STAR TREK Fans Hate Light

Example of the use of lens flares that have Star Trek fans in an uproar.

Example of the use of lens flares that have Star Trek fans in an uproar.

One of the more ridiculous complaints bouncing around the ‘net about J.J. Abrams new Star Trek film has been regarding the film’s use of lens flares.

In fact, fan whining and whinging about this visual choice grew to such a degree Abrams was forced to address the issue in a press conference:

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.

…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.

We know fans love to complain.  But about lens flares?  Really … really?

For the record, we like the lens flares.  But more than that we champion Abrams search for a new look.  One  that feels organic and counters the sterile quality of many CGI heavy films.

Update:  We originally posted this story two years ago.  (Two years ago!) But it still gets tons of hits every day.  And generates vigorous debates.  Whudda thunkit?   You all know our stance on the matter by now.  But just to prove we’re not without a sense of humor about the whole thing, here’s Shiznit’s take on the J.J./Less Flare debate in their parody poster for Super 8.  Yup, we laughed too!

You can check out the poster they’re parodying here.

116 Responses to “STAR TREK Fans Hate Light”

  1. Not a Star Trek fan. Don’t hate Star Trek. Neutral bystander says “Excessive lens flare sucks”. And yea, so it was.

  2. So you enjoy watching movies you can’t see. That makes perfect sense.

  3. I didn’t mind most of the lens flare, but there were times when it was overdone and made things too hard to see.

  4. are you kidding me? Those lens flares distracted from the movie so MUCH! they were so stupid, needless, overwhelmingly trite, and resulted in the sever disruption of my movie watching. The movie was good stuff, but the lens flares were fucking HORRIBLE.

    • What a load of horse shit. They were distracting TO YOU. I didn’t even notice them until months later when I saw it had become a massive internet bitch-fest where everyone who can’t think up an opinion for themselves jumped on the bandwagon to follow everyone else like the good little sheeple they are instead of, oh, I don’t know, objectively coming to the same conclusion.

      I had watched the movie five times by the time I’d started seeing this BS pop up everywhere on the net. The flares never bothered me and I’d bet my life-savings it didn’t bother most of the whiny little snot-douches out there until they realised they could be part of the ‘in’ crowd if they only agreed to see what they saw.

      • You’re so right. What could be more “in” than complaining about lens flares in a sci-fi movie? It truly is a popularity contest. I’ll bet everyone here’s making it up just to earn some street cred.

      • Karmakaze Says:

        How could they be part of the “in CROWD” unless there was a CROWD to be in with?

      • IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

        I’m with DDK — WtF are you talkin’ ’bout, Willis?

        I can’t say I’ve even *noticed* it even though I’ve seen the film like four times.

        Whoever the hell is whining about this is nothing but a geek loser-wannabe with no life and far, far too little to complain about.

        Wah wah wah wah.

    • Pilar Stiuve Says:

      I saw the movie fine, and enjoyed it quite a lot. I didn’t even notice the lens flares on my first viewing (in an IMAX theater). Now that I’ve noticed them, I think they’re a little overdone in some parts, but definitely don’t distract from the movie. Not to anyone who’s not a nit-picking little bitch anyway.

  5. Paul R. Potts Says:

    You may call this complaint “ridiculous.” I disagree. It’s a matter of taste and opinion. In my opinion this effect was wretchedly abused and the result was a film that was painful to watch. (It was painful for other reasons as well, but I will stick to the flare for now).

    I haven’t used my DVD player’s pause control to confirm that there were lens flares in _every single scene_ — in every single set, compartment, outdoor location, etc. — but that’s sure what it felt like. OK, you loved the lens flares. But would you like it if there was a prominent mirror in every single scene? Or ever single set was blue? What if every scene was under-lit so that you could barely see the characters? That would be strange, right? In real life, different kinds of locations are lit _differently_. This flare effect was used in many scenes in Firefly, to create dramatic lighting — but not in every scene. And it was often used in scenes that were otherwise _dim_.

    In addition, the lens flares were also not static, but constantly flickering, which gives the impression of movement all over the frame. I found this very distracting. It made my eyes twitch. I’m not an epileptic, but it made me wonder if a person with epilepsy could sit through the film without experiencing a seizure. Watching the film was like trying to read a book with the sun in my eyes — possible, but why would I want to do that?

    And finally, it made it harder to suspend disbelief. I’m supposed to believe that every location in this futuristic world, including the bridge and engineering spaces of spaceships, were so brightly lit that the characters would have had to squint all day? Does that even make any sense? How would the crew read their displays and controls? There would be a line to get into sickbay to be treated for eyestrain!

    I’m over 40, though, so perhaps my opinion isn’t of interest. It’s true that eyes become more sensitive to glare as a person ages. So maybe this new, glaring, flickering Trek world is only for the young. They are welcome to it. It won’t age well along with them.

    • …well said.

    • IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

      }}} “You may call this complaint “ridiculous.” I disagree. It’s a matter of taste and opinion. In my opinion this effect was wretchedly abused and the result was a film that was painful to watch.”

      Hear hear!! I agree, it’s a matter of taste, and opinion. And I’ve just become of the opinion that anyone who’s whining about this stupid little matter is a useless boil on Ed Wood’s ass.

      You are welcome to have your opinion!! Expressing it, on such a trivially ridiculous matter, does, however, make my opinion of your opinions slightly lower than my opinion of gilded turds.

    • “But would you like it if there was a prominent mirror in every single scene? Or ever single set was blue?”

      Or what if every single character wore the same clothes every day, rather than changing them from scene to scene to indicate both passage of time and subtle differences of mood?

  6. 1) Liking lens flares? Really….really? Are they that fresh and new and unused that you just go WOW COOLS? 2) There are lots…and lots…and lots…and lots of lens flares in that movie. At some point you just have to realize that it’s *silly.* You can’t *see things* through lens flares and they make cameras with special coatings on the lenses to prevent lens flares because they’re *annoying.*

    • IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States Says:

      It’s not a question of liking. The notion is there’s this world where everything is bright and shiny and clean — without really even trying — and extremely so — unlike our own dirty little pest hole where it’s often hard to get a cup of **coffee** done right.

      That’s the idea being sought here.

      Sorry if the notion was vastly over your head.

  7. Erm… Being annoyed with this has got nothing to do with being a Star Trek fan, and it’s not a picky or nerdy thing to complain about. You’re trying to watch the movie and the camera keeps shining light in your eyes. Much of the time I couldn’t clearly make out what was going on, and it looks amateurish, not futuristic. It’s freaking annoying, and even though Abrams reputedly wanted a “unique” look, it’s something that’s in lots of movies nowadays. (Transformers 1 and 2 are massive lens-flare culprits.)

  8. lol.

    Cuz lens flare is unique.

  9. The problem isn’t an innovative look, or the fact that JJ Abrams is experimenting with cinematic language. The problem with the excessive lens flare is the audience can’t even see the damn movie because half the screen is a white blur in every shot.

  10. Are you serious? Some lens flare, I wouldn’t mind. But there was so much that it got distracting! It looked ridiculous!

  11. But about lens flares? Really … really?

    YES! REALLY! The god damned movie was painful to watch.

  12. n. bertran Says:

    ridiculous absurd its just foolish filmaking,the handheld slopiness techniques as well as sun spots etc

  13. The flares were awesome!

  14. Slappy McCynical Says:

    Seriously? You like lens flare? The man had wonderful sets and actors to work with but they were obscured most of the time by what real movie makers normally consider a mistake.
    Abrams makes good TV but his movies suck. He had to wait for Roddenberry to die before this Star Trek “reboot” atrocity was done. He waited mainly because Gene would have choked the living crap out of him for this abortion that failed on so many levels.

  15. I don’t aplaud much of anything J.J has done to be honest. The sprawling pointless and wholeheartedly uninspiring LOST was such a horrendous waste of time.

    Check this for reasons why things like lens flare can be really annoying when overused. New aesthitic style my ass!

    • WinstonSmith6079 Says:

      Oh well, I’m quite sure that the abject and unbelievable moron that scrawed above article will now accuse Cracked Magazine of being a Star Trek fanboy since you posted that link, AND because, like nearly everyone else, they’re not all wanking and creaming in their pants over waaay too many stupid lens-flares!

  16. lens flares suck. Its tired and overused. Even video games and TV shows overuse lens flare. Completely played out and useless. All of these so-called “creative directors” need a new gimmick.

  17. Fuck those flares.

  18. If it was an occasional lens flare, fine. But that movie so many of them them in almost every scene it was like there was always an arc welder just out of shot. I honestly wondered why the characters weren’t going around in sunglasses all the time.

    Trying a new look is one thing, but this film wasn’t doing that. It was abusing a camera trick.

  19. “But I love the idea that the future was so bright it couldn’t be contained in the frame.”

    That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.

  20. Just saying; The used entirely too much lensflare. They honestly did. There’s at least four in every chapter; It’s not that we hate light, it;’s that we hate retarded, hack-filmographer techniques.

    • It’s amazing that this subject is still generating so much response. People’s eyes must be more sensitive than we thought!

      • WinstonSmith6079 Says:

        Yeah? I thought it was because–after reading the above article–that people were EVEN MORE brainless than I’d already long ago believed could be possible, and certainly anything beyond what I could begin to imagine, even if I were to actually try!

  21. i thought the lens flares were a nice artistic touch- but they can often be overused. for star trek- it was helpful. movies can look a bit dull with traditional camera work- audiences have an attention span of 8 seconds (something visually interesting ought to be going on)

  22. It makes sense to complain about it. It was damn annoying trying to watch the film, when you needed damn sunglasses so your retinas weren’t burnt.

    • That’s a bit excessive. Sunglasses? Retinas burnt? Hyperbole much?

      • Christian Says:

        Know this is old, but figured I’d give my two cents:

        He’s exaggerating a bit, but he might not be by much. For me, at least, I think it’s the prescription I have for my glasses that does it (I have very bad vision without them), but bright lights like the flares do actually cause some physical discomfort my eyes, and I did kinda glance away every now and then while watching the movie due to it. Saw someone else complain about the flares being like a flashlight shined in your eye and that’s sort of what it feels like at times.

        That said, I’d heard about the flare complaints before I watched the movie and didn’t find them too terribly distracting (well, aside from having to look away in the middle of scenes). Have other issues with how the movie was done that made me not like it too much, but the flares weren’t really a deciding factor in it. If he corrects the other issues and leaves the flares, I’d probably watch the next movie; if he removes the flares and doesn’t correct the other issues, I probably wouldn’t watch it.

        But still would be nice if he did tone it down for those of us that are a bit more sensitive to them. Just so we can actually watch some of the explody parts a bit better 😛

      • What are your “other issues”?

      • Christian Says:

        Well, the engine rooms were cheaply done and it shows (I believe they did it in a brewery). In the scenes shot there it feels a lot more like you’re in a factory than in a starship, and to me that was distracting. I know they had bigger plans for engine rooms, so I’m hopeful that we’ll see something better.

        Not entirely sure if I liked the music, it didn’t feel like Star Trek listening to it.

        Didn’t like how the window-viewscreen was done either. I don’t object to it being there – actually I think the idea is pretty cool – but I think it had a lot of potential that wasn’t used, particularly in combat scenes (I don’t recall seeing any real shots of explosions across the saucer from the bridge). If you’re going to explode the ship anyways no reason you can’t blow off the forward section of the saucer and have the audience see it from inside the bridge (because that would be an awesome shot)

        And speaking of combat, they show a massive Federation fleet leaving and then they show it exploded. I know they wanted to have some drama, but it would have been a nice epic fight to watch I think.

        Also wasn’t sure if I liked the idea of multiple tiny warp cores rather than one big imposing centerpiece to the engine room. That, however, is more cosmetic than anything else, and I might give it a pass.

        Plot was a bit weak as well, but I suppose since it was an introductory movie (and, let’s face it, the first Star Trek movie wasn’t that great either), I’ll give it a pass on that as well.

        To put it simply: It had a lot of missed potential that I thought harmed it too much.

      • Good points. Thought the good far outweighed the bad. But there’s always room for improvement.

  23. Pablo Baker Says:

    Arrrggggh The lens flares were horribly distracting because they have a real life cause, yet in the film there was no correlation or explaination.

    It would be like firing up a fog machine for the visual effect, and then not explaining why the bridge of the Enterprise looked like it was on fire.

    Movies are supposed to take us into their own reality – the lens flares ripped us OUT of the Star Trek world and back into a reality with too many lights pointed at the cameral

  24. I completely agree. I thought it made the movie look beautiful.

    • Ah! Another vote for lens flares! Thanx, Emma!

    • I also agree. The flares made that world different from ‘our’ world. They got a big overdone by the end but I liked what they did and thought it worked. I’ve always given sci fi and supernatural/horror films more leeway then other mediums. If the story is something not of this time/world I don’t expect it to look like this time/world.
      It’s the same idea that keeps me from bitching all horror films are ‘too dark’ to see.

  25. […] Fanovi “Star Treka” toliko su divljali zbog lense flarea da je redatelj morao izdati priopćenje u kojem se praktički ispričava. […]

  26. Miss Nomer Says:

    It’s not that I’m complaining as a fan of Star Trek (I prefer the original Star Wars trilogy, really). It’s that the flares are so… distracting from what’s actually important on-screen. The flares seemed a superfluous effect that dragged my focus away from the action and did little, if anything, to enhance the story in any way.

    My husband goes berserk over the bridge redesign- I go berserk over the flares. He’s complaining as a fan- I’m complaining as someone who came for a good story and got a headache.

  27. I realize this was posted a year ago, but just so you know, people have been complaining about the overuse of lens flare since the effect was first discovered; it is a very amateur move.

  28. Newt Baumgartner Says:

    Honestly, I didn’t mind the lens flares too much.
    JJ says that “I love the idea that the future’s so bright that it couldn’t be contained in the frame,” to paraphrase. Sure, that sounds kind of dumb, depending on your point of view. But the basic idea as I understand it is that he wanted the future to be bright and shiny, like you’d expect from a time with that level of technology. The glass, the shine, all of it. Were there some times where the lens flare was overdone? Yes. No one’s denying that. Even JJ himself. And besides, what good’s complaining? They’re not going to say, “Oh, ****. They don’t like the lens flares. Let’s start over and do it again.” the movie has been made. How it IS is how it will STAY. There are things in movies that I don’t like. For example, I hated the death of Cyclops in X3. But you know what? I accepted it as part of the movie. There’s things in LIFE that we don’t like. Sometimes we can’t change it. And finally, LIFE has lens flare. If you stand with your back to a sunset before it goes below the horizon, for example, and slowly turn towards the sun, you’ll see a lens flare the closer you get to looking right at it. Lens flare is not amateur. Water splashed on the lens in 2010? Amateur. Lens flares? REALISTIC.

    • Good points, Newt. Especially this bit:

      “There are things in movies that I don’t like. For example, I hated the death of Cyclops in X3. But you know what? I accepted it as part of the movie. There’s things in LIFE that we don’t like. Sometimes we can’t change it.”

      We also like your point about life having lens flare.

  29. My issue here is still the idea that it’s specifically Star Trek fans who are pissed off by lens flares. Clearly, it’s not.

    • Look at the date on the article. The film hadn’t even come out yet. The complainers at that time were all fans.

      • WinstonSmith6079 Says:

        Well that was sure presumptuous on the behalf of the author of the article then, was it not?

        Hey, don’t you label me as some kind of like fan of fanbois, because I’m sooo not. But one who is objective, even like a good and smart non-emo Vulcan, must concede and admit that the fanbois were and are actually quite right about something even for once, now aren’t they!

        Woof! Whoever wrote the above dumb article should be mortally embarrassed to no end, being waaay pwned by the truth of the matter as cited by FANBOIS of all people! Oooh, is that just so waaaay bad! LOL so awful! hehehe It just could never be worse than that! Good Lord! LOLOLOLOL

  30. Picardkid Says:

    The flares were BEAUTIFUL. On the DVD, he shows a before and after of a CG shot with and without the flare: without looked awful. The lens flare seemed like an ethereal glow around something as iconic and symbolic as the Enterprise. J.J., you’re all right.

    • It does. But, frankly, I don’t understand why it bothers people so much. It’s just a bit of light.

      • Really? Because people have been pretty clear on why it bothers them. It’s a bright light shone directly into the camera. It obscures the things you’re supposed to be looking at. If these things looked shit before they added the lens flare, well, maybe they shouldn’t have looked shit, then?

        I had a very basically annoyed reaction to it. It irritated my eyes to have a light glaring at them throughout the movie. Okay, it’s a stylistic choice, the future is shiny, but seriously, how do the Enterprise crew see well enough to work?

      • Still seems like an extreme reaction to a bit of misty light.

      • Okay, well I don’t think so, but meh. Clearly some people find excessive lens flare (and come on, in this instance, it is) a nuisance, and others enjoy the look of it, so don’t care. Hey ho.

        Now as for the movie’s plot…

      • Still doesn’t explain the extreme nature of the reaction. It was out there before the movie even came out. This post comes from before the movie even came out.

      • Maybe the lens flare was blatant even in the trailers, and people were worried about the look of it? In any case, they don’t appear so crazy now it’s bothered quite a few other people. Many of them not Trekkies.

      • We think Sylvester P. Smythe needs MORE lens flare. Serious candle power. Maybe mercury vapor arcs!

      • I guess no one remembers Sylvester P Smythe. He was the Alfred E. Newman style mascot of Cracked’s print magazine. You can see him here:

        He does look like he could benefit from some lens flare!

  31. I took my girlfriend to see this movie when it came out in theaters. Within the first, action-packed sequence we were already noticing the prevalence of the lens flare. We didn’t say, “So much lens flare, this sucks!” or anything like that, but it became sort of a joke. We’d be like, “Oooh this moment is so intense, I wonder what will hap-LENS FLARE OMG!” and snicker like the cool kids.

    I don’t think the lens flare added anything unique to the experience, and was a mild annoyance. But it wasn’t terrible, and certainly didn’t make the movie unwatchable (unless you have epilepsy :P)

  32. Stop bitching about the lens flares, people. Imagine the scene where Kirk, Sulu, and Olsen were dropped against the sun but WITHOUT the lens flares. Like you could point a camera at the sun and actually see the surface? I know it was excessive, but c’mon, the movie is set in a space ship, lights are everywhere, I thought it gave a feel that we were there on the bridge, on the outer space. The trend sucks because it was used by everybody else after that.

  33. Sorry, but the one distinct thing that hit me over the head (or rather, burrowed inside my head) watching this movie was the lens flare. It was so stupid and overdone as to be unimaginable. I would remember the name of the art/lighting designer so I could avoid every one of his/her films again, but my head hurt too much to read the credits.

    But then I realised: Hold on, they are just here to distract us from how crap this film really is.

  34. Jack Colby Says:

    It didn’t bother me or distract me from the rest of the movie, but I did notice, and thought it was a bit excessive at times. I guess I can appreciate that Abrams was going for a different look to the film, but I’m sure it’ll be toned down in the sequel since he is aware of the problem and admits it was one. It’s too close to becoming a running joke, otherwise.

  35. Why do you have to make such a big deal about the LENS FLARES? It’s not like they made the whole frame bright pink or anything. Heres an idea: If you don’t like them, just ignore them. Case closed.

  36. Guinness-Stout Says:

    I have worked in television for the past 25 years as a camera operator (among other things). The reason lens flares were forbidden is simply because you could seriously wreck a camera with them. Improvements in the technology rendered the lens flare harmless to the camera, but the rule about never shooting them remained.
    My opinion is somewhat biased by what I do for a living but I seriously love the effect. It is true that something used in moderation can be over-used to the point of pain, but it didn’t bother me at all in this case. I noticed the flares right away because I have to be very careful to avoid them at all cost.
    Old-school “Star Trek” used odd lighting to focus the viewers attention to the eyes of the actor which often rendered the background dark and out of focus. That visual device seemed to work out for Shatner…I don’t see the use of the flares to be all that radical in this perspective.

  37. StriderAnarchy99 Says:

    My only real problem with it was that in the movie theatre it literally hurt my eyes to look at the screen. I still bought the dvd, and now just turn down the brightness on my tv.

  38. Wow, I had no idea people were so butthurt over the lens flare. lol
    I personally didn’t mind it. IMO it added to the being on board a ‘sci-fi space ship” experience.
    To me Star Trek with lens flare is like Cloverfield or Quarantine with shakey cam. (or Transformers with orange and teal… xD)

  39. i am a fan of lens flares and went back to watch this movie again specifically based on reading these comments. i was disappointed to note that most of you have vastly exaggerated the amount of screen time lens flares are given. even if this movie contains 4 times the amount of lens flare usually associated with the star trek franchise, that’s still about 2% of the actual screen time. to say that it occurs “most of the time” or “obscures the action” or “hurts your eyes” is completely misleading.

    • Agreed. We, frankly, are completely confused by the level of animus some have on this issue.

    • “to say that it occurs “most of the time” or “obscures the action” or “hurts your eyes” is completely misleading.”

      Unless it actually, you know, hurts your eyes.

    • WinstonSmith6079 Says:

      Pfft! There’s too much lens-flares and everyone knows it! It’s so well that it very quickly became a big joke.

      The clever “E.T. With Lens-Flares” is only one of about a million jokes abut waaay too many lens-flares!

      It’s like chill-out with the lens-flares, you spaz!

  40. […] I had never noticed this until I read about it on But today I’m rewatching the new Star Trek movie (I KNOW), and wow, are there lens flares everywhere. J.J. Abrams even sort of apologized for them. […]

  41. Spaceagepaige Says:

    I am a fan of both the original Star Trek AND TNG.
    That being said – I LOVED Abrams’ reinvention – and I have seen it multiple times. Never ONCE did I even notice the lens flare, and even if I had, I still would have loved this film.
    ‘Fanboys'( and girls), trolls, and general complainers need to spend less time dissecting entertainment and maybe – Just Maybe – they might actually enjoy a film, even if it be by accident.

  42. Watched the movie at least 5 times.

    Did not even notice the “excessive” lens flare.

    At all.


    In fact, I can’t even remember it now that it’s brought to my attention. So.

    Neither love nor hate. Total ambivilence. Surely I’m not the only one?

  43. jaykhunter Says:

    I really enjoyed this film, there was only two complaints I had about it :

    1) Those annoying lens flares. Don’t shine that light in me face mate, I’ve lost a pint of blood! Seriously though, Abrams went far too overboard. Maybe I should go to his house and shine a light in his face when he’s trying to eat dinner and he can feel how we feel.

    2) The panoramic-this-character’s-talking shot. The camera won’t stop bloody moving. What’s worse, Abrams’ go-to camera move is the ‘start behind someone and move in front of them’. Thank you for making a set, and yes once or twice is nice, but not for every character in every non-action scene. Much like point 1), a little is ok but dammit, it was overused so badly I got taken out of the film as I struggled not to give out to my gf about it.

    Other than that, great film, I was shocked how much I enjoyed it, solid sci-fi action film that had a great personal story-arc for Kirk and Spock, well done. I’ll definitely see the next one when it comes out, Abrams please don’t overuse the 2 points I made!

    Jay Hunter, 28 year old junior doctor, Dublin, Ireland.

  44. Did notice the excessive lens flare 1st time but it didn’t detract from my experience of the movie. I also don’t think it added anything to it. I remember the first time I saw a 3D rendering package advertise “now with lens flare!” like it was a good thing, and my first thought was – “What!? Lens flare is what you get with sloppy camera work and now it’s a feature?” Still haven’t changed my thoughts on that. Lens flare, shaky cameras etc are the new language of hipster douche tryhard film-making.

  45. I didn’t really pay very much attention to them. However, I do feel it washed out video a bit.

  46. ZephyrLegend Says:

    I absolutely loved them. It made the movie seem bigger. I really understood what Abrams was trying to do with it. It made it seem like the world was brighter. I like bright things.

    • What’s odd is less that people dislike the lens flare but the vehemence of their dislike. This article was written before the movie came out and people were already mad. It’s two years later. They’re still mad.

  47. Anonymous Says:

    I like the lighting alot. One of the few saving graces of the movie. Something I really hated about the later series, voyager and enterprise, was the producers’ insistence on low lighting. The movie was a nice change.

  48. PapushiSun Says:

    Speaking as a non Star Trek fan, whose never seen an episode of any of the TV shows or the films except this Abrams one, the lense flares were just distracting. It kept taking me out of the story, I kept thinking ‘jeez the camera operator sucks.’
    Other than that it was quite enjoyable.

  49. anchorite Says:

    I noticed it the first and only time I saw the film. It was so intrusive I started counting the damned things. It was like an average of 2 per minute the whole film! Even in places where there couldn’t possibly be moving lamps I saw the things winking across the screen stabbing me in the eye, like in the ship’s elevator. I can’t imagine a ship’s crew could work like that without wearing sunglasses or going blind. All flash and no substance marred what was otherwise a totally decent film.

  50. Yes, definitely too much lens flare. &I’m glad Abrams was mature enough to admit he’d made a poor choice. They were distracting & annoying, especially when it was obvious that it was being done on purpose for a reason that did *nothing* to enhance the plot in an appreciable way.

  51. arthurfwt Says:

    ghostradioworld, are you still, to this day, totting up votes for the damn lens flare? I guess people are still commenting, but seriously, sad. The argument’s lost and won sunshine, the majority didn’t like the over-use of the flare effects. Not the use, the *over*-use. It’s done, chill, or y’know, keep on keeping on in abject denial, it’s all one.

    Great movie otherwise, looking forward to the next one.

    • We almost never close the comments sections on a post. So people are allowed to comment on any of our posts for as long as they’d like.

      Your comments or those of anyone else are still welcome. And will continue to be welcome for the foreseeable future.

  52. I didn’t really notice the constant lens flares that you mention the one time I saw this film. I guess that means for me, it wasn’t an issue….

  53. oww_my_eyes Says:

    Saying ‘issue with the lens flares’ is like complaining about symptoms but not recognizing the cause:

    THE LIGHTS AT EYE LEVEL!! Seriously. The sets have half the lights at EYE LEVEL or SHOULDER LEVEL or even ELBOW LEVEL!!

    Future buildings are being built with no irritating or even visible light sources because they’re annoying. Its all diffuse/reflected light.

    The lights are built specifically to cause lens flairs – that means they specifically cause irritation in eyes. Any lens flair for a camera means in real life a person would get a sore or irritated eye at most, and distracted at least.

    Lens flares are a trick to make non-camera footage look like it was shot with a camera. Or to make things look reflective.


    Ever seen a photo of a cruise ship? It looks all smooshed at the back. Because its HUGE! A starship is even bigger. It should look like a blob. Also, ever seen an apartment building at night? It looks black, but you can make out the shit in the windows. The Enterprise should look like that too. A curvey black blob with light up windows on it.

    The entire visual effects range looked unrealistic. The lens flares were a joke and if I wasn’t so awesomed out by a new Star Trek film I would have been raging. The film was good (excluding plot) but the visual effects were a let down from a realism point of view.

    But realism aside – the lens flares were annoying, but the shoulder-level lights were even more annoying, unrealistic, and quite frankly a gigantic fuckup.

  54. oww_my_eyes Says:

    I do have to say this though with regards to ghostradio: You do not need to be convinced that the lens flares were annoying in order for it to be valid. It wasn’t annoying for you.

    It was annoying to some. And not because they’re pedantic or ‘die hard fans’ or ‘realism freaks’ like me. Other people are convinced that the lens flares are annoying. That is the end result. They are not annoyed by the lens flares merely to convince you.

    There is no argument on whether the lens flares should go. It is annoying to a large variety of people from different backgrounds and for different reasons. You’re waiting for one of these reasons to not seem pathetic to you. Why? You have a bias – not the unnamed people posting single threads. You are attacking the masses. Its you thats biased FOR lens flares.


  55. lense flare didnt notice
    shite film did notice

  56. Thursday Says:

    I certainly didn’t notice it happening nearly as often as people on here have said, and I’ve seen the movie dozens of times. The few scenes in which it was noticeable, I thought it was a lovely effect and made the scenes sort of dreamy and beautiful. That being said, I’m not sure *why* they should have been dreamy and beautiful (particularly when they’re taking place on the Bridge), or how the effect was futuristic. But I can’t imagine being so distracted by them that I have to come on line and spew vitriol over it.

  57. This is hilarious. This might be the worst case of jumping on the bandwagon ever. after reading this i would bet a solid 25% of the people complaining about it never saw the movie because they made no sense. but to each their own I guess. He tried something new… and maybe he over did it. but I for one enjoyed it. As for the people who are saying it hurt their eyes and made it hard to watch… I am going to assume that you are posting about any other action movies out there because There are many other brighter and eye caustic movies out there. Thank you for allowing my two cents!

  58. Dravda the Gamer Says:

    (I like that the comments are still going. It’s cool.)

    In my opinion the lens flare was a flaw. It didn’t seem futuristic. I could understand if they provided an explanation. x happens when someone access a terminal or some such. It didn’t seem original or like something you would expect on a high tech vehicle in the future in space. My problem wasn’t so much that it was a distraction to my sensitive eyes (it was but I adjusted) but that I couldn’t understand what their purpose was and what it did to enhance to story.

    In other words it’s lame to think that the technology that we have now is on pace to be so much better than what they show was on a “futuristic” sci fi movie.

    Why the hell would a space ship have blast of random light shining into people eyes on the bridge? Why are the light set so low in the walls? Why can’t these flashes of light happen in the folds of the actors clothes due to nano bots? Why not have cool flashes of light follow people in the corridors? So many different ways to add special light and they used lens flare? Just seems lazy to me. I don’t even believe it was intentional, because it could be much better if it was.

  59. FDewitt Says:

    Haven’t seen the movie, don’t plan to. But just the picture at the top of the post is annoying. Who would want to live in that? And no, my eyes are not overly sensitive and I don’t hate light (like the post is titled even though I’m not a fan) which seems to be the only counter-argument that keeps being parroted. I mean the picture looks bleached out and fake as if overexposed, isn’t that counter-productive to good camera work and the telling of a story?

    I think Ghostradioworld has a crush on Abrams even though Abrams admitted himself that is was a cheap and stupid move.

  60. […] 影迷们强烈抱怨在《星际迷航》中出现如此多的眩光特技,以至于J.J. Abrams必须发表声明为此道歉。 […]

  61. Fuuuuuuk you, JJ!

  62. I found the lense flare so distracting I missed half the story. Thank god someone else did too.

  63. +1 Paul

  64. […] Abrams continues the apology tour.  After apologizing for his overuse of lens flares he now offers a brand new […]

  65. Abrams is in need of professional counseling to treat his obsessive-compulsive disorder with lens flare. Also, there should be a new category of lens flare credits at the end of films: Lens Flare by Abrams.

  66. Lense flare so fucking distracting, They took me out of the movie.

  67. Yeah, the article is stupid: No one likes the stupid lens flares. In fact they hate the fucking things hehehehe

    There’s nothing at all strange about any of that, except for the lens-flares themselves, which you didn’t even write the article about, dummy, which is even more strange on the article-writer’s behalf.

    Man, in the Good Old Days–like back before teh ADD made Hollywood forget how to make a movie–if someone made film footage with that much lens flare, they would’ve been fired and the footage reshot properly by someone competent.

    So what is your article even about!? ??? Bah! Stupid! I guess the leading article up there was written by a clueless dumb moronic dork with a question mark where a brain should be! hehehehe

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