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“Needs Moar Lens Flare” is a sarcastic expression criticizing the overuse of lense flares in contemporary cinema. The special effect became a subject of online parody following the release of JJ Abrams’ 2009 science fiction film Star Trek, which was known for its gratuitous use of the lens flare effect.
he eleventh film adaptation of the Star Trek franchise was directed by JJ Abrams and premiered on May 8th, 2009. Shortly before its theatrical release, Abrams acknowledged the lens flares in an interview published by the science fiction blog io9 on April 27th, 2009. Following the premiere in May, Star Trek fans and bloggers began commenting on the overwhelming presence of lens flares throughout the movie. Many image macros taking aim at the director’s obsession with the special effect were posted in a thread on the ontd_startrek Livejournal page on June 10th, 2009.
On July 19th, 2009, LiveJournal user truthiness submitted a post to the ontd_startrek community page, in which he claimed to have counted 1,013 lens flares used in the Star Trek film. On May 4th, 2009, YouTuber partmor uploaded footage from the 1970s Star Trek television series edited to include many lens flare effects (shown below). Within the next four years, the video received over 340,000 views and 840 comments.
On August 15th, 2010, a page titled “Lens Flare” was created on the trope database website TV Tropes, noting that it was often used in cinema as an example of the “coconut effect,” in which unrealistic elements are inserted into films because viewers have become conditioned to expect them. On June 18th, 2011, YouTuber BoyGeniusComedy uploaded a parody trailer titled “Lens Flare: The Movie,” in which lens flares are portrayed as the villain in a film directed by JJ Abrams (shown below). Within the next two years, the video accumulated more than 140,000 views and 185 comments.
On January 25th, 2013, The Daily Dot published an article about the Internet’s reaction to an announcement that Abrams would be directing a new Star Wars film, featuring several photoshopped Star Wars posters with added lens flare effects (shown below, left). The same day, the Internet news blog UpRoxx published a post titled “All Lens Flare Everything,” which featured a slideshow of notable images parodying the Abrams’ Star Wars announcement (shown below, right).
“Lens flare” is a effect caused by light that has been scattered over a camera lens by internal reflection. In film-making and cinematography, lens flare is often used intentionally to invoke a sense of drama or to screen the artificial textures of CGI-edited motion pictures. Modern film camera equipment has components that prevent flares from occurring during shoots.
The Daily Dot – Can the Internet handle a JJ Abrams Star Wars Flick?