J.J. Abrams is well-known for his overuse of lens flare in his films. In fact, in a way, it’s his signature. Seeing that lens flare is a dead giveaway that it’s an Abrams’ movie. And it’s usually made fun of, especially when Abrams was announced as director for the next Star Wars film.
Fortunately, Abrams had a moment of reflection and realized the prominent use of lens flare was a bit much.
“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.’
This is how stupid it was. I actually had to use ILM [Industrial Light & Magic] 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.”
His epiphany was great timing for Star Wars. It looks like we won’t have to worry about the overuse of lens flare. And on top of that, Abrams is approaching Star Wars with respect, and it makes it all the more exciting.