Let's talk for a moment about J.J. Abrams's rather unhealthy addiction to lens flares. We've all seen them and they certainly aren't hard to miss.
Lens flares appear throughout Abrams's movies, but none more than Star Trek Into Darkness, which featured his stylistic signature 826 times!
For those of you who aren't aware, a lens flare occurs when non-image generating light passes through the lens and hits the sensor. This is generally looked upon negatively in photography, but Abrams loves including them in his work.
So after including 721 lens flares in Star Trek, followed by his personal record in Star Trek Into Darkness, what is Abrams's expected flare-count for Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens?
Celebrity Nerd-Off With Stephen Colbert
During this year's fundraiser for the Montclair Film Festival, Abrams and Colbert discussed their shared passion for all things "nerd". The discussion inevitably turned to Star Trek, at which point Abrams confessed his overuse of the stylistic technique.
“When we were doing ’Trek,’ what I loved was this idea that the future that they were in was so bright that it couldn’t be contained.”
Abrams then admitted to having being obsessed with the desire to "make the perfect lens flare," through use of anamorphic lenses and halogen flashlights.
“There was one scene with Alice Eve that was so obliterated by lens flare, my wife Katie was like, ’Enough. I can’t even see her face.'”
However, apparently Abrams has looked beyond his own stylistic tastes with Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, ensuring that the movie is made to a high standard.
Thankfully Abrams has “allowed lens flares to take a very back seat.” Whether you like his stylistic technique or not, it has to be said that Star Wars VII is bigger than any one film-maker, and shouldn't be used as directors chance to experiment stylistically.
Abrams has really shown his respect for the sanctity of the Star Wars franchise, setting aside his own auteur agenda in order to struct a film which truly honors those that came before.
“Everything we’re doing in this movie is standing on the shoulders of the six movies that have come before it. The whole movie required an acknowledgement of what’s come before.”
In fact, according to MTV, when offered the chance to include lens flares Abrams would frequently reply, “These are not the flares we’re looking for.”
This is good news for anyone worried Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens won't be to the standard of the original trilogy! Abrams is on the ball and keeping his stylistic experimentations to a minimum.
Moreover, Screencrush reports that immediately upon finishing post-production for Star Wars VII Abrams immediately rushed to the Montclair Film Festival, where he watched the Star Wars VII trailer in the presence of an audience whilst nervously fidgeting.
Some might read this nervousness as negative, however to me it shows that Abrams is really taking his role seriously. I'm sure his stress is well-earned and the newest addition to the Star Wars franchise will be worth the effort.
Although I'm sure it won't be free of lens flares, I'm sure it will be a vast improvement on that which we saw in Star Trek Into Darkness.
So with less than a month to go, are you excited for the launch of a new Star Wars trilogy?
Have another look at the trailer!