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Super 8 (2011) Poster

(2011)

Trivia

Jump to: Cameo (1) | Director Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (3) | Spoilers (2)
Riley Griffiths (Charles Kaznyk) played an April Fool's prank on director J.J. Abrams during filming: "On the verge of crying, I told him I had lost my script, lost it at a mall in L.A., somebody took it, and it's online. He totally fell for it... I think I might have been more scared than J.J. I was trembling."
Since Elle Fanning was 12 years old while filming her driving scene, it was illegal for her to actually drive, so there is another person driving the car with a mini-steering wheel in the backseat.
Originally, when the boys were sitting and waiting for Alice to pick them up, they were supposed to just talk. However, J.J. Abrams heard the boys singing together between takes later on, and re-shot the scene featuring them singing "My Sharona."
The train crash was largely improvised - there was no set storyboard for this key event in the film.
As teenagers, J.J. Abrams and his friend Matt Reeves (director of Cloverfield (2008) and Let Me In (2010)) were hired by a certain Steven Spielberg to restore some of his Super 8 home movies.
Steven Spielberg (a producer of the production) was reportedly on set many times throughout the course of filming. Director J.J. Abrams and Spielberg have both gone on record stating that the filming of this production was some of the most fun they have ever had on set.
J.J. Abrams insisted that the train station scenes were actually shot at night outside, instead of in a studio.
The moving train was completely computer-generated, but in the shots of the kids moving among the wrecked train cars (shot at Agua Dulce 43 miles north of L.A.) the wrecked cars were actually there.
Approximately 5000 children were auditioned for the main parts.
It was very difficult for Joel Courtney to film the scene where he had to yell at Kyle Chandler (who played his father). Since Joel was naturally very quiet, J.J. Abrams had to coax him into yelling loud enough.
Since the kids were making a zombie movie, there are several references to director George A. Romero. For example, Romero Chemicals as the evil company, plus the poster for one of his movies in Joe's bedroom and reference on the radio.
J.J. Abrams originally had two separate ideas for his follow-up to Mission: Impossible III (2006). One was a coming-of-age story, the other was an alien on the loose idea. It was much later in development that he actually had the idea to combine the two.
During post-production, Judd Apatow was shown some completed footage, which he praised as "awesome". J.J. Abrams subsequently placed Apatow in the "special thanks" section of the credits.
Jeremy Renner declined the lead role in order to star in Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011).
The train crash was purposely made much more sensational than a train crash would actually be. The goal was to pay homage to the science-fiction movies of the '70s.
Film debut of Joel Courtney and Riley Griffiths.
In the summer of 2010, Joel Courtney visited his brother, an aspiring L.A. actor, attended one of his brother's acting classes, fell in love with acting, auditioned for a TV commercial in LA, was urged by an acting coach to answer a J.J. Abrams casting call, and after eleven call-backs landed the lead role of Joe Lamb.
The first teaser for the film was shot by cinematographer Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan's frequent collaborator, months before principal photography began. Larry Fong was later brought aboard for the actual shoot.
The film according to J.J. Abrams was homage to the producer of the film, Steven Spielberg, and his films of the 1970's ranging reverence from Spielberg's directorial films like Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) & E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) to Spielberg's produced films like The Goonies (1985).
J.J. Abrams mentions in the DVD commentary that every time you see the water tower in the movie, it is computer generated.
The video release has a supplement called "Do You Believe in Magic?" showing DOP Larry Fong doing magic tricks for cast and crew and Tom Cruise who apparently visited the set.
Bruce Greenwood provided the motion-capture performance of the alien. He is credited in the cast list as "Cooper", which was the creature's nickname on set.
In the Snack Shack Diner scene where the kids are talking amongst themselves about the train wreck, Deputy Lamb can be seen through the window getting out of his patrol car at the auto dealership because, as it was originally written, the diner scene and the auto dealership scene took place simultaneously but during editing the dealership scene was moved to later.
The green Air Force fatigues with the blue name tapes and blue insignia are correct for the 1970s era the movie portrays. The utility uniform would later change to the jungle then desert BDU.
In the first draft of the script, the alien was never shown at all.
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J.J. Abrams named the film's fictional setting, Lillian, Ohio, after his grandmother. The map showing where runaway dogs were found shows it located on the north side of route 35 ten miles west of Dayton (twenty-two miles west of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base).
While addressing the Academy of Achievement in 2006, Steven Spielberg said that his initiation to the magic of movies and the direct influence which actually got him to shoot his first film as a kid was Cecil B. DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), especially its sequence of a train and car accident. In Super 8, which is a direct homage to the style of the family films from the 80s produced or directed by Spielberg, the train and car accident is the initiation moment for the coming adventure.
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The title 'Super 8' was a double entendre. As well as being the name of the film gauge, it was also referring to the fact that there were eight kids (Joe, Cary, Preston, Charles, Martin, Alice, Jen and Donny). Although later versions of the script were less particular about this, the title was nevertheless kept.
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When the trailers began to come out speculation suggested this would be a prequel to clover field (due to j.j Abrams connection with clover field) this would have the clover field monsters origin in it but j.j denied the rumors and stated this was a different monster.
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The portable cassette player is a Sony TPS-L2: the orange microphone button is clearly visible.
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Cameo 

Dakota Fanning:  During the town hall meeting, for a brief second you can spot Elle Fanning's big sister among the assistants.

Director Cameo 

J.J. Abrams:  Dressed as a soldier coming out of the jeep he is driving at 01:08:15.

Director Trademark 

J.J. Abrams:  [Kelvin]  The gasoline station on the outskirts of town is named Kelvin Gasoline. Kelvin was the name of J.J. Abrams' grandfather. Abrams commonly uses this name in his work, such as "Kelvin Inman" from Lost (2004) and the USS Kelvin from Star Trek (2009).
J.J. Abrams:  [Lens flares]  Cinematographic effect.
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J.J. Abrams:  [Music]  by Michael Giacchino.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

According to J.J. Abrams, the alien creature, when it finally meets Joe face-to-face, has the eyes of Caitriona Balfe, who plays Joe's mother.
The creature's breath on Joe's hair during the final scene was actually J.J. Abrams waving a large sheet of cardboard up and down.

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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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