The helicopter and camera rig used to film The Shining’s title sequence, in which we follow Jack Torrance’s yellow Volkswagen on its way to the Overlook Hotel.
Inside the helicopter sit Camera Operator Jeff Blyth and pilot Duane Williams.
The 2nd Unit crew had permission to film in Montana’s Glacier National Park, but they were not allowed to land in the park except in an emergency. As such, they would often have to hover just a foot or two off the ground so that 2nd Unit Director Greg MacGillivray (who was also driving the Volkswagen) could check the cameras and clean the lenses, which would become encrusted with squashed bugs.
In addition to the two 35mm Arriflex film cameras, there was also a video camera mounted on the rig which fed a small black-and-white monitor inside the cabin. Blyth used this monitor to guide the pilot, and get an approximate sense of what the film cameras were capturing. He was also able to make small adjustments to the camera rig via remote control.
The 2nd Unit crew spent nearly a month in the park filming the title sequence, as well as many other 2nd Unit shots that ended up not being used in the finished film.
(photos courtesy Jeff Blyth)