Wednesday, June 18, 2008

JJ Abrams Next Project

Thanks to an article in the New York Times, JJ Abrams has found the next project he wants to produce. The article, "Mystery on Fifth Avenue" discusses a house that Steven Klinksy had renovated for his wife and four children. Designer Eric Clough redesigned the house with a furniture and walls that conceal messages and other treasure but to get at them you have to solve a series of puzzles. A gallery explain some of them can be found here.

Included in the design is a soundtrack by Canadian singer Kate Fenner and a fictional book called "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E Frankweiler." The retrofit of the apartment was the decision of Maureen Sherry (the wife) after meeting the designer Clough. The decision to add the secret compartments and puzzles was a secret addition after the couple made vague references about wanting a poem hidden in a wall somewhere "as if were a time capsule."

From that came inspiration and his firm, 212box went to work devising the secrets built into the walls and furniture. That idea later led to a book about friends finding the apartment and making discoveries as they unlock its secrets. The book was written by his colleague Heather Bensko and later used to help the family in the treasure hunt.

It took over 4 years to complete the project, with Clough eating some of the costs and getting the help of is friends. The couple moved in May, 2006 and with a little subtle assistance from Clough began to discover the 18 clues that unlocked the various secrets. After a long hunt and many steps in between, the family finds...a hidden poem written by Mr. Klinksy to his family.

Personally I find the concept of an apartment full of secret apartments and puzzles intriguing and the idea of a movie around that grabs my interest. The story ideas are pretty boundless. Abrams could use the fictional book for his movie or do something wholly original. Either way, I am curious to see what develops from this foundation.

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