Murray Close, Interviewed
December 7, 2011 3:20 PM   Subscribe

Take 210,000 colour transparencies – plus or minus a thousand or two. Examine them one by one by one, carefully and closely. Study – and think about – the framing, lighting and colour balance. Check for any blurring or closed eyes. Think about how they’ll look blown up to billboard size. Take your time. You’ll need to. Now make an initial pick – 100 shots, say. Then cut your choices down to 30 – ‘the brown bag’ in movie jargon, the selection which will go to the studio executives. Then trim that down to six transparencies. And finally, to just one image – the iconic one.

That is the process by which Stanley Kubrick’s 1975 film The Shining came to be known by that one, terrifying moment of Jack Nicholson’s wild, unshaven, grinning face – eyes sharp left – emerging through an axe-smashed door. And it’s how Murray Close learned to take a photograph.
posted by beaucoupkevin (6 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

Wasn't The Shining released in 1980? Or are they saying it took 5 years to produce the film?
posted by SomaSoda at 3:53 PM on December 7, 2011

The Shining was released in 1980. In fact, it was shooting at Elstree Studios around the same time as The Empire Strikes Back. Darn silly error for the writer to make in an otherwise splendid piece.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 4:34 PM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

One of the little secrets of photography is that the difference between a good photographer and a great one is editing.
posted by rusty at 4:56 PM on December 7, 2011

pretty sure you could say that about any field
posted by LogicalDash at 6:20 PM on December 7, 2011

Especially editors.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:28 PM on December 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

I just have to say that all those lists that say The Shining is the scariest movie ever made? I don't find it scary at all. Never did. Creepy in parts, yeah, but I can think of dozens and dozens of scarier movies.

Photography looks like hard work.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 10:45 AM on December 8, 2011

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