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J.J. Abrams Admits That Sometimes He Overdoes It With The Lens Flare

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist October 2, 2013 at 9:30AM

From Alfred Hitchcock's numerous cameos to Spike Lee's rapid dolly shot to Wes Anderson's unique tableaux, filmmakers have a long tradition of marking their films with distinct visual trademarks. And J.J. Abrams has been no different, with his films littered throughout with cool blue lens flare, so much so they've almost become a running joke. And while he may like the effect, the director admits that even he has taken it too far sometimes.
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JJ Abrams

From Alfred Hitchcock's numerous cameos to Spike Lee's rapid dolly shot to Wes Anderson's unique tableaux, filmmakers have a long tradition of marking their films with distinct visual trademarks. And J.J. Abrams has been no different, with his films littered throughout with cool blue lens flare, so much so they've almost become a running joke. And while he may like the effect, the director admits that even he has taken it too far sometimes.

"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," he told Crave Online. But how overboard can he go? How about to the point where he has to hire people to remove lens flare...

"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 continued. "This is how stupid it was... I actually had to use [special effects company] ILM to remove lens flare in a couple of shots, which is moronic. But I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery."

So, will the lens flare, whip pans and dutch angles continue with "Star Wars: Episode 7"? Somehow, we doubt it. We'd bet Abrams will be rethinking his visual language as he enters the world of 'Star Wars,' but hey, at least he's aware of the problem, right? [via Dark Horizons]

This article is related to: J. J. Abrams, Star Trek Into Darkness


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