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Dune (2021): The Mindkiller Cut (Released)

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 (Edited)

A Dune (2021) film editing project by krausfadr

Goals:
Improve overall image contrast
Remaster the 5.1 channel surround
Re-score a few scenes, especially the “leaving Caladan” montage
Use material from the soundtrack’s sketchbook but remix and refine some of the chord progression
Be more true to the book
Much less of the blatant expository from various characters
Duke Leto Atreides must be more decisive and commanding
Lady Jessica from the book was more outwardly in control of her emotions
Reduce Liet Kynes dialogue slightly (the Judge of the Change), make her a stronger character
Add blood VFX in multiple scenes
A more serious and dramatic tone for ending part one of this epic story

Change List (CONTAINS SPOILERS):

  1. The cinematography and color grading was beautiful but a little low on the contrast. Increased contrast slightly throughout, backing off on the enhancement as needed.
  2. Removed the weird, non-book message, “dreams are messages from the deep” from the very beginning, before the movie logos appeared.
  3. Added a shortened book quote by the Princess Irulan after the opening title, Dune, appears, to deepen the theme of betrayal.
  4. Cut the shot of Chani while Paul listens to the recording about the Fremen. We’ve seen her plenty already— even by this early point.
  5. Cut Paul complaining at breakfast that he just woke up, not wanting to use the voice.
  6. Reprocessed Leto’s dialogue throughout to make his voice fuller and more commanding.
  7. Leto does not fidget nervously as the ceremony begins. He acts like a Duke!
  8. Thufir, the mentant’s eyes don’t go white while he’s thinking. Mentats close their eyes when in very deep thought. They don’t roll them back, showing the whites.
  9. Removed one of the closeups of Paul during the ceremony; this moment is about Leto.
  10. In the bonding moment with his father, Paul doesn’t doubt he is the future of House Atreides.
  11. Gurney doesn’t clench his fists and say to Paul, “can you imagine the wealth,” when lecturing Paul about the Harkonnens. It wasn’t the best looking take.
  12. Trimmed Gurney’s intense face shaking when he says the Harkonnens are bruuuuutal! It wasn’t the best looking take either.
  13. Trimmed Rabban’s over-the-top temper tantrum while speaking to his uncle, the Baron Harkonnen, to make the exchange more believable. Also removed Rabban’s direct reference to the Duke.
  14. Cut Jessica’s super scared face as she waits for the Bene Gesserit ship.
  15. Removed the stylized camera movement that honed in on the Gom Jabbar.
  16. Cut the Reverend Mother’s obvious expository about what the Gom Jabbar does.
  17. Replaced the weird, crispy hand vision during the Gom Jabbar test with a burning hand shot from the original 1984 Dune film (with some added grading / VFX / SFX to make it acceptable).
  18. Added burning/sizzling SFX during the scene to better demonstrate Paul’s hand burning in the box. It stops when he withdraws his hand.
  19. Trimmed Jessica’s hardcore crying outside the door as Paul takes the test.
  20. Jessica doesn’t puff out a pathetic breath of relief after seeing Paul alive, having passed the test.
  21. Cut Lady Jessica crying yet again when the Reverend Mother says mean stuff and departs.
  22. Less wind in Lady Jessica’s face from the departing ship, so she’s not a flailing oaf.
  23. Re-scored and remixed the montage of Paul and the Royal family preparing to leave Caladan. Used and tweaked a much better track from the soundtrack sketchbook.
  24. After Thufir tells Paul and Lady Jessica, “let’s get you out of the sun” he doesn’t state the obvious that the desert heat can kill.
  25. Changed intonation of Paul’s line to Kynes, “thank you for the stillsuits” so he sounds more confident and not asking a question.
  26. Trimmed the length of the opening shot of the CG spider pet on Geigi Prime. The CG was adequate but not so realistic that it could hold up under such a prolonged shot.
  27. Removed the subtitles as the conspirators speak under the beam of silence. It soon becomes clear what they are talking about.
  28. Cut the wide shot of the Baron levitating in his gown, looking like the most horrible mermaid.
  29. Changed the intonation of Leto asking Thufir, “it will take time?” after meeting with Stilgar. Leto says it, not asks it, and Thufir doesn’t repeat it. The movie tried to undermine Leto and make him look ineffective. No more!
  30. Reprocessed all dialogue of Leit Kynes to make her voice sound stronger.
  31. Trimmed conversation between Leto and Kynes after rescuing the crawler operators. Less verbosity make both appear stronger here.
  32. Trimmed Dr. Yueh’s extended rubbing on Paul; he doesn’t remark about his spice sensitivity either.
  33. Lady Jessica doesn’t explain why Paul can’t know she’s pregnant. No need to drag the scene on further with expository.
  34. Slightly changed a few lines of the dialogue between the Sardaukar Bashar (commander) and the Baron’s minion, Piter. The Bashar now says, "If the Emperor commands it” not “the Emperor commands it.” If the Emperor had already commanded it, then they wouldn’t be having the conversation. Gurney and Duncan are no longer name dropped here either.
  35. Lady Jessica isn’t crying while walking toward Leto’s room. Cheer up lady, you gave birth to the Kwizatz Haderach.
  36. Added blood VFX during the battle with soldiers attacking the Atreides troops.
  37. Added camera shake during the Sarduakar onslaught and reverse a shot to reduce the effect of a jarring jump cut.
  38. Darkened the establishing shot of the transport flying in the desert, taking Paul and Lady Jessica to be executed.
  39. Tweaked sound of the voice used by Paul and Lady Jessica on the transport. A little more affected voice.
  40. Added some camera shake on the transport for several very still shots.
  41. Added blood VFX when the deaf would-be rapist gets the short goodbye.
  42. Trimmed Paul tripping his captor. The original looks so ineffective and laughable.
  43. When Duncan confronts Kynes, cut the line, “the Emperor sent us here to die!” Too much expository here and Duncan acting weak.
  44. Stylized and re-graded portions of the vision Paul has in the desert so it looks like a vision, not sneak peak clips of Dune Part 2, and so the entire vision has a more consistent look to it.
  45. Trimmed some of the opening vision battle to lessen the painfully slow, one-take acrobatics of future Paul cartwheeling around on the battlefield, like he’s auditioning for Dancing With The Stars.
  46. Paul doesn’t say help me during the vision. Less cutting back to his crying face as well.
  47. Trimmed some of Paul squirming and kicking during the vision so he’s not acting like a baby. He also doesn’t yell at his mother in the voice. No in book and gives scene better impact.
  48. Removed a weird foley sound effect after Paul yells at his mother, “Get off me!” It was supposed to sound like Lady Jessica recoiling, but it sounded more like foley from a 70’s kung fu movie.
  49. Trimmed Lady Jessica’s crying… again.
  50. In the morning, Paul doesn’t tell his mother she needs to drink. He just hands her the water, and she doesn’t act like it tastes bad.
  51. Paul doesn’t explain to his mother they are drinking recycled water and that it’s from sweat and tears.
  52. Re-scored and remixed the arrival at the Fremen base (Kynes’ water facility) with a stronger theme.
  53. Kynes doesn’t explain about the water facility or how they had planned to turn Arrakis into an oasis. While this concept is in the book, the scene is not. And with the skill of the actor playing Kynes, less is more. Duncan still finds the plants growing, which is enough.
  54. Added title explaining the facility where Kynes takes them.
  55. Kynes doesnn’t ask for coffee service. Dialogue was trying too hard to immediately establish her as a leader, undermining her strength.
  56. Paul doesn’t suggest he marries into the Emperor’s family, only then to be lectured by Kynes.
  57. Paul doesn’t tell Kynes what he could do with Arrakis as Emperor.
  58. Kynes doesn’t say, “he locked the door.” We clearly see that Duncan locked the door.
  59. Paul pounds on the door where Duncan fights to the death, but he doesn’t pause his futile effort while his mother says unnecessary stuff.
  60. Shoveled away Kynes expository dump as she sends Paul and Lady Jessica down the escape tunnel.
  61. Trimmed and retimed some dialogue when shai-hulud comes to take Kynes, and rescored for better atmosphere.
  62. Cut Chani explaining where the tooth of shai-hulud comes from. If by now you don’t know this, you were sleeping during the movie.
  63. Moved the vision Paul has in the desert on his way to the Fremen sietch to happen right before he makes the killing blow to Jamis. Moving the vision here makes the killing of Jamis actually dramatic.
  64. Reworked the vision so we see the desert mouse and Jamis. Chani removed. Re-graded to warm up the colors and keep it’s look consistent.
  65. Restored book storyline where it is clear Paul cries after killing Jamis, and the Fremen remark that he “gives water to the dead.” Used audio from a deleted scene of the original Dune film.
  66. Cut Chani’s extra cheerful exposition, “this is only the beginning,” reassuring us in the most annoying way possible there is a part 2.
  67. Cut all the happy ending smiles and the ridiculous sandworm surfer.
  68. In the future merge part 1 and 2 together, probably.

heil palpatine!

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Sorry fanedit.org was that way with/for you. 😦 Well, hopefully things will be smoother for you here as you seem to seek. May you reach your goals here (that all sound good!), get all your desired changes in place such that your result is nicely seamless and makes your version of the movie a go-to version over the theatrical release for most(/all?) who see your end result. 😃

LightWave = fun times with gfx for me 😃

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Thanks WXM. OT has always been a great resource and a positive place to visit.

heil palpatine!

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bob79519 said:

Fanedit.org sucks because of it’s admins.

Some of them are pretty good. And overall it’s a very good site with a lot of potential. But the tactics of a few admins can certainty make it unpleasant, for sure, when they overstep a reasonable level of authority.

heil palpatine!

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I agree on your assessment that the well-intending people on Fanedit.org can be very strict, especially TVs Frink. That’s kinda why I’m leaving the forums come 2022. New year, new beginnings. 😌

I have a feeling Reddit and this site will be where it’s at for me to showcase my ‘early bloomer’ fanediting skills. 🙂

“The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.”
-Sheev Palpatine, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

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Oh that’s great CamSMurph. I would love to see what you come up with.

EDIT: And I agree with FE’s rules and strictness. They need to be. But there’s a limit.

heil palpatine!

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krausfadr said:

Oh that’s great CamSMurph. I would love to see what you come up with.

EDIT: And I agree with FE’s rules and strictness. They need to be. But there’s a limit.

What part do you agree with in particular? It seems I myself may never agree with them. 😅

“The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.”
-Sheev Palpatine, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

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krausfadr - are you sure you didn’t overreacted a little?

JUSTICE LEAGUE GRINDHOUSED - released

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CamSMurph I agree you must own the source and follow all the rules designed not to interfere with the studios interests. EDITED

heil palpatine!

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Gonna miss you over there. You had some great ideas. I didn’t agree with all of them, but I loved some of them. Sorry that you feel the way you do. I am very confused about what led to this and don’t think its my business to challenge your perspective, but perhaps you should give it a spell and reconsider?

Forever in search of that one movie experience…

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krausfadr said:

Vilgefortz said:

krausfadr - are you sure you didn’t overreacted a little?

Sure that’s possible. But I don’t want to edit in an environment where admins think they have the authority to demand receipts for movies. They don’t. Assumed guilty until proven innocent is not my bag baby.

Fair enough.
In fact, I’d agree with above statement.

JUSTICE LEAGUE GRINDHOUSED - released

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@Artisdead I’m not leaving FE. I just don’t have an interest in posting my edits there.

EDIT: Sometimes it helps just to communicate. So I’ve removed my comments here about FE Staff.

heil palpatine!

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 (Edited)

Hi, I am particularly interested in this edit.

As one who (of course not as the only one here I guess) has read nearly all of Dune including “The Dreamer …” and Frank Herberts biography, I have the impression, that especially Paul is not as he was intended to be. I would therefore suggest to change in particular following three scenes:

  1. When Jessica encourages Paul to use the voice in the beginning … They think, just because he is not in the mood for swordfighting in the scene with Gurney, that Paul is a capricious character, but that he is not. So he should not refuse in this scene and he generally should not be characterised as an unenthusiastic and obstinate fool thoughout the movie.
  2. When Paul and Leto talk about whether Paul wants to be Duke later … this is something, that may belong to THIS world (which is why the scene is in there), but not to Franks Herbert’s world … Paul is sure he will be Duke. See chapter six in the book.
  3. When Paul shouts at his mother in the desert … he wouldn’t. In particular, he would have known that he is raised Bene Gesserit style, he would not have characterised himself as “being used” or similar, this is the reaction of an infant.

Also, I don’t think one can do anything about that, but unfortunately Chalamet permanently tries to look stern and serious for the gravity of the Dune-universe and all the philosophy in it (I guess), but you can see, that he only plays it in many of his scenes.

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samultra thanks for sharing your ideas. Below are my initial impressions:

  1. I agree. If feasible I’ll remove Paul’s obstinance.
  2. While I agree in principle about the scene with Leto, this is the only real bonding moment between father and son, albeit not from the book. Perhaps it will work to remove Paul’s doubt here but still have Leto give the fatherly pep talk. I’ll take a look.
  3. In the book Paul says he’s a freak but not like a baby for sure. I want to keep the scene with his mom somewhat intact but I’ll try and reduce all his whining about being used. I’m on the fence about him yelling at her bc this is the movie’s lackluster replacement of in the book Paul informing her she’s a Harkonnen.

heil palpatine!

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krausfadr said:

@Artisdead I’m not leaving FE. I just don’t have an interest in posting my edits there.

EDIT: Sometimes it helps just to communicate. So I’ve removed my comments here about FE Staff.

Aww, man, sorry to read about your difficulties over at FE.
I remain friendly with many members there via the PM system.
I ceased active participation at FE years ago, after pointless conflicts with an unhappy soul.
For onlookers, I’m sure some of our clashes were entertaining.

On topic. Kinda looking forward to your Dune, although the film underwhelmed me.

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krausfadr said:

samultra thanks for sharing your ideas. Below are my initial impressions:

  1. I agree. If feasible I’ll remove Paul’s obstinance.
  2. While I agree in principle about the scene with Leto, this is the only real bonding moment between father and son, albeit not from the book. Perhaps it will work to remove Paul’s doubt here but still have Leto give the fatherly pep talk. I’ll take a look.
  3. In the book Paul says he’s a freak but not like a baby for sure. I want to keep the scene with his mom somewhat intact but I’ll try and reduce all his whining about being used. I’m on the fence about him yelling at her bc this is the movie’s lackluster replacement of in the book Paul informing her she’s a Harkonnen.

I very much appreciate your considerations and understand your points of view. I am sure, you will considerably improve the movie with your plans 😉
Please, have a keen eye throughout the movie about such behaviour, especially on Paul’s part, I may not have remembered them all.

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krausfadr said:

EDIT: Sometimes it helps just to communicate. So I’ve removed my comments here about FE Staff.

Does that also include signatures that might possibly reference something 😉

Not sure if that was a before or after thing. If before my apologies for assuming. 😃

Good luck on your edit!

Edit: how did my autocorrect think before was “beige” lol

digmodification.wordpress.com

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DigMod said:

krausfadr said:

EDIT: Sometimes it helps just to communicate. So I’ve removed my comments here about FE Staff.

Does that also include signatures that might possibly reference something 😉

Not sure if that was a before or after thing. If before my apologies for assuming. 😃

Good luck on your edit!

Edit: how did my autocorrect think before was “beige” lol

🤔

Forever in search of that one movie experience…

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krausfadr said:

@Artisdead I’m not leaving FE. I just don’t have an interest in posting my edits there.

EDIT: Sometimes it helps just to communicate. So I’ve removed my comments here about FE Staff.

You had decided to leave and had posted some not so nice things here when I made my post.

I am glad that it all got worked out. So…you will be releasing your morbidly delicious Hannibal edits there? You will be considering A better cut of Red Dragon?

Forever in search of that one movie experience…

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I never left FE. I just had my faneditor status removed. But everything is all worked out now like you said. I will post my Hannibal edits over at FE for sure! Not so sure about starting a Red Dragon edit though.

heil palpatine!

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 (Edited)

Samultra I rewatched those scenes you mentioned. I’m sure I can remove Paul saying he just woke up and not wanting to cooperate with voice practice.

In the scene with Leto it looks like it will be fine to remove Paul saying what if I’m not the future of House Atreides and leave the rest of the scene intact. I’ll see if I can remove Leto saying “either” when he holds up the ring. So Leto just says “I didn’t want this.” Instead of Paul doubting he’s the future of the House, the father is just assuming his son prefers to be a fighter. This will help bring it more in line with the Paul of the book.

And in rewatching the scene in the tent with his mother, I agree it would work much better without Paul shouting at her. I’ll plan on removing that. In fact, I will trim some of his squirming and kicking like an angry baby there too so he’s not acting like a little gen-z wimp.

heil palpatine!

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krausfadr said:

Samultra I rewatched those scenes you mentioned. I’m sure I can remove Paul saying he just woke up and not wanting to cooperate with voice practice.

In the scene with Leto it looks like it will be fine to remove Paul saying what if I’m not the future of House Atreides and leave the rest of the scene intact. I’ll see if I can remove Leto saying “either” when he holds up the ring. So Leto just says “I didn’t want this.” Instead of Paul doubting he’s the future of the House, the father is just assuming his son prefers to be a fighter. This will help bring it more in line with the Paul of the book.

And in rewatching the scene in the tent with his mother, I agree it would work much better without Paul shouting at her. I’ll plan on removing that. In fact, I will trim some of his squirming and kicking like an angry baby there too so he’s not acting like a little gen-z wimp.

I am blown away … this may become my favourite edit of the film (supposing more to come) 😉😄