Whilst Super 8 might be the first jointly-made feature from J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg, it’s not actually the first time the two men have worked on the same project. Indeed, Abram’s first collaboration with his long-time idol arrived, appropriately enough, through the medium of Super 8 filmmaking.
Having come to The Beard’s attention at a Super 8 festival in the early ‘80s, Abrams and fellow filmmaker Matt Reeves were contacted by Spielberg’s office with an offer they could hardly believe, let alone refuse!
“We received a call after an article about the festival appeared in the LA Times,” Abrams recalls in a recent interview with Time. “His assistant asked us if we would be interested in repairing the films Steven had made when he was our age. Of course we were convinced this was a prank phone call, and to this day it makes no sense to me why Steven would put the original prints of Firelight and Escape to Nowhere in the hands of two 15-year-old strangers.”
“But Matt and I did it,” he continues. “In 1982 it was especially rare, if not impossible, to have access to the early works of a director, let alone Steven Spielberg's. But while his films were, of course, far better than ours, it was an inspiration to see how he began.”