One of the great things about awards season is that studios and production companies, at least the cool ones, come up with creative and entertaining ways to draw attention to their films that often also celebrate the art of those films. On Saturday I was privileged enough to be invited to one of these events and this one took place on the rooftop patio at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot Productions in Santa Monica.
The event was a cocktail reception and featured a mini-concert by an orchestra conducted by Oscar-winning (Up) composer Michael Giacchino. Selections from Super 8, Star Trek, Lost and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocolwere played and the musicians were amazing.
In addition to Abrams, Giacchino and their families, “notables” in the house included: Jon Favreau, Kevin Smith, Frank Darabont, Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner, Joss Whedon, Dominic Monaghan, Karl Urban and most of the kids from Super 8, not to mention many members of the Academy’s less recognizable but equally talented branches, including composers, makeup artists and VFX folks.
After the show, I and a few others were lucky enough to be taken on a mini-tour of Bad Robot Productions by Abrams and I have to say, it’s a bit of a geek paradise. Star Trekand other space-related memorabilia abounds, including a scale model of the Enterprise that was created on Bad Robot’s own 3D printer:
Other cool touches are a recording studio, a big work area that just looks like a geek play room (working phaser prop, anyone?) and an ever-changing quote board by the entrance that Abrams said was an important task of whoever inhabits the reception desk.
I also got a glimpse into why J.J. has frequently mentioned how great it was working with his young cast. After the concert, there was a screening of Super 8, followed by a Q&A at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica which meant about two hours of downtime during which at least Gabriel Basso and Ryan Lee spent their time drawing. Very well. These kids are multi-talented and creative, to boot.