What I learned:
- He finished mixing The Force Awakens earlier that day. 2:30am California time. He then spent all day traveling to Newark, New Jersey for the event.
- After working on it for so long, he's sooooo ready to get it in the theater. "The truth is working on this movie for nearly three years, it has been like living with the greatest roommate in history for too long. It's time for him to get his own place. It's been great and I can't tell you how much I want him to get out into the world and meet other people because we know each other really well. But really, 'Star Wars' is bigger than all of us. So I'm thrilled beyond words (to be involved) and terrified more than I can say."
- When they played the Force Awakens trailer, J.J. said he had seen it before, but this was the first time he saw it with a live audience.
- J.J. was influenced at an early age by "The Force" as being a non-denominational power for good.
- Stephen Colbert saw the original Star Wars 3 weeks early thanks to a contest. He gloated that he's been excited about Star Wars for 3 weeks longer than anyone here.
- Jennifer Garner worked for Colbert as a nanny when she was starting out in acting and needed the money.
- Stephen Colbert auditioned for J.J.'s first film but didn't get the part. The script was called Filofax but was called "Taking Care of Business" when it was released. Colbert said he remembered auditioning for Filofax and then seeing TCoB in the theater and thinking, "Gosh this seems a lot like Filofax!"
- J.J. acted in a film. He had a cameo in "Six Degrees of Separation". They showed a clip off YouTube.
- While filming the pilot for "Lost" the network changed presidents. The new one wasn't very confident in the new series and asked them to film an ending for the pilot that would permit them to show it as a made-for-TV movie instead. He pretended to "forget" the request and the president never brought it up again.
The fundraiser was a total win. 2800 people were there (JJ said "about 2700 more than I expected"). If you are in the NY/NJ area, I highly recommend you follow them on Facebook and check out the next film festival on April 29 to May 8, 2016.