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DRESDEN FILES - 2-HOUR PILOT PRESERVATION (Released)

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I thought there was no 2-hour pilot? the first two episodes (Birds of a Feather and the Boone Identity) were regular 43min length? Anyway, check your pm.
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The first two episodes that aired were production numbers 3 and 4.

The true first episode aired last week called "Storm Front" based (loosely) on Jim Butcher's first book by the same name.
Sci-Fi Channel commissioned a two hour movie pilot but had no room in their schedule to air it (and time constraints in completing it).

As a result it was cut down to fit a one hour slot and altered to fit continuity with the episodes that would air before it. It suffers terribly from this hack job.

Yes, I'd like to see this, but there is a good chance only the rough cut with temporary effects exists.
It was suggested (I don't remember where) that it might again see the light of day complete, but would not fit the continuity of the rest of the series.

Dr. M

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Hmm, interesting. I went through my archives and I found this disc from Sci Fi in the pile:

The DRESDEN FILES
(Rough Cut)
Series Premiere January 20007
TCA Session Thursday, July 13

I scanned through it real quick, its one episode, some temp fx, and runs 67 mins. Disc would be from July 2006, so I imagine this is the episode you're looking for.


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You have a SciFi pile? I'd be interested in some promo DVDs you might have of various SciFi productions. I've got promo DVDs of Eureka.

I used to be very active on this forum. I’m not really anymore. Hi everybody. You’re all awesome. Keep up the good work.

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EDIT: Please note, it looks like I was beaten to the punch on the link to the blog. But, I quote it, so...whatever.

It appears that there is a longer version out there.

http://her0press.blogspot.com/2007/02/dresden-files-unaired-pilot-storm-front.html

Through the magic of the Internet I have managed to see the 107-minute rough cut of Storm Front, the unaired pilot for The Dresden Files.

As a rough cut most of the major effects sequences were missing - replaced with captions or temporary effects - which meant the giant toad demon from the book was just a big, bald bruiser who wouldn't have looked out of place as a demon on Charmed.

On the positive side the episode featured dreamlike cinematography and fast cuts that gave it a unique look, and the story at least hinted at some of the elements of the Dresdenverse that have been missing from the aired episodes - from Harry's cat to the disruptive effects his magic has on modern technology. There's even a cheeky cameo from the Blue Beetle (Harry's battered VW from the books) in an early garage scene, but that probably won't be enough to stave off much nerdfury - although it did give me a geeky fanboy smile.

And, as in the novel, Harry ends up dating Susan the reporter - but where is she in the episodes that have been shown on Sky One, if these were supposed to follow?

Familiar elements are heavily outweighed by the changes. The Big Bad's motives are totally different, and had I not just read the book Storm Front I might have almost found his actions understandable (if not acceptable, of course!) The spectacular climax of the book is also sadly missing.

Jim Butcher's complex, interwoven, multilayered plot has been grossly simplified and streamlined to such an extent that - along with all the character changes - you can't help but wonder sometimes why the programme makers didn't just start from scratch with their own hero and his own universe! It also makes me worry how these 107 minutes (a two hour time-slot) will be cut down to an hour - for screening later in the show's run - and still maintain plot integrity.
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Originally posted by: Doctor M
We can either wait for a possible DVD release or look for an HD capture.


I seriously doubt that'll happen. Considering that they chose to compress it into a 45 minute episode, rather than squeeze it gently into a 90 minute two-parter tells me that they have no intention of releasing the full thing, especially since it contains elements that were not incorporated into the story. Also, just about every show has a pretty long pilot produced that is later cut down to some degree...some are 5 minutes longer than air time, and some are much longer...but I've rarely seen these reach commercial release.

That's especially true in this case, as it sounds like there were scenes needing lots of sfx that were simply edited out, rather than having the special effects created. So...if somebody's got this rough cut, torrent it somewhere.
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Oh, don't get me wrong, the version pavemental has will be welcome even if it is shorter than other cuts.
If it's shared, please keep it in full quality.

But it could definitely be recut with (completed) footage from the final broadcast.
I'm guessing this is what Psycho_Dayv intended when he called for a preservation.

Edit: Since we need an HD cap for such a purpose, it will re-air tonight during the Dresden Files Mini-Marathon (10pm Eastern).
I have no ability to cap TV that won't look grainy and crappy... someone here REALLY needs to do this.

Dr. M

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I can cap but not in HD nor do I have HD Scifi, if 720x480 suffices, I can do it...

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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So far no other offers, so I won't complain.

True HD isn't necessary since this will end up as a DVD. 720x480 should be good as long as it's pretty clean (near DVD quality).
The problem with the capper scene's releases is they tend to lower the resolution to improve compression.
(Though I don't expect to be blown away by the quality from the rough cut.)

Thinking this over it'll take some restraint while editing (and possibly some OTHER episodes).
The final cut is likely to have footage (and voice overs) not in the rough cut (not just fx) because of changes made to fit continuity. They probably shouldn't be used.
I also suspect some scenes from the original version might have been relocated to other episodes to help introduce characters you would know if the pilot aired intact.
Also, the whole thing with Three-Eye/Third-Eye was in the original novel (though differently and I don't know if it was planned for the pilot).

Morgan should be introduced as watching him for breaking one of the Laws of Magic, we probably would have gotten an explanation of Bob here, and he should meet Bianca for the first time in the pilot.

Any edit will probably have to restrict itself to just replacing footage with cleaner footage and finished fx and not adding anything new.
Just my thoughts.

Dr. M

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So all I need to know is when and how much and I can prolly get anything you need. Only trick would be figuring how to get the vobs out, dunno that BT is wise. (the other option I can think of is irc?)

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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When would be tonight 10pm est on SciFi (just your local listings ). How much I don't understand.
As far as what to do with it, I assume you could just mail it directly to whoever will be assembling this... sounds like Psycho_Dayv has volunteered for that.

Dr. M

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I can prolly do that... I'm assuming "how much" is 1 hour?

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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Oh, yes sorry. 1 hour.

I'm mad because I keep promising myself I'll build a home media PC with an HD capture card for just this sort of thing.
Even at SD resolutions HDTV resized tends to look better than most analog broadcasts.

Dr. M

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Originally posted by: Doctor M
Oh, don't get me wrong, the version pavemental has will be welcome even if it is shorter than other cuts.
If it's shared, please keep it in full quality.

But it could definitely be recut with (completed) footage from the final broadcast.
I'm guessing this is what Psycho_Dayv intended when he called for a preservation.

Edit: Since we need an HD cap for such a purpose, it will re-air tonight during the Dresden Files Mini-Marathon (10pm Eastern).
I have no ability to cap TV that won't look grainy and crappy... someone here REALLY needs to do this.



THAT WOULD BE CORRECT.

"I'VE GROWN TIRED OF ASKING, SO THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME..."
The Mangler Bros. Psycho Dayv Armchaireviews Notes on Suicide

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Will this air again soon? An important project for a group I'm in involves capturing something off CN tonight and unfortunately, as a side effect of TV Guide being incorrect, I lost 10 minutes of the program - it's reairing now and those 10 minutes fall during this episode. :/

I don't have an archive of the episode, I don't think. I do have a friend who could reobtain it - but not in the quality of my settop, probably - only as a 350 MB AVI, probably. :/

"Right now the coffees are doing their final work." (Airi, Masked Rider Den-o episode 1)

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Not that I'm aware.
Looks like the scene TV cap or we wait for a DVD release.
Pavenmental: what is the general quality of the rough cut?

ReverendBeastly: You DON'T have a Sci-Fi pile? How did you get left off the list? In fact I forgot to check mine... hold on... no... no...no.... ah wait... no...
no... hey! Damn it, I don't have a Sci-Fi pile either!

Dr. M

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Hey, first i have to say this thread has made me

But any ways i do have the 720p mkv files that SFM (scene group) released:
1 Birds of a Feather (Production#1x03)
2 The Boone Identity (Production#1x04)
3 Hair of the Dog (Production#1x05)
4 Rules of Engagement (Production#1x02)
5 Bad Blood (Production#1x07)
6 Soul Beneficiary (Production#1x08)

If that helps at all let me know.




also i would say this will be out in the next few weeks:
7 Walls (Production#1x06)
8 Storm Front (Production#1x01)
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1st time poster, but a massive fan of what you lot as a collaborative produce.

so hello to everyone, hope you can get this preservation novel worthy edit together,
I don't have it as of yet but I know my sister had the dvd press pack for this show about 6 months ago when she worked for SKY she now works on a British soap, but she rarely throws these things out as she is knows that I treasure them. Any how' i don't think the dvd contained new material but it may have been alternative, had no TC but was washed out almost rough cut style other than the edited intro which was broadcast quality, which I think the channels here (UK) at least? mostly used as the rushes for the adverts, but the interviews could make, great supplemental material. I will get them if she has them and upload, but because I am prehistoric Britain I only have a 30kb up but willing to if needed bad.

Tony
CURRENTLY SEEDING:
Night of the Creeps " Myspleen
fanedit.org - Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets ABC EE by ANGRYSVN
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I was surprised to read this. I'm glad there are fans of the series here. I've been a fan of Jim's work since working (very briefly) on the pilot back in 2006. I don't have anything as it was just in the fx house doing preliminary tests at the time, but it got me into the books in a huge way. The new one White Night comes out in April so check it out.

As the the 107 min cut of Storm Front, I know from Jim Butcher's forum that producer Robert Hewlitt Wolfe stated Sci-Fi might be airing the movie down the road and there's a likely chance it'll be on DVD as a bonus. However a preservation is a great idea just in case.
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Rixyboy: Don't misunderstand, whatever edit we cobble together, it will not be close to the book. They went pretty far astray with the TV version.

Dr. M

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Originally posted by: Doctor M

Pavemental: what is the general quality of the rough cut?

Sci-Fi pile?


It's an original Sci Fi disc, so picture/audio is broadcast quality. I haven't watched it but my scan through didn't reveal too many temp fx title cards (unlike, say, BSG discs also in the Sci Fi pile). The episode seems to have opening credits, but not closing.

I've been thinking about this 107 min cut, I'm wondering if the guy who blogged about it has it wrong, maybe his dvd player said 1:07? (ie 67 mins). The reason I say this is that a 107 min edit is way too long for a 2 hour broadcast, but a 67min edit would match a 90min broadcast slot.

Psycho_Dayv, get in touch so I can mail you the disc.
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Your explanation of the runtime makes a LOT of sense.
It's possible they had a cut that ran long, expecting to trim it later.
But it is more likely that there was only one version they distributed for preview.

Dr. M