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The Shining


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#1 Sean Azze

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 12:19 PM

Kubrick - arguably the most meticulous director in cinema history.

The shadow of the helicopter in the opening of The Shining - one of the most obvious goofs in a film.


Anybody know any lore behind this "mistake". Did Kubrick, the man who would shoot 50 takes of a scene, watch the dailies, notice the ashtray in the background had one cigarette butt in it when two would work better, and reshoot the thing another 50 takes, intend for this shadow to be visible for some reason?

Any thoughts?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 12:27 PM

He didn't shoot those helicopter shots -- MacGillivray-Freeman did. No doubt he told them to use some really wide-angle lenses, so framing out the helicopter blades and shadow on the ground was not always possible. They probably shot miles of footage and Kubrick picked the best out of the bunch, and not having digital efx tools, he couldn't really erase mistakes in the footage.

Besides, most of the blades are out of the theatrical 1.85 area. It's only in the 4:3 TV versions that you really see them.
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#3 Jason Maeda

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 01:18 PM

and so beautiful...
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#4 Josh Bass

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 01:26 PM

Wait wait wait. . .

I thought 4:3 showed LESS than 1:85, not more. I was under the impression 4:3 was a result of "zooming in" and recomposing each shot, if the work in question was initially released widescreen, that is.
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#5 robix

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 03:55 PM

Wait wait wait. . .

I thought 4:3 showed LESS than 1:85, not more.  I was under the impression 4:3 was a result of "zooming in" and recomposing each shot, if the work in question was initially released widescreen, that is.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


It was filmed in 4:3 and was intended to show in theaters with top and bottom matted out. TV versions often do not matte the top and bottom so they don't have to pan&scan. Of course the compositions suffer from this, but they would suffer by zooming as well. It's quite a task to compose in 1:85 AND also make it acceptable in unmatted 1:33.
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#6 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 05:40 PM

BTW, you will fin the exact same heli shot at the end of the director's cut of Balde Runner, too.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 07:59 PM

The 1.85 projection format is achieved by masking the top & bottom of the 1.37 Academy format. Most 1.85 movies are shot "open-matted" exposing a 4x3 negative; they are just COMPOSED for cropping to 1.85.

Kubrick preferred that his 4x3 TV transfers be unmatted, unless the original photography was matted (Clockwork Orange & Barry Lyndon, which have a mild camera matte) or naturally widescreen (2001). He died before 16x9 TV become more common, so we have no idea if he would have preferred HD versions to be 16x9 or 4x3.

One reason he liked the 4x3 TV versions was that it reminded him of 1.37 Academy, his favorite format. But the movie was not shot to be shown this way other than protecting (most of the time) the full frame.

You can see in this 4x3 DVD frame from "Full Metal Jacket" that the movie was obviously composed for cropping to widescreen for projection.

Posted Image

Here it it cropped by me to 1.85:

Posted Image
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#8 Christian Appelt

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 11:51 AM

More on SHINING helicopter shadows:

helicopter shadow discussion

Perfection is impossible to achieve. The only question is how close you decide to look at details. Twentytwo years after I first saw 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, I attended a recent 70mm screening, and for the first time I noticed that for a split second one of the "apes" in the first sequence hits the large front projection screen, causing a slight shake in part of the background image for a split second.
This is a long shot, and the disturbance is minimal, but there it is. Even a perfectionist like Kubrick could not spend another two or three years to watch every shot for the slightest problem, and it took me decades of watching that film to notice it.

You don't need to have it perfect, just make it damn good! :)

Edited by Christian Appelt, 29 July 2005 - 11:59 AM.

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#9 keidrych wasley

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Posted 29 July 2005 - 03:59 PM

Well, at the end of 2001 some chess pieces are clearly in the wrong position which Kubrick, being an avid chess player and meticulous lover of detail would have been unlikely to have left by mistake. In the Shining helicopter shot it would only have meant cutting the negative by half a second or so if that, which is nothing in the context of how long the shot is. Added to the perfect compositions that Kubrick loves it seems highly unlikely that this was an error.
Mistakes always seem to leave some essence of the real human film-maker behind them, could this be why they are left in?
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#10 Annie Wengenroth

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Posted 30 July 2005 - 04:48 PM

If you really wanna be nit-picky there are some continuity issues in "The Shining" where Danny is talking to Dick and in some shots, he has alternating amounts of ice cream on his upper lip which don't really match up (one shot it's there, the next it's gone, then partially there again, etc.). Oddly enough, I was the one sitting there happily mesmerized by one of my favorite films and my dad was the one to notice it first. So of course I pointed at him and yelled "YOU RUINED THE SHINING!" and stomped out of the room. :P

I really enjoy that film but I wish they'd used the concept of the moving hedge animals from the book...it could've been pretty cool.
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#11 Christian Appelt

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Posted 31 July 2005 - 08:42 AM

Seems hard to do with traditional special/visual effects.
IIRC the hedge animals move around very fast in the book, maybe Kubrick was afraid that it might look stupid.
There's a great article about the process of turning the King book into the SHINING screenplay, explaining the changes and addition, in this book:

Kubrick on View
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#12 mark leuchter

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Posted 01 September 2005 - 07:51 PM

I'm glad Kubrick decided to make it a hedge maze instead of animals. Kubrick's film is intensely psychological and he did research intro Freud, Bettleheim, and others psychoanalytical theorists before making the film. The hedge maze becomes a metaphor for the mind, and Danny's ability to escape it signals his move into the next stage of psychological development (whereas Jack is trapped in the maze of his own relapse).

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#13 Matt Pacini

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 06:28 PM

Surprise, surprise, Kubrick was not a god.

I think people forget, the boss is the producer, not the director.

I would imagine the conversation went something like this:

Producer: "No, we are NOT going to reshoot the scene just because you can see the blades! If you want to reshoot, then YOU pay for it!.
We already spent a shitload of cash reshooting the opening scene, because you didn't like the look of the cavemen kids, so bite me."

Kubrick: "Uh, OK, maybe nobody will notice."

MP
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#14 Roman

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Posted 09 September 2005 - 11:16 PM

I think people forget, the boss is the producer, not the director.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Hm, hm... I wouldn't be so sure, at least not when Kubrick was the director...
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#15 Vivian Zetetick

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 04:04 PM

The DVD edition of Adrian Lyne's film "9 & 1/2 Weeks" has both the "widescreen" and "full screen" versions of the film. However, unlike a pan & scan, the full-screen version is actually the widescreen version with the 1.85:1 theatrical mask lifted away. As in the DVD release of "The Shining", the home audience sees more than the theatrical audience if they view the film full-screen.

As has probably been covered here before, the "Super 35" format allows some filmmakers the freedom to abstract a different version of the film for both 4:3 and 16:9 presentation, as this film frame demonstrates:

Posted Image


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#16 Mitch Gross

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 10:53 PM

My favorite change from the book to the movie was the room number that Jack visits. I believe in the book it is room 217 but the movie has it as 237. Kubrick had some mental game going for years with the numbers one and two, first evidenced in the very title of 2001: A Space Odyssey. 237 adds up to 12. At the end of the film the photos on the wall are arranged in groups of 21. Danny wears a jersey with the number 42 (21x2) on it, Danny and Wendy are seen watching on TV the movie Summer of 42, the gold corridor wall has 21 pictures, the radio call sign for the Overlook is KDK 12, and the two screen titles in Part Three are 8am and 4pm (adds up to 12). And in 2001, HAL's birthday is January 12, 1992, which gets both the day of the month and if you add up the digits in the year (1+9+9+2) you get twice the numerical fun.

Don't look at me: Someone had to smoke a lot of pot or drop a lot of acid to catch all this nonsense. Kubrick claimed he changed the room number for "legal reasons," whatever the hell that means.

Now isn't that more fun than finding technical errors? And I have no friggin' clue as to the meaning of it all other than some game Kubrick liked to play.
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#17 Mike Welle

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Posted 28 October 2005 - 11:25 PM

And I have no friggin' clue as to the meaning of it all other than some game Kubrick liked to play.


I thought that this was a very profound essay on "The Shining" that gave me a better understading of its meanings. Basically, I understood it to be an indictment of a racist and hypocritical white society that lives off the murder of less powerful peoples. Essentially Social Darwinism. Essentially the movie was predicting everything George W. Bush and the Republican party have done so far. And confirmed everything Peter Greenaway was showing in "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover." Here is the link:

http://p066.ezboard....picID=375.topic
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#18 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 03:17 AM

I saw The Shining projected as a 35mm print matted 1:85 in college and it was perfectly composed, no helicopter blades, no unneeded extra headroom. I swear some of the shots one the current dvd are zoomed in. I remember when Jack was looking across the minature of the hedge maze, looking straight at the camera the sides fit snuggly within the sides of the frame, the bottom was just above the lower matte, Jacks head was just within the upper matte. On the dvd the frame cuts into the sides of the maze minature.
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#19 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 05:15 AM

have you seen the work PS260 - are doing on the Shining

New version of the Shining

:)

thanks

Rolfe
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#20 Stephen Williams

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Posted 29 October 2005 - 05:21 AM

have you seen the work PS260 - are doing on the Shining

New version of the Shining

:)

thanks

Rolfe


Hi,

Thats very funny!

Stephen
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