Mandatory Exclusive! Behind the Scenes Recreating ‘The Shining’ Maze For Sequel ‘Dr. Sleep’
Heeere’s something! We’re going behind the scenes of Dr. Sleep into the art design of the recreation of the iconic wall maze from that film’s predecessor, Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 thriller The Shining. You know the one, where crazy Jack Nicholson is chasing his poor wife with an ax through a frozen maze until he freezes to death. Requiring one month of prep work for one day of shooting, the process of rebuilding the masterpiece 40 years later was intense (you wouldn’t believe the number of staples it took to build this thing). This step-by-step sneak peek comes just in time to catch Ewan McGregor in the Dr. Sleep DVD release on Feb. 4.
Cover Photo: Warner Bros.
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Day 1 begins in an empty soundstage on the Warner Bros. lot, where floor measurements are taken to maximize the scale of the set and allow work space for all other facets of production. The director prepares a precise shot list with the camera team, leading to set drawings that guide construction crews to build only what is needed, and within budget.
New and recycled stage flats (set walls) are collected and assembled based on approved drawings from the set designer. Certain flats are built "wild," meaning they can be removed for creative camera placement.
After all the walls are painted flat black, 10 pallets of faux greenery arrive for coverage, as seen stacked on the left side of the previous stage photo.
Greens crew layers every wall surface that will be facing towards the camera; most angles require full 360-degree coverage and rooftop plugs.
The set construction is completed on schedule, allowing for the lighting department to plot its layouts.
Light the Way
The set decoration department has custom light boxes and park benches designed to precisely match the original styles.
Additional plant layers are added to texturize an overgrown look in the maze center. A blue screen is hung for high-angle nighttime sky and post-production effects.
Practical effects operates a snow test before the entire maze is covered and locked for cameras to roll.
Footprints must be kept to a minimum, and reset to a pristine look each take.
One Month Later
The entire sequence is shot over one day of additional photography. In editorial, the footage is color-corrected and CGI elements are inserted.
The set is disassembled completely and materials are recycled, leaving the stage space as empty as day one, ready for rental by the next film production.