Thanks for the up-scale offer Masquerade Overture, but there’s more wrong with the deleted scenes than the image quality - which you very aptly characterized. Freddie Jones might have been engrossing and brilliant in his death scene, but the on-set direction was awful. Bloody shame really.
That’s correct. There are no “deleted scenes” in the edit. The only extra scenes are either from the Extended version or are new.
I forgot entirely that I hadn’t in fact made a post about this edit already. I assumed I had, it’s been so long in the making.
Edit is now finished and released…
This is an expanded Theatrical Cut with updated FX and re-cut sequences. This is to give it a little elbow room by extending or adding a few extra scenes and to render epic circumstances a little more visually epic where I can. It is not an attempt to adhere more closely to the book’s narrative by any means. The book’s fine. The film’s fine. They can be different. It’s allowed.
This edit uses some portions of Mr Smithee’s version, as the additional scenes have been upscaled quite well in it’s particular special edition German release. Well enough to prompt this edit in fact. I have also used a few techniques to further tighten the softened detail in these shots before adding them to the edit (Thanks to TM2YC for pinpointing the version I needed). These clips have been trimmed down a little on occasion, with focus also on the sound design that had some poor choices, so they needed updating to suit the theatrical. It’s all editing fit and finish essentially. The deleted scenes we are all familiar with do not make it into this edit. I believe the quality of the Extended footage used here will not entirely destroy the suspension of disbelief, but those deleted shots really do. They’re not even up to badly encoded VCD quality, so they were never in the running. Plus many of them were crap scenes anyway. Thufir Hawats end scene, for example, was a truly excellent and compelling moment from Freddie Jones, but not so much from Kyle or the overall scene direction. To include it also broke the final act up too much and shifted too far into the sentimental at that stage, considering this is Muad’Dib’s epic moment of eclipsing, then surpassing the dominance of The Guild.
All scene changes and the majority of individual cuts, carried heavy splicing that required clean up or image rebuilding for the frames immediately after, and sometimes before the splice. The splices show in the bottom then top of each frame as they pass through the film gate. In fact they often jump a little in the gate, creating an orientation distortion of the whole image for a frame or two. So I had to resample whatever image data I needed from surrounding frames but also retain the unique details of each frame in question. Many needed bespoke masking shapes and re-scaled pixel nudging etc. There are prints with cleaner splices/frames on other Blurays, but from my research, no picture seemed as sharp and well detailed as this edition - Which is also not smeared with noise reduction artifacting either. Some of the worst dirt instances I have cleaned when I spotted it during the splice clean up, but the many small iterations did not get any treatment, or else this would never have been completed. Plus the fact that fixing clouds of small scale dirt usually destroys far too much granular detail and draws attention any way, depending on your software/expertise etc.
The sound has been tinkered with a lot, mostly by using the the expanded soundtrack score. I made a surround mix and dipped into it when I needed to fix or embellish a scene. An objective review of all formats can tell you one thing about DUNE, it’s audio quality is a bit crap compared to today’s standard. The art and craft in it’s audio creation is spellbinding, but it was seemingly never archived particularly well, and aside from a collection of now refurbished, incomplete consumer sound tracks that don’t always reflect or often even appear in the film, there is no available audio that didn’t come from a circulation print to my knowledge – And no temperature controlled archives are waiting to release a painstakingly re-assembled surround mix from reel to reel master tapes that I’ve heard of. Of course, the centre channel does have some lovely quality in the dialogue and foley etc for the most part, and the left and right front channels are pretty good generally. I’ve never handled a DUNE 35mm print and I don’t know if it had a 70mm edition or if it played in the handful of cinemas at the time that could play back surround channel sound or in which formats etc. But the crumbling rear tracks sound as though they were taken from well used magnetic strips that have left it’s best on projector playback heads across the world etc. But I digress. I’ve done what I can with it from what was available to me.
The grading has been changed to rid it of the ruddy skin tones and steely blue hues. It is far more akin to the very dark edition that many have commented on in the Bluray forums, but of course this edit has shadow detail and a more rounded palette. The grimy dusty greens of the still suits are retained etc, but the reds feature well enough and the skin tones don’t venture too far into the yellow. For example, The Lady Jessica, The Shadout Mapes or the Baron’s complexions could not each dictate how skin tones are regraded in general, but a compromise is always sought. Overall it looks more like a 35mm print than a typical noise reduced Bluray, so the remaining dirt and fluctuations are in keeping - I did a lot of dirt clean up for specific sequences, but to do the whole feature was never a plan. This print was nearly discarded for it’s dirt, but ultimately was embraced for it’s detail.
I did do a pass through the project at the end to rectify some of the dialogue sync issues. Sometimes these would clash with diegetic or foley sounds and so they were either shifted too, or took second place to dialogue placement if it wasn’t a glaring issue.
I also replaced the ball of cheese moon with something a little more spherical and opaque. Various scenes – no need to list each one below. I’m sure some Lynch fans would prefer I kept the plasticine moon, as it carries his vibe, but it’s composite translucence was a common enough complaint.
Added a longer zooming sound for Irulan’s intro starting in the rear speakers. Also a subtle lick of sitars, surround score mix and Regraded desert footage to lighter, less contrasting tones.
The secret report from the guild graphic was very dirty. The other prints/blurays have a cleaner version of the Kaitain graphic zoom that has suffered from some form of format conversion distortion and the grid lines are visual unstable as they scale up. So couldn’t use any of that. I used the dirty Bluray I started with, that at least carries far more detail in the first place. Frame by frame clean up of the worst offending dirt and the animated portion has been roto-scoped and recomposited in order to stop background/foreground sources wobbling quite so much.
Slightly improved the flicker/desaturation issue for Kaitain landing shot, but without flooding the shot with an obvious tint there’s little flicker software can do with a regulated causal frequency to disperse.
Added surround score mix and clearer sea wave audio to Caladan intro to smooth out the ragged surround audio. Also altered the narration introducing Paul so as to better place the words around the score and to simply introduce Jessica’s “son” without naming him. Made good use of the hovering light unit audio in the left front speaker before the pan to Paul.
Re-composited or reframed all squashed shots on the Caladan ‘Ipad’.
Gurney’s face articulates far too much before saying “Soon we leave…”, So I rotoscoped and tweaked his presence in those few frames leading up to the dialogue and used distortion filters to get his profile to animate less and flow more smoothly into the next shot. It’s not seamless, but it’s far less distracting than before.
Re-cut the training fighter footage and audio to incorporate Extended version shots and dialogue.
Added surround score for the introduction to Leto.
Removed “super being” reference from Gaius Helen Mohiam chastising Jessica in Paul’s room/And from Paul’s echoed thoughts. Added a little re-purposed score.
Added what I could gather and conjure for the surround track mix for ‘The Box’ scene. Removed Jessica’s thoughts of relief when she sees Paul is alive.
Re-composited the elements in the second establishing shot on Geidi Prime (billowing face chimney & approaching cable car) to stabilise and clean it up. Darkened and desaturated Piter’s establishing composite shot and added mesh to his side windows where it had all but been erased by the composite process. Also masked/re-composited & reanimated the wide shot of the cable car entering the building to clean up the gate weave and excessive dirt. Also cleaned up the side shot of his view to the left that used to be paused for a few frames at the cut.
Re-composited parts of the Guild heighliner shot above Caladan to smooth out the optical composite disparities and frame weaving over the first few frames and to remove a couple of Atreides ships to better match the following shot of their approach to the loading aperture. Originally the animators chose to illustrate the ships entering at a different position to that shown in the following shot.
Indeed the following shot needed quite some work too. Dirt dancing all over it, flat contrast and flickering between red and blue hues in an odd non-regimented frequency that simply couldn’t be tweaked with plugins. So I channel tweaked the fluctuations as best I could and cleaned most of the bad dirt without hindering too much detail ect. Now with some contrast, the golden gateway has a lustre to match the shot that this one fades into. Still a little noisy/patchy overall, but better.
The whole folding space sequence, including the arrival at Arrakis, also includes the surround score mix.
The internal shots of the “control rooms of spice gas” are now tinted orange/red and overlaid with footage of bellowing particles/dust/gas including the shots of the navigator whose eyes are also now rendered in subtle blue.
The appearance of the heighliner at Arrakis uses a replacement image of the heighliner. Here there is much more of the original score used in order to add extra desert footage from the ‘Koyanisquatsi’ and ‘Samsara’ art documentaries - the music and desert compliment each other so well I always felt this establishing sequence was far too brief and the shots far too ropey. This incorporates selected narration from the Extended version, culminating in the scenes we are familiar with as we are introduced to the Fremen reverend mother.
Added Duncan Idaho delivering a Fremen message to Leto from the Extended version.
Did a little wire removal for the hunter seeker scene
Added the longer briefing scene after the attack on Paul from the Extended version and placed it before the Inspection trip to the spice harvester. Though here I edit the discussion between Leto and Thufir Hawat to take out just a little of the excessive acting by Prochnow. There are no thoughts by Leto for the audience in this scene. I’ve subtracted the music except for the very end, where it is incorporated from the soundtrack more boldly in order to segue into the 'thoper hangar scene. Also reintroduced some acoustic hums and echoes consistent with the location.
Re-composited the Ornithopter taking off to improve lighting and texture of the craft. Also trimmed some of the green optical artifacting around the rotoscoped 'thopter as it emerged through the house shield.
The first half of the flight out to the spice harvester has been heavily updated. This includes lots of masking and colour alteration to present lighting changes to better tie the cockpit to it’s exterior, the masks create the effect of light and shadow passing across the actors faces signifying movement in orientation, and additional shots are created by compositing interior cockpit windows against new desert vistas from BBC nature documentary footage. There are re-used sound effects, surround score mixing and regrading to bring the sequence up to spec a little. The positioning of the craft and it’s flight path now better illustrates the journey up and over the shield wall - Using a shot that was misrepresented in the theatrical cut that features the crafts’ top and bottom respectively as it passes the camera but as though it were oriented incorrectly in horizontal flight. This is now used aptly to show lift with the addition of a photoshopped matte ‘painting’ of a cliff face animated through the alpha masked windows of the interior cockpit to reveal a plateau at the top of it’s climb. A similar creation is used as they drop into the open desert - replacing the poorly scaled close-up shot of loose sand and sculpted foam-rock that was previously used.
Dr Yueh now only says “My Message…”
The second half of the spice harvest flight is graded similarly to the first half to match the surroundings - casting a dark brown to the previous red tones of the cushioned wall interior and more masking to emulate directional light. The lighting is left a little flatter and brighter as they climb above the thunder of the worm, as their orientation does not change while they watch and the air is cleaner/clearer etc.
The baliset scene from the Extended version is included, and Dr Kines eyes are recoloured blue.
Leto’s thoughts don’t mention the shields after Yueh tranquillises him. The “house shields de-activating” announcement is now timed a little differently as Yueh approaches, so Leto just thinks out loud that “we are wide open”
Thufir’s thought-out-loud over “the weirding modules” does not now include “destroyed”
The Betrayal/Harkonnen attack sequence includes scenes from the Extended version, with repurposed score, audio effects and a little trimming and editing to smooth various parts out and tighten it up a bit.
On the shuttle craft Jessica only says “He’s trying the voice” the rest about the reverend mother’s comments is removed.
When Paul takes control of the craft, I have used extensive masking to knock back the overpowering warm/yellow lighting to a far more neutral colour to keep the control console looking dull and dirty rather than like a yellow submarine. Also the view of the cockpit and the desert from behind Paul, through the front port, now has a much more realistic grading with colours between the composite parts balanced.
The composite shots of the shuttle from behind is now made up from multiple layers seen through various filter settings in order to create a bolder photographic contrast and create more physicality for the craft as it breaks it’s fin squeezing through the rock peaks.
As Paul tells Jessica about his waking dream I take out the specific comments regarding the Emperor and Baron. Also included here is the appropriate portion of the surround score mix to fix the crumbly rear channels.
Introduced bolder lightning in a few shots with a hue to match the colour of the lit surroundings, but left the worm-sign as it is.
Removed the blue screen composite of the stand-ins for Paul and Jessica as they turn to look back to the worm.
Greatly increased contrast and composite colour balance during the cliff crevice worm attack.
Removed some shots of Paul’s fall during the worm’s attack. Cut down the first shot where Jessica starts to shout “Paul” which now is made audible and cuts to her close-up to finish it off, so no more double take. Removed the latter portion of the toppling rock with the obvious chute/slide carved into the reverse, removed the rock painted cushioned landing for the stunt man halfway through the fall, and shortened and improved the speed and colours of Paul against the vertical rear projection as though free-falling. Overall the pace of the fall is less farcical.
The fight with Jamis is included, as is his funeral, The portions of the surround score is used for each respectively and featured again more prominently following these scenes as they stand and view the water cache. Fremen eyes were coloured blue for these added sequences.
The scene where Paul is informed of Liet’s death as Chani passes by is included. The surround score for the next scene comes in much earlier here to augment the audio.
For Jessica’s water of life ritual, there is no thought dialogue from Paul or Leto. It is slightly shorter to achieve this and the slightly different version of the same score is used here from the suite surround mix.
The scenes where Paul shows the Fremen his weirding techniques were damaged in this print. There was a heavy red colour cast to the right of the image for about the length of a film reel, maybe less. Like the splices mentioned earlier, there are prints that don’t have this issue, but I was committed to the consistently higher quality scan from this print. So I had to mask off and recolour these scenes. Which is fun on panning shots.
For the riding of Shai Hulud I included the Extended scene and also introduced a lot of overlaid wind/dust/sandstorm imagery. The palette here also is greatly changed from the original. Gone is the dark orange cartoonish desert – this is more realistic and consistent now. The sky is masked off with a filter layer and now acts/looks like it is the source of diffused light rather than a dirty heavy handed watercolour pigment. It now takes much more of a dusty western look which is almost monotone – this aids the poorly ageing blue screen composites to some degree when they all get onto the worm and rotoscoped hastily. The soundtrack/score is also repurposed and lengthened to create some continuity with the added footage. The dialogue recording for the extended portion sounds poor still with the wind howling metallic through the equipment/tubing they were clutching, but I tarted it up as best I could.
To round off the Shai Hulud Sand riding scenes I painstakingly patched up and cleaned up the gaping worm mouth when Paul pulls up on the reigns. This does not look perfectly smooth and seamless by any means, but is a massive improvement over the scrappy footage I started out with. I’d kick myself if there is a version out there that didn’t need the work doing to it, but I’d be surprised.
The lighter/brighter masked off grading I used for the open desert scenes continue here, but with a little less of a diffused sandstorm vibe when openly fighting the Harkonnens. In a scene where a composite is used for a group of Sardokar running from a burning harvester, I use a large puff of overlayed sand timed with an explosion to mask the lighting division between the foreground rotoscoped composite element and the background footage. Also colour corrected the shot.
The milking of the newborn worm scene is included, but cut a little shorter without the intro. Fremen eyes are coloured blue.
There is some slightly more consistent grading for Paul’s water of life ritual, but most of the changes are audio, where I added the surround mix and remixed portions of the center channel – Notably taking out the Atreides fanfare and inserting more subtle aubible FX. Also rebuilt the two rising moons shot from the film’s trailer in HD and inserted it into Paul’s water of life ritual.
There was more red tint to mask off and recolour for the long live the fighters speech.
Regraded the Harkonnen ship approaching the Palace to balance the composite shot colours.
Repurposed a shot of the shield wall into a partial pan to cue Paul, Gurney and Stilgar trotting down the steps to the control room. I’ve also re-purposed and extended the steadily building score to lead up to this point.
The extra footage of the Emperor talking to the Baron about the defeat of his Sardukar is included. This is re-edited to get it to flow in addition to the theatrical footage and the Baron’s reaction shots.
All of the composite shots of the Fremen on Worms approaching the Emperor’s ship have been heavily regraded to match the lighting and surrounding shots. This often features sandstorms/rifts of cloud & dust etc overlaid on certain shots that helps combine foreground and background colour mismatches. I masked off certain areas and pulled the blues back out of the eyes that the gading greatly thinned out.
The Baron’s exit through the wall composite shot was never cropped properly, but is now.
As the Baron Harkonnen is floating towards the worms mouth, I repaired the score that is interrupted with one of the Atreides fanfares to focus on Paul witnessing the Barons death. This was always jarring to me, but now plays out a little more smoothly.
The Paul/Feyd fight is a sound design mess. There is an awfully truncated/occasional drum presence that was obviously all but abandoned after the drummers’ appearance shot is done with. Also there is a low repetition of notes/tones accompanied by a hiss left over from an attempt at a percussive score or something – doesn’t seem to match the unused Toto score either. It’s interesting how I never picked up on it all until I inspected it closely, and evidently this was all getting chopped and changed at the time with leftovers and quick fixes muddled together on the final release. I stripped out as much bullshit as possible from the 3 front channels – leaving what dialogue and foley was strictly necessary. Rebuilt the drummers’ track as though it were diegetic and featured it prominently in the surround mix after the drummers’ close-up - to then last the whole fight. I then repaired the dialogue reverb from my centre/left/right channel butchery, added the room tones and the crowds outside now chant “Muad’Dib” slowly, and is heard somewhat gently inside getting louder and quieter as the shots require.
After Paul Kills Feyd, the rest of the ending has been completely re-edited and re-scored using ‘Final Dream’ from the expanded soundtrack surround mix and has new sound FX added for wind, rain and thunder. There is a new lightning FX shot in place of the old spindly worm sign effort that touches the top of the palace.
After all that I went back and overlayed footage from the brighter/washed out version - Reputedly from the original French film scan many discs came from in Europe. So this embellishment runs most of the full length of the edit to utilize a little of the luminance from it’s fuller highlight gamut. It’s colours in general are far too vibrant and there is barely any recognisable film grain, but the depth of spacial differentiation in the scan is very good indeed – That is to say that any areas not strictly in focus are not full of sharpened grain to the point you can’t tell what the intended depth of field was supposed to be. It’s sometimes far more glassy to have less grain and fuller tonal ranges, and then it’s satisfying to see the dry grainy detail in other shots. With this overlay I attempted to get the best of both worlds for most shots.
The most notable remaining edit for those interested in context is the removal of Alia’s rather on the nose announcement – It makes the whole event far less irritating.
And yes, as I might have already said - This is some biblical messiah rain bullshit and it’s always played rather well as far I’m concerned, considering the Bene Geserit propaganda element - So really it’s just thousands of Fremen water storage caches entering the ecosystem 😉
I started talking about this edit in my original post as though it would be a theatrical cut with elbow room, and I might have moved a little beyond that, but it’s not too bloated. Also I might have missed a few things in this write up as this project took a “loooong time – a long time…” and it might be a mess of tense as it was added to in fits and starts.
Admittedly, after seeing the final output for this edit, I’m hoping there will be a remastered compilation of sorts from the original sources. The quality of this edit, despite my best efforts just could not compare to such. But this is a pretty watchable touch up.
Thanks for coming.
This is now finally rendered and available.
It’s mostly done - The updated Bluray footage is in now, but due to my prioritising other editing projects it is currently on the back burner, waiting for encoding - but certainly not forgotten…
Whilst I don’t think it is necessary to the film overall and I kind of prefer the flow without his flip-flop over drug use vs his journey’s haste, I do like Christie’s devilish and seductive delivery of her dialogue. In calling this a special edition I feel obliged to include it.
The Molecule of Speed
SPOILERS as always.
This is another back burner project that just happened when I had bored down time. Something to do, but something I felt was meaningful enough to do it for release.
It’s a re-framing/cropping project with an alternate ending, new artwork and some technical detail recovery work to minimize the over zealous sharpening from what had to be a lesser resolution intermediate master used for the 2009 & 2014 Blurays. It just looks so flat, by manipulating the positive and negative space using my partial transparency outline filter method, it just tweaks the relationship between the halo’d contrast of over sharpened low-res images, and creates the illusion of depth. There is some small loss of bold edge detail, including the grain in some areas and some gains in suggestive detail in other areas like overall depth and granular happenstance when the grain resolves into less space than it did previously…
…Heheheh FFS. I started this project last year and worked it on and off along with the Dune edit that now needs to be rebuilt with new footage. Now as I started to write this thread I look for an interview with Richard Sarafian, and in the process, learn that there was a remastered Bluray of the US. Theatrical released in June of this year. Heheheh…That’ll teach me for getting a new job in the summer and paying no attention for a while.
Oh well. I’ll get the new Bluray at some point and come back to this, againmuch like what I need to do with Dune…Needless to say a lot of restoration work has now been rendered unnecessary. But the alternate ending is something I’m still keen about. It’s not a large departure by any means, but the original ending featured a lot of footage of the aftermath of the film’s climax, showing far too much, as though you were watching a documentary of the making of the film before the credits are even over. So I’ve made a new credit sequence in an attempt to keep the viewers suspension of disbelief in place. It features aerial shots of winding desert roads where you could imagine a spectral Challenger RT continuing it’s journey unseen. The climax itself is also slightly altered to echo Richard Sarafian’s original notion that the main character experiences a transition to a higher plane of existence in the split second it takes to meet his fate - forced by will alone. The will for freedom and the sheer belief he could see enough light between the bulldozers blocking his path to escape into. The edits are a re-arrangement of frames and frame rates and it utilizes some colour wheel separations, overlapped zooms and audio editing for the whole thing to just hang on the moment a little longer, for the “molecule of speed” to reveal itself to the viewer and seemingly usher our protagonist through and beyond. You see an extended shot of Kowalski’s face looking into the middle distance as a transparency over, what the viewer then realizes with an audible bump back to the original footage in real time, is the culmination of a massive car wreck. We then follow the film as is towards the new credits, showing the policemen with regret and the gathering crowd, but we pull up short of the stunt mannequin head and shoulders being tossed around as the car is inspected.
As for the cropping. This film was obviously not shot with a large budget and so was a flat feature. But it’s basically a western in premise and 2.35:1 just suits the subject matter in my mind, if the grain doesn’t betray it too badly. Generally I think they shot with enough space around the focal points on medium shots to make it work when you lose upper and lower frame information without feeling it’s loss. Close-ups are often dynamic enough that you can slide the frame up and down smoothly enough to use it to good effect. In all honesty I can watch the original aspect ratio now and hanker for the tighter crop to give it the elbow room it deserves - Which sounds back to front I know, but such is the proportionate relativity of 2.35:1.
So yeah, to be continued. Cheers 😃
Thanks Dazman, Very glad you enjoyed it. I think of the 3rd film largely as the drama portion of the trilogy that began with horror/chiller followed by action/thriller etc. So I indulge the running time more than some might I reckon.
Cheers for your post Imp 😃
Czech subtitles for Third Cut:
(I used original subpack from SE Assembly & Theatrical Cut)
Good on you majo’ nicely done.
any progress on this? I’m anxiously waiting to see the fruits of your labor!
Have messaged you.
This is now finished. Email me for info.
I think this is an amazing idea and I’m really looking forward to it.
I wanted to introduce a friend of mine to this series, but I think I’ll wait until this is ready as it will be the best way to experience the story.
How is progress going so far? And where do you plan on making it available?
Cool, glad there’s some interest for it.
It’s pretty much done, but is on the back burner for now. I have other fanedits going on and there’s a few changes that I might make after getting some feedback from one or two test views - make sure there’s no obvious glitches etc. Plus I have to update the sync with the English subs and then find some space for it as it’s a fairly big sucker. So maybe one more render cycle to go.
BLADE RUNNER 2049 1.1 - Project Notes
Got around to finishing this off lately. Still reviewing the grading at the moment as I’m getting banding in the very light and very dark gradients relating to the teal shades I’ve tried to minimize - But that might be monitor/player setup as it is far less acute on one of the TVs I tested. It looks good on my main editing panel but I like to see how it travels. Plus there’s one or two cuts I’m still uncertain over.
There is a little tightening of some scenes, trimming of obvious and redundant dialogue here and there (keeping “pregnant”, removing “she was a replicant” etc) , removal of the Wallace Corporation Earth Headquarters on screen title etc. But most fundamentally I have removed the crappy hooker character Mariette. This was done to allow K the psychological and intellectual space to make sense of and accept the unfolding story along with the viewer as though he were, I dunno, the protagonist or something (sarcasm). Removing her also lends him the implicit intelligence to not need or be tempted by little more than an awkward nerd f**k that is simply not necessary to the plot. He has his waifu and he eventually realizes Joi’s emotional worth in spite of any kind of proxy consummation. If the physicality of sex meant the slightest thing to him, he wouldn’t invest in the clearly pseudo companionship and theoretical precious nuances of Joi to start with - hookers are not hard to come by in any format - And for a replicant who very obviously is happy to accept his place in the world thus far, hookers are a crass and cheapening option that he actively passes up. The filmmakers’ alternate take on the sex bot is so obvious, that it was surely only put in the film for the sexless sci-fi fanboy to “relate to”. For K to go without such basic pursuits raises his character’s intellect and sincerity in the eyes of the viewer. Or for me anyway, considering the inevitable comparison to humans who would where he would not. Further to this though, was the fact that Mackenzie Davies is either a poor actress, was miscast or badly directed due to her character’s essential redundancy. So often we got that vapid blank stare in place of …something else she was supposed to be doing apparently. Once you push her into the background to blend in with the rest of the vague replicant “resistance” who follow and track K, you see that she need not be a point of focus at all, much less a spokesperson for spoon feeding minor details that don’t even really qualify as exposition even. Plus everyone else’s performances adjacent to K are also just so good and so fully realized - referring here to Robin Wright and Sylvia Hoek, who steal the show most of the time, and whose interaction with K are just far more compelling and consequential on every level. Luv is arguably the most interestingly fleshed out villain of that cinematic year - And in a time where female roles are being reduced to over simplified ideological cartoons, this was very encouraging. Her psychology was palpable and illustrated. It is why I kept all of Wallaces scenes as his psychopathy directly affects and relates to Luv’s experience and obligations as a character.
The other main change is grading. Much like the Final Cut the grading style to the majority of 2049 is very purposefully quite flat and over saturated, so I pulled the fogged highlights back out to restore the natural contrast balance in the image and I tried to match the original Blade Runner legacy grading so far as I could use my BR LUT settings as a start point. It is now far more neutral in tone, even if Blade Runner didn’t have any routine daylight scenes to use for comparison etc.
Other changes worth noting;
Tightened up the the first series of shots to be timed more precisely with the swell of the music and the eye shot now arrives just before we see Sapper. Film opens on transition into the dark sands approach.
Freysa no longer states Deckard’s child will be shown to the world and K’s response to the child’s gender is earlier, questioning the first time Freysa says “she” rather than letting her go on about she and her and taking exception too late.
K only tells Deckard he’s about to meet his daughter outside the upgrade facility rather than after they drag themselves from the sea.
Rachel’s clone only says “Did you miss me?”
Took out the orphans surrounding K like he was a savior.
*The fussy matte rebuilds and cropping and digital masking and footage re-timing that was used to remove Mariette are not listed in any cohesive detail here as I’ve been to sleep a few times since then, but folks will spot it all when they watch it I’m sure - especially if they liked those dead fish eyes of hers
I was not keen on the thinly veiled messiah trope in 2049 initially and besides, you just can’t take out the immaculate conception obviously, but on reflection it is more nuanced than I gave it credit for at my first viewing in the cinema. The well used cliche is shown from all angles and does present a study - It is portrayed by Lt. Joshi’s dialogue with cold realism, by Wallace and Luv’s psychotic narcissism, the replicant resistance’s focus on the religiosity of their symbolic rise from slavery etc. So to this end, Sappers talk of “a miracle” remains, as tempting as it is to remove a hammed up cliche, it does make sense that the young rogue replicant culture would become superstitious about it.
Ultimately K’s decision to not kill Deckard and take him to his daughter with humility illustrates the enlightened and personal view that defies the hyberbole of the rest of the story. Which is why I kept coming back to the film and finding worth in it.
My latest project. 22 episodes into one. Editing out music intros and end credit ballads from each episode, with minor narrative editing and re-purposing of score. As was discussed over on fan edit dot org, it’s considered a Special Edition rather than a full on edit.
The scene repetition that is used to serve as a reminder where the story left off for certain early and late episodes is trimmed and intercut as segues, so we simply move through the story once as smoothly as possible. There is also a truncated filler montage towards the end of the story that I have simplified and re-scored with OST music to better suit the scenes either side, but it is mostly a straight run through the episodes.
There are new end credits with repurposed music from the wider OST - other tracks of which are also utilised and re-arranged during the concluding scenes. In point of fact the music track I removed from the montage mentioned above is now featured for the credits - but is a full fidelity version only featured on the soundtrack, as the version used in the show was creatively distorted and only used the high end portion of the mix as a jarring texture.
The footage has also undergone an extensive and colossally time consuming edge detail upscale process, using processor intensive filters that enable a 1080p output. While not wholly detailed and sharp like a genuine remaster could be, it does improve quality noticeably over the original versions available. Where the scale of detail between the positive and negative spaces either side of any contrasting edge detail is tightened up using a “Find Edges” filter, which is then inverted on a transparent percentage setting - Rather than just blowing the whole frame up to a soft mess, this effectively re-interprets the space to edge ratio. It only works in a very narrow percentage range and cannot be used with all manner of animated footage, but it suited the scale of detail in this animation pretty well. It works best for “close-up” and so the success I was getting with it had to be suppressed a little to suit the medium and long shot/scale too as it threatened to lose detail.
The only HD version around is a 720p available to stream/download as a purchase from Amazon. Then there’s the standard definition DVD of course - whose rich colours, textures and lesser/uncompressed footage is sometimes preferable over the 720p version. Both are sampled from and used based on overall definition success with the filter sets I was using.
The style of the animation itself veers from chunky grain and coarse muddy textures - Via purposeful posterisation and colour banding and compression artifacts surviving the DVD mastering just to make it fun - To clean line work with very little texture to obscure output processing. So all this filter manipulation was borne of much experimentation so as to not let it get heavy handed and destroy any detail or texture intended by the creators.
It’s run time is just over 7 hours so far and so it is divided into episode chapters and people can either binge it or utilise their media player resume function. Personally this is why I’m doing it, as I’d much rather choose how much to watch in one go than to get those bloody karaoke ballads popping up after 20 minutes just as you’re getting into the deep dive of a very very dark philosophical piece of science fiction anime. I really enjoy select anime/manga content, but not the majority of the industry’s rather adolescent output. So this project probably won’t become a habit outside of the occasional diamond in the rough.
It has dual stereo audio tracks at 640kbps AC3 - ENG/JPN with English subs provided.
I’ll post some screenshot comparisons in the not too distant…
These are also darker to better match the DVDs. The internet streams are conversions that often playback lighter due to differing colour ranges and ripping software etc. This aims somewhere in between to cover a range of scenes. I have resisted doing much sharpening to these as the work is done by the find edges filter and sharpening cannot come close to dealing with the remaining contrast that is still quite soft at the edges. The originals shown here are already upscaled obviously.
Hi 15 MaF,
From what I read this project seems to be a Fan Edit of Blade Runner not a Preservation of it, right? No harm intended, but this seems to be in the wrong category. 😃
"What is a preservation effort?
A preservation effort is a fan-made release of a film (or version of a film) that has never had a full retail DVD release. Usually these are sourced from obsolete formats such as VHS or laserdisc, but sometimes they can be from captured TV broadcasts.
What is a fan edit?
A fan edit aims to improve on or alter an existing film, by the insertion, deletion or re-ordering of scenes within the movie. It involves the application of artistic license to the material available. (Fan-made documentaries are also included in this category.)"
Yeah that’s fair comment Nerf.
I suppose I saw this edit as a “preserving” of the old vibe, the characteristics and vagueness in the narrative and texture before it was over ruled by the popularity of The Final Cut and Ridley Scott’s explicit declarations regarding Deckard.
But technically yeah I agree with you entirely. It’s still a transformation from any available release. If any site Admin/Mod can move it, I’d be happy for them to do so as I can’t see a delete option this side. Otherwise I can just repost another.
I think they shot it/designed it with 2.35:1 in mind but went with the vertical space of 16:9. But then there are films released in both formats sometimes.
That film’s theatrical release damn near polished off any interest I had in the genre. It’s successor really did.
Nolan’s kinda resurrected it for a while, but that’s a different genre now to my mind. The 1989 production design was very compelling though so I’m interested to see this one. Best of luck with it.
As much as I hate the prequel retcons (Hayden’s ghost, the godawful Emperor portrayal in later Empire releases), It has to be Greedo shooting.
Yep. Greedo. No contest. Though many comes trotting close behind.
Cool, cheers King.
Cool glad to hear it.
Less is often more 😃
I shall have to find a film where I can get into a full on extended cut mode without shaking the narrative.
Not the best film. But good looking production.
UPDATE 03/04/2019 THIS EDIT IS NOW FINISHED. I was never happy with a few things, but they’re sorted now. Send us an email to email@example.com and I’ll reply with details. Anyone who has the link for the old version, it should still work for the new.
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Hi Folks, Another cut and paste from some older project notes from my first crack at a fan edit…
Alien 3 - Third Cut
1920 x 808 – 23.97fps - HEVC x265 5.1 AC6 at 640kbps
Utilising the assembly cut as the core structure, this version calls upon portions of the theatrical cut to augment my preferred narrative. The assembly cut had given us a much fuller perspective of the characters and a compelling narrative borne of the environment of Fury 161 and the heavy symbolism that defied the popcorn fans…
Firstly I wanted this cut to restore the shot of newt in her cryo-tube. I found nesting it with the footage of the cryo-tubes from the assembly cut was possible by unifying the scenes using added lighting effects to Newt’s locked off shot in order to emulate the sparking flare-torch used to light the theatrical scene, whereas the assembly cut scenes used what seemed to be caged tungsten bulbs. So although the oxen are introduced and are part of this cut, the dog accompanying the prisoners in the hatchway is used for the EEV scene. This is inter-cut with the on-screen report as it is typed by Andrews from the assembly cut and includes the close-up of Hicks in the cryo-tube and the hand held pan across Ripley’s empty cryo-tube which also has lighting effects added. It rounds off with the EEV seen from above and the oxen about to drag it up the shore, but here I added sounds of the dog barking seemingly off camera to help tie the elements to the same place. The crane is still used to take the EEV the rest of the way in either version of the film so the scene with the dog barking in the hatchway can comfortably still be included. The inclusion of the overhead shot showing the prisoners taking the bodies out of the damaged and gaping hole of the EEV was a little contrasting to the previous shot of the hatchway view, but I felt that they would likely as not have accessed the module from both ends as would likely be deemed convenient. EDIT: I went back to this scene and added rolling or drifting smoke over any shot needed to match the use of the flare torch. This applied to Newt’s, Hicks and Ripley’s cryo. The smoke, when colour matched, really tied the segments together nicely without looking too dominating.
The first scene in the abattoir is retained, but cut short to omit the face hugger or indeed any certainty over which animal will give birth to the alien. Mostly this scene is retained for the dialogue and the characters’ development, including their not inconsequential attitudes toward Ripley. This culminates when Murphy kicks the dead oxen which cues the scene cut to the autopsy.
Newts’ autopsy plays out and then cuts to Spike the dog’s scarred face scene - indicating for sure the direction of the dog/oxen narrative as that of the theatrical cut – I always thought the dog birthing scene had superior shots to suit the editing pattern and the far more emotive content to convey distress to the audience. The sound of the dog yelping in its’ hapless and painfully doomed state heightened the tension, the empathy and the horror. The newborn alien from the theatrical version is also just a simpler and tidier manifestation of the sinister for me. The Oxen was just a lump of furniture at this stage and the investment of the model makers efforts were probably the main reason for it’s inclusion. What is convenient for a K9 narrative is that the assembly cut had left in Murphy’s dialogue about “Spikey” in the vent shaft scene.
Now here I interject some years after making the edit and writing this description to reload the drives and start cutting it up again. Having since watched Wreckage and Rage and reading countless forums and blogs and interview transcripts published due to the resurgent, albeit still cult, popularity of the film, I decided to tuck into some more changes that hint at what Fincher was toying with that didn’t fully materialise even in The Assembly Cut. This may seem a conceit and might tune a few viewers out that would have liked the hybrid edit as it was but…
…I wanted to feature Golic’s dragon as he saw it. However simply, but only if it looked right.
I introduce fire and a heat haze to one of the most iconic shots of the creature in the film so it’ll likely carry the taste of Marmite for people. The dragon shots that were talked about involved the guy wearing the suit getting sprayed with cold water as they used flame bars close to him to get a heat distorted apparition. I don’t think it’s possible to achieve what Fincher wanted exactly or if it could be done without a decent cgi artist, but I figured I’d try putting something together to see what sticks and hopefully it wouldn’t feel too tacked on. I used some bellowing fire footage that someone made in Blender with FumeFX (grabbed from Loki 3D’s channel on youtube) which was rendered against black and I rescaled it and warped it’s shape to suit the movement in the frame. This was then placed on a screen filter overlay on top of a turbulent warp filter for the creature’s head on the main video layer. The shots of Golic’s blood stained blinking face was cut into two shorter length segments - which in turn intercut with the view of the creature above him - now segmented into three reciprocal pieces. In the first two instances the creature is breathing fire as Golic blinks in semi hallucinogenic disbelief but after he turns to run, his escape footage is cut a little shorter to show a last brief shot of the creature watching after him, but without any fire, to re-establish reality for the audience. There is re-timed and repeat-used footage to achieve this, but with enough substantial transformation to be comfortable. Although the apparition itself is not it’s own separate feature fx or based on additional footage, it does feature for slightly longer than before and flows still with the immediacy of golic’s reaction. Overall the scene stays at the same run time.
When Golic sets the alien free, it’s run from the doorway is now a touch faster in an attempt to speed past the jarring visual artefacting of the rod puppets’ relatively low frame rate which effectively deletes portions of it’s body. The camera pan up is a little quick as a result, but acceptable.
The composite shot’s of the company ship entering Fury’s planetary system and the communications dish outside the facility have now also been adjusted to sit more accurately within the colour palette of the rest of the frame.
For undoubtedly the most iconic shot in the film - Ripley’s dread approaching her at close quarters as she flattens herself against the infirmary wall…I decided to try and tart up the creature’s approach immediately beforehand. There are many shots of the rod puppet that don’t work very well at all, but this stands out due to the sheer inky wet quality of the full scale hero head prop in the profile shot it cuts to. I rotoscoped the hell out of this scene and zoomed in from the full frame slightly to 1. Avoid the impossible task of fixing the legs and 2.get the alien’s physique to appear suitably daunting and imposing. Within the re-framed shot the alien is scaled up on an alpha channel to be re-composited in Premiere, it’s outline trimmed and tidied, re-lit using After Effects filters and adding a touch of wet glossiness lacking previously. I also re-trimmed and re-lit the steel furniture to the left of the screen as it’s own alpha channel composite layer. Overall it is an improvement and the colour temperature and grading balance is better with the background and foreground.
Back to the original edit and description…
The rousing speech made by Dillon is cut slightly short to omit the very peak of the emotional crescendo which was scored and scripted just a touch too heavy and a few seconds too far for my tastes. The response to Dillons’ speech, felt forced in the theatrical cut because they were aiming for a higher gusto than was psychologically believable. “Fuck it!” is retained. “Let’s go for it” is dispensed with. The music was drowned out as smoothly as possible to give slightly premature closure to the scene instead of lingering uncomfortably. It was a close call to cut the scene short. But that last bit of dialogue bugged the piss out of me since forever.
There are very subtle attempts here and there to localise and re-grade the Alien as it runs around the corridors and the tunnel network surrounding the leadworks – places where the matte contrast and colour difference seemed too obvious, but I really didn’t over do it as I knew I didn’t have the time or patience to rotoscope what was in some cases very poor visual artifacting from the rod puppet frame rate discrepancies. Some of the optical effects would need to have been either cut or completely re-rendered/reshot to satisfy the most critical eye, so I didn’t do a great deal…Although I revisited the scene where Davide (Pete Postlethwaite) throws a flare torch at the alien on the ceiling. After some painstaking attempts to balance the superimposed matte colours between the alien and the environment I inserted some smoke footage shot on black using varying channel filters to set it into the scene. Similarly to those I used for some shots inside the EEV I morphed it into suitable angles and timings to portray the trailing smoke of the direction the torch took as it bounces of the alien’s head when it flicks it’s skull around in reaction. I felt it was much improved and just added some sparks to polish it off and then let it be.
I always felt it was a little quick between “trust me?” and “no” considering this is her life she’s deciding to sacrifice, but you justify these things by looking at the whole film as part of her decision making process. Then when I came across a telephone interview transcript someone had with Fincher where they got him to open up a little about it, he commented on the previous length of the edit where Ripley agonised for a much longer period of time before closing the gate on Bishop. This got me thinking that although they had thrown a little more into Bishops argument for The Assembly Cut, what Fincher hinted at was just not possible without extra original footage. It also occurred to me that an uncomfortable amount of time dedicated to Ripley’s agonising might be realistic, but uncomfortable just the same. So I thought a small extension might be possible and might suffice as an improvement to the timing if I re-used existing footage in disguise.
So I isolated 2 clips of her as she slowly backs away listening to Bishop talk. These 2 shots I zoomed in and reframed a little and used portions in reverse, slowing them down slightly to last long enough whilst being careful to avoid blinks or eye movements that didn’t suit the direction of reciprocal head movements. One shot was used to show the start of Ripley’s resignation in her eyes after Bishop says “trust me?” The other was a little more neutral and was used to replace the footage of her swallowing as Bishop talks about the malignancy.
Now, that shot of her swallowing is what I wanted to free up as I wanted to use it for the final decision. It now slots in after the shot of Morse and before the shot of Aaron and the Yutani guy. The actions and expressions are great and fit nicely considering her expression at the start of the shot where she states her refusal, but her position relative to the gate is from earlier in the scene so she is totally out of place and the gate needs to be in front of her not behind. So I figured I’d do a bit bit of rotoscoping in After Effects and blur the background, whilst shifting her off the right to create a visual and emotional chasm to the left of her for the viewers benefit. Using the same footage and using a camera blur with a touch of kodak themed grain got rid of the gate, made the lighting work seamlessly and it even gave the impression of detail on the wall far behind her. Then I shifted the colour theme from rust to pinky reds to line up with her face as she closes the gate. It feels right to me, although the dialogue Bishop has about dealing with her malignancy is a little rushed now. I might extend that shot if possible, but I was strictly limited to how the eye’s worked in reverse and what footage was acceptable at which speeds - even when using a timewarp filter.
I inserted a few frames worth of animation at the start of Ripley’s death fall. Just as the framing cuts to a view looking down at her as she falls, I inserted a brief glimpse of the aperture she is falling through. This is for the continuity of the height she would have been falling from before she would have appeared in the vast hellish chasm. To cut straight to the shot of her surrounded entirely by fire from relatively close to the start of her fall backward seemed slightly premature. I also slowed down the whole fall by a small amount so that the timing felt right essentially. And as there is no chest burster in this version, the arcing grace of her fall is echoed in the simplicity and uncomfortable finality that focuses all the emotion of the moment on Ripley’s sacrificial decision. It seems, to me at least, that the cut to her cradling the queen was an awkward and unrealistically time consuming distraction from the already symbolic and quasi religious ending to the trilogy – which in the assembly cut was all the more appropriate.
This has also now been re-revamped. The colour of the furnace is now in line with how the exposure would realistically change if the camera really were to follow her through the aperture. The brightness now flushes way stronger as she passes into the chasm and the cartoon red is now a warm yellow picked out by monochromatic shadows on Ripley’s figure as it gradually becomes a sparking dissolving silhouette during her fall. This is an attempt to create a white hot heat, rather than the lava looking cartoon of before. Her fall also now goes much farther as she is seen getting smaller beyond her previous point of disappearance. I used a frame of her as a cut out and animated it in premiere. I augmented this with turbulent warp filters, footage of sparks and flames positioned around her shape on multiple layers. As her body catches fire, I added a flourish of sparks from there on down to segue the engulfment of the furnace. There is even a single frame of her as a skeletal figure before she dissolves completely and a small explosion emanating from her chest area to represent a different reaction of the Queen’s silicone life form to the combustible temperature. Her remaining glowing particles are blown away seemingly with the direction of a thermal bellow from below. This hopefully feels thorough rather than grotesque as the previous transition was a little too brief as she just faded into a level of heat that she hadn’t reached yet.
I toyed with the idea of fixing the opening credits to suit it’s own continuity and it’s links to the previous film…somehow. And then of course I didn’t. Because issues of circumstance, continuity and Alien life cycles aside, the opening credits are an artistic triumph in my book. Plus the best Fox logo fanfare that will ever be carries me through any narrative inconsistencies in the introduction happily…
And just to note, Alien Resurrection always felt like it fell outside of the trilogy regardless of the versions you watch. For it’s amazing production design and boldness of narrative, it still felt like a desperate reboot for those who like seeing big guns on computer game characters - and little more besides. The queen’s reproductive narrative was relegated into a cul-de-sac that took her out of the equation in order to facilitate a hybrid newborn whose best design was left on paper. Although macabre and disconcerting, it diluted the atmospheric identity of the “franchise” in it’s classic antiquity. Also, Brad Dourif was the only guy in the world who could pull off the “Beautiful butterfly” speech, but I’d have liked to have seen him in a more prominent role and as part of a creepier tension based horror. ‘Resurrection tried to jam a lot of content into an action paced and grotesque sideshow…Sometimes admirably I might add, but not compellingly by any means.
Anyway, hope I didn’t leave anything out as I originally re-edited this a few years back and it’s been sat on my drives since then.
No worries, thanks for taking a look.
Send us an email to email@example.com and I’ll reply with details.
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An old title this I know but I wanted to tackle it despite all those other edits. Edited a while back and this is a cut and paste of my project notes with details of edits and changes so it contains story Spoilers…
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - Fan Edit
1920 x 808 – 23.97fps - H264 MP4 5.1 TrueHD Audio
Overview of Changes
This represents changes by scene/shot/sequence rather than time code entries for hundreds of individual actions. This edit aims to eradicate the paternal cause of some questionable narrative that essentially removed the viewer from the fantasy of adventure and various other complaints. It also aims to strike a balance for those that didn’t mind certain things like cgi bugs or iconic atomic silhouettes… Cutting the best part of twenty minutes was as far as I’d like to go to try to keep a feature length feel. There be aliens ahead, but differently presented…
1 No prairie dogs. The Paramount logo gives way to the dirt mound which is then ran over -
Using matte stills and some pretty rough and ready masking, the hot rod comes out
of far left as usual. The masking was very crude, using separate .png mattes of the mound and utilising feathered transition wipes and animating the wipe motion through the angles needed to cover the scampering lil’ bastard with the same unspoiled landscape sampled a few frames previous as the A/B coverage for the filter. This got rid of the offending mascot and left a type of distortion via a type of artefact rippling between the two not quite matching image layers, but several visits to the original intro for comparison and detail sampling for some diligent frame by frame Photoshop painting fixed up the approaching car’s fender and light features reasonably well in subsequent frames to fill in the gaps. There was a little ripple left over which would be messy and inaccurate to try to paint it out but it looks a little like heat haze so I decided it was about 95% good to go. Some vague flashes of prairie dogs may be spotted in a blurred scattering, but they are essentially out of sight and the soundtrack bears none of their squeaking.
2 No shoe lace tying or muzzle flare inconsistencies. Also couldn’t be doing with the stubborn symmetry from the storyboarding.
3 Indy acknowledges the “Russians” but makes no reply to Mac about how it used to be easier. They make no wager and Indy does not comment about Mac putting his arms down. Indy simply turns to look grimly at the car’s arrival.
4 Indy’s comment to Spalko about “not being from around here” is cut short so as to seem
just sarcastic rather than a question too. He does not mention “wubellyoos” and
confirms with simply “Eastern Ukraine”
5 Spalko’s unrequited handshake is now followed nicely by a sardonic soft slap for Indy to
then comment “ouch” with more sarcasm. So there’s no awkward mind reading attempt subverting her villainy.
6 No Socialist hero intro.
7 No mind powers and the warehouse doors don’t spark on the outside. Even later on Spalko comments on how the skull doesn’t talk to everybody so why does she need to keep trying to push the spookshow. The doors just open as you would expect with a jump cut after Spalko signals with her arm as though instructing a soldier to operate them ect.
8 No uncovered alien close-up. It is somewhat teased for tension before the lens focuses on the hand/claw from the soldiers faces as they look on with excitement as the reveal is about drop. It then cuts away to Indy’s escape attempt.
9 Tighter edit when Mac betrays Indy, with a simpler reveal that simply shows all guns
lowering and then lifting again after Indy’s close-up. Plus Indy shoots first in this version
rather than benefiting from an accidental discharge. Skipping his liking “Ike” pop culture sarcasm he instead starts to lower the rifle and it goes off into someone’s foot. I added a muzzle flash and an extra reversed action using the previous frame for the suggestion of recoil.
10 After the failed bull whip swing, Indy does not say “thought that was closer” - Instead it cuts
straight to classic off-screen punch sounds.
11 There are no instances of “You don’t know ‘im” from Mac as he and Boris play chicken
with Indy in the truck. In fact you wouldn’t even know Mac is in the car now, which is just as well
considering he is already out of the car and standing by the wreck very quickly after Indy
climbs the rafters…which uses an overhead shot from the trailer.
12 There’s a much shorter delay to breaking through the glass for the fall onto the rocket sled.
13 LED countdown digits have been replaced with Nixie tube digits (Using After Effects camera motion tracking and frame by frame placement. 1957 was a little too early for tech like LED’s as they didn’t really start to feature until 1960’s as far as I’ve read). Also there are no prairie dogs during the shortened rocket sled run
14 The atomic siren now starts just as Indy rests his hand on the mannequin’s head. Indy’s kerfuffle with the kids bike and figure seems a little less clumsy this way as though he was surprised by his hand seemingly activating an alarm that startles him. There are less instances of the flying fridge as I took out the long arcing hail Mary over the Russian car with a bit of patchwork overlay using sampled sky with an additional bright lens flare styled point of light which then emanates toward the viewer as the car nears. Also put in some stock fire/explosions/smoke footage and tinted transitional colour mattes to all 3 shots of the car leading up to and augmenting a transition between the car catching the blast wave and Indy’s fridge bouncing through the frame from a lower angle after the blast - Hoping to suggest more of a scuffing tumble that a person could arguably survive in a fridge - The thin lead lining and unavoidable head trauma will just have to stand for those 'Raiders fans who love supernatural shit but not scientifically inaccurate scenes 😉 Besides: Atomic cloud + Indy silhouette = KEEP! The prairie dog is cut and the score is faded in a little sooner and swells to segue the passage of time he’d use to get to his feet. If I had the time and the skill/resources I’d put in a few more fridges and other household lead type constructions…
15 No shower scene for the ladies and the dialogue with CIA segues visuals of air force base.
16 No Indy military service testimonial but left in discussion about the “Air Force fiasco” 10yrs
earlier to match Spalko’s assertions in the warehouse.
17 Changed the editing of Marcus and Henry snr’s photographs on the desk. The push zoom is chopped in two to distil the overly literal hand gestures in close-up. And took out the dialogue reference to each character being honoured as it didn’t feel necessary.
18 No commie protest.
19 No Marcus statue decapitation – Dr Jones’ disapproving face notwithstanding this was all just stupid. Even Zemekis wouldn’t have done it…Well ok he would have but Speilberg shouldn’t.
20 Slightly shorter slide under tables in library as Indy’s and Mutt’s inertia was unrealistic. Tried to keep the start of the chair push seen from above, but the flow was better cutting straight to the last few feet.
21 No comment by Mutt about about Indy being 80, but did leave in the “good in a fight for
an old man” line. Balance is possible.
22 No “This way up” comment from Indy in Catacombs after Mutt makes a “This way down”
comment. Mutt does not grunt like he’s injured after the fall and the poison dart death of the crypt keeper having sucked one back is now shortened to him just left choking.
23 The skull journey/history/exposition once inside the burial chamber is trimmed slightly but not by much. Exposition in itself is not against any Indy “traditions”…At all, but one or two of the comments were too leading. Left in the “(Ox) takes it (the skull) away”, took out “maybe to Akator” and took out Mutt’s reference to “retourno” on Ox’s cell walls and cuts straight to Indy stating Ox put it back where he found it and asking why.
24 Used the trailer version of “Part time”
25A There’s minimal commie bitching in Spalko’s tent. There’s not a whole lot in general - Only when contextually necessary or to allow a believable scene to play out. For example the knee jerk use of “comrade” after a punch in the face or a personal betrayal sparking a political proxy insult for the sake of a demonised comparison. He doesn’t have to like the Russians acting as agents of political or governmental domination but there’s no real president in these films for nationalist soap-boxing about reds or “good” American men. Hating Nazis was always his thing. Reflecting on 1950’s communist witch hunts – which we now know they mostly were, doesn’t fit Indy so well as he would always have seen through it. Besides, Indy didn’t experience communist Russia like Nazi Germany so he just wouldn’t be quite so dogmatic even while being defensive of his countrymen – He would know most angles without wasting much emotion. The discussion with Mac is therefore slightly shorter as a result - where I re-used a clip in reverse to have mac sit down without the ”how many good men died” stars n stripes/Patton moment. Indy can then get on and threaten to break his nose. The reverse playback section is zoomed in on Mac towards the end of the shot and the cigar smokes’ direction with the rolling of the tape reel behind Mac needed to be reversed. Their relative position was animated/floated to match the camera frame and movement of the original footage in reverse. Tricky, but managed it in Premiere frame by frame using transitional masks.
25B So then I felt I had to fix the position of mac’s head as the next cut had both of them facing different ways than in the previous frame - Which also had the frame zoomed in on the reverse playback clip for Mac sitting back down. This had allowed Indy’s head to go out of frame, so arguably only Mac’s head needed to be reoriented for the next cut.
I took the first few seconds of Indy talking about getting out of the chair and split the frame down the middle, using a transition wipe to divide Indy and Mac. Mac is turning back from the table here so this part was taken out and in it’s place, again using a transition wipe filter on a separate layer, I put the reverse playback footage of Mac, but using the upcoming few seconds as he lifts his cigar to his mouth and he stops before it meets his lips as Indy finishes saying his piece. So we now have Mac already facing Indy, his arm continuing a motion suggested before the cut, and realized with his cigar movement. He then appears to react to Indy’s words at the point the frames resume their correct direction and his hand lowers and the split screen ends and all footage is intact from there on. Only trouble is that the footage was not shot as steady as it first seemed. Indy’s environment from one portion of the scene and Mac’s from a little later were moving and hovering slightly toward each other as the opposite frame rate of Mac’s footage equalled to opposite directions with Indy’s. Mac’s cigar smoke was also moving the wrong way. Couldn’t get Premiere to work so well this time as pixel nudging with the cursor keys doesn’t happen in cs6 so had to go to After Effects and map every clip using the hanging lamp above Macs’ head as a registration point for all masked pieces of footage. This involved frame by frame positioning of 1 half of a frame and a masked portion of some cigar smoke to render all movement constant with each other within the frame. Then just a little zoom to cover off the slight reduction in frame size due to the composition’s end position.
25C Also there was no Berlin comment and the Indy skull trance now has added visual FX to better
exaggerate his life threatening head shakes - Which was all Premiere time-echo filters set to exploit the movement within the frame on close-ups and using split screen feathered transition filters again to isolate the long shot of Indy from the unfiltered frame rate of the other characters.
26 Marion is introduced as Mutt’s mother and Indy grins and acts a little haplessly confused
still, but the bitching reunion is cut way shorter by Spalko’s interruption.
27 Ox’s ideogram scene is cleft in two with a fade to suggest time spent drawing and by the re-use of his line “Henry jones jnr…” stretched slightly slower, I was able to omit the “3 times it drops” line as it will be superfluous later. Afterwards the scene cuts on Indy’s map request straight to the forest the next day. Therefore no quicksand or rubber snakes. Ffs that scene felt like intentional sabotage on Speilbergs’ part. Just awful.
28 The whole forest plateau chase scene is shortened somewhat and without a
so much as a monkey with a quiff surviving the cull - Starting with the same editing principle
first used by TMBTM (thanks to him for showing the way to cut around marion’s gag in the truck - very nice). Indy is not Mutt’s father and the argument about Marion’s marriage through her gag being fitted carries the narrative through to the knocking out of their guard. No knife sounds tear
Indy’s pants and his line to marion ”They weren’t you” is kept, but “honey” is cut as Mutt
catches his knife (Allowing another of Marion’s grins - Cutting literally everything questionable would be a slaughter to the light hearted moments, of which there needs to be some and considering how much is already being cut, a running time suitable for a feature is preferred if possible). There is no “scootch over son” line or any Berlin commentary with Mac in the jeep. No vegetation in the groin while fencing - Just enough swashbuckling to get the job done. Decided to keep the cliff edge jeep banger race despite the continuity error in the position of each jeep relative to each other at the cut from the previous scene. It just worked well otherwise by running all clips as one sequence without any intercutting monkeys. I isolated The Schwimmwagen Indy is driving with a little zoom and it cuts to the medium shot of Spalko changing seats with her subordinate from there in an attempt at visual narrative subterfuge. Mutt swings in out of the blue as usual and the frame is then cropped to avoid showing the monkeys as we follow Mutt jumping to the next jeep and getting the Skull into Ox’s lap in time to hit the ant hill. After Indy says “woah” - Mutt half laughs a grunt briefly but essentially says nothing and Indy repeats himself for the jump.
28A I’m not a particular fan of the big damn ants scene, but the fist fight is very Indy and cutting it down or out seemed over zealous. Trimming it brought too much attention to the edit .
29 Only one time it drops down the waterfall – The tree fall is complete, followed by parts of the first and third waterfall drop footage. Added to this are portions of the score from “Airplane Fight” from the “Indiana Jones Trilogy OST” to compliment the shortened sequence with epic peril. After re-watching the first twenty minutes of Temple of Doom I felt totally ok with the whole waterfall premise once it was shortened and in fact mirrors the Temple of Doom parachute dinghy skit as a punchline to the tree-ramp/fall preceding it. It belongs, as part of a tradition for almost farcical adventure perils of unlikely survival, exaggerating the conscious notion of endearing implausibility - performances notwithstanding. Indiana Jones is not a cerebral piece of literature no matter how much the corny stuff is rose tinted to the man-child – Raiders happened to have some of the best supernatural fireside storytelling, captivating dialogue, visual narrative, performances and art production committed to film. It is up there with Close Encounters of the Third Kind as an untouchable great - Comparisons to the other films within the saga don’t stand up anyway so Crystal Skull can be afforded a little slack if you take the worst offences out.
30 Mutt pointing to the skull waterfall has been cut out including much of the dialogue after the waterfall-boat drop, e.g. Indy’s horrible and purposefully vacant “it told me to” line - Leaving Mutt to just finish Ox’s “tears” quote and simply show Indy set against the skull waterfall. This portends where they’re headed for the viewer all it needs to and keeps the pace moving etc.
31 No natives crawling from the walls of the temple - re-arranged the shot order of the
natives stalking the corridor. Kept the dialogue of an urgent Marion screaming “Indeeeeee!”
as per her job description - I cut the “Jonesy!, Oxley!” equivalent, as it was just not
32 Tightened up the sloppy obelisk key entry scene. And at the base of their descent I used
½ a shot from each camera for their drop at the bottom of the steps instead of the double take
they left in place to try to exaggerate the motion like a cubist editing trick.
33A Tightened up the (accidental?) double take cut as Indy and Mutt seemingly turn to look
twice once the UFO starts to spin up. There is no “I’m gonna be ok” from Mac
33B There is no multi-skeleton shunting together to form one alien shot. Instead clips were reused from elsewhere in the scene creating a very different montage used to suggest the appearance of the alien as seen through the vision state of Spalko as she stares into the skull that responded to it’s eventual return. As she is overloaded by the skull’s presence, it occurred that the spinning of the ship might be critical to the opening of the portal, which theoretically could bring her and then the viewer into line with the live dimension of the rejuvenated alien troupe - Thus the creature can appear to be in one place at one time. This is kept theoretically hindered by the film-makers with some bullshit shunt of 13 skeletons into 1 fleshed out being?! A somewhat specific visual that strangles possible interpretations by the viewer. So with a little visual stuttering of the edit using a time-echo filter to incrementally announce the appearance of the alien in her mind and then in her and the viewer’s’ presence, it now works a little more sequentially, though still theoretically ambiguous as there is only one alien and not 13 etc. My thoughts are that the recently reconnected alien, simply gave her what she asked for before it rejoined it’s dimensional hive who left it to do whatever it intended with it’s benefactors. The being need not be all that malevolent to me even if it is cold or neutral - This is the heat of the kitchen sister and this is what it takes to know what you wanted to know. Such things would be perilous for a limited physical specimen but perhaps there’s a transformation that happens to Spalko we don’t know about, after her “dissolving” into strands of energy and sucked up like cosmic ribbon.
To augment the sequence I added a vague, out of focus cymatic graphic animation to conjure a resonant frequency technology vibe – starting at the forehead of the crystal skull and then flickering here and there in amongst the lights behind the alien. I also added some voice samples and Tibetan monk chants to add a little authenticity to this idea of ancient sound as the major force behind their technology. Having layered the examples I pitch shifted to either compliment each other or indeed to make them stand out in the overall mix. They are used during 4 or 5 cuts revisiting the central chamber and the tone goes from low to a slightly higher pitch as the sequence plateaus. I ran all new audio additions through Audition to match the films’ depth of tone using multi-band compressors and selective amplifiers. EDIT: Ultimately the cymatic images got more blurred and vague as I went on. 1 or 2 are still in there, but the more I tried to show what they were with any detail, the less sense it made that frequency resonances would manifest psychically/visually. They would more likely be seen from the top down, physically within the structure of the ship, on a larger scale or across the plain of land above in the soil as it does at the end when the saucer breaches etc.
So there’s no explicit narrowed eyes grimace from a CGI cartoon at the point of Spalko’s
combustion/dispersal/transformation. The cgi version viewed from behind that leans in from
the right remains, but not the close-up. The alien image that features throughout is still a cgi example, but from earlier in the scene with more lighting fx and much less visual articulation. It is presented bleached in increasing brightness as though from Spalko’s burning perspective - I used some 1080p footage I shot of the sun flicking across the lens to intensify the lights in the portal craft. I aimed to make the creature seem more creepy and circa 1980’s than hostile console gaming fodder. Hopefully it doesn’t open itself to much debate by being too explicit. Overall there is much less alien, but that it is alien that happens to be cross dimensional is fine and dandy with me. They’re mostly obscured, acutely lit and lots of chopped about editing and flashing lights toboot.
33C The time/echo filter and stutter effects spillover in some amount to include Mac on the floor in a bid to make his struggles look a part of the space-time discontinuity rather than just rolling around the floor like an infirm thespian.
34 Augmented the score to help reveal the distorted alien visage to Spalko, the demise of Mac and to segue between Spalkos “death” scene and the next scene. No score featured during the escape up the flooding steps originally and for the worse I felt, as inserting some here provides inertia through the giant cog dangers by again using segments from “Airplane Fight” from the “Indiana Jones Trilogy OST” - Airing the Indiana Jones fanfare as they run to the top and I popped in the quiet xylophone that echoes the melody once more as they take stock of the dead end with a stab from the brass section as Indy looks up before the water rushes them and the usual soundtrack accompanies and resumes entirely as they near the surface.
35 Kept the UFO and cut the sit down and cuddle ending - The long shot of the four looking
at the water is chopped into two shorter snippets and re-used to pass comment on the treasure of knowledge as it segues into the music for the wedding scene without it feeling rushed. (For the record, alien craft shouldn’t really be referred to as ufo’s any more when you do actually know what they are. They are also as appropriate an artefact for an Indy film as anything built and gilded by religious slaves. If you can have supernatural spectres for the god botherers, you can have multi-dimensional travellers for the non theists out there. Besides, if it were not for the age of information and tired documentaries on the history channel, these beings would probably still be viewed with as equal religious vigour as their Peruvian trustees once did)
35 Took out the “Thanks ox” line. The wedding scene seemed entirely fitting now without it feeling like a retroactive shotgun wedding and the end credits have always intertwined quite nicely without a fan edit having to bolt something on after a hasty conclusion. Besides, Indy would be a cooler step dad/unofficial uncle than a literal father. He’d probably get annoying…like in the parts taken out of this film. But similar to his ultimately filtered relationship with Short Round or other characters in the saga I enjoyed seeing Mutt’s emotion in the sanitarium and Indy’s
sympathetic hand on shoulder. It helped Mutt’s otherwise glib character greatly and so, as long as you take out the “stay in school” bullshit and keep the “gotta get out of the library” motif, you retain the same ol’ Indy).
Cheers folks 😃
Running time - 105 mins