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J.J. Abrams Promises He Didn’t Go Crazy with the Lens Flare in ‘The Force Awakens’

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bill-swift - November 25, 2015

J.J. Abrams is a very good director. However, as you probably know, he tends to overdo it with the lens flare. 

It's not that all lens flare is bad. In fact, a little lens flare here and there has a way of making a CGI scene feel more authentic, which is especially effective in sci-fi movies. But in his recent films J.J. has applied the lens flare a little too liberally, such that some scenes are almost completely obscured by bright lights. So a lot of Star Wars fans were worried when they heard he would be directing Episode VII

Today, though, we have some good news. During a recent two-hour interview with Stephen Colbert (billed as a "celebrity nerd-off") at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, Abrams admitted that he has a problem and promised that he toned the lens flare down for The Force Awakens

Here's Rolling Stone's Jordan Hoffman paraphrasing Abrams' remarks:

There's a directorial flourish and then there's self-parody — and Abrams promises he's easing up on his signature stylistic tic of shining lights directly into anamorphic lenses to create flares. He could explain it away in the Star Trek films ("the future is so bright!") but admits he has no excuse for Super 8. He recalled how one shot in Star Trek Into Darkness was so overrun by lens flare his wife shouted that she couldn't see Alice Eve. He made an effort to tone it down for The Force Awakens, and when he spotted his lighting crew bringing large spotlights onto the set he would joke "these aren't the flares you're looking for."

Obviously, that's not a George Bush-style "read my lips" promise. Obviously, there will be some lens flare. But Abrams' comments are encouraging.

The Force Awakens hits theaters December 18...but you already knew that.



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