Directing class, 2010. The assignment was to direct a scene from a film we hadn’t seen, using only the original screenplay and our own ideas. I chose Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”, and I had about two weeks to get the whole production up and running, three or four weeks to finish it. The result is below.
In my mind I always go back and forth on whether I like my adaptation or not. I had the most people working under me for this shoot and on top of it I had my directing professor looking over my shoulder the whole time (who was a very kind and non-judgmental person, but it was still terrifying). I had a limited cast pool and I’m not sure how my actors did with my idea for how the movie went and just generally how they were as actors. I wondered about my set, I wondered about my decision to use the tracking dolly, I worried about a specific edit that doesn’t work at all. Mostly, I was worried about living up to this:
Upon this viewing I was pleasantly surprised by how not awful it was. The dolly track isn’t as obtrusive as I remember it being, Tim Maloney as my Jack Torrance works surprisingly well (Despite it being a line flub, I really enjoy the way he says “I’d like to hear those things”. I also like how the reading and wording of that line only adds to the psycho-sexual feeling of this scene), and I think the sudden re-appearance of the ghost ambiance works well to cover up the terrible edit I was talking about (which was my plan, I’m just never sure how well it works). In the end I like this scene, and since directing this I have seen Kubrick’s version so I can answer that question that’s burning in your mind: Yes, I do think my version of this movie could be better, and I do think that the general ideas I’m working with are better in this scene (And, to a certain extent, I do think the set design in what I did come up with is better than Kubrick’s). Now is my scene better than “The Shinning”? No. Oh my no.