While derided by fans of the source material at the time of its release, Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 adaptation of Stephen King’s novel, about a man driven to insanity and murderous rage by a haunted house, is now considered a horror masterpiece. It’s one of those “classics” that has continued to grow in stature over the years, with Kubrick obsessives continuing to decrypt and contest its meaning.
Three decades on, Kubrick’s iconic images, no doubt permanently imprinted into the minds of many a film fan, remain just as potent and frightening. Recall the twins in the hallway, the woman in room 237, a manic Jack Nicholson hacking through the door with a swinging axe, and the horrifying reveal of the message “RedRum”. And in a new TVC for FilmInk, award-winning filmmaker, Julian Shaw, has recreated the latter scene, but with a cheeky twist.
“I’ve seen The Shining dozens of times, first as a teenager, and it’s a rare film I can watch from beginning to end and be held all the way through,” Shaw says. “The RedRum scene isn’t my favourite, I love Jack’s initial job interview and his scenes in the bar, but it’s an iconic scene.”
Shaw has meticulously replicated that scene shot by shot for the TVC, which actually proved a tougher gig than many may anticipate. “You can play the scenes side by side and the cutting points are identical,” Shaw says. “It’s a big production design job and a challenge mostly for the actors to hit their marks. I had printouts of each set up from The Shining distributed to all the crew so we were all on the same page. It’s actually harder replicating something, because you are answering to a higher power, whereas when you’re directing your own material you are more free to change your coverage.”
But while faithful to Kubrick, Shaw has included a couple of little gems for the observant film buff. “As the documentary Room 237 attests to, there are a great deal of symbolic items, intended or otherwise, to be found in the mise-en-scene of Kubrick’s films, so it’s important to consider exactly why you are placing any object in front of the lens. I’ve planted three references to films Shelley Duvall has been involved with inside the ad, so I look forward to hearing if eagle-eyed viewers can spot them.”
FilmInk’s TVC will play on SBS, World Movies and at various film festivals.