's nothing wrong with doing sequels, they're just easier to sell.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Easier

  • I don't try and write strong female characters or strong male characters, I just try and write, hopefully, strong characters and sometimes they happen to be female.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Strong #Writing #Character

  • All I know is that I've made some big screw-ups, and I've done some things that have done all right. I just keep trying to learn from the mistakes I've made.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Mistake #Trying #Screw Ups

  • I have no style. There are certain people who just have a visual sense that defines their work. You could probably watch 30 seconds of anything they do and you'll know exactly who directed it. I don't have that skill.
    -- J. J. Abrams

    #Skills #People #Style