Alright, just finished my viewing and here are my thoughts:
Overall, it’s a promising edit. Most of what was cut out was not missed and what was left in kept the storylines held together rather well. But I have a few suggestions.
Thank you for such detailed feedback! This is exactly what I’m looking for. I’m always iterative in my creative output and I wanna keep iterating, iterating and iterating on this until we’ve got the best version of this edit possible.
First being that maybe the orphan Nicky subplot could be cut out entirely? Since it doesn’t amount to anything in the end, even in the original version, it might be best to leave it out. I realize this means cutting Andy, Lucy and Dick down practically to cameo appearances only, but if their plot doesn’t really contribute to anything at all and doesn’t feature the most of the comic-relief shenanigans that Andy and Dick get into, then it might be best to axe it entirely.
From what I can remember, that plotline is pretty much entirely cut? The only remnants currently are Nicky’s case worker mentioning his parents passed in mysterious circumstances to Lucy, Dick and Andy before Andy gets called away to the Great Northern, and the Doc briefly calling Nick, Andy and Lucy into a room (we don’t see the scene wrapping up the whole subplot). Both of those scenes I only kept in because there would be rough audio transitions otherwise. Other than that, the entire subplot is gone. Unless there’s something else I missed?
In terms of Ben’s subplot, I would suggest reintroducing the scene featuring Dr. Jacobi’s explanation of Ben’s condition of “trying to change his own circumstances by changing the outcome of the Civil War” so we have a better understanding of why he’s acting the way he is in his scenes.
Thanks for pointing this out. Missing details like that is exactly why I’m asking for feedback. I’m just concerned about runtime - the edit is already over 2 and a half hours long which is pushing it for a typical film length IMO. I thought the audience could simply assume he’s acting up because of what he’s been through, but I guess this explanation is somewhat necessary to understand his behaviour. I’ll consider adding that back in.
For James, it may be best to reinsert one or two scenes in between James fleeing the police and returning to confront Evelyn. I think it may be necessary to bring back the scene Eveline talking to the police (if just for consistencies’ sake, given the closeups of Evelyn wearing the mourning veil in the confrontation scenes) and maybe the scene where Donna confronts Evelyn and Malcolm at the bar. As it stands now, it just feels like there’s a bit too much missing for the truncation of this plot to come off as completely seamless.
I felt your point here even on my own edit viewings before announcing it. The thing is, the whole thing still sucks and I’m trying to minimise it’s screentime lol. I’ll think about how I could do so without letting it stink up the narrative for too long.
Some other things I’d like to address/suggest would be the credits that wound up included at various points in the edit. During Briggs’ questioning at the Sheriff’s station, the credits, I would imagine, could be removed with a simple cropping of the shots in which they are featured. The framing may come off as oddly close, but in my opinion, it would be less distracting than credits randomly appearing here.
I actually spent a lot of time trying to digitally remove the credits using the After Effects AI fill tool to always immediately noticeable results when I could’ve just cropped the frame… Why didn’t I think of this before haha. I’ll take a look at cropping now to fix that issue.
As for the scene of the examination of Windom’s victim, unfortunately cropping is not an option here as the credits are center-focused in the shots. However, and you may disagree, but I feel as though this particular scene could be cut entirely, as most if not all of the important information relayed here is found in other scenes featured later in this edit.
I’m all for trimming down redundant scenes. Now that you mention it, the examination findings - that Windham was the killer - is repeated when packing up his body, so I’ll cut this scene now. It improves the pacing and sense of urgency with the Leo/Shelley attack afterwards too.
Also, some minor editing suggestions would be to extend the thunderclouds shot after Major Briggs’ reappearance by perhaps slowing down the footage. You won’t be able to get much more out of it, but it would be something. And I would also suggest that the commercial-break cut during the hostage situation at Dead Dog Farm could be edited to a more traditional kind of transition? As in, edit it to pretend there was no commercial break there at all and make it a time-passing transition, going from Sheriff Truman aiming his shotgun to the shot of the moon, maybe using a little audio layering and crossfades. I suggest this only because there was a fade-to-black/fade-in transition in the previous scene just before going from Nadine and Ed to Dead Dog Farm.
Good ideas. Will look at both.
And finally, some lingering frames! For ease of editing, here are the frames you missed that I found during my viewing of the workprint:
Gah, I thought I fixed these. This appeared in my previous versions of the edit and I thought V3 fixed them for good. For some reason in Adobe Premiere, I don’t see these flash frames in my timeline. They only appear on rendering out. I scrubbed each cut via rendering out each cut to ensure no flash frames were there, but it seems like I still missed some. I’ll fix these now.
EDIT: One last thing! I’d really like to look at a cutlist if you have one to see if there was anything that you cut that maybe I’d wanna suggest adding back in. And thanks for the work you put in here!
I’ll DM ya about this.
Anyone else want a copy of the workprint, let me know!