SR Picks [Video]: J.J. Abrams' Lens Flares Meet The Original Series

A YouTube user took the time to creatively modify some scenes from the original Star Trek series and make them look like the new movie.

What do you mean, you ask?

Lens flares!

Prior to the release of the movie, many news blogs were discussing the overuse of lens flares in the movie and how it worried them a little bit. Then in interviews with director Abrams, even he admitted at some points, it was ridiculous. In one interview with io9, J.J. was asked why he used so many lens flares and when he decided to. In response, Abrams said:

[Smiles] I don't know what you're talking about. [Laughs] I'm kidding. I know what you're saying with the lens flares. It was one of those things... I wanted a visual system that felt unique. 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.

The flares weren't just happening from on-camera light sources, they were happening off camera, and that was really the key to it. I want [to create] the sense that, just off camera, something spectacular is happening. There was always a sense of something, and also there is a really cool organic layer thats a quality of it. They were all done live, they weren't added later. There are something about those flares, especially in a movie that can potentially be very sterile and CG and overly controlled. There is something incredibly unpredictable and gorgeous about them. It is a really fun thing. Our DP would be off camera with this incredibly powerful flashlight aiming it at the lens. It became an art because different lenses required angles, and different proximity to the lens. Sometimes, when we were outside we'd use mirrors. Certain sizes were too big... literally, it was ridiculous. It was like another actor in the scene....

I thought the lens flares actually worked in some scenes, but there were other scenes where it looked a little stupid. I would see a bridge officer's face (at an extreme close-up which there were a lot of by the way) for a second then see blinding flashing lights blocking the viewers from seeing the bridge and actor’s expression… I don’t get it? Why are their flashing lights covering his face when the entire theater screen is just that person's face!?

On top of that, it's not very natural having dudes on set pointing powerful flashlights at the camera.

I heard the reasoning that it makes the bridge dynamic and organic, but lights on a wall or ceiling aren’t that exciting – the actors and their emotions during these situations are what I want to see and since the camera is constantly moving so quickly and there are very quick cuts, the light is distracting at moments. I hope in the sequel, this is toned down a bit so we have a better balance.

Anyway, the real reason we’re here is to this video where the lens flare effect was added to scenes of the original series. Check it out:


That’s a little annoying…

Star Trek was really good and it was a beautiful looking movie - I can't wait for the sequel!

What do you think of the lighting in this video and of the movie?

Source: io9

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