“Shining” Producer To Hold Bermuda Workshop

March 20, 2013

The ShiningThe compelling opening sequence of the 1980 Stanley Kubrick classic “The Shining” features what might be called a demon’s-eye-view of alcoholic school teacher Jack Torrance [Jack Nicholson] driving up into the Colorado mountains to meet his fate at an isolated hotel resort built on the site of an old Native American burial ground.

The wordless opening montage — scored to an electronic version of composer Hector Berlioz’ “Dream of the Witches’ Sabbath” — instantly transports audiences to the haunted, off-kilter world where Torrance will slowly slip into madness as the hotel’s winter caretaker.

“It was important to establish an ominous mood during Jack’s first drive up to the hotel — the vast isolation and eerie splendour of high mountains, and the narrow, winding roads which would become impassable after heavy snow,” the late Stanley Kubrick told a biographer. “In fact, the roads we filmed for the title sequence are closed throughout the winter and only negotiable by tracked vehicles.”

In May “The Shining’s” executive producer Jan Harlan will be visiting Bermuda with James Fernald, screenwriting department director of the European Film College and a former film development executive in Los Angeles, to teach aspiring local screenwriters how to hook viewers from the outset with equally attention-grabbing sequences.

Opening sequence of “The Shining” [1980]

Mr. Harlan served as executive producer of acclaimed director Mr. Kubrick’s “The Shining”, “Full Metal Jacket” and “Eyes Wide Shut” as well as directing the feature documentary “Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures.”

For his celebrated 2001 documentary Mr. Harlan managed to persuade many of Stanley Kubrick’s collaborators to give on-camera interviews, including Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Keir Dullea, Arthur C. Clarke, Malcolm McDowell, Peter Ustinov, Jack Nicholson, composer György Ligeti and Matthew Modine.

He has for several years been a regular guest lecturer at the European Film College, and also at the University of Hertfordshire’s film and television department. That British university awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in 2011

Among other subjects he will discuss in the screenwriting workshop, Mr. Harlan will talk about music as a scripting tool [his expert knowledge of classical music informed many of the selections brother-in-law Stanley Kubrick used in his films], the importance of the opening of a film [like "The Shining's" credit sequence] and many other script-related topics — and he’ll back up everything with practical examples.

Original theatrical poster for “The Shining”


Mr. Harlan and Mr. Fernald will hold their workshop — which they have taught around the world — from May 13 to 18. The registration fee will be $475.

No prior experience in filmmaking is required to enroll for the workshop; those with a general interest in the structure and making of movies are welcome to attend.

The upcoming workshop received sponsored from the Bermuda College, British Airways and the St. George’s Club.

Earlier this year organiser and local filmmaker Lucinda Spurling also received a grant from the Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Cultural Legacy Fund to allow half of the registrants to attend on a full scholarship.

For further information or to register, please contact Ms Spurling at afflarefilms@mac.com

Trailer for Mr. Harlan’s 2001 documentary “Stanley Kubrick: A Life In Pictures”

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