Jump to content

Lens flare in "LUCKY" shot by Tim Suhrstedt

KH Martin

Recommended Posts

I just caught this 2017 movie on HBO -- it is a wonderful little film, an 18-day wonder in which Harry Dean Stanton occupies nearly every frame. It has great performances and writing, but the thing that is really sticking with me was this incredible lens flare about halfway through the film, when James Darren enters a red-lit area and disappears. I've never seen a lens flare like it, it was almost like a screen graphic out of a war or space movie ... but I don't see how it could have been a post effect. I was just wondering if anybody knows how this particular flare was achieved, with some net on the lens or a particular light source and lens combination. You'll know it when you see it, it is practically like a circular grid effect. And stay for the rest of the movie, it is great, and Tom Skerritt has got a wonderful extended cameo. Really good cast, great directorial debut for the actor best known for playing Drew Carey's brother.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

There are many software plugins that simulate lens flare, so it could be natural to the lens or added artistically with a plugin.

Here's an old article about Knoll Light Factory and some of the available effects.





Edited by Frank Wylie
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Sustaining Member

The movie was shot in Panavision anamorphic and that rainbow flare happens on some of the older longer focal lengths (see "Alien" for example) -- however in this case, it might have been a flare element they shot separately to add over the image at the key moment. Or it was done by panning an off-camera light into the edge of the lens at the right moment.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks David. I just read something on imdb where someone suggested this was supposed to imply James Darren returning to his old 60s TV series THE TIME TUNNEL, and I gotta admit it does kind of remind me of that awesome op-art piece of art direction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

That particular "bloom" from the Panavision anamorphics has always been a favorite of mine. You can see it in Die Hard, Sudden Death, The Relic, and a lot of other films I'm forgetting at the moment.

The Cooke Anamorphic/i lenses can exhibit it as well (e.g. Jon Fauer's test footage from 2014).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

That's my favourite type of flare! And by the way, the hardest to emulate digitally. Even the most organic-looking digital flares (by the Optical Flares plugin) require lots of tweaking the softness and colours and still do not come close to the real thing. It is way better to use real lenses or ring flare footage.

I read they added spherical ring flares in post production for Mank (2020), which look great, however no idea if they are purely digital or filmed footage. Easier to emulate in black and white though.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


Forum Sponsors

Visual Products


FJS International

Film Gears


Wooden Camera

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Serious Gear

Metropolis Post

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

New Pro Video - New and Used Equipment

Cinematography Books and Gear

  • Create New...