Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost

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It’s no secret among my fellow producers or any regular readers here that I’m a great admirer of JJ Abrams. So you can imagine my pleasure when on break from class today Joe brought me up to his office to give me a copy of Abram’s new novel. Like much of what he does, Abrams’ simply titled ‘S’ is an elaborate story-within-a-story mystery, crammed with maps, postcards, and notes from two readers scribbled within the margins of this well-wrought recreation of an old library book.One of our professors happened to show us this TED talk a few weeks ago in our Marketing, Distribution, and Exhibition class. In the film Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery back to its magical beginnings…


The idea behind the assignment that followed was to trace our own desire for storytelling back to its beginnings. In his studies of the human psyche psychologist Carl Gustav Jung defined twelve primary archetypes that reside within us as humans, one of which dominates each of our personalities in general.

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For sure Abrams is the magician, but in order to figure out my own archetype I had to ask some family and friends one simple question: why do you love me? The idea being that by expanding on that question they would identify key characteristics and motivations, and finding a through-line within their responses would help identify my own archetype. Meanwhile we had to prepare a visual presentation of our past, present and future selves, and by combining that with the through-lines from our responses we identified our archetypes.

It turns out I am the explorer. Not the villain. It makes sense though; bar South America, I have lived in every other continent. I have no idea where I might yet settle. My stories are primarily about journey. How this new insight into my behavior and motivations will affect me, I’m not sure, but it’s interesting. Some of what I’ve learned about myself from family & friends during the course of the assignment has opened my eyes; my friend John assures me that his ‘why I hate you’ list is longer, and ready to go! But I now have a better idea about why I do what I do. I’ve learned that my gift is adventure, and I like that.

I read just the foreword to Abrams’ novel on the train ride home this evening. Figuring out how to even read this book is a mystery, but I have to say I’m already hooked. It’s the best early Christmas present. Between this NYU film I’m producing and finals, these next few weeks are busy, but I’ve just booked a flight home for Christmas so I look forward to losing myself in a new adventure with this book while home.

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