Watching the movie, Jurassic Park, even the first time I saw it, there's a glaring glitch when the characters Dr. Grant & Ian Malcolm, are waving the flare in the T-Rex scene.

There's a reflection of the flare, which I presumed was some kind of reflection on the green-screen.

enter image description here

However, when Malcolm is running, it not only stays the same distance (I'm guessing the actor is running away from a green screen?), and the reflection even passes in front of him - he is between the reflection-thing and the green screen.

You can see this occur at about 1:40 in the scene. This leads me to believe it was a camera lens error?

What caused this blur, reflection, or refraction, and why wasn't it corrected (it's a very visual error, setting it apart from other goofs)?

  • 5
    Looks like like lens flare to me: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lens_flare
    – invalid_id
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 8:57
  • I'm watching your video at 1:40 but I don't see anything there... do you mean 1:24?
    – BlueMoon93
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 8:57
  • @BlueMoon93 - the flares start at 1:24ish, but where you see it pass in front of Malcolm a couple times is just after 1:40.
    – Mikey
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 9:00
  • 3
    I'm sure that it's Phil Tippet's fault. I mean...he was supposed to be supervising the frigging dinosaurs :P Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 19:28

2 Answers 2


It is called lens flare. This occurs when a bright light is scattered in a lens system and, because of internal reflection and lens imperfections, a visible artifact is transmitted to the observation point.

It was not edited out, because it confers realism.

From Vox, previously lens flare was always removed (or shots were taken so as to not contain any). As documentaries started having some, movie directors realized that it gave a realism-vibe common to documentaries. Spielberg wanted to use it (a lot!) in Jurassic Park.

From DigitalRev,

Just as lens flare was once used to convey authenticity, it was used by Spielberg and others to lend that believability to aliens (in E.T.) and dinosaurs (in Jurassic Park).

From Vulture:

In Jurassic Park: The Lost World Spielberg wanted a butt-load of lens flares. He told cinematographer Janusz Kaminski to "shoot against the sun or to introduce the dinosaurs as a silhouette or moving against a bright light."

As a side-note, this may have also simply not been noticed by movie editors. I never really saw this until you pointed it out to me in this question...

By popular demand....

enter image description here

  • 5
    Someone please make a J.J. Abrams version of the screenshot ;)
    – sirjonsnow
    Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 12:11
  • LOVE that lens flare pic!! The eyes are especially perfect. Commented Apr 18, 2017 at 19:43
  • Haha, that's fantastic.
    – sirjonsnow
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 11:57

It's a dangling piece of the flare (rather than lens flare as suggested by the other answer). I have been analyzing the YouTube video frame by frame. The extra pink light dangles and waggles 6-8 inches below the main pink flame. Here are some still frames I took.

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

enter image description here

In the final image at the bottom, you can even see how the dangling piece appears as an uneven streak because it is jiggling, while the main pink flame appears as a completely straight streak.

(Regarding the other answer: That J.J. Abrams lens flare pic is fantastic!!)

  • 1
    What about the red spot on the T-Rex's nose in the OP's pic? Can it only be a dangling piece of the flare? Wouldn't the lens flare have the same shape as the flare fire as well?
    – BlueMoon93
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 8:23
  • I agree those are lens flares in the OP's pic of Dr. Grant and the T-Rex. Those lens flares are straight to the left of the flame, and straight above the flame. I also see what you mean about them being a (somewhat) different shape than the flame. But they still look like lens flares. In the shots with Ian in my answer, the light is below the flame; the distance from the flame changes; the light even hides behind the cylindrical flare once or twice, which a dangling flame would do but a lens flare wouldn't; and it just doesn't look like a lens flare to me. Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 16:26

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .