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J.J. Abrams

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J.J. Abrams
Jja
Date of Birth June 27, 1966 (age 48)
 
Origin New York, New York, U.S.
 
Job(s) Creator
Executive producer
 
IMDb profile


Jeffrey Jacob Abrams (born June 27, 1966), more commonly known as J.J. Abrams, is one of the creators and executive producers of Lost. He is also credited with being the driving force behind the show, along with writing and directing the episodes "Pilot, Part 1" and "Pilot, Part 2".

Background

The son of Gerald W. Abrams, J.J. Abrams is occasionally credited as Jeffrey Abrams. While attending Sarah Lawrence College, he used the Alvin Sargent screenplay Ordinary People as a guide for writing his own scripts. His first feature film project written at Sarah Lawrence became the film Taking Care of Business, which he produced. His next productions were Regarding Henry and Forever Young. He also worked with Michael Bay on Armageddon. Abrams was named as one of Fade In magazine's "100 People in Hollywood You Need to Know" in 2005. He claims that he acquired the director's job on Mission: Impossible III after Tom Cruise watched early episodes of Alias on DVD and loved them. The two started hanging out together and subsequently, Cruise offered him the MI:III job. While Alias was still in production, Abrams gave actress Jennifer Garner a pink bicycle for her birthday. She would often greet the production crew by ringing the bells on the bike's handlebars.

Abrams directed the 2009 film Star Trek. Lost producers Damon Lindelof and Bryan Burk, as well as composer Michael Giacchino, also collaborated on the project.

In April 2009 it was announced that Abrams would produce the sequel to Star Trek, which will be co-written by Damon Lindelof.

Contributions to Lost

P1 1 bg
Abrams and Damon Lindelof

Abrams' involvement in the creation of Lost was revealed in full detail in the special feature The Genesis of Lost on the season 1 DVD box set: In 2003, ABC group chairman Lloyd Braun had pitched an idea to for a concept he described as Cast Away: The Series. Jeffrey Lieber was hired to develop a working concept out of the pitch. Lieber eventually ended up writing a pilot, which he was asked to rewrite until he was fired by Braun.[1]

Braun then turned to J.J. Abrams to overhaul the concept. Abrams decided to take the concept into more of a science-fiction/fantasy direction, adding a "mystery" element and making the island a "character" unto itself. However, since Abrams was busy with producing Alias and a new show named The Catch, Damon Lindelof was added to the project. Together, Abrams and Lindelof fleshed out the initial setting of the show. Abrams is credited for co-creating Lost and co-writing the two-part pilot episode, "Pilot, Part 1" and "Pilot, Part 2", together with Damon Lindelof and Jeffrey Lieber, directing the two-part pilot episode, and as an executive producer of the show. He also had the idea for the opening theme and the title card. [2]

Early in Season 1, Abrams was busy with producing and directing Mission: Impossible III. When Damon Lindelof was considering quitting Lost due to the sudden burden, Carlton Cuse talked him out of leaving and joined the show's staff as an executive producer.[3] From this point on, Abrams stopped being directly involved with the show.[4] Abrams briefly considered returning to the show and getting "more involved" with Season 3. Even though he intended directing an episode and "writing some"[5], he ultimately only ended up co-writing the Season 3 premiere, "A Tale of Two Cities", together with Damon Lindelof. (The Lost: Missing Pieces mobisode "The Envelope", which was officially released over a year later, also has an Abrams/Lindelof writing credit, but is actually a deleted scene from "A Tale of Two Cities").

In an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! in early May 2008, Damon Lindelof denied rumors of not having heard from Abrams in years, and confirmed still being in contact with him. At the 2009 Hawaii International Film Festival, Lindelof stated that Abrams watches Lost as a fan, seeing the episodes for the first time as they air, and has "expressed an interest and curiosity in how the show is going to end."[6] Abrams is still credited as an executive producer of the show as of Season 5. Abrams will not be involved with Season 6, as he thinks that Damon and Carlton themselves should finish what they have been doing with the show. (The Lostpedia Interview:Carlton Cuse & Damon Lindelof) He also rejected the idea of directing the series finale, since he thinks Jack Bender has earned himself that right.[7]

Later career

Abrams is a co-creator and Executive Producer for the science fiction drama Fringe, which premiered in 2008 while Lost was still airing.

Abrams was a co-creator and Executive Producer for the drama Undercovers in 2010. The show was canceled after one season.

Abrams was an Executive Producer for the thriller series Person of Interest, which premiered fall 2011. The show stars Michael Emerson, who also starred in Lost.

Abrams was an Executive Producer for the drama Alcatraz in 2012. The project reunited him with Lost Executive Producers Elizabeth Sarnoff and Jack Bender. It starred Jorge Garcia who also starred in Lost. The show was canceled after completing its initial thirteen episode order.

He is an Executive Producer for the series Revolution which premiered in fall 2012. The show stars Elizabeth Mitchell, who also starred in Lost.

Awards

Trivia

  • Even though Abrams' last known direct contribution to Lost was the script to the season 3 premiere, "A Tale of Two Cities" (which he co-wrote with Damon Lindelof), and he had stopped being the main driving force behind the direction of the show as early as season 1, instead leaving Lindelof and Carlton Cuse as the showrunners, a considerable part of the (casual) audience still considers Abrams to be the man in charge of the show. This is mostly due to his high profile name, thanks to his past work on shows such as Alias, and movies such as Mission Impossible III and Cloverfield. The misconception is not helped by media often falling into the same trappings: On the one hand, specialized media offerings such as Entertainment Weekly or TV Guide have staff closely following the show and with close contacts to the cast and crew, therefore being quite aware of what Damon, Carlton etc. do. On the other hand, however, local newspapers, international media and even foreign TV stations that air Lost abroad often don't have such an in-depth insight into the specific responsibilities of the production team, and therefore often tend to consider the most high-profile name—in this case, Abrams—as the main driving force behind the show.
AbramsMysteryBox
J.J. Abrams and his "magic mystery box" at

TED

  • In March 2007, Abrams gave a talk at TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) in which he explained his love of the unseen mystery, using the metaphor of a mystery box. Abrams views the box as representative of imagination, similar in nature to that of the magic box by which Ben explains one the mysteries of the Island to Locke in "The Man from Tallahassee". Abrams himself bought a "magic mystery box" as a kid, which he has never opened. View talk - "J.J. Abrams: The mystery box"
  • Abrams' film Cloverfield, which he produced, was released in January 2008. (January 2008 = 1/08, or 108)
    • There is also a DHARMA logo in the beginning frames of the movie.
  • Abrams' first feature film as director was Mission: Impossible III. The movie contains multiple Lost Easter eggs, such as the Paik logo visible on a building in Shanghai and the inclusion of the Hanso Foundation in the end credits.
  • Abrams' show Alias shared many connections with Lost. See main article: Overlaps between Alias and Lost.
  • In 2008, Abrams was listed in the Time Magazine "2008 Top 100 Most Influential People." Time Top 100
  • Appeared in the May 6, 2005 20/20 "Lost Special" (S26 E1396)
  • Appeared on January 13, 2007 at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' "An Evening with Lost"
  • Often uses the name Kelvin in his projects as a reference to his grandfather, Henry Kelvin.


Filmography

Screenwriter

On Screen
The end credits of Mission: Impossible 3

1990 - Taking Care of Business
1991 - Regarding Henry
1992 - Forever Young
1997 - Gone Fishin'
1998 - Armageddon
2001 - Joy Ride (known as Road Kill in the UK)
2006 - Mission: Impossible III

At the end of the movie, The "Special Thanks" credits include the Hanso Foundation.

2009 - Star Trek (alongside Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, both cowriters on Mission: Impossible III)

Creator

1998 - Felicity (TV)
2001 - Alias (TV)
2004 - Lost (TV)
2008 - Fringe (TV)
2010 - Undercovers (TV)

Producer

Cloverfield - Dharma Logo
The opening sequence of Cloverfield containing DHARMA logo.

2001 - Joy Ride
2005 - What about Brian (TV)
2006 - Six Degrees (TV)
2008 - Cloverfield (written by Drew Goddard and co-produced by Bryan Burk)
2009 - Star Trek

Director

1998 - Felicity (TV)

  • Todd Mulcahy: Part 1 (1999)
  • Todd Mulcahy: Part 2 (1999)

2001 - Alias (TV)

  • Truth Be Told (2001)
Abrams
Abrams directing Star Trek
  • Almost Thirty Years (2002)
  • The Telling (2003)
  • Authorized Personnel Only: Part 1 (2005) TV episode (minor segments) (uncredited)
  • Authorized Personnel Only: Part 2 (2005) TV episode (minor segments) (uncredited)

2004 - Lost (TV)

2005 - The Office

  • Cocktails (2007)

2006 Jimmy Kimmel Live!

  • Episode dated 31 May 2006

2006 - Mission Impossible III
2008 - Anatomy of Hope (TV)
2009 - Star Trek

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