How to Run an Empire

'Star Trek' Photocall


By G.P. Avants


I probably should have done this a long time ago, but it’s better late than never. I wanted to time and say thank you to a director who really does a great job at what he brings to the cinematic galaxy. This gentleman has built an empire that is extensive and multi-layered, that un-like previous ones, really makes it work.

lost 2

I connected with JJ Abrams the moment I found the T.V. show LOST. This show was ground-breaking for the way it combined a cast of unforgettable characters with a story that flipped the way we look at story-telling in its ear. As I watched his other projects explode, like Super 8, the rebooting of the Star Trek and the Star Wars franchise, I realized JJ Abrams knew how a creative empire can actually work.

Bad Robot team

One of JJ’s secrets is building a great creative team and allowing them to use their own unique abilities. He knows that one man is not an island. Like the characters in LOST the real magic is found under the surface and behind the scenes. We as creatives need each other. JJ’s team, is made up of friends, companions, and compatriots, who are on the same page and are committed to whatever project the boss presents to them. So, in his little empire, JJ’s men and women are loyal and committed to stay the course.


JJ knows to pick and choose where his time and energy goes. He was handed the job of re-engaging the Star Trek film franchise. Taking his love of Star Wars, JJ and crew warped into this trek with a new take of a classic series for the next generation. In my opinion he not only breathed new life into the crew of the Enterprise, but terraformed the sci-if genre for a whole new race of movie-goers. (Thanks, JJ, for getting my wife to sit up, take notice, and finally understand why I loved Star Trek all these years. Now she is a brand-new fan!) So, when it comes to empire-building, JJ chooses projects that wisely uses resources and personal to strength a good team reputation as a film-maker. His production company, Bad Robot has made a name for themselves.


The final way and empire grows is to expand its territory. JJ’s reputation as a director has allowed he and his team to spread their talents into the industry. Once Disney saw what Bad Robot did for Star Trek they asked him to take on the expansion of the Star Wars franchise. Look what a little persistence can do. Now JJ Abrams has totted of being the next Steven Spielberg. That is quite an honor.  His body of work is being exercised into many new areas and genres that weren’t open before.


What have we learned from this empire-builder? Don’t be afraid of networking with others, sharing the talent, and creating something many people benefit from. Know how to use your resources wisely. When it is time to grow consider how it affects everyone in your sphere of influence.


If you are going to create something big, there is always time to do it right. We have seen enough Empire-like things go bad fast, just ask Emperor all the Nebuchadnezzar, the line of Caesars, Napoleon, and in the fictional world, Emperor Sheev Palpatine. If you want to create something that makes an impact, brings the best out of others, and create productions that inspire others to do the same, you are on the right track. Thanks again to JJ Abrams to his hard work and tenacity to stick with his wild dreams. Just so you know, sir, you give the rest of us something amazing to aspire to.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Pepe says:

    Hear! Hear!
    Well said GA. Couldn’t agree more.


    1. gpavants says:

      Thanks. I want to do a few of these.


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