Adam Savage’s Overlook Hotel Maze Model

Over the span of a month, Adam designed and built an accurate replica of the hedge maze architectural model from Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining. The maze model, as seen in The Overlook Hotel, is only seen briefly, but reference screenshots from throughout the film allowed Adam to painstakingly recreate it. The project ended up as one of Adam’s more labor-intensive builds in recent memory! (Watch our follow-up in-depth discussion of this maze build here.)

Shot and edited by Joey Fameli

Comments (49)

49 thoughts on “Adam Savage’s Overlook Hotel Maze Model

  1. This is most certainly the most impressive thing I’ve seen on this site. Really amazing!

    EDIT: My jaw… it hurts, my mouth cannot be closed. This is truly an amazing build! Congrats to adam on being integrated into the exhibit!

  2. I’ve never seen the movie, I was five years old when it came out. this makes me want to see it. Congrats Adam, it is a work of art.

  3. I never watched The Shining, so this doesn’t have (yet) much meaning to me… But it looks awesome! And to know that it’s gonna be part of the Kubrick exhibition!! It’s amazing!

    Adam looked so proud. And as well he should be!

    Congratulations, Adam. Next, do the Labyrinth labyrinth! 😛

  4. If you could do the maze from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire I would be really amazed! Get it? Amazed? 🙂

  5. That is very cool. Question for Is the plaque graphic at 19:52 just an early version of the one that you then showed cut and applied at 20:18 ? I only ask as the wording caught my eye as being different, such that I went back to compare and saw that the first one just had more text?

  6. Like everyone else, I am simply blown away.

    Amazing job on building this hedge maze from the movie, ‘The Shining’, Adam! I now want to go see this model in person.. 😊

  7. As usual something amazing out of Adam, with additional footage and commentary by tested 🙂

    Wish i had time right now to watch the other half hour video.

  8. Hilarious to see Adam using that blackboard from this latest seasons’ Simpson’s episode of Mythbusters! LOL!!

  9. It looks so deceptively simple to build. Amazing that it was as complex as it was. Great Job Adam it’s beautiful.

  10. aww NICE!

    this is really cool in several ways. one, while i don’t feel the craving for this specific object, i can totally get behind the enthusiasm for the cleanliness of working out a grid solution, calculating the resultant modular lengths of material, etc.

    two, adam’s enthusiasm is just so so so infectious and i am intensely glad he is out there, being unashamedly enthusiastic about the things he loves, completely free of cynicism. also: just to make something because one feels the world is in a slightly improved state when this thing is brought into existence is awesome.

    three, because it makes me feel less crazy. i’ve had an idea that is going to involve historical research, some typographical stuff, and is probably going to be a ton of work for an item that won’t give away how much work it was. too swamped in projects right now, but it will have to be tackled one day. it’s all too easy to feel weird over things like this.

  11. Such good work. That Montana paint is a really popular pick for graffiti artists and who knows good spray paint more than them. You can buy different nozzles for different sprays.

  12. Always great to see the love Adam puts into these things and to include a kit for repairs with everything you’ll need is just awesome.

  13. This was a great project Adam, and I’m glad it will receive its well-deserved place in the Kubrick collection.

  14. I’ve always assumed it’s a movie prop replica of some kind, and had been accurately “weathered”. But I don’t know what movie it comes from.

  15. It’s not just the skill, but Adam is always able to pick the coolest projects! Awesome work. Great editing in the video as well guys!

  16. I would go nuts at that exhibit, especially with the updated maze model by Adam! And as Jodie_Baggins previously mentioned, I love how deceptively simple it is.

    Does anyone know what the music was during the montage section?

  17. I’ve been listening to the Still Untitled podcast starting with most current and going backwards. Is this the project Adam kept alluding to a few weeks ago? Saying that Norm and Will had some idea what was going on but he was getting ready to release something big soon.

  18. As much as I like Adam’s television show and related projects, these videos from the workshop here on Tested make me just want Adam to retire from all of that and spend the rest of his career building random stuff in the shop with a couple cameras running at all times. 😀

    Love.

    Also, man I know the trials of introduced error too well. Back in art school I took a special interest in linear perspective drawing. And that it of course prone to the same problem. 40 hours in to a 50 hour project and suddenly something is off by like three or four cm and no easy way to correct because I didn’t account for tiny errors in measurement. Eeek!

  19. either in this video or in the other i heard Adam mention that the original model was probably made out of foam blocks instead of MDF. that makes sense since there seems to be much more surface variation in the movie model than in this one. in the movie the hedges are a bit uneven along the tops but in this they’re all very true and straight. another small thing i noticed is now squished that newspaper kiosk is compared to the model and the movie. i think maybe he ran out of room on his substrate and had to make up for the lack of space. if you see the model in the movie the substrate extends a little more at the entrance to compensate for the newspaper kiosk being as deep as it is.

  20. I just watched The Shining for the very first time this week, a day before this was posted. I don’t have the same reverence for that movie as Adam but this build is amazing. Being an architectural designer I love build like these. I’ll definitely check the exhibition out if it comes here.

  21. Beautiful model, the one in the film looks like it was made out of oasis/florists foam.

    As Adam asked for pictures of peoples mazes they built, this is probably the closest I’ll get, I designed myself a bookmark about a year ago.

  22. Anyone else spotted the unfinished Millennium Falcon at the background in the beginning of the video? I’m curious if this is something we will see built in the future videos.

  23. As a woodworker, I was fascinated by the method he used to cut the pyramid shaped caps at the top of the columns. I’ve tried this in the past and seem to always get caught on the impact the kerf from the cut has on the angle of the second set of cuts. I’d love to know more about how to do this…

  24. What did Adam write repeatedly on that black fabric?

    “I will not set off chr…”???

    I bet this is a play on “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” 😉

    Here it is for reference. Maybe or knows?

  25. “I will not set off cherry bombs in the shop” — it’s a chunk of the blackboard from the Mythbusters Simpsons episode, when they did the blackboard gag. There’s a quick shot of Adam doing his punishment, Al Jean in overalls sweeping up cherry bombs, and Jamie looking, as usual (and correctly), like he owns the place. This is of course before they relocate to the bomb range.

  26. Minecraft build, on the Tested Minecraft server (Creative map). I had to fudge some stuff to make it work in Minecraft. The stand on the right has the Minecraft map of the maze (not centered within the map, because Minecraft has its own ideas about how maps should work).

  27. Ice and snow storm delays gives me the opportunity to watch how Adam created the maze. Fun to watch and impressive. I will be catching this exhibit sometime so will be extra excited to see Mr. Savage’s latest creation straight from his heart.

  28. Wow, that is quite the build! I would have gone crazy trying to put together something like this! I mean, I have built an operating system….but compared to this, that’s easy! Kudos to Adam!

    And, I have to ask…what about that Millennium Falcon model in the background….:-)

  29. It looks great!

    I am curious, What could have been a good technique to make the Tops of the Hedge Maze resemble the model that Jack looks over in the movie? The movie version has very uneven, “Hedge-like”, tops.

    Realizing Adam’s is build for durability, is there a durable option that would have mimicked the tops better?

    My first idea is to vacuum mold uneven tops, glue those down and use heavy sawdust as flocking. I actually add a heavy coat of wood glue to sawdust to heal with durability.

  30. I’d be curious to hear about any comparisons Adam did between the various spray-on flocking products out there and his process. Obviously he’s picky in the best way but I’ve seen model builders get great results out of spray-on products.

    This is one of the best things I’ve watched Adam build and a great video. Congrats on this everybody.

  31. It’s certainly a very intriguing and resonant model reproduction replete in verisimilitude: the ‘identical twin’ of the (original, long gone) model of the maze in the Overlook’s foyer, imbuing it with a certain fascinating uncannyness analogous to the spectral Grady twins in the film.

    It is almost like, unlike Danny Torrance in the film (who seeks to escape from the sinister Overlook), but like Jack Torrance, many viewers of the film are unconsciously seduced and captivated by the Overlook, want to “go play” there, to be enticed by the Grady girl revenants, to ‘come play with us’ forever and ever and ever, continually drawn back to its hauntological and hypnotic spaces.

    (BTW, I don’t think Savage has ‘donated’ the model to the Kubrick Exhibit as it visits various cities so much as loaned it out to it: it’s clear from the videos that he’s (Adam Savage) a pretty shrewd pragmatist (“I wouldn’t even know how much to insure it for!” he delightedly anticipates at one point in the video). He knows that lending it to the travelling Kubrick Exhibit will hugely enhance its ‘market value’, seeing as it is an accomplished one-off, custom reproduction of the original. Even already, a museum, archive or specialist collector would probably fork out anything from fifty to one hundred grand for such an artefact even though it is just an imitation. And Savage already knows this … I’m already picturing thousands of guys rushing out to make their own model maze according to Savage’s design, and some Hobby Store offering a Maze Kit for sale. Perhaps with some robotic, remote-controlled, battery-powered little figurines of Jack Torrance, blood-splattered axe in hands, chasing after Danny in a snow-covered version of the maze, complete with accompanying soundtrack and dialogue).

    Savage mentions four ‘versions’ of the maze in the film, but in many ways there are really SIX parallactic instantiations of the maze:

    1. The model of the maze in the foyer of the hotel, the one Savage reproduced.

    2. Jack’s subjective POV of the model of the maze (an imaginary maze that is doubly symmetrically mirrored and seemingly infinitely expanding, with a miniature Wendy and Danny at its centre).

    3. An old map of the maze on a sign beside the entrance to the external maze.

    4. The actual external maze as seen during daylight, both on Closing Day and when Wendy and Danny visit it.

    5. The external maze, covered in snow at night, as seen towards the end of the film as Jack chases Danny into it. This is different to the ‘daylight’ maze as the entrance to it is now directly facing the hotel (on the long-side of the maze), whereas the earlier maze had its entrance perpendicular to the hotel (the entrance on the short side of the maze).

    6. This is the most mysterious version of all, the version of the maze that does not exist: all of the ‘long shots’ of the Overlook hotel, those actually shot on location (external helicopter shots and ground-level shots of the actual Timberline Lodge hotel at Mount Hood) reveal that there is no maze outside the hotel at all, neither at the front of the hotel nor behind it. This is quite deliberate, another Escheresque feature of the film’s aesthetic and metaphysical design (if the filmmaker had wanted us to see the maze in these shots, he could easily have inserted one, ‘airbrushed’ one into the film, much like the superimposed image of Wendy and Danny in the miniature imaginary model maze). It is the Overlook itself that is the Real maze, the real labyrinth in which a now-psychotic Jack Torrance is condemned, overwhelmed, lost, and permanently enslaved, his past and his spectral traces and remainder now an immanent part of the Overlook itself ….

  32. Hey, guys, I just came back from a trip to Monterrey, Mexico where I got to visit the Marco Museum and got to see the exhibit and the maze. I am glad to inform you that the maze survived the trip, along with all the lamp posts and tiny people. This is truly a work of art and fits perfectly well in the exhibit. By the way, a lot of people do take the time to read the plaque.

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