J.J. Abrams and Andrew Stanton are two names that should definitely be added to our “Interesting People; Science Fiction Writers” category. They aren’t science fiction writers in the purist sense but in a modern sense. Both Abrams and Stanton write science fiction, except instead of publishing their work on paperback they publish their work upon the big screen. I’m going to extrapolate and say that the reason science fiction writers were of interest in the first place is because of their uncanny ability to predict where technology may or may not lead us in the future. Stanton fits this bill, so to speak, his credentials being the creator of Pixar’s WALL-E. Abrams on the other hand has not made any wild predictions about the future when he dips his toe into the science fiction pool, however he is enamored with what technology makes possible as well as being another “Apple Fanatic”.
J.J. Abrams is an artistically and commercially successful writer, producer, and director of science fiction television shows such as Lost and movies such as Star Trek and Super 8. I’d like to start by saying I think he’d be a very successful speaker at Bucknell. His humor, charisma, and wit keep the viewer captivated throughout his speech. J.J. is obsessed with technology and has been since an early age; Out of curiosity, he and his grandfather would take apart widgets and machines and put them back together again. J.J. is so passionate and candid about his curiosity for technology that he can even make the technology behind manufacturing a Kleenex box sound fascinating. He uses technology to enhance story telling in the realest way. J.J. isn’t a director who uses technology in post-production to make his films 3D compatible, but rather he uses technology to innovate within his stories. His piece about reusing his old “Super-8” special effect techniques in an effort to avoid hurting Tom Cruise’s nose is especially entertaining. One possible pitfall that may arise from bringing J.J. to campus is that, although his name is surely household for those interested in entertainment, he might not have the same name recognition amongst Bucknell students.
Andrew Stanton is as well an artistic and commercial success in Hollywood but for writing and directing almost exclusively animated films, such as Toy Story and Finding Nemo. I believe Andrew as well would be a huge hit at Bucknell University. Andrew was the first to write and direct a fully computer-generated full-length feature film (Toy Story). His monologue focuses not as much on technology but instead about telling stories. He is humorous but also addresses serious and relevant human issues. Again, Andrew Stanton probably doesn’t ring a bell with most Bucknell students but hopefully the name Toy Story catches their attention.
*Just an update.
JJ Abrams is most likely going to be directing the new Disney owned Star Wars feature http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2488496/