J.J. Abrams used so many lens flares in 2009's "Star Trek" that College Humor was able to cut together a nearly nine-minute video compiling each instance of bright light.
"I wanted a visual system that felt unique," Abrams told io9.com at a 2009 press conference when asked about his reliance on lens flares. "I know there are certain shots where even I watch and think, 'Oh that's ridiculous, that was too many.' But I love the idea that the future was so bright it couldn't be contained in the frame."
Abrams never stopped using lens flare -- the trick is present throughout the "Star Trek" sequel, "Star Trek Into Darkness" -- but in an interview with Crave Online, he admitted that it has become a problem.
"I know I get a lot of grief for that," Abrams said. "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.'"
"Star Trek Into Darkness" is out on Blu-ray and DVD now. Abrams' full, candid interview with Crave can be viewed below.
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