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Superman by Taolar (Formally: Son of Jorel) WORKPRINT AVAILABLE

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 (Edited)

NOTE: A "pre-release" version is available on Pirate Bay.  Its listed as Superman Classic edit by Taolar.  If you download, please let me know what you think.

SEE BOTTOM OF POST FOR 12/23/08 UPDATE

SoJ is a re-mix of Superman 1 and Superman 2 (both the theatrical version and the Donner Cut). I'm also using some shots from Superman 3 and 4 and various other sources, as well as new footage filmed specifically for this project.

When these movies came out on DVD I found that my memories of them from when I was a kid didn't match the actual films. I didn't remember them being so campy and (especially with Superman 2) peppered with lame attempts at humor. This project is my attempt to take the first two movies and turn them into something closer to the Superman of my memory, protecting all of the great performances from the dated elements, and hopefully ending up with a professional quality finished product that kids and adults seeing it for the first time will enjoy as a much as I did nearly 30 years ago.

Through the use of editing and subtle visual effects, I'm removing the unrealistic, campy, and unintentionally unfunny parts that aren't necessary to the plot. I'm fixing continuity errors, and re-editing many scenes to intensify the mood or speed up the action sequences so they are closer to what's expected in modern action films. I'm also improving visual effects when feasible. The end result is a darker, more serious, more modern film.

The film also focuses more on Kal-el's relationship with Jor-el. And I'm trying to bring the entire film down to under 3 hours. Everything is done in such a way that someone who isn't very familiar with the movies shouldn't notice what I did.

And since I didn't like the way either Superman 2 or the Donner Cut ended, I've created a new, darker ending that fits fairly well with Superman Returns.

The edit is still in progress. Most of the editing is done. Right now I'm working almost entirely on visual effects. It's a slow process and I'm only able to work on it part-time. Although it is nearing completion, I'm resisting the urge to set a release date. It'll be done when I'm finally satisfied with it.

High Quality Teasers:

Teaser 1: (0:50s, 5mb)
Teaser 2: Flight (1:14s, 7.8mb)
Teaser 3: Heat Vision (1:04s, 6.7mb)
Teaser 4: Locomotive (0:50s, 5.2mb)

Lower Quality Teasers:

Teaser 1 on YouTube
Teaser 2 on YouTube

Enjoy!

-T

Current Status (12/29/07): Focusing entirely on the final four FX scenes on Disc 1.


[ADDED 2/6/07]

Here's an example of the type of effects to expect in SoJ:

Effect Shot Before/After Comparison

Few of my effects will look like FX shots. My hope is that a viewer who doesn't know the Superman movies very well won't notice that anything's been changed.

By the way, the shot above isn't finalized yet. More tweeking will be done. And this shot already took about 3x the time I though it would, which means, considering the amount of effects still left to do, this project is behind schedule. I'm sorry to say that a February release is highly unlikely. I probably won't set any more deadlines. It will be released when I'm completely happy with the final product, no matter how long that takes.


[ADDED 2/9/07]

I'm holding a test screening of this edit in San Diego on February 24th. Private Message me if you're interested in being a part of it!

[ADDED 4/1/07]

Yet another trailer. Hope it makes you smile!

New Trailer (5.3mb, Divx)

By the way, the test screening went great! I'm currently working on FX.

[ADDED 4/30/07]

The Denver showing went great! The movie was well received, and I have a new, much shorter list of items that need to be done before release. Since the previous showing I've made editing changes to several scenes and did a major overhaul of the audio mix. I re-added a bit of previously removed footage, re-edited some other scenes, and rebuilt two action scenes. As of the Denver showing the stereo audio mix is about 99.5% done, and about 95% of the video is officially locked. I currently have a runtime of 3:02, not counting end credits. I expect it to bump up to 3:03 when all is done, although if I have an editing epiphany I'll gladly bring it back down below 3 hours. But the most important thing is that the final result doesn't feel hacked up, so I've resigned to accepting whatever runtime feels the most professional. There are around a dozen visual fx that are in various stages of completion. Half of those are relatively easy, and the other half are quite a bit more challenging.

If I were able to work full time on this, I'm sure I'd have it done in a couple weeks. But unfortunately I have to deal with working on it a couple hours here and there after work and on the weekends.

[ADDED 6/10/07]

The project is still going strong. Until recently I'd work on an FX shot until it started to became difficult and I'd be spinning my wheels, then I'd procrastinate and start working on a different one. That means I've been putting a lot of work into this, with no finished shots to show for it. I've put an end to that, and am now focusing on a shot until it's finished.

This week I replaced the final remnant of Superman 2's "new powers" (i.e. Zod's telekinetic finger) with a new effect. Yesterday I spent from noon to midnight correcting a horrible compositing job from Superman 2. It's less than 2 seconds of film, but it's one of those things that looks so bad it pulls me out of the movie.

Next on the list are a couple small and relatively easy compositing shots and then I'm diving head first into the mostly finished Tanker Truck action sequence. Its an effects shot that I've already put many hours into but I had to put off for later because I came to a point where I was in over my head experience-wise, and was not completely sure how to go about completing it with a professional result. But I've been through this situation several times on this project. It's just a matter of working on it over and over, sometimes re-starting from scratch several times, until either I figure out a new way of doing it, or my brain explodes.

[ADDED 7/30/07]

I took a break for a while, and directed a crew for the 48 hour film contest. I'll post a link to our finished movie when it comes online. In the mean time here are
some pics of the shoot. I'm the dope in the grey shirt who looks like he's constantly pulling his pants up. I lost some weight.

I just fixed young Kent's wave at the train today. The original footage was sped up and it always bugged me because there was no frame blending or motion blur. Clark's hand just sort of flashes around the screen real quickly. I've added motion blur so now it looks much more realistic. It took about 2 and 1/2 hours and a few false starts.

Next on the list is removing Otis from a certain shot that he shouldn't be in...


[ADDED 12/29/07]

Wow. I can't believe this year is over. I fully expected to be done with this by Christmas. I have four FX scenes left to do on Disc 1 (which ends when the Krypton villians escape), and quite a bit more on Disc 2. I'm focusing only on Disc 1 until it's done and will ship that out to a few testers, and then will resume work on Disc 2. I wish I could give more detailed info, but describing the FX work left to do on Disc 1 would give away the biggest changes I've made to the first movie and I think they're better left a surprise, because they're some of the original big ideas that got me excited about this project, and none of the other Superman edits have done them.

Finishing Disc 1 by February would be optimistic, but that's my goal.


[ADDED 10/27/08]

Having not really worked on this project in months (sigh) I realized that it'll never finish unless I set a deadline, so on December 15th, 2008, I will release this in whatever form it happens to be in at the time.

[ADDED 12/21/08]

All creative work was temporarily suspended December 15th, and I intended to release a version then to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Superman the Movie, but have had tons of rendering issues.  Well, those have been mostly resolved, and the current "pre-release" is available now in Xvid format on Demonoid.  Please let me know what you think.

There is still much to do before the official DVD release sometime next year.  Among those things are:

 

Necessary fixes:

1. 2.0 audio mix (95% done)

2. New title sequence (10% done)

3. Finish Lex newspaper FX (90% done)

4. Re-work escape from Phantom Zone (20% done)

5. Perry White newspaper FX (5% done)

6. Finish tanker sequence FX (80% done)

7. Remaster Flame thrower scene FX (0% done)

8. Finish end sequence FX (85% done)

9. End credits (0% done)

10. General image polishing, including color correction and minor FX fixes (5% done)

 

Desired fixes:

1. 5.1 Audio Mix (40% done)

2. New sequence of Superman finding missile  (0% done)

3. Re-work Zod's landing on Earth (0% done)

4. Re-work battle around Statue of Liberty (50% done)

5, Matching Zod's voice effects between S2 and DC (0% done)

6. Remove Otis black eye (0% done)

7. Several dialog fixes (0% done)

8. Remove Zod's raised arm (0% done)

9. Replace Phantom Zone and space ship footage (0% done)

 

I'll update these as I work on them.  And if anyone has anything they'd like changed, please feel free to bring it up.

 

Working on: Superman: Son of Jorel

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I love teasers. This sounds promising.

Nothing about fanediting is easy.

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Originally posted by: Ell the Ewok
You mightacctualy want to put Superman some where in the Title or your post.


I went back and forth on whether or not to do that. I decided to leave it as a surprise that would be revealed during the first musical cue in the teaser. Maybe it was the wrong choice... <shrug>

Working on: Superman: Son of Jorel

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It looks interesting. How far along are you? What kind of running time are you looking at, and are you using any footage from the last two Supermans?

Also, keep in mind that the huge set with the Donner cut of Superman II will be released in November, so there might be useful footage off of that...but again, definitely sounds interesting.
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Originally posted by: tweaker
It looks interesting. How far along are you? What kind of running time are you looking at, and are you using any footage from the last two Supermans?

I'm in the planning stages, deciding what can be cut, what new fx need to be created, etc. I've done some editing of Sup1 just as a test to be sure I can do what I'm planning and have it be seamless. I'm planning on the final cut being under 3 hours, preferably 2 1/2, but in the end whatever length produces the best film is what I'm going with. At the moment I'm planning on using two clips from Sup3 and few from Sup4, and some audio from Sup2 RIC.

Also, keep in mind that the huge set with the Donner cut of Superman II will be released in November, so there might be useful footage off of that...but again, definitely sounds interesting.


Yeah, I'm planning on releasing this before that huge 14 disc set. But I am looking forward to seeing the Donner cut, and may be tempted to integrate some of it into a second version of SoJ.

-T

Working on: Superman: Son of Jorel

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Your teaser gave me goosebumps !! PLEASE keep me posted on when this is nearing completion !! I am VERY interested in checking this out .

I hope the only thing your taking from S3 is the Red Kryptonite battle between Supes and Clark Kent . That is the only reason I own S3 .

Thanks !!
The Diamond State Drive in theater located in Felton Delaware just 8 miles south of Dover. Vist our website at www.dsdit.com Delawares only Drive in .
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this sounds cool, what exactly are you trying to do with it though? Just combine the movies or re-edit them?
I'm always looking to trade my edits, if you don't want to get them from a torrent. PM or e-mail!
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Originally posted by: dork74
Your teaser gave me goosebumps !! PLEASE keep me posted on when this is nearing completion !! I am VERY interested in checking this out .

Thanks!

I hope the only thing your taking from S3 is the Red Kryptonite battle between Supes and Clark Kent . That is the only reason I own S3 .


Actually, I'm not planning on taking full or even partial scenes from either 3 or 4. I'm only taking clips, mostly action, that I'm going to use to restructure scenes from 1 and 2. Sorry to be vague, but I want to keep some things a surprise!

-T

Working on: Superman: Son of Jorel

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Originally posted by: Spence101287
this sounds cool, what exactly are you trying to do with it though? Just combine the movies or re-edit them?


I'm combining them into one movie, and also re-editing them to remove a lot of the humor and camp, unrealistic fx (by today's standards), continuity errors (such as Jor-El saying "I've been dead for many thousands of your years," and yet on baby Kalel's ride to earth he's taught about "Einstein's theory of relativity"), and any other stuff that didn't bother me as a kid, but make me cringe now. Most of the stuff cut is from Sup2, but there is turning out to be a good amount from Sup1. I don't think 5 minutes goes by in either movie that doesn't have an edit. Some edits are small and will probably go unnoticed by most, and some are HUGE.

-T

Working on: Superman: Son of Jorel

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The trailer is awesome, you've really been working on this one huh!!

What has ‘theology’ ever said that is of the smallest use to anybody? When has ‘theology’ ever said anything that is demonstrably true and is not obvious? What makes you think that ‘theology’ is a subject at all? - Richard Dawkins

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Originally posted by: Rikter
The trailer is awesome, you've really been working on this one huh!!


Thanks bro! It's now my only hobby, but with my real work and a 3 year old, there isn't much time for a hobby, as you know... But I'm having fun!

-T

Working on: Superman: Son of Jorel

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Are you planning to adjust the tint of the film at all? I did notice the colors were very bright aand comic-booky.
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Originally posted by: BSherrod
Are you planning to adjust the tint of the film at all? I did notice the colors were very bright aand comic-booky.


I haven't decided yet. Right now I'm editing in Womble, so most of my output won't have to be re-encoded, and will therefore be the same quality as the original discs. If I darken it (which I am considering), or de-saturated it (which I think you're suggesting), the whole film will have to be re-encoded.

I'll decide when I'm done with everything else.

BTW, last night I finished the rough edit. So far I've removed 92 minutes from both films, and if you ignore the sound it flows fairly seamlessly. There are only a couple places where the cuts are clunky, and I'm working on smoothing those over. Then it's to work on the sound and visual effects.

-T

Working on: Superman: Son of Jorel

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Is there anyway we can look at the rough cut? I'm really excited about this one man.
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I'm also really looking forward to this. I think cutting a lot of the goofy humor would really change the tone of the movies completely, and I'm curious to see what exactly is the result.
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what kind of new special effects are you putting in? What quality would you say they are?
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Don't change the colors! I love the comic book colors! I'm really excited about this edit, I had been hoping somebody would do something like this!
I'm always looking to trade my edits, if you don't want to get them from a torrent. PM or e-mail!
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Originally posted by: BSherrod
Is there anyway we can look at the rough cut?

Probably not, unless you're in San Diego. I don't want to send out a dvd, or post it online. I'd rather have most people's first viewing of it be all shiny and perfect. Right now its got too many scars and it studders.

Originally posted by: tweeker
I think cutting a lot of the goofy humor would really change the tone of the movies completely

It does! Hopefully when I'm done, it'll be somewhat subtle. One of my goals is that someone who hasn't seen the movies since they were a kid won't notice that much is missing, and it'll just feel like an action film for grown-ups.

Originally posted by: BSherrod
what kind of new special effects are you putting in? What quality would you say they are


They're mostly recreations or fixes of the sfx that are already there. I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to have time to do, but mark my words, I will not include a new visual effect if it is not at least as good as the effects in the original film. If I'm not able to improve it, I will just leave it as it was.

Originally posted by: Spence101287
Don't change the colors! I love the comic book colors!


Edit it yourself then, Spence! Just kidding. Your objections are noted.

I've taken a week off from it, and I'm going to dive back in tomorrow. I'm pretty sure it'll be under 3 hours by Sunday. My next focus is on the Sup/Lois flying scene...
-T


Working on: Superman: Son of Jorel

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Hey, was just rewatching first Superman (for the first time in probably ten years or so), and there were a few things I noticed that kinda bothered me, that I hope you can remedy...if you haven't already dealt with them?

1) There's an inconsistency in how long it takes Superman to travel from Krypton to Earth. Jar-El says that he's been dead for thousands of years. But then Lex quotes the newspaper article that Lois Lane writes, saying that Superman says Krypton exploded in 1948, and that it took him 3 years to reach earth.

2) When the spaceship is traveling, and we hear little bits and pieces of Jar-El's lecturing, at one point he mentions Chinese writings...which wouldn't have existed at the time of Jar-El's death, if he died thousands of years ago.

3) When Superman is a boy and is running alongside the train, the running effect looks painfully hokey. Could this be cut?

4) The flying scene with Lois, where they fly by the WTC and the Statue of Liberty, then up through the clouds, is really, really long, and the whole "can you read my mind" monologue comes off as being...goofy. Could this be cut down to something more reasonable? Basically cut down the sight-seeing a bit, then where she falls, cut past a lot of "read my mind" bit, show a bit more flying, then go to him taking her back.

And just a crazy ass thought I had (and I know you won't touch this with a 20 foot pole, but just a brainfart I had):
I really, really hate the look of the dude they have playing Superman as a high school kid. It just feels weird, for whatever reason. He has no charisma whatsoever. Maybe it was the bit with him running alongside the train, but it just rubbed me the wrong way. The thing that occured to me is--this kid dresses exactly the same way as Tom Welling does in the Smallville series--flannel shirts, jeans, etc. He even wears his hair in a way that wouldn't be totally anachronistic to the time in which the movie takes place--if Clark arrived in Smallville at the age of about two in 1951, he would be in high school from about 1963 to 1967, so the long hair is appropriate.

So, to cut this short, do you at all like the idea of using Smallville footage, with Clark finding the spaceship, and going up north and throwing the crystal to create the Fortress of Solitude? I know this is outright heresy, but hell, I think Tom Welling looks more like Christopher Reeve than the actor playing him during the high school years in the movie.

Just curious what your thoughts were, but I'm sure you've already cut the hell out of the beginning, as it's so damn long. One thing I found interesting about the new movie--they really picked up on a TON of little details from the original movie, and the actors nailed the mannerisms of the original actors.

Something I happened to spot in the first movie--
Right after the missiles launch, and the order to abort is given, the guy pushing the button is played by an actor that goes on to play a certain alcoholic mailman on TV...
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Originally posted by: tweaker
Hey, was just rewatching first Superman (for the first time in probably ten years or so), and there were a few things I noticed that kinda bothered me, that I hope you can remedy...if you haven't already dealt with them?

I don't want to get into the specifics, because I want to leave as much of what I'm doing as a surprise. But I agree with all of your numbered points, and have already taken care of them. Cutting in scenes from Smallville is an interesting idea. Definitely something I haven't thought of. However, I like the young Clark. Sure, he doesn't have a lot of charisma, but he is a high school kid without much confidence. All that changes when he matures into Superman.

Just curious what your thoughts were, but I'm sure you've already cut the hell out of the beginning, as it's so damn long.


I have cut up the beginning in a few very specific parts. But I like its deliberate pace and I like the serious mood it sets. If I was only worried about time, that would be the obvious place to cut. But I was able to take an hour and half out and leave most of the introduction untouched.

Something I happened to spot in the first movie--
Right after the missiles launch, and the order to abort is given, the guy pushing the button is played by an actor that goes on to play a certain alcoholic mailman on TV...


Did you know he was in Sup2 also? He plays a controller at NASA. *SNIP*

-T

Working on: Superman: Son of Jorel

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Smallville footage would be great, I know almost all of the season are on dvd so there wouldn't be a quality issue and I think some of that stuff would work great.
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You could replace the running scene with some footage from the smallville pilot where he is running through the fields.
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The only problem with using Smallville footage is that the change from 70s to 00s (seriously, what is this decade?) might be a tad bit jarring. But we'll see how it looks. Looking forward to this!

Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here, this is the war room!

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Wait a sec. Just to be clear, there's not going to be any Smallville TV show footage used in this edit. I thought the idea was interesting, but I like all the "Smallville" scenes that are already in the movie, so except for a few edits, they're going to remain the way they are.

If somebody more familiar with the TV show wants to edit footage into the movie, or even re-edit my edit, then I'm all for it.

Actually I think a better idea would be to edit it into a proper intro for Superman Returns...

-T

Working on: Superman: Son of Jorel