A feel-good slice of the 'Shining' ax
By Geoff Boucher, Times Staff Writer
It's a heartwarming comedy about an eccentric writer and a precocious boy who cross paths and share a nightmarish descent into madness and murder?
One of the most popular pass-it-on Internet gags of the moment is a movie trailer that re-imagines the 1980 Stanley Kubrick film "The Shining" as a dramedy in the mold of, say, "About a Boy." Only original footage and dialogue from the film is used, but with soaring music and deft editing, it makes the movie seem more lump-in-your-throat than ax-in-your-head.
The faux trailer has created a stir for its creator, Robert Ryang, an editing assistant in Manhattan who works on television commercials. He crafted the trailer for a contest by the Assn. of Independent Creative Editors, but a few weeks ago it went pinging across the Internet. (To see Ryang's trailer, go to calendarlive.com/shining.)
His inspiration? "These really formulaic movies where you have someone a wacky girlfriend or a neighbor or, like, a dog or something come into the damaged life of someone and everything miraculously gets better."
Ryang's been flooded with fan e-mails in recent days. But Sandy Bresler, an agent for "Shining" star Jack Nicholson, warned that Warner Home Video might not find the spoof amusing. "They are using original footage without permission," he said. Warner executives were not available for comment. Ryang himself has one defense: "We're not making any money."