Since his first short film in 1950, Stanley Kubrick became a full-time filmmaker. After making a number of documentary shorts, he funded his first narrative feature by raising money from his relatives. He continued making films through personal funding and help from family members and friends until he finally got his Hollywood break in 1956.
Stanley Kubrick Biography: His Early Years
Stanley Kubrick Biography: Tapping His Artistic Potentials During His Teenage Years
Stanley Kubrick Biography: From Struggling Through College to Becoming a Young Filmmaker
Stanley Kubrick Biography: Early Documentary Works
Producing His Own Films
Kubrick didn’t waste time in fulfilling his passion for films. Despite the fact that he was a self-taught filmmaker and he had to struggle financially to produce his own films, it took him just about three years of making documentary shorts until starting out with his first full-length film project.
His very first film was the black-and-white documentary short entitled Day of the Fight, which he finished in 1951. In 1953, he was able to raise $13,000 from his relatives to finance his first feature film narrative entitled Fear and Desire. In 1955, he was able to raise $40,000 from friends and relatives for his second feature Killer’s Kiss.
His Hollywood Breaks
In 1956, after forming the Harris-Kubrick Pictures, a production company he founded with the budding producer James B. Harris, he shot the film The Killing. Shot in Hollywood, this film was based on a novel and it became his first studio picture with a budget of $320,000. It also had a cast of notable Hollywood character actors.
Kubrick’s Killer’s Kiss and The Killing soon got Hollywood’s attention.
After The Killing, Kubrick-Harris got signed by Dore Schary, the head of production of MGM. There were initial talks for a project for Kubrick, in collaboration with novelist Calder Willingham, about a film based on a Stefan Zweig story entitled The Burning Secret; however, the project was never made.
Kubrick and Willingham, along with Jim Thompson, also wrote an adaptation of the Humphrey Cobb novel Paths of Glory. All the studios turned down the project until Kirk Douglas agreed to star on the film. In 1957, Kubrick directed Kirk Douglas in Paths of Glory, a film that would soon become Kubrick’s first classic, a film often regarded as one of the best war films ever made.
Seeing the director’s potential, Douglas later called Kubrick to take over the production of the 1960 film Spartacus. The original director Anthony Mann left after two weeks of production.
Kubrick readily accepted the project and it became his first hit. Soon, it got the attention of award-giving bodies, including the Academy Awards.
“Stanley Kubrick,” Biography.com.
“Stanley Kubrick Biography,” The Biography Channel.
“Stanley Kubrick Biography,” FilmMakers Magazine.
“Stanley Kubrick,” Prodigy.com.
“Biography for Stanley Kubrick,” IMDb.
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