April 24 2024

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Abrams Loves His Lens Flares

2 min read

Fans watching any J.J. Abrams movie have noticed that the director is rather fond of lens flares.

Abrams explained why he uses so many of them in his movies.

“I’ll say that when we were doing Trek, I loved this idea…” said Abrams.” The reason I wanted to do it was I love the idea that the future that they were in was so bright that it couldn’t be contained and it just sort of broke through.”

Lens flares have “this great streaky quality and I’ve always loved how that looks,” said Abrams. “There are so many movies from my childhood that had those that when we were shooting Star Trek I remember saying to Dan Mindel, the DP [director of photography], ‘It would be so much fun if we’ — I didn’t think we were going to have quite that number of them, but it became this thing, and it was ridiculous.”

According to Stephen Colbert, a Trek fan counted seven hundred-and-twenty-one lens flares in Star Trek (2009), and eight hundred-and-twenty-six of them in Star Trek into Darkness.

Even his wife thinks that Abrams has overdone the lens flare. “There was literally one scene where Alice Eve, who acts in the movie, was so obliterated by a lens flare and I was showing the scene to my wife Katie, who just said, ‘Okay, you know what? Enough,'” said Abrams. “‘I can’t see what this scene is about. Who is standing there?’ I’m like, ‘It’s Alice Eve.’ And she’s like, ‘I cannot see her!'”

Don’t expect to see so many flares in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. “…As you’ll see in the Star Wars movie, I’ve allowed lens flares to take a very back seat,” said Abrams.

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11 thoughts on “Abrams Loves His Lens Flares

  1. If there’s anyone in Hollywood who’s overrated these days, it’s JJ Abrams. I haven’t seen *much* of his work, but of the few items I have seen, the obvious pattern I’ve noticed–and I never set out to look for one–is that he always starts with a decent idea but can never deliver a satisfying conclusion.nnI despise his take on Trek, didn’t like Super 8, his Mission Impossible, or Cloverfield, and from what I keep hearing, both Lost and Fringe turn out to be huge wastes by the time the end has been reached.nnWhen I hear his name these days, it’s not a good sign–rather, I see him as a liability. That said, there’s no doubt in my mind the next Star Wars will still make a ton of money, *despite* his involvement.

  2. Lens flare used to be the thing that happened to amateurs while the professionals avoided them except in very specific circumstances. Now, it’s artistic to piss in a bottle and put it on display.

  3. Lens flares can serve an artistic purpose, sure, but he was way overboard in the Star Trek movies. I mean when your screen is nothing but a bright lens flare, even for a second or two, and you can’t make anything out you’ve gone too far. And I don’t care for the “future is so bright, I’ve got to wear a camera hood,” excuse. Lens flares occur when a beam of light hits the camera lens and components inside the camera. nnSo you’re telling me this bright future actually is EMITTING LIGHT?! That bright, shiny, surfaces is reflecting light perfectly? Do the people in this future suffer from extreme eye strain from walking around in such an environment? And it’s amazing how the other Trek series/movies managed to show us this positive, bright, future of Trek without literally pointing a flashlight into the camera in order to generate a lens flare.nnSuck it up and admit you went too bar, Abrams.

  4. Other headlines along the same vein “Pope is revealed to be Catholic” “You won’t believe what these bears did in the woods!”

  5. Well, the purpose of the shapeshifters never really was well explained, the Nimoy character and his pocket universe were quickly shuffled off into neverland, Ninas character was really 2 totally different characters (neither of which was fleshed out well) and the Observers and their sinister purpose completely came out of nowhere, with almost nothing in the first few seasons that even hinted at their purpose. Ending the series without a real ending by resetting the future history – we’ve never seen a reboot of history from Abrams before, have we?

  6. I still think the best description of JJ-Trek’s shiny, overly bright Enterprise bridge is that it’s like an Apple store.

  7. When I saw the draft which was of 7159 dollars, I accept that my friendu2019s brother was like really generating cash in his spare time with his computer. . His aunts neighbor has done this for only 10 months and by now repaid the loan on their home and bought a new Car .This is what they are donig …nn>>>>> Visit my u01a4u0158u1ed6u0191u012eu0139u1eb8 for the site addressnn135

  8. As I wrote, I’ve never seen Fringe. I was just repeating what I keep reading everywhere. And if that’s the popular opinion, I probably will never bother either. My mind’s already made on Lost, that’s for sure.

  9. I don’t despise Abrams, but I find him to be HIGHLY overrated. He’s a competent director, but, like his lens flare gimmicks (and partially because of them), he’s more style than substance. nI’ll use a specific example: SUPER 8. It was meant to be a loving homage to all those awesome Steven Spielberg/Richard Donner/Robert Zemeckis films we grew up with and loved from the 1980s. SUPER 8 had the look and feel of those films, but Abrams put in some elements which were so out of place in those older movies – characters using the “F word”; projectile vomiting; a train wreck that, while visually stunning, was so ridiculously over-the-top (not to mention physically IMPOSSIBLE and not even remotely plausible) that I laughed out loud; and, perhaps most egregiously, an alien creature whose motive – going back home (like E.T.) SHOULD have made him a sympathetic character and instead its motives were muddled by it being shown eating human victims. So, who then, was the true villains of the piece? The government agents? This monster for whom we’re supposed to feel sorry (???) and yet is portrayed as some scary creature? From a narrative standpoint, it was clear as mud. ALL of those things flew in the face of all those movies I grew up on, and were so jarring and out of place that they jolted me out of the film several times & left me shaking my head in bafflement and annoyance at those inappropriate choices – choices which could have EASILY been corrected, but for the hubris of the man at the helm. nnMy point here is that Abrams is like a cover or tribute band: He knows the notes & can play them pretty well, but it just ain’t the same thing as listening to the original artist belt out those songs. Why bother with a pale imitation when you can have the real thing?

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