the shining

The inventor of Steadicam himself shot the ‘maze scene’ of THE SHINING

Stanley Kubrick’s legendary horror film THE SHINING is one of the most respected horrors of all time. The film is known for its stunning visuals and the memorable performance of lead actor Jack Nicholson. It was among the first films to be shot by using a Steadicam (a stabilizing mount for motion picture camera, which mechanically separates the movement of the operator from that of the camera’s).

This device was invented by Garret Brown, who himself was directly involved in the production of the film. After visiting the set of the film, Brown came up with changes in the basic design of the Steadicam. He specially made a 18mm lens for the camera so that the device could be used to enter even in the small holes of doors and wall frames. One of the most famous scenes of the film was shot in a specially designed maze. This climax scene shows the character of Jack Nicholson chasing his wife (Shelley Duvall) wherein the Steadicam played a vital role in its shooting.

Talking about his experience about the film, Brown stated in an interview with American Cinematographer “One of the most talked-about shots in the picture is the eerie tracking sequence which follows Danny as he pedals at high speed through corridor after corridor on his plastic Big Wheel tricycle. The soundtrack explodes with noise when the wheel is on wooden flooring and is abruptly silent as it crosses over carpet. We needed to have the lens just a few inches from the floor and to travel rapidly just behind or ahead of the bike”.

The film was based on a novel written by Stephen King, who was not very happy about the adaptation. He said that although the film is made with memorable imagery, it was not a good adaptation of his novel and that it is the only adaptation of his novels he could remember hating.

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