a doc on kubrick

That is indeed an interesting piece! I've always had a curiosity about Vivian, allways thought she did a pretty amazing job with that doc on the Shining considering her age. It's fun to see her talk about her process and show off the gear. Fun detail to see her shooting setup with the Aaton and the little Nagra SN recorder velcroed to the battery (as suggested by Garrett Brown, not surprising). It is hard to communicate to those who have come up in the digital era just how much work it was to run a one-man band setup like that compared to today--11 minute mags that have to be loaded and unloaded in a changing bag or darkroom, all the labeling of cans and sound tape reels...not insignificant for a teenager!

Also interesting to see a studio publicist that well versed in the creative and technical side of filmmaking.
 
Yes I agree - thought she did a great job on the doc. Yes 'all the gear.' "It is hard to communicate to those who have come up in the digital era..." As Casavettes once said "OK this month we repair 100.000 sprockets holes!" I have a feeling though Kubrick after watching that footage never let anyone ever again in there with a camera. Vivian seemed like a really great young lady.
 
Y I have a feeling though Kubrick after watching that footage never let anyone ever again in there with a camera. Vivian seemed like a really great young lady.

I feel quite sure that he approved every frame that ended up in that doc (she was cutting it next door to his office after all), which makes it even more interesting since it doesn't really paint him in the best light, losing his patience with Shelley Duvall and all. I've always been fascinated by the part her doc where he comes up with the up-angle on Nicholson inside the storage room on the spot: "what if we were to..." and lies on his back with the finder. Given the immaculate precision in his filmmaking style at that time one would more typically imagine a Coen Brothers type of fastidious storyboarding versus that kind of spontaneity.

Regarding Vivian, she does seem like a bright spark, her youth (or possibly just blind artistic spirit) only revealing itself in this clip in her rather rough handling of the various assets as she shows them to the documentary crew, pulling things out and then moving on without putting them back--I imagine her dad wasn't too thrilled to come back to his office to find an array of publicity photos splayed out across his desk!

A bit saddened to read in her Wiki entry that she seems to have gone an unexpected direction in life--I won't repeat here because I can't confirm, but it seems be supported elsewhere.
 
Yes, she's taken a rather interesting path.

As for Kubrick coming up with angles on the spot, it's really not that surprising as one learns just how he practiced his craft. It was much like Chaplin's. He worked with a very small crew and lighting designed for the space as opposed to the individual shot (Barry Lyndon candles and painting emulations notwithstanding). With this setting as a framework he was free for what he referred to as The Slog, which was to just try anything and everything until he found what he felt worked. It's why some scenes were captured in a couple takes and others could require weeks and hundreds of takes of individual shots. Kubrick just kept at it until he got what he felt worked. I'm not sure of the stats on The Shining but I know they were shooting for more than 300 days, which I think was only surpassed by Eyes Wide Shut. On that film Tom Cruise spent days walking on a treadmill while New York City SteadiCam street footage was rear projected behind him. I'm not sure exactly what Kubrick couldn't find in all the other material, but the finished shot is only on screen for a few seconds. Compare that to the bathroom scene in Full Metal Jacket that completes the first half of the film. Vincent D'Onofrio tells the story that Kubrick mentioned to him the day before that it needed to be big like Boris Karloff and the actor considered it a huge gift because he'd been specifically studying Karloff performances for months in anticipation of the scene. He said they shot it in a couple takes and ended the day early. I guess when you know you got it you know.
 
Charles Papert - I wasn't talking about the doc Vivian made on The Shining but this doc with Vivian and the Asian filmmaker. I was referring to those things you mentioned -' especially publicity photos splayed out across his desk!' And photos of him no less - ha. But yes pulling out the 2001 lens and shoving it back into the case - OMG! How this guy got access I have no idea. And then to get Kubrick on the phone and ask those questions. Yes - 'that she seems to have gone an unexpected direction in life...'
 
Ah, I see, Kevin. Since this footage was unaired I assumed that Kubrick never even saw it in his lifetime. It seems like the original intent (ghost hunting) wasn't explored too intensely, other than asking Kubrick his feelings on the supernatural.

"The Shining" had such a profound influence on my life. It was the first time I identified Steadicam shots (I remember sitting in the theatre, 14 yrs old, going "how did they do that?) which ultimately sparked my future career. After reading and re-reading the American Cinematographer article I was certainly aware that the Overlook was a set built on stage, but when I eventually saw Vivian's documentary it was still jarring to watch the opening scenes where she follows Nicholson down the stairs from his dressing room into the set. The movie has for me a mythic quality. I've bugged Garrett Brown for many stories over the years!
 
Given the immaculate precision in his filmmaking style at that time one would more typically imagine a Coen Brothers type of fastidious storyboarding versus that kind of spontaneity.

Really? I believe Kubrick stated something to the effect that one should plan a shoot in minute detail but be prepared to throw all the planning out the window if one sees something inspiring on set. I recall that he also anguished over the the opening or defining shot of each scene and felt that the cinematography of the scene would flow from that initial decision.

Relatedly, I think that was one reason he enjoyed working with practically-lit sets (and IIRC insisted on rebuilding the entirety of the Shining sets that burned down rather than just what was specifically called for in the remainder of the unshot screenplay) -- because basically he didn't want any limitations on where he could point the camera.
 
Charles - when I was younger I worked at the Carnegie Hall Cinema - a revival house in NYC. I got off work at 11:30 pm - around the corner where the shining was playing at The Ziegfield - there last show for months was at midnight. I would see the film each night there. I saw it projected maybe 70 times. Yeah - it sleeps on the floor of my unconscious now. At 14 you were doing all of that - I'm jealous - I was sniffing glue at 14 - that stuff eating my brain cells like a pac man. I have to draw with chalk a line back home these days because of it :)
 
"I believe Kubrick stated something to the effect that one should plan a shoot in minute detail" For his Napoleon project - it was said Kubrick knew what Napelon was up to every single day of his life. I believe it.
 
I'm also reminded of my experience on American History X where director Tony Kaye took out a full page ad in Variety before the film went into production stating that he was the greatest filmmaker since Kubrick (a combination of hubris and hype). On set the Kubrick influence largely seemed to consist of a preference to center-punch people in the frame. I was instructed to keep the crosshairs between the eyes to the point where I started to feel that Tony was training me to become an assassin rather than a camera operator.

We once did a Key & Peele sketch that tied into the Shining and we duplicated the ending slow dolly-in to the vintage photograph, which was frankly a bit of an emotional moment for me because of my history with the film (another was when we emulated the Scorcese camera moves and Richardson lighting style for a mobster sketch). Walking in the footsteps of giants!
 
Funny enuf a video came up on my feed last night of 2 guys re-creating the top light from The Godfather. They threw one light up on a stand and well - what do you know. Gordy was smiling somewhere.
 
We once did a Key & Peele sketch that tied into the Shining and we duplicated the ending slow dolly-in to the vintage photograph, which was frankly a bit of an emotional moment for me because of my history with the film (another was when we emulated the Scorcese camera moves and Richardson lighting style for a mobster sketch). Walking in the footsteps of giants!

Continental breakfast and the nervous mob boss (surprise bday party)? Both brilliantly done
 
Yes I remember seeing that clip in some doc on Kubrick. Good stuff. I remember Sydney Pollack saying in some doc "Lots of people in my business claim to be perfectionists. Trust me. There was only one. Stanley." ha.
 
Yes I remember seeing that clip in some doc on Kubrick. Good stuff. I remember Sydney Pollack saying in some doc "Lots of people in my business claim to be perfectionists. Trust me. There was only one. Stanley." ha.

That may be so, but that doesn't mean that he was actually good at everything. IMO he was not the best director of actors. And I feel like his weaknesses were a consequence of his strengths in that his highly analytical mind was also not terribly emotional. Some may disagree with me. But take Barry Lyndon, for example, which I consider to be a near-perfect film. IMO all that holds it back is the performance of the lead, which lacks nuance, depth, and development. I think Ryan O'Neal has turned in some fine performances, and I suspect that the blame for his shortcomings in that role falls on Kubrick. Kubrick is my favorite director, but that's my opinion.
 
Continental breakfast and the nervous mob boss (surprise bday party)? Both brilliantly done

Yes, the triumphantly weird Continental Breakfast. The gangster one I had in mind was this one. We mashed up the camera moves of Goodfellas with the lighting style of Casino. It took a bunch of takes to get the dolly in/zoom in right (at :13) but the director and I knew at the same time when we hit it.

 
"IMO he was not the best director of actors" I quoted in another post Kurosawa saying at 76 he was only now figuring out how to make a film. And I really don't think it was hyperbole. Bergman said in an interview "I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I really don't. It's all so mysterious." Ford saying famously, 'the best things in films are accidents.' etc. Really - what director did it all? And I think Kubrick knew a thing or two about acting. Nicholson said Kubrick was not interested in naturalism. Kubrick wanted it heightened. Lots of actors who worked with him said great things about him. Sure others not. Duvall even said she'd even work with him again in a heartbeat. There are great performances in all of his films. I personally think Ryan O'Neil is pretty damn good in Barry. Kubrick's family all talked about how emotional he was. Anyway. Just my 2 cents.
 
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