Flat lenses in glasses in movies/TV

Thanks, you have now ruined all those astronaut/deep sea diver/swat team movies for me :mad:.

The one that always bothered me, is when somebody is in a dark old spooky house, creeping around with only a candle for illumination, you can see the shadow of the candle on the wall behind them. This was spoofed in Young Frankenstein.

What bothered me was when a studio stage was pretending to be outdoors, but that meant everyone was casting four shadows.

These days they have multiple diffuse spacelights to light everything evenly, then a single big shadow-casting light as a fake sun, recreating outdoors much more realistically; but that’s a very recent development.

Ahh… tl;dr… :wink:

Just think sunglasses, but clear.

Shoot, you don’t have to go THAT far. Checkout Both Battlestar Galactica series and The Abyss.

I used to notice this all the time, but haven’t for a while; either TV glasses are better, or I’m just not noticing so much because RL glasses are also better - thinner and less reflective - so thin non-reflective glasses on TV don’t stand out.

I understand why they use them, anyway - even in real life, my strong glasses distort my face in an obvious way from certain angles and you can always see some reflections. Sure, the director (etc) could take steps to get round that, but it’s far easier just to use fake glasses.

What is annoying is when actors treat their character’s glasses as optional extras that aren’t actually necessary for sight. ‘I’m going to make an important point, so I’ll take my glasses off. Yes, this means that my character now can’t see the expression on the face of the person he’s talking to, but that doesn’t matter.’

I can’t recall seeing a lot of Woody Allen movies where he appears glass-less. Do you find the refractions distracting? I find them part of his character.

My own WAG is that it’s a case of not realizing that people do notice that detail, and it being cheaper (but maybe not so much now) to put two pieces of window glass than one piece of zero-graduation glass in a frame. The frame itself obstructs the view of the face a lot more than the kind of curves you get on real glasses. I’ve heard actors talk about getting a role where the character wore glasses and just bringing their own, and people being terribly surprised “you wear glasses?” “well, usually I wear contacts, but I thought it would be silly to wear contacts under flat glasses… anyway, I have these three frames, which ones do you like best? Or should I get a different pair for the character?”

scifisam2009, I think that often writers don’t bother to define why does the character wear glasses. My mother is shortsighted and going on in years: she used to keep her glasses on all the time, but now they bother her when she’s got to look at something close up so she takes them off - in order to see better. I know many farsighted people who only put them on when they are looking at something up close (sewing, reading). People with astigmatism are likely to keep them on. How many people do you think have given this kind of tiny little detail any thought, even among those who wear glasses?

(I can count, but I do run over myself sometimes. Sorry.)

I thought I explained this, but it rips me from the narrative and my suspension of disbelief is disrupted. It seems like it’s just me. I just thought I would ask to see if I was alone. At least you found it obvious too, so I know I’m not alone in that regard. Not that I’m afraid of being in a small minority or anything, it’s also an interesting question of perception, especially as other posters seemed to not find it obvious at all.

I guess the bar for what might justify starting a thread in here is lower for me than you, in terms of wether it ‘matters’ or not. I guess I think curiosity itself is a good enough reason for such a thing. Just MHO.

What?! You mean movies aren’t real? Is pretend a grownup word for make-believe? I had to read it slowly to pick up what you were laying down, but when I read it the fourth time, LOUDLY (in what Mommy calls my ‘outdoor’ voice), I got it. I think. Thank you so much for the edification. :smack:

an example of the OP’s glasses are in the movie Jennifer’s Body the main character Needy wears glasses and in the nightclub scene you can see that fake look.

I seem to recall Corey Feldman wore such fake lensed glasses in one of his roles.

checks IMDb

Stand By Me

A very obvious usage is in the 80s Stephen King Christine, the main nerd character Arnie has very oversized glasses with flat lenses.

It’s very annoying to me and frequently pulls me out of my suspension of disbelief during a movie. It screams “prop”, like 555 phone numbers and shattering windshields do.

I know that a lot of people have given it thought - it’s just something you notice, and it doesn’t seem like a tiny detail. I’m talking about characters where their glasses are apparently essential, except for when the actor wants to take them off as a dramatic gesture. It’s not like Scully in the X-Files, where she only wore glasses occasionally but it made sense when she did (working at the computer, mostly); I’m talking about when the taking on and off doesn’t make sense.

The main male character in Sanctuary, for example, was specifically mentioned as being short-sighted, but took his glasses off to look at monsters and talk to people. It was really jarring.

If the writers have been so lazy that they can’t say whether the character’s long- or short-sighted, then the actor should decide.

Wow! Bingo! So I’m NOT the only one after all! :slight_smile: …That’s more or less exactly how I feel about it. It seems so obvious to me and I’m surprised time and again when people don’t really know what I’m talking about.

Nowadays most eyeglasses are ordered with non-reflective, non-glare coating. It reduces the glare from the wearer’s point of view, but just as much from the outsider’s point of view. It nearly eliminates the reflection of the bright studio lights. That, coupled with the non-flat lenses that they use now, make wearing glasses on screen much more natural looking.

I’m going to guess that you wear glasses with thick lenses?

If so, then it’s obvious to you when you see this on the screen, and jarring, because thick glasses (and the distortion which they cause) are something with which you’re very familiar. To see it depicted otherwise simply rubs you wrong. Meanwhile, people who aren’t sensitized to the “issue” simply don’t notice.

It’s probably no different from any area in which one might have a high level of knowledge or interest, and which serves as a turn-off when it’s not handled “properly” in a movie or TV show. Think of the computer folks who get upset about how computer programs / screens are depicted, or the sports fans who get upset when the rules of the game are ignored in a movie for the sake of dramatic tension.

Never really noticed the “flat glasses” but have occasionally noticed the “no lenses” thing. IIRC, the early seasons of Superman used this for Clark Kent, then George Reeves eyes went bad and in the later color era he just wore real ones. I think Nick At Nite once did a commercial pointing this out, back before they started sucking.

I also notice the stupid “light inside the helmet” thing. It doesn’t really bother me for not being realistic, rather because it just looks weird. First time I noticed it, I thought they’d CGI’d the actors faces on someone else wearing a spacesuit for some reason.

No, me too! :cool: ('Prolly 'cause I wear 'em.)

I’ll add two more, underweight gold bars and weightless backpacks. :rolleyes:

CMC fnord!

Squealing tires on dirt. Foley FAIL.

Actually, my glasses aren’t that thick- and I almost always wear lenses. I still agree with your basic assumption though- that I notice flat-lensed glasses more because I’m more familiar with real glasses through personal experience.

I also notice it a lot, apologies for not mentioning it before. I find it terribly irritating. It’s one of those little details which shouldn’t be so hard to get right but for some reason are gotten wrong often. Everybody in my immediate family wears glasses or got Lasiked.

You should see my mother and grandmother (grandma used to be a seamstress) ranting about “that didn’t get in fashion until two years later!” for movies and series set in the 40s/50s/60s. Or, in some cases, “that hadn’t been invented yet! The first skirt like that was designed by [designer] in [year]! This is supposed to be happening [three years prior]! Harrumph!” followed by a lineup of which actresses wore said item in which roles. Thee Shalt Not Step On Thine History Of Fashion Book, at least not when Grandma is around.