filmschool rejects asks an important question: Just how much blood would it take to fill an elevator at the overlook ? See, I'm glad someone is thinking about the important things in life. Kevin Carr explains his love for The Shining before explaining that he has been diving into the "thought provoking" Room 237. Now, maybe that's just a kind nod, because when I watched Room 237 I came away thinking I've been in the room with the UFO believers a little too long.
Discussing the scene where the elevator doors open to a outpouring of blood. Of course, Kevin Carr asks what all of us asked when we saw that -- How much blood would it actually take to fill the elevator lobby? Yeah, that's what I thought! Carr writes, "The Answer: About 3,000 gallons… and possibly much more." WAIT! More? So that's not the answer.
Carr explains how the scene was filmed:
The actual shooting of the blood elevator scene was, of course, an effects shot. Achieved decades before CGI blood would even be an option, the sequence was shot on a soundstage in miniature. Kubrick wanted to literally have 200 to 300 gallons of Kensington Gore fake blood available for the shot, and it reportedly took days to reset.
Visual effects expert David Ridlen generated a computer model of the blood elevator sequence using RealFlow 4 and LightWave 9.6. What resulted was a strikingly accurate recreation of the original practical effect from The Shining. In the process, Ridlen’s work debunked the theory that there is a body or some other object hidden in the blood. (Ridlen tells me, “I am absolutely 200% sure there is no such thing.”)
Ridlen used a 1/2-scale set because he felt Kubrick would have wanted his shoot to look as close to reality as possible, though there is evidence that the set itself might have been 1/3rd-scale. Regardless, in Ridlen’s recreation, he used 366 gallons of digital blood. Doubling the size of Ridlen’s elevator set would mean the volume of blood needed to fill it increases by a factor of eight. This results in 2,928 gallons of blood. So there’s your shopping list.
However, while a set was used to shoot the scene in The Shining, within the film itself, the elevator hallway is opened to the rest of the hotel. Within the actual scene, you can see chairs floating and the blood pooling rather than draining away. So…
One of the hallmarks of Kubrick’s film is that the Overlook Hotel is constructed with impossible geography. Maps are available online which attempt to lay out where the different rooms are. However, many of the rooms, hallways, and corridors seen in the film cannot fit together in normal space.
Of course, the concept of impossible geography in film and television is nothing new, especially for anyone trying to figure out the layout of the house or apartment in The Golden Girls, Roseanne or any other popular sit-com. However, Kubrick deliberately used impossible geography in The Shining to disorient the viewer (and, at times, the cast and crew).And then Carr asks the great big question I was actually wondering; Where did it all come from?
Check out the answers at: filmschool rejects