The first step in overcoming any addiction is to admit that you actually have one. Though critically hailed for his work, Abrams has taking a lot of guff for sticking lens flares in everything he does. Lots of lens flares. Just an absurd about of lens flares. It’s like papparazzi greeting a Kardashian in some scenes. Many have been worried that the collision of this addiction with a lightsaber duel could potentially blind half the population of the United States and induce epileptic fits in those not made deaf by the screams of the blind. JJ, buddy, amigo, I’m so proud. Abrams recently sat down with Crave and addressed lensflaritis head on:
“I know I get a lot of grief for that. But I’ll tell you, there are times when I’m working on a shot, I think, ‘Oh this would be really cool… with a lens flare.’ But I know it’s too much, and I apologize. I’m so aware of it now. I was showing my wife an early cut of Star Trek Into Darkness and there was this one scene where she was literally like, ‘I just can’t see what’s going on. I don’t understand what that is.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I went too nuts on this.'”
He even would later admit in the article that he CUT lens flares from Star Trek: Into Darkness, which is a lens flaring orgy as it is. But you see what happened? He cut them. He said, “Hey, did Kirk’s phasers throw off a beam of ambient light that blinds the entire audience?” And then he put the editing tool down and checked in to whatever place is keeping M. Night Shaymalan away from paper. Will there be lens flares in Episode VII. Yes. Here’s an idea: stick ’em in the opening crawl. Imagine how much better the opening crawl from The Phantom Menace would have been if everyone was squinting and couldn’t actually read it! However he handles it, filmmakers looking to improve their craft like we saw with Joss Whedon‘s latest interview, give me hope that this nucleus of young filmmakers has yet to even hit its stride.