JJ Abrams has given quite an epic and sprawling interview to Wired about this little indie film called The Force Awakens he's currently assembling on a shoestring budget, including a handful of on-set photos that show how much of the film is shot on real sand and uses physical props people can hit their heads on.
Abrams also spoke volumes about the films of the past and future, revealing that work is done on the script for Episode VIII, saying:
"The script for VIII is written. I’m sure rewrites are going to be endless, like they always are. But what Larry and I did was set up certain key relationships, certain key questions, conflicts. And we knew where certain things were going. We had meetings with Rian and Ram Bergman, the producer of VIII. They were watching dailies when we were shooting our movie. We wanted them to be part of the process, to make the transition to their film as seamless as possible. I showed Rian an early cut of the movie, because I knew he was doing his rewrite and prepping. And as executive producer of VIII, I need that movie to be really good. Withholding serves no one and certainly not the fans. So we’ve been as transparent as possible."
Abrams also spoke of the way fans have been drip-fed a stream of deliberately vague teasers, explaining:
"There’s a really positive side to keeping quiet. You can protect the audience from spoilers or certain moments that, in a way, obviate the movie experience. But on the other hand, you risk being seen as coy or as a withholding shithead."
Abrams also raved about working with legendary composer John Williams, saying:
"He’s like this jazzman who became one of the greatest composers of all time. He literally calls you 'baby'! Like, 'Hey, baby.' He calls me 'J.J. Baby.' I waited all my life to meet someone who would call me that!"
Millions of men will call you anything you want -- mummy, even -- if the film's any good, JJ. And what's more exciting than words? What's better than a word at making a thing seem exciting? Yes, that's right! Pictures!
Ending there with Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan on the set, discussing exactly how they're going to reveal that it is in fact Luke Skywalker beneath the prosthetic Han Solo mask he's been wearing to evade detection. [Wired]