Abrams: Too Many Lens Flares



J.J. Abrams apologized to Star Trek fans for the amount of lens flares in Star Trek into Darkness.

His realization that there were too many lens flares in Star Trek into Darkness came about after he showed his wife an early version of the movie.

“I know I get a lot of grief for that,” he 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.'”

“This is how stupid it was,” said Abrams. “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.”

Source: Crave Online

What do you think? Chat with other fans in the Star Trek Kelvin universe movies forum at The Trek BBS.




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  • Bill T. Shatner

    I’m sure the Star Wars fans would appreciate his sudden realization that too many lens flares are a bad thing.

  • Theragen Derivative

    What an incredible douchebag.

  • JWPlatt

    Gee, you think? But the lens flares in Star Trek X were just right? Abrams already said there were fewer in STID.

  • Bobby

    That is hilarious. I’m glad he finally noticed.

    I actually thought the lens flares were a lot less distracting in STID. ST09 gave me a headache!!!!

    He actually has commented on that before. A friend of mine heard him speak about Star Trek a few years ago and said JJ said he was “his own worst enemy” with the lens flares. Even toned down for the new movie it was still probably too much.

    One thing that cracks me up – I read the comic books leading up to STID, and the comic artists actually drew in lens flares in some of the panels. I guess that lens flares are an inherent part of the JJ-verse now. Maybe Spock’s time travel broke some fundamental laws of physics or something, resulting in more lens flares in this universe.

  • The Chad

    I’m holding out for him apologizing about making the movies themselves.

  • Bob

    > I’m holding out for him apologizing about making the movies themselves
    Ain’t that the truth. Him not being involved with the next one is a good start. His movies are decent when viewed as no more than dumb action flicks a la Transformers, but in no way do I see them as being part of the Star Trek canon.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    Well, he sort of lied his ass off about that.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    Somehow I doubt anyone will look back fondly and say, “Hey, remember that time Kirk was yiffing those two kitty chicks to Beastie Boys on vinyl?”

  • James

    But that time kirk’s pulling his boot on in Wink of an Eye….


  • James

    Yeah, that man – who made Star Trek a success again is a complete looser. Glad he’s not gonna be working in Hollywood no more!

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    It was just a foot massage!

  • Peter Crouch

    As you yanks like to say, “Duh!”

  • Steve Gerrard

    I’m waiting for the re-reboot…

  • Mike

    Ummmmm……… Well, as of next month it will have been 45 years since the episode’s debut…………….. and you remember it.

  • James

    that’s my whole point.

  • James


    I love Roddenberry’s censor baiting back then. Nowadays you can get away with so much on cable TV, I wonder what he’d come up with were he around today.

  • trekfan

    I suppose he’ll do that after he’s back from the lens flare treatment.

  • Mike

    Except, you two did just look back fondly on that moment… and, as Kang points out, people may remember this moment with Pine, but it won’t be fondly…

  • James

    Is there any part of the movie that you’ll look back on fondly?

    Maybe the end credits 😉

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    Probably what David Gerrold did with Blood and Fire and have two guys making out on camera.

  • Kang the Unbalanced

    What sucks is there were some memorable moments in the 2009 film, and STiD has colored those pretty badly for me. I’m starting to wish I’d taken Papa Kang’s advice and never seen STiD in the first place.

  • Randy H.

    Abrams seems a nice, well intentioned guy with some clever ideas and a sense of drama. Seems a shame he isn’t really a better director – one who notices stuff like this *before* post-production!

  • Mike

    No, the use of the classic music therein actually irritated me…

    Hmmmmm… ummmmm… In ST2009, sure, in STD? Welllllll…. nope, can’t think of anything.

  • Theragen Derivative

    One can be the most successful guy in the world and still be a douchebag.

  • Theragen Derivative

    But that was BUSINESS! No, seriously, one of the greatest-ever moments in TOS is the LOOK on Kirk’s face as he’s pulling his boot back on, an expression that conveys a mixture of 1.) “Hey, that was pretty good,” 2.) “All part of the plan,” and 3.) “I wonder if we’ve been cancelled yet.”