Stanley Kubrick Archives

We visited the Archive and Special Collections at London College of Communication - one of our sister UAL colleges at Elephant and Castle in South London.

The main focus was to explore some of their extensive material from the personal archive of the filmmaker Stanley Kubrick but we also saw some wider material from comic books to C&A storefronts.

The whole thing was fascinating but I guess two things caught my attention mostly.

First was Kubrick's attention to detail in his pre-production process. This focus is evident in his films but to physically see the amount of material he generated and self-archived was fascinating and bordering on obsessive.

Secondly was how much of the work and collation of material would now be achieved digitally. For instance, we saw one box of a hundred that was full of location recce photographs of gates. Just gates. Those boxes and the time to travel and take the photos they held could be shortened greatly by just using Maps as one example.

But, with all the tools that contemporary filmmakers have at their fingertips do they plan and consider half as much as Kubrick did? And if he'd had access to similar research tools - would he have ever got anything made at all?

Beyond academic talking points though, the coolest thing of all? Flicking through the hand typed pages from Jack Nicholson's typewriter, checking out Danny's jacket from The Shining and spotting another archivist sorting through Ivor Cutler originals.

After all, all work and no play makes Andy a dull boy....

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