Stanley Kubrick Interview – The Original One-Man Naked Filmmaker, Part 2

Published On March 19, 2013 | By Mike Carroll | Filmmakers, Stanley Kubrick

“I calculated that I could make a feature film for about $10,000. By projecting about the amount of film I’d shoot, figuring that I could get actors to work for practically nothing. You know, at this point I was the whole crew—cameraman, assistant cameraman, director, everything. So I had no costs.”

“I didn’t really know what I didn’t know. And I thought, “Well, Christ, there really can’t be very much more to making a feature film and I certainly couldn’t make one worse than the films I kept seeing every week.”

This is a rare interview recorded while Kubrick was in production on 2001: A Space Odyssey. There are various pauses from when he had to go back to the set for a shot and dealing with delays due to all the special effects props.

This interview came out on a CD with the purchase of the large-size edition of the Stanley Kubrick Archives, published by Taschen. The Archives have been reprinted in a smaller and more affordable edition and are a must-have book for any serious film lover.

I’ve read portions of what Kubrick says in this interview in various books over the years, but the Kubrick mystique always cast an intellectual stature over him—at least for me. Listening to the actual conversation, Stanley Kubrick sounds like a much more regular guy, quite affable, jovial, his words edged with satire and wit. Listening to this rare interview makes me see him in a much more human light—and I like him even more.

Around 16-20 minutes in the interview Kubrick discusses venturing into making his first films

Also in this fascinating interview Kubrick discusses how his low grades in high school, combined with graduating at the end of World War Two in 1945, when the colleges were being swamped with enrollments from the waves of returning G.I.s turned out to be a stroke of good luck for him. Instead of going to college for four years, he got picked up as a news photographer for Look magazine for four years, which refined his talent with a camera and gave him a worldly education.

Some time ago I wrote a blog about Stanley Kubrick’s filmmaking methods and how he wore so many hats on his films—as writer or co-writer, overseeing producer, director, cameraman and camera operator. From 1969 on, when he started his relationship with Warner Brothers and became an independent producer, he took over even greater control of his films. He started elevation camera operators and gaffers to behind his directors of photography, allowing Kubrick even greater authority over the camera crews. He also oversaw how the sound was recorded and the editing.

To think that when he started making 2001 he was still only in his late thirties—not even forty! Astounding.


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About The Author

Mike Carroll joined the digital revolution in 1999 with a Sony TRV900 camcorder and Final Cut Pro, when it was only Final Cut Pro and not version 2, 4 or a Suite.

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