Yesterday I spent a blissful afternoon wandering around the Stanley Kubrick Exhibition at the Design Museum in London.
What an amazing Director he was. I love that he loved what he did so much and put so much into it. A great love in my life is finding people, with talent, and who do what they do, well and with passion. It’s sexy! I hate people with real talent, who waste it and I have met a few of those. I don’t understand, if you have been given a gift then use it and enjoy it, whatever it is. It seems that some people are lazy, wasteful or just plain self destructive – stupid.
Anyway, back to Mr Kubrick, I am sure you know that he made all of his films in England. He got here and would not leave to work anywhere else…so locations were found and sets were built and Stanley Kubrick created his magic.
He was working his magic at MGM Elstree on 2001 A Space Odyssey while I was at the same studio making Danger Man (3 of them) and the The Prisoner. I was wrapped up in my own little world and had little interest in the film or the man working behind tightly closed set doors with “CLOSED SET, DO NOT ENTER” all over them. Not very friendly, I thought, to fellow professionals, but who was I to complain. I understand now I am older and wiser, not all visitors have your best interests at heart and can just stand and stare as if we were monkey’s in a zoo. Katharine Hepburn would not allow visitors on the set of The Lion in Winter…”They’re not family” she would say. Sadly MGM Elstree was closed in 1970 after
being home to many wonderful Productions. I did my episode of UFO there too. Still, the UK still has a few good Studios and British Film is flourishing again with the tax benefits that help film makers work in the UK. The industry was booming when I entered it, helped by the Eady Plan. . The Eady Levy was designed to help British Producers to make films in the UK, but was abandoned when it was realised that the wrong people were using it and getting the benefits. It always happens – a few spoil for the many.
Fortunately Stanley Kubrick was living and working in the UK and I have no doubt he benefited – I hope so. The Exhibition demonstrates the time, skill and planning he put into every Production. And friends this is what it takes to really make movies. I managed to take a few pictures in the exhibition and maybe this will give you an idea. There is also quite a bit about Napoleon, the film he did not make. His financiers got cold feet and pulled out…but what a film that would have been. If you’re serious about film and film making, there are many books on the Internet about Stanley Kubrick….I recommend you read them!
Here are a few of the pictures I took in the exhibition. I believe he was one of the first to make use of the Steadicam in The Shining
A bit about the Mitchell camera used for “Barry Lyndon”