He Restored Steven Spielberg’s Archives at 15

June 14, 2011

Asked how he got his own start in Hollywood, J.J. said he wrote “Regarding Henry” while he was still in college–but had his first brush with the film industry as an editor. When he was 15, an article about J.J.’s 8mm films caught Steven Spielberg’s attention: “Steven saw the article and had his assistant call us…and she asked if we’d be available–interested in repairing movies Steven made when he was our age.” J.J. said the job still shakes him up, laughing that Steven was entrusting 15-year-old strangers with fragile, invaluable archives–the early films “Firelight” and “Escape to Nowhere.” As J.J. and his friend Matt restored the films, J.J. paused over a title card that read ‘Written and Directed by Steve Spielberg’: “I said, ‘Matt, we have to steal one frame.’ But he was like, ‘No!'”