Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Watch: James Bond Is Back In First Trailer For 'Spectre' Starring Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Dave Bautista, & More Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Terrence Malick's Next Film With Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara & Michael Fassbender Reportedly Gets Titled Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' Watch: Jake Gyllenhaal Gets Bloody And Bruised In First Trailer For Boxing Drama 'Southpaw' New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books New Infographic Lays Out Canonical 'Star Wars' Timeline With Films, TV And Books First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' First Official Image: Jesse Eisenberg As Lex Luthor In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Watch: First Trailer For Arnold Schwarzenegger's Zombie Pic 'Maggie' With Abigail Breslin Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Idris Elba Replaces Jamie Foxx In Harmony Korine's 'The Trap,' Al Pacino, Robert Pattinson, James Franco Also Join Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut Watch: Explore The Loneliness Of Sofia Coppola's Films With This Supercut 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors 10 Terrible Films Starring Great Actors Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' Watch: Tom Hanks Acts Out His Filmography In 7-Minutes On 'The Late Late Show' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' New Directors/New Films Review: Jia Zhang-ke Produced 'K' Is A New Take On Franz Kafka's 'The Castle' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Viggo Mortensen Reveals He Turned Down Quentin Tarantino's 'The Hateful Eight,' Auditioned For 'Reservoir Dogs' Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” Jonathan Nolan Says His Original Ending To 'Interstellar' Was “Much More Straightforward” The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 Best Of 2014: The 15 Best Movie Soundtracks Of 2014 The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki From Worst To Best: Ranking The Films Of Hayao Miyazaki All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Camera Operator for 'The Shining' Explains Helicopter Shadows in Opening Credits, Discusses Hallorann Crash Sequence

The Playlist By Charlie Schmidlin | The Playlist February 4, 2013 at 9:43AM

“Room 237,” Rodney Ascher's quixotic look at Stanley Kubrick's “The Shining” and the elaborate theories surrounding it, is set to hit theatres and VOD later this year, but while the documentary packs in a enormous amount of supposed “answers,” the latest one up for review concerns the film's ominous opening credits, and perhaps comes from a slightly more credible source as well.
2
The Shining Helicopter Shadow

Room 237,” Rodney Ascher's quixotic look at Stanley Kubrick's “The Shining” and the elaborate theories surrounding it, is set to hit theatres and VOD later this year, but while the documentary packs in a enormous amount of supposed “answers,” the latest one up for review concerns the film's ominous opening credits, and perhaps comes from a slightly more credible source as well.

“The Shining” opens with a series of sweeping helicopter shots slowly tracking Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) and his family's car through the snow-capped hills of Glacier National Park. Contacted by Kubrick then to shoot this second unit footage, camera operator Jeff Blyth recently recalled his experiences of the shoot, but more importantly lent his thoughts on the credits' most disputed shot: A glimpse of the helicopter itself splashed up against the mountains. Was it an accident or Kubrick's intent?

“At the time we started shooting, we had been told we could do anything we wanted,” Blyth recounts. “It was with great amusement that I have read online reports that Kubrick somehow accomplished these shots by some sort of radio remote control while still in England. We'd talked with him by phone before setting out and I can assure you there were no specifics needed other than a yellow VW with Colorado plates.”

Addled with stress over lack of traffic control, Blyth and his team were attempting to maintain a fluid shot while filming in full aperture, with mixed results. “I had my hands full guiding the helicopter pilot in closer and closer based on the little black and white monitor (which the pilot could not see). I can assure you, shadows were the least of our concerns, even if they could have been visible on that [1:1.85-cropped] monitor (which they weren't).”

Due to Blyth's impaired sight lines, the camera operator concludes Kubrick “just liked those particular shots and didn't worry about the shadows.” He then added, “I have to say I was personally horrified to see the shadows on the first video release, since they'd never showed in the theatrical release, as we'd intended.”

Entertaining and insightful, you can read Blyth's full account over at Visual Memory, where he also talks about risking injury to film a deleted scene with Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers) “receiving” Danny's telepathic S.O.S. by nearly swerving into oncoming traffic along the Pacific Coast Highway. Needless to say, Blyth and his team were “a little disappointed that the final cut of the film eliminated all of that and it was replaced with a very simple shot of Halloran responding to the message in his apartment.”

“Scatman did a nice job of the moment, though,” he says. Check out the opening sequence from the horror classic below. [via Movie City News]

This article is related to: The Shining


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome

E-Mail Updates