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‘Work & Play: A Short Film about The Shining’ Peeks Behind the Curtain of Stanley Kubrick’s Horror Masterpiece

Director Matt Wells discusses the importance of "The Shining" and Stanley Kubrick's immense filmmaking talent.

© 1980 Warner Bros. Inc. All Rights Reserved. Image courtesy of Park Circus/Warner Bro

The Shining” is hitting the big screen for Halloween, and to celebrate Park Circus is releasing a short film, “Work & Play: A Short Film about The Shining,” which goes behind-the-scenes of Stanley Kubrick’s horror masterpiece.

For one night only, on October 31, over 100 cinemas throughout the United Kingdom, as well as select European and Latin American countries, will screen the 1980 Stephen King adaptation in several theaters. Before the film, the seven-minute short “Work & Play,” directed by Matt Wells, will give audiences fresh insight into the work that went into bringing the King novel to the big screen.

Read More: Stanley Kubrick Behind the Scenes: Here’s the Director on Set, From ‘Dr. Strangelove’ to ‘Eyes Wide Shut’

“Work & Play” pairs behind-the-scenes photos of “The Shining” with interviews from the cast and crew, including Lisa and Louise Burns, the twin sisters from the film’s infamous hallway scene, Stanley Kubrick’s daughter, Katharina, and more. With “Work & Play,” director Matt Wells hopes audiences will  “look at ‘The Shining’ with fresh eyes”,  and understand the film is more than just a great horror movie, it’s also as a testament to Stanley Kubrick’s immense talent.

“When you get to the sorts of big budget levels that Kubrick was working at it gets harder and harder to take creative risks,” Wells told IndieWire. “Not every filmmaker is able to do that sort of thing at big budget levels which is why I think his films are so unusual.”

Wells also wanted to shine a light on how innovate Kubrick’s approach to filmmaking was, and “Work & Play” features Garrett Brown, the inventor of the Steadicam, who also worked on “The Shining.” Brown sheds light on how the film’s iconic tracking shots would have been impossible without his invention, but he also emphasizes that Kubrick knew the look he was going for in the film and was looking for ways to adapt technology to fit his vision.

Wells agrees with Brown’s assessment. “As Garrett [Brown] says in the film, it’s an amazing coincidence of what Kubrick was trying to achieve and what was becoming possible technologically,” he said. “You couldn’t have made that film and the way it was made five years earlier, 10 years earlier.”

Wells hopes that fans of Kubrick’s work will take advantage of the opportunity to see “The Shining” on the big screen. “It’s a film that pulls you in,” he said. “When you hear people talk about ‘The Shining’ they always say the same thing, that it gets under your skin and that it gets into your head. Watching it in a cinema, where the size of the image is so much bigger, where the distractions are kept at bay, it’s worth doing.”

“The Shining” is in theaters across the UK on October 31, accompanied by short film “Work & Play: A Short Film about The Shining.” For more information, visit the Park Circus website.

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