Dane. Designer.

Old Blog

Kubrick's Wonderful, Forbidden Smile

[During the production of The Empire Strikes Back] The art department experienced an awful setback, when Stage 3 at Elstreet Studios burned to the ground. “Stanley Kubrick had built a hotel for The Shining, and they kept on covering it with salt, which was melting, so the studio was a real mess,” says [Empire Strikes Back Production Designer, Norman] Reynolds. “And it was cold and it was just dreary, really dreary. And then the hotel set caught fire and the stage burned to the ground. It was a tough time, actually.”

“The still photographer on The Shining, Murray Close, took a wonderful picture of Stanley standing in front of the smoldering remains, and he had a wonderful smile on his face.” says Boone. “I saw a print of that, but Murray was forbidden to have that picture published.”

From Star Wars: The Blueprints, page 94. Murray Close was 19 at the time, and worked with Kubrick for three years on The Shining, a period he talks about in this interview.

Norman Reynolds recalls that [legendary production designer, John] Barry was dumbfounded one day while working with Stanley Kubrick on A Clockwork Orange. They were on an apartment set and, although the fridge would remain closed throughout the scene, Kubrick insisted that Barry fill it with food props that the character would’ve stocked. “They had a bit of a falling out as a result of that,” Reynolds says. [p101]

Stanley Kubrick attended the funeral of the John Barry, the the production designer on Star Wars, who had died suddenly:

“That really was a really big shock to see Stanley [Kubrick],” says Tomkins. “The only time Stanley came out of his shell. I mean, you never would get Stanley going to anybody’s memorial service, but he did come to John’s. So I was quite impressed by that, that he must have like the guy very much.” [p95]