British television commercial for The Shining, which aired in the fall of 1980. Quite interesting in that it contains shots that appear in the finished film, but as far as I can tell, in every case they are different takes of each shot. I have never seen these alternate takes used anywhere else, and it’s odd to see them used after The Shining had been completed and released in the United States. Perhaps Kubrick did not have timely access to prints of the original material to craft this spot, and was forced to use these alternate takes. I’d love to hear if anyone has any answers or ideas.
The mystery has been solved, thanks to Executive Producer Jan Harlan. Jan explained that back when The Shining was made, TV spots were often edited using existing prints of alternate takes, rather than going through the time and expense of creating new prints from original or duplicate negative. The commercials were edited on film, not video, so it was just easier to use the alternate takes, which were already sitting unused in the cutting room.
This certainly makes sense, and seems to have been standard practice at the time, but it still strikes me as odd that Kubrick wouldn’t insist upon using only the footage that appeared in the finished film. Regardless, the commercial remains a fascinating glimpse into an alternate version of the film that was not meant to be.