Filmmakers' passion, creativity intersect onscreen

From “Jaws” to “Jurassic Park,” Steven Spielberg’s movies have been a major source of inspiration for J.J. Abrams and his many collaborators.

Spielberg is a master of mixing spectacle with strong character development and emotional connections for the aud, even in fantasy setting. It’s a mix that Abrams has always tried to ensure is part of his work, on the theory that it doesn’t matter how cool your spaceship looks if the aud doesn’t care about the people who are inside the vessel.

Spielberg “is the filmmaker who I feel has had the most influence on our generation,” Abrams says. “It’s not only the range of work that he’s done, but the gift he has for telling stories. When you watch his movies, you see these shots where he manages to incorporate half a dozen shots into one shot that tells you everything about how ET or any other character is feeling in that moment. The humanity combined with the spectacle — that’s been the thing of his that has impacted me since I was a kid.”

Now that Spielberg has had the chance to interact with Abrams and his confederates, filmmaker offers a tip of the hat to the next generation.

“J.J. has an inexhaustible amount of creative energy,” Spielberg says. “Working with him is like being part of a sandlot team where J.J. makes us all feel like we’re kids again because there’s no rulebook. But the byproduct of all of this hardworking fun is not just kid stuff, it’s nuclear entertainment for everybody.”

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