J.J. Abrams and Joss Whedon met on stage this weekend to talk storytelling, network television, and their formative geek experiences. Here were the five can't-miss moments from this high-concept meeting of the minds.
The big news of the Visionaries panel was Joss Whedon announcement that he is officially directing the Avengers movie, but the purpose of the panel was to give Whedon and Abrams an opportunity to talk about their experiences and influences as film and television storytellers.
In the spirit of Comic Con, moderator Doc Jensen asked them to share their own moments of extreme fandom, and Abrams revealed the odd prop he received after writing a fan letter to The Exorcist makeup artist Stan Smith:
Whedon and Abrams both explained what inspired them to become storytellers:
When asked about Super 8 his Steven Spielberg-produced project, Abrams talked about his first glancing encounter with Spielberg, when he was asked to repair the 8mm movies Spielberg made as a teenager:
In the wake of Lost's end and the cancellation of Dollhouse, the pair discussed serialized television versus self-contained episodes, and network television executives' reluctance to look at serialized shows:
They offered a bit of writing advice — or at least advice about dealing with writers — when an audience member asked about her brother, who has trouble accepting criticism: