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Superfan JJ Abrams on Directing “The Force Awakens”

Wired interviews the J.J. Abrams on what it’s like to direct the most anticipated film of the year.

JJ Abrams by Dan Winters

WIRED: How are you feeling? It seems like only yesterday you were announced as the director of Episode VII.

J.J. ABRAMS: Good! It’s a crazy thing, right? I can’t wait for people to see the movie. We’ve been baking this cake for a long time, and now it’s time to serve it.

How much of The Force Awakens  is geared toward welcoming people back to the Star Wars franchise versus starting something completely new? How do you strike a balance between those two imperatives?

We wanted to tell a story that had its own self-contained beginning, middle, and end but at the same time, like A New Hope, implied a history that preceded it and also hinted at a future to follow. When Star Wars first came out, it was a film that both allowed the audience to understand a new story but also to infer all sorts of exciting things that might be. In that first movie, Luke wasn’t necessarily the son of Vader, he wasn’t necessarily the brother of Leia, but it was all possible. The Force Awakens has this incredible advantage, not just of a passionate fan base but also of a backstory that is familiar to a lot of people. We’ve been able to use what came before in a very organic way, because we didn’t have to reboot anything. We didn’t have to come up with a backstory that would make sense; it’s all there. But these new characters, which Force is very much about, find themselves in new situations—so even if you don’t know anything about Star Wars, you’re right there with them. If you are a fan of Star Wars, what they experience will have added meaning.

Wired | Read the Full Article

Working Writers Answer Some of the Common Screeenwriting Questions from Twitter

Nick Hornby (An Education, Brooklyn), Beau Willimon (House of Cards), Nancy Meyers (Somethings’s Gotta Give, The Intern), Andrew Bovell (Strictly Ballroom, A Most Wanted Man), Jimmy McGovern (Accused, Banished) answer questions from the Twitterverse about Screenwriting.

Nancy Meyers

 

An In-depth Interviw with Sam Mendes, Director of Spectre

Already an award-winning stage director, Sam Mendes burst onto the movie scene with American Beauty, winning the Directing Oscar for his first film. Other films followed, but didn’t have quite the same impact. And then James Bond came into his life. After his second outing with 007, Mendes chatted with David Poland about the film, the journey, and about what might be next.

Sam Mendes

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