Posts tagged ‘Gerald Abrams’

Gerald Abrams Talks JJ and ‘Star Wars’

Longtime film producer, Distinguished Alumnus, and Alumni Fellow Gerald Abrams ’61 talked with FlipsidePA about Star Wars: The Force Awakens and admitted that he told his son, J.J., The Force Awakens‘ director and producer, not to get involved. Despite knowing that J.J. received acclaim for his modern versions of older franchises like Star Trek and Mission: Impossible, Gerald was uneasy about what would happen if the new Star Wars film wasn’t considered up to par.

After seeing the movie in advance of the Dec. 18 release date, the elder Abrams changed his tune, saying that “it was probably very smart that he did it” and calling it “the best work he’s ever done.” The proud father – who we wrote about back in 2011 – also dove into his own role with the film: while he didn’t have official involvement, he notes that his son invited him to the set and asked him to read through the script and make notes.

Bill DiFilippo, online editor

December 15, 2015 at 2:47 pm 1 comment

An Hour With Gerry Abrams

Gerald-AbramsMembers of the Penn State Class of 1961 are in town this weekend for their 50th reunion, and yesterday  several hundred of them crammed into an assembly room at the Nittany Lion Inn to hear one of their more famous classmates speak.

Gerald Abrams ’61 has been a television producer for more than four decades, with credits like Nuremberg, Florence Nightingale, Flesh and Blood, Found Money, and The Gift, among many others. (He’s also getting to be equally known for being the father of J.J. Abrams, director of Mission Impossible, Star Trek, and now Super 8.) Abrams was joined in the session by Matt Jordan, an assistant professor in the College of Communications.

Jordan first took the audience on a little tour of the history of television, then played the role of James Lipton and lobbed a few questions at Abrams. After that, Abrams’ classmates got to ask him some questions as well.

Here are couple of the questions from Jordan and the audience, along with Abrams’ answers:

How did Penn State prepare you to work in TV? “It didn’t. There was no television curriculum when I attended. The television curriculum today in the College of Communications is so sophisticated. They’re now teaching things like how to produce interactive game shows, for students who might be interested in that field.”

What can be done about the decreasing quality of television programming in our country—profanity, sex, etc.? (more…)

June 3, 2011 at 3:29 pm 2 comments

Star Trek Director has Penn State Blood

A 1962 grad sent us a note the other day via the Alumni Association’s “Ask Alumni” page to call our attention to something I didn’t know: The director of the current blockbuster Star Trek movie is the son of two Penn Staters.

J.J. Abrams also directed the film Mission: Impossible III and was co-creator of the TV series Lost, for which he won a bunch of Emmy Awards. He’s part of a movie-and-TV family: His dad, Gerald Abrams ’61, is a Penn State Alumni Fellow and Distinguished Alumnus who has owned Cypress Point Productions for more than 30 years. Gerry has been executive producer of a number of TV programs and garnered a handful of Emmy nominations over the years. He’s also very active in the College of Communications. And J.J.’s mom, Carol Abrams ’63 (she was Carol Kelvin as an undergrad), is an independent producer who won a Peabody Award in 1994 for The Ernest Green Story, a film she produced for the Disney Channel.

Tina Hay, editor

May 29, 2009 at 8:07 am Leave a comment


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