Tim Kirk talks about producing “The Shining” documentary “Room 237”

Tim Kirk is the producer of the new documentary “Room 237: Being an Inquiry into ‘The Shining’ in 9 Parts”. The film takes a look behind the film “The Shining” and exposes some of the films deeper meanings. If you are a fan of “The Shining”, then you need to watch this film ASAP! Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Tim about the film and his thoughts on the theories.

Mike Gencarelli: How did you end up getting involved producing “Room 237”?
Tim Kirk: For several months a few years ago, my baby daughter could only sleep while being gently rocked in my arms. During this time, I completed the Internet. In the deep recesses I found a mind-blowing essay about The Shining. I sent it to my friend Rodney Ascher, knowing he would dig it and hoping that he was awake. He called 10 minutes later and Room 237 was born.

MG: Tell us how the documentary ended up being split into nine parts?
TK: When we sat down to structure the film, we had many sequences of varying lengths. We tried a number of structures and this one seemed to work the most. Numbering the parts was aimed at giving the viewer a sense of the shape going into it, and a way to keep track of where they are in the film as they are watching. It’s an unusual structure so we tried to provide clues along the way.

MG: The documentary is thought-provoking and intriguing; what was your biggest challenge with this project?
TK: I think the biggest challenge of making this film was that there is no map for making a film like this. That’s also why making it was so fun and liberating.

MG: How long did the film take to complete from conception to release?
TK: We spent a year researching. Another year interviewing and editing. Then another year in post.

MG: Some of the theories are a little bit of a stretch in my mind; which ones do you feel have the strongest case in the film?
TK: We tried to make the strongest case we could for each theory. Rodney once described the apparatus of the film as being “this persuasion machine.” I have completely believed each theory at one point or another. Right now, three some years in, I don’t know what to think any more.

MG: Are you shocked by the response that this film has generated since its release?
TK: I am blown away by the response to this film. At many times during the making of the film, Rodney wondered if he wasn’t Jack, typing away on his nonsense novel. In that scenario, I am probably Lloyd, pouring the drinks and urging him on.

MG: Is there any extra footage planned for the Blu-ray release? What other kind of extras can we expect?
TK: We have some deleted scenes, many audio, for the DVD. Some great theories and ideas that didn’t make it into the film. Let me just say “Big Dipper.” Also, some alt trailers and other goodies.

MG: Being a fan myself; what is your personal favorite scene in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”?
TK: I think my favorite scenes are when Jack is at the bar, talking to Lloyd. We get a glimpse into the sort of novel Jack would be writing if he could. He clearly fancies himself a working man’s writer, using crass and derogative language. His spells of angry eloquence here and on the stairwell are in real contrast to the phoney we meet in the interview scene.

MG:What do you have planned next after this film?
TK: Working with Rodney is great and we have a couple of documentaries in the works. There is a narrative project I’m working on. I’m also hoping to become a fierce soccer dad.

Lia Beldam reflects on her role as Room 237’s guest in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”

You may not know the name Lia Beldam, but you will know her by her work. She played a very important scene in Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining” as the woman in Room 237 and that seduces Jack Nicholson in the film. After the film, Lia never got into acting full-time as she was already modeling. Media Mikes had a chance to track down Lia and ask her a few questions about the film and reflecting on her role.

Mike Gencarelli: Let’s start at the beginning, how did you get involved with “The Shining”?
Lia Beldam: I was a model. My agency were asked to send some people for the ballroom scene a movie called “The Shining”. So I went along thinking I would be in this ballroom scene. Prior to that, I had done a lot of nude shots for commercials and someone from the film saw them and said that they could cast me for another role in the film. I said “Sure”, since I didn’t have a clue what the film was about anyway. I went in to audition and didn’t even have to undress, so that was easy. And that is how I got the job.

MG: Did you know the extend of your scene before signing on?
LB: I knew it was a nude scene and that I wasn’t going to be in the ballroom scene. I had no idea what “The Shining” was about. They just told me it was be a nude scene and I was perfectly fine with that.

MG: How was it working with Jack Nicholson in your scene?
LB: He was very nice. As you know, I am not an actress. My main job was and still is modeling. I told him that he needed to help me. He said he would sit with me and discuss the shot. He was just very nice and absolutely charming.

MG: Tell us what it was like being directed by the legendary Stanley Kubrick?
LB: It was just another job for me to be honest. When I did my modeling, there was always an art director on set telling me what to do. It was just another job. I wasn’t really falling over in amazement being in the same room. I wasn’t familiar with how famous he way. But still he was very pleasant to work with.

MG: Did you have any interactions with Billie Gibson aka “Old Woman in Bath”?
LB: Yes I did. I believe she was about 74 at the time when we shot and was a friend of the Kubrick’s. She wasn’t an actress either. She just did it as a favor to them. She was very nice.

MG: How long did it take to shoot the one scene?
LB: It was ridiculous. I tell you what Mike, it took a whole week. Very often though, it was long waits for me sitting my dressing room. They would change something in the set whether it was the carpet or something else. It wasn’t the actually shoot itself although he did do many many different takes. I didn’t mind the many takes though since I was enjoying kissing Jack Nicholson, that was sure [laughs]. I was paid for a whole week so I was there for a whole week. It was just wonderful.

MG: When you completed this role, did you ever think that we would be still talking about it over 30 years later?
LB: Not particularly no [laughs]. My son recently put up a picture up for me online with me and Jack Nicholson and since then I have been contacted quite a bit. But I really enjoy it and it has been great fun.

MG: After this film and not being an actress, why didn’t you pursue more acting gigs?
LB: I just pursued modeling. I had some very good jobs and I just loved it. I did a few very little bits in films but nothing special at all after “The Shining”. Models are always asked to go on films to bulk out scenes. It would have been lovely if someone had asked me to do more films but they didn’t. So I just kept on working as a model and was completely happy.

MG: Have you ever considered attending horror conventions to meet fans?
LB: Never. I didn’t even know what a convention was until recently. I have never be asked to do anything like that. I live in a very tiny village in the middle of nowhere in England and I have never thought about those things. Sounds like fun though!

Joe Turkel talks about Stanley Kubrick, “The Shining” & “Blade Runner”

Joe Turkel is known best for his role of Lloyd the Bartender in “The Shining”.  Joe also played the iconic role of Dr. Eldon Tyrell in Ridley Scott’s “Blade Runner”.  Media Mikes had a rare chance to chat with this amazing actor, courtesy of C & V Promotions, to discuss his iconic roles and tell some great stories.

Mike Gencarelli: Tell us about how you originally get invovled with Stanley Kubrick on “The Shining”?
Joe Turkel: That was the third picture I did with Stanley Kubrick. He first saw me in a little picture I did called “Man Crazy”. He liked the work I did and said he would like to use me in a picture he did called “The Killing” in 1956. He said it was a little role but he had something better coming up. Little did I know then but he was talking about “Paths of Glory”. He changed my life.

MG: Having worked twice before with Kubrick; did his style change over 20 years later on “The Shining”?
JT: He took a lot of time then but a lot of time on “The Shining”. He had a lot of attority and he wasn’t afraid to use that attority. Like with “Eyes Wide Shut”, he had a rule that anyone like producers or related to the film will not be permitted on the set. He just had this attority.

MG: How did you prepare for this unique role of Lloyd the Bartender in “The Shining”?
JT: It was just another part for me. I approached it like I would any other and that was it.

MG: How was it working with Jack Nicholson?
JT: Jack Nicholson is just the greatest. I’ll tell you a story about Jack. I am responisble for his career. In 1961 he has just come out from the East Coast and I had been there for ten years. He was broke most of the time. One day I was at the race track with a friend of mine and I hit a daily double for $4,400 dollars. Now that is a lot of money in those days. As I was getting the money settled, my friend saw Jack and I told him what just happened. Kenny, my friend, told me he owed Jack $800 bucks. So I told him to pay him and I gave him the money. Jack said to me “You know something Turkel, I was going to go back to New York but it is too fucking cold. I will take this money and it will get me through the winter.” But during the winter, he got lucky got a role and the rest is history.

MG: With a role that is consists of two scenes, how can you reflect on the impact they had on the film?
JT: I was suprised they had such an impact. Stanley and I were talking on set about how good it was and I told him “Stanley, thanks but I don’t want to wait 25 years between pictures”. We were both New Yorkers so we had this special bond. He told me we would work together again but that was the last time I saw him.

 

MG: Since the films are so different; did the productions of “The Shining” and “Blade Runner” differ much?
JT: Ridley Scott three times during my filming and asked me how I thought Stanley Kubrick would approach certain scenes. He was completely enamored with his work. Steven Spielberg said he was “the grandmaster of filmmaking”. So for Ridley Scott to come over and ask me for suggestion it was amazing.

MG: How did you prepare for the such an iconic character, Dr. Eldon Tyrell?
JT: Well I mad it that way [laughs]. I played it that way. It was a nice role and I did well. I have had better roles. I have had worse roles. Everything I have done has been unique from the fucking ruler of the world to a bartender. They were all crazy. I also like to do
comedy, which I have done over years in television.

MG: How do you feel about Ridley Scottworking on a sequel after all these years?
It is not going to be as good as the first. Sequels never are. The first one is always the one looked at.

MG: What do you like most about meeting your fans at conventions?
JT: It’s amazing. Just amazing. They are so gratitous. They are so happy to meet me. When I did a Q&A, the house was completely packed. They were asking questions about Kubrick and “Blade Runner”. I was taking pictures at the bar in full costume as Lloyd The Bartender from “The Shining”, so that was really cool as well.