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This Documentary Goes Behind the Scenes of The Shining

Rachel Klein

Stanley Kubrick’s (then) 17-year-old daughter created an intimate and artful behind-the-scenes film for one of the greatest horror films of all time . . . and you can watch it online.

All images via Juxtapoz.

A true treat for Kubrick (and Jack Nicholson) fans, this thirty-minute documentary lives in the nuances and little dramas on set of The Shining. By taking a peek behind the curtain, the audience gets an intimate view of these big names, poised within the vision of a 17-year-old (with her father’s filmmaking genes). This is not your average “Behind the Scenes” takeaway.


The Making of THE SHINING by paget76

The documentary moves between playful and deeply insightful moments with Jack Nicholson into vignettes of the drama and tensions between Kubrick and Shelly Duval. It shows the actors prepping for scenes and getting into character just before takes and then cuts into the actual scenes from the film, so you can see right away the results of their methods.

Long takes tracking through the stages, playful interactions with the crew and cast, and quick little flashes of rehearsals and interview snippets weave into a Kubrick fan’s dream. And this was thankfully not the last family collaboration for these two. Vivian, Kubrick’s daughter, also went on to later do the entire score of Full Metal Jacket.

Enjoy the film, originally aired on the BBC, and have a look at how these actors and filmmakers can influence your own work.


Behind the Scenes Photos

"Making 'The Shining'" Documentary and Photos — 1

"Making 'The Shining'" Documentary and Photos — 2

Jack Nicholson’s performance in The Shining is historic. The intensity and barbarism Nicholson brings to the film propels the movie to terrifying heights. As you can see, his screenplay is a direct reflection of the sinister mind of his character — manic and scatterbrained.

"Making 'The Shining'" Documentary and Photos — 3

"Making 'The Shining'" Documentary and Photos — 5

Quite the setup for the infamous stair scene. Given the two-camera setup, Kubrick was notorious for pushing his actors to the limit, particularly Shelly Duvall during the production of The Shining.

"Making 'The Shining'" Documentary and Photos — 6

Kubrick certainly had a way of directing and communicating with his actors. This masterful style of directing has led to some of the bravest and boldest films in cinematic history.


Did The Shining inspire your own work? Let us know in the comments.

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