The popularity of flare

Started Jun 13, 2011 | Discussions thread
tarnish Senior Member • Posts: 1,470
It can destroy the intent


Anyone noticed how popular it seems to be, especially in movies, to have flare in the shots these days?

I don't get it. What's the appeal?

It can be completely out of place, for example if you saw it in an historical drama set a few centures before the existence of photography. An unwarranted 20th century fingerprint in that case is just a dumb production decision.

A similar blunder happens with sound tracks sometimes. Vangelis' heavily electronic, heavily 1990's compositions were MUCH better suited to Blade Runner than they were to Gallipoli .

I don't know that there really is any real trend here, other than having long ago already come down from the truly massive over-use of flare in the 1960's. Go rent Easy Rider and Woodstock to see what I mean.

There are occasional visual "defects" I've seen that have worked tremendously well. The intermittent time shift / double vision dissolves when Mad Max was crawling away from his wrecked car in The Road Warrior instantly conveyed the massive damage he had just suffered... even though we were looking at him, it was as if we were seeing him with his eyes. That can't make any literal sense at all since the audience is virtually a bodiless observer, but it effectively told the story anyway. I also liked the vertical highlight smearing that was used toward the end of Saving Private Ryan .

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