“Midnight, And The Stars And…Who?”

Here’s an interesting little piece of movie trivia from Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining“:

“The 1921 photograph at the end of the film was a genuine 1920’s photo, with Jack Nicholson’s head airbrushed onto the body of another man. Stanley Kubrick originally planned to use extras and shoot the photo himself, but he realized he couldn’t make it look any better than the real thing.”

I’ve always (ALWAYS) known that a real photo was used for the film and I’ve always been fascinated with it and the faces in it for that very reason. As a matter of fact, I even have a framed copy of it in my living room which is always good for creeping visitors out.

1

But who was removed from the photograph as Jack Nicholson was airbrushed in and what did he look like? Whose arm and body is that doubling for Ol’ Jacky Boy there?

2

Well, so far as I can tell, history doesn’t seem to have recorded his name but here’s the elusive devil right here:

Shining

I’ve spent YEARS trying to track this photo down and it was only recently that I found it on a very informative website dedicated to all things SHINING…

Courtesy of  The Overlook Hotel

The original, unaltered period photo into which actor Jack Nicholson was composited to create the iconic photograph seen in the final shots of The Shining.

These images were found in a book entitled The Complete Airbrush and Photo-Retouching Manual, which was originally published in 1985. The book also identifies the retouching artist responsible for this work, Joan Honour Smith.

The original photographs of Jack Nicholson are located in the Stanley Kubrick Archive in London, and inspection of them reveals that only Nicholson’s head, collar, and bowtie were used; the rest of the figure is the anonymous man in the original 1923 photograph.

Interestingly, close examination of images from the film reveals that two different photo-composites were used: one for the long tracking shot which pushes down the hall towards the photo, and a different one for the extreme close-up. Nicholson’s composited head rotates from one photo to the next, and his shoulder shifts, partially obscuring the woman holding the cigarette behind him.

Retouching

You May Also Be Interested In…
* REDRUM
* The Doors Of “The Shining” Cake
* What You May (Or May Not) Have Seen Hidden In The Shining

Alternative Movie Posters. PART I: Daniel Norris.

I do love a good ol’ redesigned movie poster don’t you?

Movie poster artwork is so imaginative and alive these days and yet you never really get a true sense of it when the official poster is released.
Some time ago, I put up some poster artwork which in my opinion, DESTROYS the official material and you can see it by clicking HERE but today, I’d like to show you some work by a talented feller named Daniel Norris…

For a lot more from Mr. Norris, check out his Flickr stream HERE.
View Part II of this post HERE.

You may also be interested in…

* Amazing Minimalist Posters.
* Modern Vintage Posters Part I & Part II.

 

The Doors Of “The Shining” Cake.

I’ve pretty much been obsessed with Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film “The Shining” ever since I first saw it.
I’m interested in everything about it.
Yesterday by sheer chance,
I found out that someone has made a Shining CAKE!

Or to be more exact,
The doors of “The Shining” cake.
Take a look at this beauty:

Amazing eh?

From Charmaine’s Pastry Blog:

In Grade 4, I watched Poltergeist at a birthday party and could not sleep for three nights, convinced that trees and clowns would attack me. What followed was a solid avoidance of scary movies (as well as TV commercials for scary movies) for many years, until it became my spousal obligation to view The Shining, the 1980 classic directed by Stanley Kubrick.

As a result, I was actually quite prepared when asked to create a cake for a major fan of The Shining. I even do a great imitation of Shelley Duvall waving her knife around in a deadly panic. Thankfully, I was essentially given carte blanche in the design and after some reflection, I realized that there were many doors of significance throughout the movie. And what better way to feature doors than on a “cube”-like cake (get it, KUBRICK?)?

One of the most memorable scenes is when Jack violently axes his way through the bathroom door. This is actually the same door on which Danny wrote REDRUM in lipstick. I can still hear that freaky growly voice echoing in my head. Behind the doors of Room 237, some of the most disturbing scenes of the movie occurred, reminding us all to never approach strange naked women in bathtubs. Finally, the most vivid image of the movie for me was the torrent of blood rushing out of the distinctive red elevator. I gave the birthday boy a bag of bloody piping gel to squeeze onto the cake right before serving so unfortunately, none is shown in my photos.

This proved to be a project where the beauty was in the details. Much time was spent reviewing images in order to perfectly match each door knob, door molding, and wall pattern. Serendipitously, the movie was actually on TV the night before the cake was to be ready, and I realized that the apartment wall was actually pink, not white. My favourite item was the top of the cake, representing the memorable bold pattern of the hotel hallway carpet, which was made by piping and flooding royal icing onto a dried fondant square.

Here are the technical details: the cake was 4″ x 4″ x 6″, layers of espresso chocolate cake, dark chocolate mousse, and hazelnut crunch. Every panel was made of dried fondant, later decorated with tiny fondant bits and royal icing details. It was intentionally constructed like this in hopes that the “box” created by the five panels would be lifted off the cake intact and potentially saved for future admiration! I have no clue if this happened but I certainly know that this cake was much loved by both its creator and its recipient.

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