Into Darkness's flare abuse was so bad his wife couldn't follow the movie, forcing Abrams to realize his problem

With the Walt Disney Comp. (DIS) appearing to invest the time and money necessary to potentially craft a worthy true sequel trilogy to the classic Star Wars trilogy, much of the concern among science fiction fans has shifted to the film's director -- J. J. (Jeffrey Jacob) Abrams.  Critics seemingly will inevitably turn to two words in their debate -- "lens flare."

Indeed the director's overuse of the visual gimmick is rather notorious.  According to this video, his Star Trek movie featured a whopping 721 separate lens flare rendered effects:

One Star Wars fan even went so far as to parody the much-talked-about first trailer for Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens by adding a boatload of gratuitous lens flares and retitling it "Flare Wars":

Well J.J. Abrams had some words to say for critics of his visual ... er... flair.  He addressed the problem in an interview with Crave Media at an event celebrating the Blu-Ray release of Star Trek: Into Darkness.  And surprisingly enough, he apologized to his fans for abusing the effect, admitting he has a problem.  He said his overuse of the effect reached "ridiculous" proportions with Into Darkness, nearly ruining some scenes of the film.

He recalls hitting rock bottom when his own wife told him his addiction to flare was costing him his movies.  He comments:

I know I get a lot of grief for that.  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 showed my wife an early cut of 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.'

Apparently after recognizing his problems abusing flare effects, J.J. Abrams hired Lucasfilm Ltd.'s Industrial Light & Magic to "clean up" Into Darkness.  The finished cut of Into Darkness, even with many flares removed in post-post-production still managed to beat its predecessor with a whopping 826 flares, leaving one to wonder exactly how nuts with the flare effects J.J. Abrams went in the original cut:

According to Alcoholics Anonymous, the first step in a twelve step program is to admit you're powerless in the face of your addiction.  Abrams acknowledges this stating, "I think admitting you're an addict is the first step towards recovery."

He seems to be recovering just fine.  Shortly after working with ILM to cleanup the lens flare overuse (somewhat) on Into Darkness, Disney announced he would be directing the new Star Wars sequel trilogy.  And the trailer, thankfully, looked relatively flare-free (jokes aside).

Abrams' recovery process will likely take him through the traditional steps of making amends for those he wronged with his addiction, learning to embrace a higher power, learning to live by a new code (of less lens flare), and to help others with similar problems.

When it comes to helping others with addiction, perhaps he can help Michael Bay kick his addiction to explosions?  I suggest not holding out hope, however.  There's probably no saving Michael Bay, at this point.  At least J.J. Abrams has seen the light... the blinding light... sort of like a lens flare.

Source: Crave Media YouTube

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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