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.
I’ve had trouble replying to emails sent from outlook where their addresses seem to be formatted as firstname.lastname@example.org type of thing. I’ve had 2 or 3 bounce back to me. If you’ve had any non-replies from me, try another email account or sign up here on OT and we can PM much more reliably. I do reply to everything.
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
There was a 20 second or so gap in Audio track 2 (the stereo option) which was pointed out to me recently. It’s from “home again, home again” to when Deckard starts the Esper up. This is now fixed and has replaced the old version. It’s available on the original link etc.
Greetings all 😃 Long time fan editor, first time poster…
This is just a straight copy paste from my project notes for a preservation/restoration/polish/cut/grading I’ve been tweaking on and off for a while now. It’s a version of the film made up from what I feel are the best elements available. Closer to it’s original release contextually and aesthetically, whilst utilising it’s latest release technically.
PLEASE NOTE - This goes on to explain edits and changes in detail so it includes story spoilers.
BLADE RUNNER - The Analogue Cut (1982) HEVC x265 12000kbps 3 Track AC3
1920 x 800 – 23.97fps
Essentially this serves as a remastered Directors Cut without a unicorn or Deck-rep-eyes. It retains and enhances many Workprint elements and incorporates most Final Cut technical updates which are regraded to suit. Not quite so much a “cut”, as a spit n’ polish.
…There’s even a ‘Ford voice over’ audio track option for those who feel the need.
While we’re here – I feel that 2049 tried to insist that a grand unveiling was taking place - A mystery where one did not exist. In my view they just pointed to a change of archetypal emphasis rather than anything else, with a fork in the road for the narrative to pull a little clunky misdirection that weakens subsequent viewings. I will concede that the film carries a borrowed mystique and carries it very well, but ultimately, it needs a lot of tweaking and even then will contain only domestic revelations of worth. Which might be enough on an emotional level;
But something is often missed about Blade Runner for me. It is philosophical yes, and arguably it’s metaphysical rivers and world building run deep - All the way back to Philip. K. Dick’s fertile, imagined lands in fact. But it’s not very complicated and it’s mystery only really serves it’s gum shoe detection premise and the viewer’s anticipation of circumstantial information. It’s ultimately a character study of humanity with a culturally embedded and vibrant production design that generates layer upon layer of epic atmosphere. Any lasting mystery attached to it is retrospective myth and superficial to the core comparisons it portrays. And it certainly doesn’t pick the low hanging fruit of messianic archetypes to artificially raise it’s value like it’s successor. It’s conclusion is emotional and magnanimous.
Did you get precious about the photos?
Before we get started. Some of you simply won’t be interested in this beyond a certain point so that point might as well stand first. In this cut Deckard is simply not suggested to be a replicant and his photo collection doesn’t signify anything more than a typical human habit to refer to as an example of behavior. His humanity is deeply flawed in the face of Rachael’s misery - A misery he helped to conjure and solidify with his prideful knowledge of her origins. At first he was fearful of her, then he was irritated, and then boastful before his guilt found him heading for the drink again. Deckard has certainly lost his humility years ago and the desperate fight and flight of the other replicants he murders only buries him deeper. Most of all though, in my view Deckard is human because he’s an asshole…an asshole with full knowledge of which traits he has lost. When Rachael asks if he’s ever taken the Voight Kampf test himself, it is clear she feels legitimate humans could fail the test and bring into question the test creator’s assumptions. Deckard understands the moral subtleties he hides from. He can be touched by a replicant’s musicianship knowing them to be the result of implanted behavior. Yet he feels free to be rough with a hesitant replicant lover in a way he wouldn’t or shouldn’t with another human. So then it takes an inexperienced replicant to “love” him or be dependent enough on him for Deckard to start to empathise as though she were human. So to me, Leon’s featured photo collection is a mirrored behaviour to Deckard’s, and is as human a behaviour as anyone’s. That’s the point, not the twist.
Don’t send a boy to do a man’s job
The origami motifs - Gaff likes to fuck with people. If you want there to be a deeper, narrative based meaning for his foil folding then I’d consider a unicorn as an appropriate symbol for Rachael. A one off custom creation - much like the unicorn originally scripted for Sebastian to give Tyrell at his birthday party. Unicorns also represent egalitarian women who don’t practice hypergamy at the expense of loyalty – Which is admittedly moot until Rachael has any chance to prove it, unless Gaff tried it on with her of course. It could be simply that Rachael is the only replicant thus far that Gaff approves of letting live - she has been house trained after all.
At the begining Gaff clearly thinks Deckard is a chicken in Bryant’s office and maybe not befitting his legend. Later the stick man with a hard-on might be innuendo for the hell of it or it might be a presentiment to Batty’s line later on “You better get it up…”. It also might be simply “you’re a dick”. All these nuggets can fit into a conspiratorial jigsaw or stand to serve the analogue of the human/replicant experience. There need not be an implant behind an idiosyncrasy.
The naive and somewhat compulsive replicants are nicely juxtaposed with the machine like obsessive neurosis’ of the jaded humans who have lost their way… I’m with Frank Darabont …and Rutger …and Harrison …and Phillip K…and I think still, Hampton Fancher. The carpet gets pulled out from under the story by the Deck-Rep narrative and it’s meandering TV show mentality. Some film maker devotees will maintain that a director’s vision is law, and it can be simply in terms of copyright and depending on the studio. But it is also treated as sacrosanct by the internalised corporate ideology of box set collectors and industry sycophants. So sometimes maybe I agree with a director. Sometimes not. Ridley Scott thinks that an analogy works best if you obfuscate it like an episodic opera with a wave of an existential hand – appealing to the lowest common denominator with cliffhanger bait that harks back to his commercial marketing origins. Creating an extra layer of possible reality for use as a narrative twist can seem clever, but it is often superficial and little more than intrinsic marketing for the intellectual property. Ultimately Scott is dismissing the characterful observations the film makes between natural humans and unnatural humans. It is a spite of his conspiracy that Scott gets to commercialise the philosophical goalposts. This all played out as an obvious precursor to the trans-human trending in mainstream narratives for the technological age - Cylon character studies in Battlestar Galactica where the “are they?/aren’t they?” story arcs were worth an extra two seasons worth of episodes alone. More recently the same trope was taken off the shelf and dusted off for the hosts in Westworld, albeit a little more concisely. More consumer than human is their motto. For many Blade Runner prop collectors, it is all a design and branding experiment – nothing more.
The Final Cut
The grading for The Final Cut of Blade Runner was stylistically very contemporary compared to it’s original colour timing. In fact it felt positively frightened of anything remotely neutral on the colour spectrum. Any shadow detail worth talking about in those crunched up and “inky” blacks people obsess over in the high definition age are almost entirely obliterated. There’s a heavy cyan (hipsters call it teal) and yellow bias in the tones that choke out the clean blues and the skin tones often hold a gilded golden hue that is a little sickly. The green neon tubes are now almost indistinguishable from their blue counterparts and all light sources look as if the new negative scan has been run through a heavy handed luminosity process, sucking a great deal of contrast out, resulting in most white/register/unexposed areas of the negative simply not being present in the frame any longer - An omnipresent fogging as though by some highlight/shadow filter now seems to be masking most necessarily unexposed areas for fear the print would be flagged for burn out as if Blade Runner should look like a 1st year photography students’ landscape in puke green. In short, the quest for a heavily stylised colour palette for such an already established cinema classic is redundant in my opinion. It loses shadow detail to hide matte lines and grain and plainly negates a good portion of the lighting and exposure work of Jordan Cronenweth. His clever colour “noir” has now been replaced with the Black Hawk Down filter 2.0. This isn’t fixing what couldn’t be done at the time. This isn’t a 1981 director’s decision. It is a 21st century revision that has filtered out much of the ambient light and the original tone. The whole look to the film seems self conscious now because Scott doesn’t want the green computer text on the old VDU monitors to look dated, like someone who hates their natural hair colour. Under a video grading menu list it would be called “Millennial” 😉
Many of the 35mm anamorphic shots are also a little soft in places which I was surprised about versus the 3rd generation 70mm print scan we were previously used to. Thankfully the 6K scanning of the 65mm effects shots are beautiful, smooth and sharp – grading notwithstanding. I do understand how the darker print hides the larger instances of grain very well. And that Sebastian’s apartment, for example, does buck the prints’ grading trend in the doll menagerie with a fuller range of colour than even the original had – A lthough it’s no longer consistent with the external lighting spilling into the room via the window. Ideal contrast was lacking in places of all the original prints, but to me the Final Cut solution to minor exposure inconsistencies is to cripple many other scenes by dragging the quality down to match the lowest performing scenes - It’s like treating a little sun burn with chemotherapy.
The Analogue Cut
I have augmented the generally aesthetically preferable Director’s Cut with portions of the identically graded International Cut and included all necessary restorative technical improvements from the Final Cut, so long as I could pull it back into a neutral colour spectrum and closely match the archive colour and tone palette. The painted out wires on the police spinners and the visual counterparts to the dialogue fixes and the stunt double fixes are all welcome additions - not to mention the excellent new audio mix and certain FX or matte shots that have had their grain and composite lines cleaned up (although interestingly some spinner cockpit perspective shots look worse for colour balance with the mattes).
The edits illustrate Deckard as human, but it is simply put and without making any insistence’s. Merely by removing the unicorn and a particular set of retina reflections, the change is more about the suppression of one or two elements which in turn then don’t fuel further assumptions. I think he is human. This edit allows for that, but insists on nothing.
Retrospectively I recognise the term “analogue” might not be initially taken to represent the overall philosophical analogy between human and replicant and might instead be construed as a form of technical retrograding using a non-digital process, or even suggestive of a grindhouse look. In this regard I feel the term can multitask for the act of regrading recently remastered digital elements to appear like it was taken from the 70mm optical transfer for The Director’s Cut.
Due to the fact this is yet another addition to the many releases and fan edits of this film, it’s necessity will be a diluted affair to start with. Also it is possibly the least changed fan edit to the degree it’s a restoration/remix/polish etc. So in theory it won’t have much chance to neuter the assumptions made about Deckard by those that are already familiar with the film. But it will be those who are familiar who are likely to have a fuller opinion about these types of subtleties - As there are people who can reset their own cognitive engram history by accepting and allowing that memory is being constantly rewritten and updated as it is accessed. They can then relate to the exclusive thread of a particular 2 hour chunk of narrative, while suspending association with prior viewings of the film. And then there are those who are fixated with the narrative extensions of their first impressions of a film that they keep rewriting the same memory entry almost literally each time due to a cognitive dissonance or strongly held bias. So fan-edits/remixes in general are subject to this very conscious process of analysis from even the very sub-conscious viewer…but then it is a very appropriate film to analyse in these ways.
List of Edits;
The audio for this edit defaults to the Final Cut (FC) mix, except where previous audio mixes are preferred or dictated by edits to previous cuts.
Opening Ladd logo is from the FC and graded to match the Director’s Cut (DC). Opening crawl and titles are from DC as the FC titles are larger and poorly rendered with stepping visible in the curves.
Holden’s eye plus all external views approaching the Tyrell Building are from the FC & regraded to match the DC-
Intro and Noodle Scene is from the DC. Audio cuts from and back to the FC seamlessly before any left/right/centre channel dialogue starts.
The spinner journey to the police precinct and to the Tyrell building - The cityspeak over the comms has been removed. The center channel has been replaced with the DC version and the external shots for the spinner journeys to the police precinct, to the Tyrell Corporation and to Leon’s hotel is footage from the FC & regraded to match the DC.
Bryant’s over dub about “Skin jobs” has been tweaked to better suit the room’s reverb ambience with a little pitch, reverb and EQ. Also added a little reverb to Leon’s, Zhora’s and Pris’ introductions.
All shots looking into the sun in Tyrells office are from the FC graded to suit the DC except for Deckard’s introduction close up as the posterisation was worse in the FC. The DC footage for these shots generally had very coarse grain/noise. The FC shots were smoother and they also had much more light playing into the stage wings on the wide shots, showing up the owl noticeably more. The sun however wasn’t as vibrant as it was in the DC, so I used a simple orange coloured circular overlay which was feathered to suit and used it over the suns’ changing position across the three wide/medium shots. Also burned in a little vibrancy with it’s layer filter – Just to get a pop out of the dull fogginess that the FC grading had given it. It’s worth noting that some grainy shot’s still remain from the DC to retain it’s colour and tone. Most remain in fact, but the updated FX shots and the very worse frames with noise got switched if the DC colour tone could be closely approximated.
All spinner shots showing wire have been replaced with masked off FC footage patched into the DC shots and regraded to suit, using Premier’s quick correction filter, 3 way correction filter or Dr Dre’s colour match software. Generally wider shots where the camera is locked off or doesn’t vary much in it coverage, where it’s exposure and target content is consistent, tend to work well with DR Dre’s colour match software. But for longer lenses where any given subject is isolated from the overall environment’s colour palette with busy elements moving in and out of shot, then the general colour grading filters are required. This takes longer than using Dr Dre’s, but is still more accurate overall. *Update – The previous procedure with Dr Dre’s software still rings true in principle, but when I created a contact sheet of 64 frames loosely covering the overall scope of the film with a focus on the gamut of colour schemes featured. Dr dre’s software can then create a .cube file, which can then be used with Adobe After Effects’ colour LUT function to grade the whole damn thing. It is less accurate than using it with small sample sizes, but surprisingly accurate considering 64 frames are able to closely approximate the general tone for large sweeping sample sizes. It even sometimes reccovers the original detail in highlights that the final cut had put a tint over to “fog” the burn out. In places it is close to the archive tones and in others it is certainly in keeping with the archive tone versus the FC, which is nice for those cleaned up FX shots - Certainly those shots from the FC that represent the time of day better than certain archive shots. And some shots still simply need manual colour grades to finish it off as even Dr Dre’s Colour matching can’t always cover drastic level changes which can result in heavy digital artifacting and pixel break up.
Roy Batty’s vid booth intro is from FC & graded to match DC
When Deckard drives into his apartment complex is from the FC graded to suit the DC
When Pris arrives at Sebastian’s building, the 2 shots used are from the FC & graded to match the DC in tone, but not luminosity. In effect it’s a blend of the two - brighter than the strangely subdued FC, so more reminiscent of the original, but the original was heavy handed. *This has now been replaced with colour matched grading using Dr Dre’s software.
There is no unicorn daydream when Deckard is sat at the piano, solo finger tapping in his melancholia. What is used visually is from the International Cut (IC) and the audio is from the Work Print (WP) –The original on-set notes Ford was playing are appropriate and atmospheric, adding to the diegetic warmth of the apartment hum. There is no other score used here - The nostalgic love theme is not needed yet. The piano notes actually start a few seconds too early to round off the previous scene - timed as a tender nod to Sebastian having found a friend I assume, but here Ford’s playing works much better for the same reason, so I let it come in just a little earlier and louder.
The snake scale microscope visuals in Animoid Row were from the FC & graded to match the DC
The window shot of Abdul Ben Hassan was from the FC & graded to match the DC *This has now been replaced with colour matched grading using Dr Dre’s software which I then scale matched the footage from the FC & graded to match the DC, but also cropped the additional FC footage to a small inset area to focus only on the FC changes. The preceding FC crane shot from Animoid Row is not used here. It used a quick fade-in fade-out piece of score which was more awkward than the original cut which always felt timely and smooth enough for me. Besides the FC footage of animoid row and Deckard outside Abdul’s looks terrible in the FC - Dark and muddy.
At Taffey Lewis’s, the crane shot street scene and shot of Deckard and the Policeman are from the FC and graded to suit the DC before cutting to the the interior shot from the DC. The street scene is an awkward restoration considering the hideous FC grading uses greens that obliterate the RGB dynamic and the WP is all there for reference. So it has been built up layer by layer with various colour tweaks, noise patterns, opacity filters and isolated coloured masks to imitate the WP colour range as closely as possible whilst adding a little punch to deal with the print fog – including overlaying the WP itself to pull out the highlight dynamics. The hockey mask dancers are just straight from the WP as it just pops nicely and is a good example of fairly untarnished footage from the WP. The audio from the WP is used here as my preferred diegetic music, starting from the street bustle, Deckard’s club entry and continuing to the original audio cue as Deckard’s vidphon chat with Rachael ends. This portion is essentially a tightened up restoration of the WP edit, as the diegetic music heard outside Taffy’s bar (Qu’ran by Brian Eno and David Byrne with session music by Jon Hassell) was replaced by a Vangelis piece in all other cuts for the clubs’ interior except in the WP. Keeping the original diegetic music from one scene to the next (exterior to interior) works very nicely when the surround sound amplifies in an instant, the segue to the first interior shot – making for a somewhat more invisible cut than other releases. It’s also worth noting that this music would probably have remained in the theatrical cut had it not been a tune that gained criticism from the religious community at the time for it’s use of sampled quotes from a holy book. I’ve read that the complaints were not accurate but I have no desire to verify this. Ultimately if the WP can be viewed with it, so can this edit. This diegetic music in Taffy’s bar scene wasn’t very well mixed in the WP so I remixed 5 of the 6 channels - leaving the low frequency as it is for now. I used the original music track to fill out the surround channels predominantly, with a little more in the left & right to augment what was already there and a touch more in the center for continuity. The old tracks were a good guide but the inferred diegetic audio dropped off to nothing in the surround tracks and was pretty shaky all-round with almost a wow & flutter effect. It is now much more present and consistent without totally taking over the bustling wild track. When it cuts to the vidphon around the corner from the main club area, I left more of the music track in the Left surround than the Right surround to embellish the orientation of the wider room etc.
To match up the WP audio with DC footage it meant there were a few frames missing from the slightly tighter edits of the conversation with Taffy in the DC that had developed from the original WP editing. I lengthened the shot of the photo of Zhora using Twixtor Pro - Whilst trimming a frame at the end to remove a slight backward thumb movement to bring less attention to the edit. This filled a third of the void and cutting the remainder of the music down to suit the rest of the DC edit didn’t throw the audio continuity out too noticeably as there was already an unavoidable jump cut interrupting the track during the original WP audio when Taffy’s voice was coolly ending the conversation - At which point it is conveniently the loudest his voice was in the mix.
For the 3 shots replacing Joanna Cassidy’s stunt double I scale matched the footage from the FC & graded to match the DC, but also cropped the additional FC footage to a small inset area to focus only on the FC changes - allowing as much of the original neon tube lighting from the DC to show through as possible. The original primary colours of the neon tubes are nearly impossible to replicate satisfactorily using the FC footage whilst retaining the skin tones and ambient light elsewhere. Dr Dre’s software did it nicely too, but the contrast wasn’t as good so I went with the fast colour grader in Premier.
The shots at the liquor stall and the road side chat to Bryant where Deckard’s cheek scuff is repaired in the FC. I graded all the cheek repairs from the FC to suit the DC and then I cropped and isolated them each to let as much of the original DC frames show through as the liquor stall blue lighting looks very muted in the FC. Also the colour spectrum in the FC is such that when you get rid of that green darkness you are left with weak blacks that fall to pieces, so there are limitations to how closely you can match the archive tones when using the FC footage in spite of some very powerful software available these days.
Deckard’s eyes. The footage of Deckard over Rachael’s shoulder in the bathroom doorway is from the DC. Then I used After Effect’s motion tracking of the blurred pixels of Deckard’s retinas. This wasn’t very accurate so then it was frame by frame node nudging in order to map out and mask the reflections.
“…I want more life…fucker” Using “father” is painfully obvious and remedial symbolism and undermines Battys’ demeanour entirely.
Tyrell’s head crushing scene is mostly DC – The expression’s on Hauer’s face were to me far more telling and moving than the blood and gore. Also the inclusion of Tyrell’s owl bearing witness to it’s maker’s demise at the hands of it’s own manufactured brethren was aesthetically cerebral. I did include a timely run of blood and briefly featured the eye sockets when Batty was done but it never needed more than a sprinkle – both are from the FC & graded to match the DC.
The 2 latter shot’s of the spinner querying Deckard’s ground traffic activity uses footage from the FC & graded using Dr Dre’s software to match the DC and then overlayed over the DC whilst being closely trimmed around the spinner and also masking it’s wires.
The shot of Deckard arriving outside Sebastian’s building is from the FC & graded to match the DC in the same fashion as the previous shots featuring Pris’ arrival. *This has now been replaced with colour matched grading using Dr Dre’s software.
The IC version of Pris’ death scene has the fingers in nose shot and the extra footage of a 3rd gunshot to kill Pris. I kept the fingered nostrils, but with a 2 gunshot scenario - using the footage of Deckard’s expression from his second gunshot in the IC in place of the footage of his expression from the IC’s 3rd gunshot which is used for the final shot in all cuts. The expression from the 2nd gunshot is more of a grim distortion – A distaste for the task at hand and showing a little of his desperation setting in. More…human if you will. Not that the replaced expression wasn’t similar, but this one was more apparent, and crossed with Pris’s horrific screaming in animal terror just felt more acute.
Where Deckard climbs through the floor and sits on the bath on his own and Batty is shown driving a nail through his hand, also on his own - is the same room and edited to appear to be at the same time as though in matching but separate rooms. They fight in this room briefly just afterwards. I have re-edited the sequence to reflect the chronological order of the shot list as filmed. The original shot order was obviously Batty having tracked Deckard to the bathroom, they fought (Batty let Deckard hit him with stylish bravado) and after Deckard exited, Batty found a nail to put through his hand to induce a desperate resurrection of nerve response as his body starts to shut down. This mean’t losing a few frames to join some shots of Deckard together earlier in the bathroom in a more natural way. Others had to be chopped up - like dividing a long shot of Deckard on the ledge into 2 to correspond with return cuts to Batty using the nail, which I augmented with an added blanket flash of lightning on Deckard just as it cuts to Batty with the sound of thunder. Cutting the next long shot on the ledge around the corner into 2 allowed me to retain Batty’s exclamation “YESSS” and by the interleaving of re-used audio for rain sounds and the external South East Asian slow chanting, the whole sequence has been re-shuffled to suit the chronology of the use of the same room.
The back of Roy Batty’s hand simply looks too fake in the IC and FC when the nail comes through and it looks too distorted – like soft rubber as it’s being held and squashed with his other hand. So that’s gone too, but I kept the extra camera angle on his facial expression as he collects himself, cutting short his frenzied breath after the initial burst of pain signals feeling.
All shots of Deckard climbing and hanging from the building are re-cut from the DC to suit the FC sequencing. The external matte painting composite shots are from the FC and graded to suit the DC except for where they have used the same shot twice of the corner of the building. In the first instance we see it is oriented to show the left side in the DC which makes more narrative sense than in the FC where they show the right side orientation – As it then goes on to show the reversal of the frame after Deckard has traversed the corner, thus seeming to be the right side.
In the first instance of the corner shot, I have replaced the shot entirely. Making use of the surrounding detail in the classic shot of Deckard dangling – as seen from above. I have taken a still and illustrated and animated a reversed angle view to suggest it is what he sees as he steps out onto the ledge. I painted out Deckard and replaced him with girders and details etc and turned it around by about 180 degrees. I distorted the gap using photoshop to make it appear a little further away etc and then added a falling piece of wood to be consistent with the slats he kicks out. This was done by animating a tumbling 3d texture mapped rectangle panel using Blender, which was then layered into premiere via an alpha channel .png sequence. Then I added a few layers of stock steam footage to incrementally envelop the falling wood as it falls, creating a perception of depth. On top of this there is also a forced perspective overlay of rainfall with some wet pitter-patter on the opposing girder using stock footage samples. Added a 3 frame lightning flash which freezes and helps embed many details nicely for a split second.
In the 2nd corner shot where Deckard climbs round to the right side and meets Batty kicking out the window slats, I took the footage of Batty in the window from the matte shot in the FC and re-composited it into the DC footage to better match the grading of the original footage. The FC version of this shot also has awkwardly painted shadows in the top right. I have instead introduced some lighting FX in the top right of the DC’s wide shot to mimic the background when the close up on Hauer leaning out of the window shows the part of the set swinging and dripping with flashes of distant neon etc. I also added a slight green/blue cast to simulate the slight foreground light on Deckard and his corner of the building. Over all of this I simulated a few blue flashes of lightning over the whole frame to match the lightning featured in the close-ups either side of this shot for colour continuity as a whole. I also augmented the rising steam in the matte shots with an extra layer or two of smoke footage, which when tinted bluish, fitted in just like steam.
Most of the remaining shots were from the DC except for the matte FX shots looking down at Deckard clinging on for life above the street which I regraded far closer to the DC, using elements from both the DC and FC in composite. Other regraded FC shots were Deckard standing on the roof for the first time, Batty sitting, Battys’ tears in rain dialogue – Which is adjusted visually to grow lighter more slowly towards dawn. The dove’s flight into the new skyline is also obviously from the FC graded to suit the DC. The credits are from the FC with it’s necessary technical and staff info updates, but with the Warner Brothers logo from the DC.
Added a stereo track option as an alternative to the surround track. Also added a third track featuring Ford’s voice over for those who like it. It is stereo and it involved using the final phrases from the TC car scene, but placed over the hallway scene at the end. Had to cut it down a little and re-order it to make it work. It’s a little obtrusive, but I wanted to give the V.O. option, and I definitely didn’t want to include the original ending.
Running time: 117 mins