Abrams On Directing Star Trek XI

Being flexible and able to think quickly was necessary for J.J. Abrams when it came to bringing Star Trek XI from the script to the set.

As reported by Star Trek Magazine, first, a director has to be able to visualize what the movie will be. “When I’m writing something, I tend to see it specifically, at least in ways that are usually more clear than I even realize,” explained Abrams, “meaning, I’ll see things in a certain direction. I’ll see the composition of a shot or a sequence.” Abrams enjoys the process, which includes input from cast and crew members. “But because it’s such a collaboration, part of the fun is discovery,” he said. “The actors that you get, the director of photography you work with, the production designers: they all have ideas. While you may have a certain vision, there’s an immense amount of flexibility and fluidity that you have to approach any project with that accounts for the unexpected, which is usually the thing that makes it good.”

Sometimes things change between the script or storyboard, and then set. “What I tried to do on this movie was not storyboard anything that I could avoid storyboarding,” said Abrams. “For example, if it was any scene that didn’t require the kinds of visual effects preparation that would demand that kind of specific planning, I would try and let it go, and do it on the fly. We’d make it up as we went along, because that’s usually the fun of it. There are certain sequences where I had ideas in my head, certain scenes with the characters, that when the day came to shoot them, I suddenly found myself throwing out whatever preconceived notions I had, and seeing what felt right and what the actors would go to naturally, and adjusting things from there.”

Read the full interview in issue #20 of Star Trek Magazine – on sale now. Subscribe now HERE!

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