J.J. Abrams apologises for over-using lens flare

Admits he gets a little carried away

One of the few criticisms of J.J. Abrams’ filmmaking is his occasional over-use of lens flare, a tic the director has acknowledged in a recent interview with Crave Online.
“I know I get a lot of grief for that,” Abrams tells Crave Online. “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 apologise.
“I'm so aware of it now,” he continues. “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.'"
"This is how stupid it was,” he explains. “I actually had to use ILM to remove lens flare in a couple of shots, which is, I know, moronic. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery!”

Should fans expect a more sober visual tone for Star Wars: Episode VII then? We’ll believe it when we see it… 

What do you make of Abrams' filming style? Tell us, below! 


    • chibik

      Oct 1st 2013, 7:23

      The flares didn't bother me at all, but it's good that he's aware of it. Everything in moderation.

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    • spid2411

      Oct 1st 2013, 9:09

      Can't say I ever thought it was a big deal. People say Super 8 is riddled with them but for me the biggest problem with that film was the creature - it looked rubbish and was a major let down. The teaser trailer for that movie was brilliant but it didn't live up to it (suggested a movie of a very different tone than the Goonies vs ET) and that was nothing to do with lens flares.

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    • moviemind91

      Oct 1st 2013, 9:12

      What I respect about JJ Abrams is that he will admit when he has done mistakes. Him admitting he overdoes the lens flare makes me more excited about Star Wars 7

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    • Ali1748

      Oct 1st 2013, 13:05

      I never once noticed lens flare during Into Darkness. Screw the haters.

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    • GarthMarenghi

      Oct 1st 2013, 14:49

      Can't say it's ever bothered me. But if it leads to a public mea culpa from Paul Greengrass and the promise to swiftly invest in a tripod for his next film, I'm all for it.

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    • Seedorf

      Oct 1st 2013, 15:46

      Too much lens flare is annoying in a good film. In the case of Abrams' Star Trek films, there wasn't enough of it.

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    • patriciahanson

      Oct 1st 2013, 19:32

      upto I saw the bank draft which had said $9704, I accept ...that...my father in law woz like truly making money part time on their apple labtop.. there sisters roommate haz done this for under seven months and just now took care of the mortgage on their villa and bought Jaguar E-type. check... url.ℳn/23bb7d0

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    • Larrysbride

      Oct 1st 2013, 19:58

      Lens flare is just a result of natural flow of light, the way some idjits laugh about it is freaking ridiculous!

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    • danielkane

      Oct 1st 2013, 20:46

      The man is clearly immature in making films. And should not have been given the reigns on something as monumental as Star Wars. I know Lucas sold all his property to Disney, and now he's behaving like it doesn't matter how the final trilogy eventuates, as long as they're finished in his life-time. For a person who over-indulges in something they would normally teach you not to do in the first month of film school, he is not the man for the position. And for the followers who forgive because he can admit to a defect, well, I'm partially good at some things, too. Doesn't mean I should be in charge of a multi-million dollar franchise installment, just because I know now what not to do. It's never too late to fire him. But let's face it, studio heads are idiots who cannot recognize true visionary talent and never will, it's in their blood. Star Wars, however, is not in that of JJ. Should make him do a few short films again first, and learn properly.

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    • chibik

      Oct 1st 2013, 22:38

      @danielkane: Dude, seriously? Fire him over lense flare indulgence?

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    • BobTheSkull

      Oct 1st 2013, 23:31

      @chibik... no, fire him because of the last 10 minutes of LOST!!! We're gonna get a Star Wars film where old man Luke realises that Vader actually shot him down in the first Death Star assault and everything since then was him in his own private purgatory!.... But, seriously... yeah... calling him out for over-use of lens flare is pretty poor. Every director has their 'thing' Lens flares are his. And, to be honest, other than a few shots in his first Trek, it's never been that bad. Certainly not bad enough for me to hate the film, or stop watching it.

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    • iWombat87

      Oct 2nd 2013, 0:49

      @danielkane: yeah we should fire him....because there is no way he could do a better job then George Lucas did with episodes 1-3....Lmao....I will take J.J's lens flares over Lucas' blue and green screens....J.J is going to bring back the original feel that you got when you watch the original trilogy. You don't fire one of the more successful directors because of something like lens flares...especially when hardly is making a big deal out of them....now stop acting like Jar Jar....

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    • seanwilson

      Oct 4th 2013, 14:32

      I'm not familiar with all his work, but the lens flare he used in the Star Trek films gave them a uniqueness, combined with the clinically clean Enterprise. It wasn't overdone, and I would like to see it in the next film as well. So far as the Star Wars films are concerned, I think they need to be filmed completely different from Star Trek. They are both unique beasts, and should have their own visual identities.

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    • NickyC

      Aug 14th 2014, 13:15

      Artists never apologise!

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