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An Interview with J.J. Abrams

By John Davison

An Interview with J.J. Abrams

Abrams at the VES Awards

J.J. Abrams is an Emmy-award winning writer and director, whose show “Lost” changed the face of television and whose films include the well-received “Star Trek” reboot and what is (by far) the most anticipated film of 2015, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” I recently had a chance to speak with J.J. about VFX, invisibility, and immersive storytelling.

How do you balance character moments with visual effects?

The master you’re serving is the story, and the emotional moments are everything. It’s amazing how much you will forgive in terms of visual effects if you care about and are with the characters. You can have the best visual effects ever and characters you don’t care about, and the visual effects will suffer and the whole story will fail.

If the story is good, if the story requires something of a spectacular nature then that’s great. And a lot of times visual effects are invisible to people and people don’t even realize that they’ve seen a visual effect and that’s when it’s the best because you’re not aware of it as an effect, you’re just aware of the story. You get sucked along and taken to this amazing other place that supersedes any 2-D/3-D, the best stories are fully immersive because you are inside the story.

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