JJ Abrams has enlightened me once again. Speaking at TED, Mr. Abrams introduced the crowd to his Mystery Box; it’s a real one, a magic shop item he scooped as a kid in New York decades ago. Funny thing is, he’s never opened it. And he has no plans to- ever.

What the box represents to JJ Abrams is worth so much more to him than what actually might be inside. This hope, this potential for something really, really cool, something fantastical, is what drives his chat at Ted. JJ introduces his idea of Story as a bunch of Mystery Boxes, stories as boxes filled with infinite possibilities.

According to JJ Abrams, mystery represents something important for storytelling; the catalyst of potential and hope. The promise of something fantastic. Mystery. Box.

Television, film, gaming; it’s all based on story and in that, the mystery of story; the withholding of information to create an engaging and compelling experience. Leading the audience, let them see what they think they are getting vs. what they’re really getting. What the story is really about, vs. what it looks like from the outset.
Pretty inspirational and compelling, even – take a few minutes to have a look.

What else should one expect from TED?

Cheers, M.