The World We Design - JJ Abrams & Morgan Spurlock Clip

Uploaded by zeitgeistminds on 24.10.2012

>>Morgan Spurlock: When you look at what you created or look
at where you are right now, how has technology changed from when you first started, when
you were doing your first TV show to now? How has that shaped what you do or changed
the way you do what you do? >>JJ Abrams: Nothing that I say is going to
be news to anyone I don't think, but it's a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it's
an incredible and terrific thing that we can make and do anything, but it's sort of like
the psychologist Barry Schwartz calls it the paradox of choice. When you can do everything
and you have so much to choose from, a lot of times you're paralyzed and you can't choose
anything. So on the one hand it's great because we have the ability to do and see and make
anything. The question becomes what are you going to do?
And for me the thing I'm most fascinated by in terms of the technology of it all is the
immediate consensus of the audience. That you hear quickly, I mean real time, what people
are thinking about things, but what is really cool is what you see is this kind of deconstruction
of what happened in the writers' room. So for example, in a TV show you're in the
room, you're working on ideas, coming up with stories, and inevitably someone says, Oooh,
I have this idea. And they pitch the idea and the room kind
of goes "oh yeah," and everyone gets that's the thing you're going to follow. So you work
on that idea and it's that kind of Dopamine rush of the thrill.
And you work on that and, of course, you get in the practicality of actually doing it and
making it work and all the things of casting and directing and editorial, and you pray
it all comes together. But then weeks go by and in some cases months
and all of a sudden it's on the air and you start to see what the results are, what people
are thinking as they're posting their thoughts on the-- online.
And what's incredible is you see literally the exact same experience in reverse for the
viewer is what happened in the writers' room. And it's kind of what you realized is you're
transferring the chills and that feeling you get when you go "Oh, I got the chills, I got
goose bumps," that's a great idea, that process, and it goes through that whole crazy practicality
process of actually making it, but when it gets there it's amazing how often the things
that people react to are literally the exact experience you had in the room when the idea
was either pitched or you had it and you pitched it.
So I think the answer to the question of how technology changed is clearly we can do infinitely
more things now than we could ever do when we did Alias and every country she went to
was always Burbank. >>Morgan Spurlock: A lot of trouble in Burbank.
>>JJ Abrams: Yeah, oh, my god, you have no idea.
But it was amazing when you look at what we can do in terms of visual effects now, it
kills me. It's very exciting the idea of what's possible, but the question of what you should
do with it to me is the key. And I think that the only litmus test I know is try to do things
that actually give you the chills and use the technology to sort of try and transfer
that feeling to the audience.