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Posted 12.05.15

Legendary Kubrick producer Jan Harlan visits our Film students

By Sarah Packer

BA (Hons) Film programme leader Lucy Leake with Jan Harlan.

Legendary Kubrick film producer Jan Harlan visited our BA (Hons) Film students last month, with a talk about the importance of writing and producing good ideas — and being passionate about them.

Harlan, known for being Stanley Kubrick's executive producer for film classics The Shining (1980), Full Metal Jacket (1987) and Eyes Wide Shut (1999) to name a few, spoke for hours in an inspiring lecture open to all students across the college.

“If you're not in love with the idea, then why should anyone else be?,” he said during his talk.

Hundreds of students turned up for the talk in a busy Studio Theatre and found the producer inspiring with his advice.

Student Chris Lake said: "Jan did something quite rare. He managed to appeal to everyone in the audience. The artists, the technicians, the producers. He was amazing."

"He was the perfect guest lecturer. Lots of experience and full of witty anecdotes," added third year BA (Hons) Film student Caroline Morley.

But Jan – who was also executive producer for Steven Spielberg's Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001), a sci-fi classic that evolved from a collaboration between Spielberg and Kubrick – didn't only speak to the film students, but to all students across the college.

Student Jake Bench said: "It is refreshing to see someone with his vast experience who was still passionate about what he did, and was completely unjaded by his time in industry."

During his talk, Jan discusssed his most recent project of directing 'Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures', a documentary about the career and life of the famous director and close friend of Harlan. 

Ciara Sheridan, third year BA (Hons) Film student, said the talk was "Inspiring, enchanting and classic... He put the romance into loving what you do."

The documentary was released in 2001 but remains the 'go to' documentary for Kubrick's life, with Harlan's personal insight into the world of the legendary director. 

“If you're not in love with the idea, then why should anyone else be?" – Jan Harlan

Lucy Leake, BA (Hons) Programme Leader, was delighted to invite Jan into the college as part of our programme of visiting lectures.

“It was amazing to have Jan come in and meet our students," she said. "They were all absolutely in awe of him.

"And we are hoping to have him visit again in the future."

Legendary Kubrick producer Jan Harlan spoke to students across a range of courses in our Studio Theatre last month.

Jan, whose talk touched in working with Kubrick, the importance of writing and producing good ideas, and being passionate about what you make, is hoping to return to the college for another talk soon.

Photographs by BA (Hons) Photography grad Andy Ford