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For J.J. Abrams, lens flare == alternate universeEveryone complained bitterly about the excessive use of lens flare in Star Trek. But having watched Fringe, I'm beginning to wonder if that wasn't completely intentional and symbolic. Basically, whenever there's a lens flare, that's Abrams saying "hey, we're in an alternate universe." In Fringe, that only happens some of the time, when they're Over There; in Star Trek, on the other hand, the entire film takes place in an alternate universe (created when Nero went back in time). Thus, the entire movie is filled with lens flare.
J.J. Abrams is an alternate universe Joss Whedon who found his way here.The main difference being that he didn't get Screwed by the Network, while not being as hands-on with his production.