On Friday, JJ Abrams completed his live webchat with Guardian UK readers. He gave some interesting and inspiring insights into Fringe, LOST, Star Trek, Cloverfield and writing in general. Below are some of the questions posed to him, and his answers:
To you, is there an upcoming episode that you are especially proud of and you think will be a fan favourite when the series is finished? Also, I have noticed a certain formula in the structure of the episodes so far. Is this something that is going to carry on, or will there be variations on this formula? Sorry if that isn’t too specific.
From – owlwaxer
JJ – We are still finding our rhythm. If you look back at the early episodes of your favourite shows you will find they are a little bit to the left of what the show ultimately became. I feel we are still arriving. The fourth episode, The Arrival, is closer to what the show will be.
Fox – not noted for their commitment to genre shows… have you plotted out as far as 7 seasons like Lost or do you see Fringe as being a 4-5 Season arc ?
from – djbollocks
JJ – Yes [on Fringe]. We have a big picture which we are working to. We have a six chapter idea. That inevitably changes along the way. You make discoveries which you can’t anticipate
With Fringe, you have moved away from heavily serialised storytelling towards the procedural. What sort of challenges have you faced with this?
from – GavinElster
JJ – It is hard mostly because it is not the kind of storytelling I tend to be drawn to. It was an experiment I was desperate to try. One of the challenges is for character development to happen despite the format. One thing that gets me excited are the clues and revelations. We are trying to do some of that even in the standalone episodes.
Is Fringe going to be a big mystery as Lost is, with all the cryptic clues.
Or will Fringe be a light venture?
JJ – There will be and there already is, and episode 4 begins it, the over-arcing mystery of the show. The goal is to do both – to tune in and enjoy without knowing anything that comes before it but also if you watch every week you will see things you understand and that are connected to the larger picture. We are looking at both of them.
JJ Also answered two questions from our friends at Fringe-Forum.com:
Do you have the same enthusiasm working on FRINGE that you have whilst working on LOST? Is the energy the same, if not, in which ways is it different?
JJ – I have as much enthusiasm working on any new project. Obviously certain things get complicated. For example, working on Fringe I really wanted to work on the pilot but I was also working on Star Trek so I was unable to do both. It was a very surreal thing having to give up that opportunity. I was so jealous. The hardest thing for me on that was just being involved in other things. Every project is different but the enthusiasm is always at the core of why I am involved with it at the beginning.
One of the many great things about LOST is it’s international cast – the story has had characters from all different types of backgrounds and many different nationalities. Do you plan to intergrate such a global make-up into the Fringe story-line, or is this more difficult to achieve with a story that’s primarily based in Boston?
JJ – It will be hard to make the show as universal as Lost simply because the international flight lent itself so perfectly to that. We do have ideas of expanding the world that Olivia travels. In the first season we have her leaving the country and travelling elsewhere. I love that and certainly hope to do that with Fringe.
Continue reading the rest of the webchat HERE.
What a great webchat! One of the best things to take away from the chat, is the fact that Fringe will continue in a similar vein to that of the excellent ‘Arrival’.