EDITED MAY 8: Beta version available now!
This is something I started working on ever since the 5-disk boxset came out. What it is is not a special cut to make the film better, not simply an extended version that incorperates deleted scenes, but the most thoroughly different version of the film possible that makes use of all the diferent versions and unseen footage to create a cut of the film as drastically different as can be had. It incorperates sections of the workprint and all of the deleted and alternate scenes, plus elements taken from the raw dailies. There is voice-over throughout, but it is the original, unused recordings, creating a more noir-ish storyline.
The theatrical version being worked from is the 1992 Director's Cut. I've also not mentioned it in the change listing, but none of the dailies had corresponding soundtracks, so in some cases I have had to add my own recordings while also cheating overlays from elsewhere in the film (for instance, Batty shocking himself with the live wire). This was sometimes a bit of challenge considering I am editing in Womble which only has two audio tracks, although the results are fairly effective.
I've done some mild colour correction to the new footage, but only select shots (due to re-encoding concerns), usually transitional ones that connect to theatrical footage; both the deleted scenes and raw dailies tend to be red-faded, milky and oversaturated compared to the final grading, and some of them are much dimmer too. None of the footage truely matches perfectly, especially with occassional print damage and softer image with lower bitrate, but hopefully the contrast is much less than it would be without any treatment.
Complete List of Changes According to Scene:
-Opens with workprint (WP) Ladd company logo on white background.
-Titles: titles taken from WP, with audio re-edited so that the text syncs better with the visuals.
-Opening cityscape montage: taken from WP, with spinner radio chatter, no eyeball or Holden intercuts, and no push in on the window.
-Leon-Holden scene: has one alternate take plus two new angles for Leon's entrance, from the dailies. The rest of the scene is from the WP (minus one deleted shot), with no music sting and an extra long shot of Holden's body.
-Deckard introduction: taken from alternate version with new narration.
-Flight to police station: has alternate take of Deckard eating noodles as he looks out the window, plus WP audio with Gaff speaking citi-speak. The shot of the geisha billboard is shorter by a few frames.
-Intro to police station: taken from the alternate scene, with new narration about Gaff.
-Intro to Bryant: removes one line as per WP editing.
-Video room: Features new introduction from alternate scene with new narration. Then continues with theatrical scene, with the replicant bios cut out.
-Holden in Hospital: This deleted scene then follows.
-Flight to Tyrell pyramid: taken from the alternate scene with new narration.
-Intro to Rachel: has an extra shot of a replicant owl and a shot of a replicant dog, from the dailies. One shot of Deckard has been trimmed by a few frames.
-Rachel's VK: taken from the alternate version with new narration. This continues into the theatrical version with Deckard and Tyrell's conversation.
-Flight from Tyrell pyramid: taken from the alternate scene with new narration.
-Leon's apartment: taken from alternate scene.
-Intro to Batty: taken from the alternate scene.
-Chew's Lab: has a new shot of Batty and Leon entering, from the dailies. Batty's last line is taken out, as per the WP editing.
-Drive to Deckard's apartment: taken from the alternate scene with new narration.
-Rachel and Deckard in the apartment: no change.
-Intro to Pris: taken from the alternate scene with new narration. Continues into the theatrical version of the end of the scene.
-Intro to Bradburry building: no change.
-Deckard and the Esper: Begins with the theatrical dolly across the piano photos but cuts before we see Deckard. No unicorn dream. The alternate scene with Deckard inspecting photographs and then working at the esper follows. The scene ends with the theatrical version where Deckard examins the photograph and the scale, with an extra line from the WP.
-Deckard at the noodle bar: this deleted scene then follows.
-Animoid row: taken from the alternate scene with new narration.
-Outside Taffy's bar: taken from the alternate scene new narration.
-Taffy's bar: alternate scene continues inside, but includes the dialogue scene between Deckard and Taffy. Then continues with alternate scene where Deckard phones Rachel, broken up with the dialogue exchange in the theatrical version.
-Deckard and the bartender: This deleted scene then follows.
-Deckard and Zhora: taken from the alternate scene with new narration. Rather than cutting to her death as the alternate scene does, it cuts mid-way into the scene. The effeminate character Deckard plays has been removed, and so has much of the dialogue.
-Zhora chase: features one new shot of Deckard on top of a car and two new crowd shots, from the dailies. A section of approximately ten seconds has been trimmed from the part where Deckard is riding the tram car, plus one shot is missing from the early part of the chase.
-Zhora's death: taken from the alternate scene with new narration, up until the scene where Deckard buys a drink.
-Deckard and Bryant: no change.
-Deckard and Leon: new angle of Leon slapping the gun and a new shot of Rachel firing the gun, from the dailies. Omits Leon's reaction to being shot, but keeps the shot of him slumping to the ground.
-Deckard's apartment: begins with the scene of him washing, taken from alternate scene with new narration; this version omits the introductory section of Deckard drinking while Rachel cries. The theatrical version follows, with Rachel talking to him in the kitchen. The deleted scene of Rachel removing Deckard's shotglass then follows.
-Love scene: contains the extended footage from the deleted scene. Ends with an unused shot of the cityscape.
-Bryant and Gaff watching Deckard and Holden: this deleted scene then follows.
-Sebastian's apartment: contains a shot of Pris with mice, from the dailies. Cuts out the second shot of her looking at her makeup in the mirror.
-Batty joins Sebastian and Pris: no change.
-Elevator to Tyrell pyramid: taken from the alternate scene.
-Tyrell's death: New shot of Sebastian opening door, from the dailies. Features alternate line reading and less violence in the shorter director's cut.
-Batty in the elevator: taken from the deleted scene.
-Deckard stakes out Bradburry building: taken from the alternate scene with new narration.
-Deckard in the Bradburry: new long tracking shot from the second floor of Deckard entering, from the dailies. Snipped off about ten seconds from his ascent up the stairs. WP temp music used in this part. New panning shot of Pris with mannequins, which replaces a section of another shot of Deckard entering.
-Deckard and Pris: Re-edits the shots after he kills her of him composing himself. New shot of Deckard wandering to the hallway, seeing Batty come out of the elevator and then retreat back inside. Dialogue of Batty taken from elsewhere in the film ("Deckard!"). Deletes one shot of Deckard running away.
-Deckard and Batty: scene of Batty pulling Deckard through the wall and breaking his fingers taken from WP; audio is from WP with temp music.
-Batty chases Deckard: has a longer shot of Batty howling after smearing Pris' blood on himself and a different angle as Deckard re-sets his broken fingers, both from the WP (some temp music). New shot of Deckard pulling at boards on windows, from the dailies. Deckard in the bathroom features shot of a mannequin in the bathtub with a shortened wide shot of him sitting on the tub's edge. Two shots deleted from before Batty puts the nail in; nail going in from the director's cut. Two new shots of Batty electrocuting himself, from the dailies, with a re-used shot of Deckard on the ledge breaking them up.
-The rooftop: shortens one shot of Deckard on the roof. New shot of Batty emerging from the hole. Deckard hanging features slightly different editing and a new shot from the dailies. Batty catching Deckard's arm features slightly different shot order and a new angle from the dailies.
-Batty's death: first part from theatrical version, with the alternate version of the ending, with narration. Gaff's exchange with Deckard follows, from the theatrical version.
-Deckard finds Rachel: no change.
-ride into the sunset: includes both alternate endings, beginning with the dialogue version and seguing into the montage version with new narration, which fades to black.
-end credits: no end credits. Includes "The End" from WP, but without music.
There are a couple dailies shots in the film that cut somewhat poorly, but I'm only going to take them out if there are comments about them. Right now I don't have end credits--I think the film works well without them, and I don't have opening credits either (other than Harrison Ford) so it doesn't seem so out of place.
On the final DVD, maybe a week or two after the beta is online, as an extra I might do a montage of every outtake from the dailies--there is footage for virtually every scene. The problem is most of it isn't useable in the edit itself, either because they simply don't cut with the footage available in the final film, or in the case of dialogue scenes because most of them don't have sound. But it would be neat to see them all in a row, like going through the Warners archives and looking through all the Blade Runner camera reels. Would be a pretty big job though but something I would like to try.
Expect this available in February or March. in late April 2011.
EDIT APRIL 16: Have updated the list of changes.
Available now is a 15 minute preview of the early part of the film, as it exists in my rough cut so far. The sound editing and mix are not final, but the picture will probably remain the same, beyond mild finessing of the cuts if need be.
Also thinking of an alternate title; suggestions? "The Lost Cut?"
EDIT MAY 8: The beta release is available via Demonoid. Anamorphic widescreen, 2.0 sound, 4.59 GB. Have not shrunk it to fit on single-layer disc, use DVD Shrink to do so. Future version will have 5.1 upmix, additional audio and video tweaks, and real menus. The running time is 117 minutes, ironically making it the exact same time as the original versions, despite the fact that the film only contains about 50% theatrical footage.
The Secret History of Star Wars -- now available on Amazon.com!
"When George went back and put new creatures into the original Star Wars, I find that disturbing. It’s a revision of history. That bothers me."
--James Cameron, Entertainment Weekly, April 2010