Stanley Kubrick, Part 8 — 2001: A Space Odyssey — Storyboards & Concept Art

Published On July 29, 2013 | By Mike Carroll | Stanley Kubrick

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The Stanley Kubrick Exhibit has completed it’s seven-month run at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and has now closed and moved onto an as yet undisclosed location on its world tour. I hope that it will have a run in New York, since Kubrick was born and raised in that city, before the exhibit leaves for its final home in Europe. Los Angeles is now a sadder and emptier place without the exhibit. I am just incredibly happy to have had the opportunity to visit the exhibit and hope that all other West Coast filmlovers were able to make the trek and experience it as well.

There is just so much in the 2001: A Space Odyssey room that I felt the need to spread it out over a couple of blogs.

To learn more about 2001: A Space Odyssey follow this link to download a PDF of James Angel’s definitive The Making of Kubrick’s 2001.

I had seen some of the materials before in the Taschen publication The Stanley Kubrick Archives, which is a MUST-HAVE book for anyone who loves cinema and filmmaking, but it was so amazing to be just inches away from the actual, original drawings, photographs, notes, lenses, costumes and props.

I love storyboards and was fascinated by the boards for 2001. They are very specific and, quite amazingly, in several sequences the images drawn out in advance for the storyboard are virtually exact matches for what the finished frames turned out to be. Some of the following drawings you will recognize from the finished film. A few others are ones that Kubrick modified or dropped. Although, they would have been mesmerizing images.

Storyboard art for the lunar bus sequence taking the scientists to the excavation site of the black monolith. The final frame in the film is almost identical, right down to the red of the interior set through the front pilot windows.

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One reason why some of the previous shots were so similar to the finished shots in the film is that Since Kubrick was working with so many different technical talents, from model makers to lunar landscape conceptualists and matte painters, to miniature cameramen, to film compositors who had to marry all of these different elements together — was that in order to have everybody on the same page, Kubrick needed well thought out storyboards for everyone to follow.

Among the storyboards were drawings of shots for the “Stargate” sequence for the finale of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. In this early concept the Discovery comes upon a massive monolith many miles in length in orbit outside of Jupiter. The Discovery goes to the “top” of the monolith where there is an opening into which the entire ship begins to descend. Inside this monolith portal is revealed the creation of the universe.

On a wall of the 2001 room was an LCD monitor displaying early conceptual are for the “Stargate” sequence depicting an exploration of other worldly civilizations. These storyboards were experiments in trying to discover what Kubrick wanted — and didn’t want.

I’ve combined photos taken of the storyboards and concept art, combined with music from the 2001 soundtrack, to replicate this sequence.

This completes the visit to the 2001 room. The Kubrick Exhibit may have moved on from the LA County Museum of Art, but there are still more Kubrick rooms to be explored here at Naked Filmmaking. Please check back soon, and “like”  Naked Filmmaking at Facebook for future announcements.

 

 

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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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