Shifting SpaceComplications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty Game, TV, and Screenwriting Blog

Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

August 2014

September 2014

October 2014

November 2014

December 2014

January 2015

February 2015

March 2015

April 2015

May 2015

June 2015

August 2015

September 2015

October 2015

November 2015

December 2015

January 2016

February 2016

March 2016

April 2016

May 2016

June 2016

July 2016

August 2016

September 2016

October 2016

November 2016

December 2016

January 2017

February 2017

March 2017

May 2017

June 2017

July 2017

August 2017

September 2017

October 2017

November 2017

December 2017

January 2018

March 2018

April 2018


Monday, July 25, 2011

One of the things directors have to watch is the topography of a set. Often you don't have the budget to build an entire set; but you have to film it so that the viewer has a clear sense of what's where.

This article makes the case that Stanley Kubrick did the opposite in THE SHINING: he changed the set, presumably to subtly disorient the viewer.

It's an interesting technique. It leverages the way our brains tend to elide the editing. Even a scene of two people talking is actually multiple conversations shot from different angles and edited together. We generally remember the conversation but not the cuts. We assume that the hotel wouldn't change because we assume what we're seeing is really a hotel and not a series of hotel sets that may or may not join up. So how can we reconcile things when bits of the hotel change? We can't, and that's sort of subliminally alarming.

We've all seen this done explicitly, when the hero comes back to the place he saw the crime and there's no house there, or the house is abandoned and not the new house he was in, etc. This is the first time I've seen a convincing case of someone doing it without drawing attention to it.

How can you apply this technique to writing? You'd probably have to make clear to the reader what you're doing; otherwise the film crew would assume you were just sloppy.

UPDATE: John August says this is "the genius fallacy." It may be. But even Kubrick didn't do it intentionally, you can.



I've read that Scorsese did the same thing in Raging Bull. Apparently the boxing ring was constructed so he could change it's size - expanding to convey a sense of isolation or contracting to feel claustrophobic.

By Blogger Sam Stickland, at 10:45 AM  

Scorsese used a diamond shaped ring to get some of the extreme angles when Jake was on the ropes.

By Blogger Patrick Heinicke, at 1:43 AM  

it's a very interesting thesis, and very compelling from a film critic's standpoint.
But from a production standpoint it seems to point to just one thing- sloppy continuity. It's not impossible to imagine- all the sets burned down at one point because they kept all the lights on all the time. And in the Vivian Kubrick documentary Jack Nicholson is shown complaining about the constant day to day rewrites. Those are the types of circumstances where people make mistakes. Or maybe they didn't have enough space in the studio to build sets that reflect real life continuity. But it cuts, so who cares? That's the real Kubrick genius- keeping you from being distracted by illogical set design.

By Blogger Shane O'Mac, at 11:40 AM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.

This page is powered by Blogger.