J.J. Abrams has had a busy few months. He’s currently following up the blockbuster success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens with 10 Cloverfield Lane, a quasi-sequel filmed mostly in secret. One thing he doesn’t do much anymore, however, are lens flares. The lighting effect used to be an Abrams trademark; it’s all over his Star Trek movies, for instance, and he became infamous for it. Abrams told Stephen Colbert that the reason he doesn’t use them anymore is his wife told him to stop.
“She was right,” Abrams said. “There was one scene in Star Trek Into Darkness where you literally couldn’t see what was going on. It was a very emotional scene, and Alice Eve the actress was somewhere behind this crazy lens flare glaring, and Katie just looked at me like, ‘Okay, this is it. I think you have to absolutely stop doing that.’ “
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Abrams, who entered the stage with a mock kiss in reference to Colbert’s earlier interaction with Helen Mirren, also discussed his storytelling style.
“Every story is a different thing, and all you try to do is tell a story that will engage people emotionally,” Abrams said. “In movies at least there’s a tendency to sometimes go for a visual effects crutch, to rely on spectacle, but I think the key is to tell a story that is as emotionally engaging as possible despite the spectacle.”
Watch the clip below.