For J.J. Abrams, the strongest force manipulating an audience is the unknown. What captivates an audience right from the opening minutes is ‘the mystery box’, the unseen and the unsolved.

In his TED talk below, renowned writer, producer and director Abrams explains this is why we are all so fascinated by film and television: we are drawn in by the mystery. Sometimes, mystery is more important than knowledge. Based on this understanding of storytelling, Abrams has created successful television series that are mystery based, such as  Alias, Lost and most recently, Fringe.

A treat for fans of Abrams, in the video we are given some insight into his upbringing and the encouraging influence of his grandfather. His passion for story telling and the medium of film resonates throughout the video and he also brings his mystery box with him. I will however leave it a mystery whether he opens it or not.