In my five years as Style Editor, no shoot has prompted more questions from readers than our tribute to The Shining. The normal who, what, and whys that come when anyone likes a fancy photo shoot were there, but nearly everyone I came into contact with wanted to know the how.
It began nearly a year ago, when I discovered The Shining was about to have its 35th anniversary. I first read the book in 1991 as an 11-year-old, and was terrified beyond belief—while also naturally assuming I had a bit of the Shining power within me, and so awkwardly staring at family waiting for the mind conversations to take place. Soon after I found out there was a movie, and once the aerial scenes of Timberline lodge came into view, I was hooked for life. Shelly Duvall’s horrid screams! Jack Nicholson’s swagger! Those twins that created an unfair lifelong issue with twins!
Once the nugget was in my mind for a unique idea of how to tackle fashion feature, Holly Andres as the photographer was my one and only pick. Her saturated, dramatic style is storytelling at its finest. And I knew she loved the movie as much as I did. After that I took the idea to Team Portland Monthly (Art Director Mike Novak, and Executive Editors Rachel Ritchie and Zach Dundas), who all said yes to the unconventional idea at once.
Then began the how from our end: multiple meetings between Team PoMo and Andres nailing down the plan. Do we try and shoot on location? Timberline kindly said we could shoot at the lodge, but shooting in August for a fall fashion spread about a winter film proved problematic. And as any Shining fan will tell you, the interior scenes were all shot on a soundstage.
The only option became for us to build it all ourselves. We rented the big, open space at District Collective and spent the days before creating. It was an all-hands-on-deck situation. The blood in the twin’s scene? Yards and yards of red satin fabric I purchased, which Photo Assistant Alicia Gordon and I stood on the unsafe parts of ladders above our “Twins” shaking to create the illusion of blood flowing. The perfect replica carpet? AD Mike Novak recreated the print and had a print shop print it in huge rolls of black and white paper we puzzled together and Andres colored in post. The axe through the door? Our Events Director Emily Wyant jumped in to help build sets and found us a beautiful door she promptly then axed through. The mirror? You’ll recognize it if you’ve ever been to the Portland Monthly offices as the mirror in our reception area. All the wallpaper? From Andres’s collection of curtains and trips I made to Fabric Depot.
The list could go on for miles, but I’ll cut myself off there and just say it’s one of our favorite things we’ve put out, because as we know, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
View our Cabin Fever fashion feature in its entirety here.