It was “stupid,” admitted director J.J. Abrams in an interview with Crave Online.
No, he’s not talking about agreeing to direct Star Wars: Episode VII. He’s discussing his use of lens flare, or, more specifically, his overuse of lens flare. And he apologizes.
Lens flare — that extra visual light you can see disrupting an image — is the bane of new photographers, the love of cheesy amateur photographers and an easy way to make all your Photoshopping look awesome.
In recent years, as Hollywood has become more obsessed with visual effects, filmmakers haven’t really shied away from lens flare. But as anyone who’s watched the new Star Trek films can tell you, Abrams had gone to far.
“I know I get a lot of grief for that,” the Super 8 and Mission: Impossible III director is quoted as saying. “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.”
Just how stupid was it? Abrams said that during a screening of one scene of Star Trek Into Darkness his wife couldn’t even tell what was going on. At times, things were so bad he actually hired special effects company Industrial Light & Magic to go in and remove lens flare.
“This is how stupid it was,” J.J. Abrams confessed before later continuing, “I think admitting you’re an addict is the first step towards recovery.”
That’s alright, J.J. We appreciate your honesty and forgive you. Until the new Star Wars comes out. Then we’ll all be giving you sh*t again.
Aaand lens flare… Aaand end scene…