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Info: editing (blending, syncing, adding/subtracting) audio

This is where the editor’s creativity comes into play. There’s a section in my Hobbit edit where I combined three different scenes into one sequence (The bit where Thorin gets his sword back from Legolas in the battle, if you’re curious) and it took a ton of tweaking to get the audio right.

Is it completely invisible? No.
Is it perfect? No.
If the edit is working in a story driven, emotional way and you’re not looking for the change, does it work without being too noticeable? Absolutely.

That’s the best way to look at what you’re trying to accomplish. 90% of the time, what you want to do is possible, you just have to get real creative with it.

Info: editing (blending, syncing, adding/subtracting) audio

I’ll attempt to answer a few of your questions as best as I can.

Depending on whether you’re editing at Stereo movie or a 5.1 surround movie (and also the method with which you ripped that particular audio) You’ll either have two tracks, left and right, or 6 tracks, left, right, center, surround left, surround right, and Low Front End (LFE).

In stereo, it’s almost impossible to isolate a particular part of the audio landscape. In 5.1 it’s very difficult, and not always possible, but you have a bit more leeway.

There are some videos that have completely isolated center channels that only contain dialogue and maybe a few sound effects here and there, but will have no music. The Clone Wars series is a good example. For instance, you’d be able to completely re-score those episodes by just replacing the music tracks and maybe adding a little bit of Foley work to fill in the surround channels.

Most movies, however, will have muddied center channels, that contain dialogue, music and special effects. Most of the time the music is quieter on this channel than the others, so removing the other channels will get most of the music out. I’ve had some success by doing this and playing with the levels of the videos so that the old music track is barely noticeable.

Star Wars is the most vexing of films because it’s center channel is all over the place, hence why very few of them have drastic audio edits.

I have seen mention of programs that can separate these sounds further, but they are imperfect by nature, and I don’t have any experience with them. Perhaps someone else can give you some more info on that front?

I hope this helps, and good luck on your project!

Info Wanted: Open Matte versions of the Prequels?

Not sure where I should post this, so feel free to move it. I’m experimenting with the prequels, and I was wondering if there’s any sort of HDTV versions of the films with a more open matte than the 2:39:1 ratio commonly used for the films. I’m going to do some cropping/zooming myself and was hoping to have as much image real estate as possible.

Return of the Jedi - The Spence Final Cut (Released)

NtD5 said:

Bump for Mr. Doom. I'd really like to see this one. I've searched pretty much every other avenue I can think of as well, and I haven't found anything. It simply appears not to be online.

 Unfortunately, I never did the Mega upload of this so I'm not sure who would be able to re-upload it. Due to switching computers I don't have it saved currently. I'll ask around over at and see if I can get it uploaded.

The Hobbit - The Spence Edit (Released)

Sure, here's the link to that thread:

I apologize for not updating this thread as much, but there wasn't much discussion going on here. I will say there are changes that you will not see listed as this edit as changed and evolved over time.

I'm hoping to have it available via either tonight or tomorrow.

The Hobbit - The Spence Edit (Released)

I've seen the three hour version you are speaking of. Mine is quite different.

My transition between AUJ and DOS is basically just a little rearrangement to make it appear that Gandalf brought the ponies/horses with him for their escape from the goblin tunnels. Then they just head straight to Mirkwood.

I figured out the Orcrist issue, so that's not longer a plot hole. I was totally over thinking it. A very simple edit will make it work seamessly.

It's looking like it might run more like 3 hrs. 15 including the credits. I want it close to 3 hrs. but I don't want to rush it. Pacing is a big focus for me as far as this edit. It's obviously going to have a lot going on plot wise, but so does FOTR and that doesn't feel "rushed"

Thanks for the interest!

Is the Hobbit prequel trilogy suffering the same problems as the Star Wars prequel Trilogy?

NeverarGreat said:

I thought the Tyrion episode was a clever way of avoiding an expensive battle scene, and I didn't think it was deflating at all. The point of such a thing would be to refocus the story on a single character, so if it feels deflating to miss the battle, that is only because there has been too much emphasis on battles and secondary characters already.

I can see your point in the GoT example. It did save their budget, and it did focus down on Tyrion. That battle, however, didn't have many other characters to be concerned with. The reveal that Tyrion survived and that Robb had taken Jamie prisoner is more important, character wise, than what happens in the battle itself.

In The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings in general, the secondary characters are part of what makes the movies so great. To have Fili and Kili die off screen, to not see Thorin fall, or to miss Bard and Thandruill working together to push the Orcs out of the city just wouldn't feel right. Those are important character moments. I do think that any fanedit of The Hobbit needs to work harder to push Bilbo to the forefront, but I don't think those secondary characters can lose the end of their arcs in order to do so.

Is the Hobbit prequel trilogy suffering the same problems as the Star Wars prequel Trilogy?

NeverarGreat said:

The movie could be from the point of view of Bilbo, who gets knocked out during the battle and misses the fight. He recovers afterwards and finds Thorin dying on the battlefield. It's more similar to the book in that way.

 Some of the less-than-legal one film edits floating around have gone this route, and it simply doesn't work. The main character getting knocked out and missing a huge chunk of climax might work in a book (though I'd argue it doesn't) but in a film it's hugely deflating. Especially when it's the climax of so much story. I'm all for being true to the book, but this is one of the few instances where the changes were an improvement. The fight is a bit overblown but at least it was something.

Imagine if Aragorn got knocked out during Helm's Deep, then he wakes up and Gandalf is like "Oh you missed it, we saved you."? Or that episode of Game of Thrones Season 1 where they did this exact thing with Tyrion?

The Hobbit - The Spence Edit (Released)

Hello everyone! I wanted to get back into posting over here after a long hiatus, so I thought I’d start a thread for what I’m working on right now. Like most people that own an editing program, I too am tackling The Hobbit Trilogy.

My aim with this edit is to make a good three hour film, and I’m not necessarily sticking strictly to the book.

Cut List:

- Older Bilbo is cut from the opening of the film, as is the opening prologue. It begins with Gandalf approaching Bilbo.

  • Much of the Dwarves antics at the dinner is gone.
  • Some superfluous dialogue removed when Gandalf is explaining the mission.
  • The “pocket handkerchief” dialogue is removed. Once Bilbo gets on the pony, it goes straight to the traveling montage.
  • Gandalf and Thorin no longer argue over the elves. Gandalf, as he is want to do, leaves the party briefly without explanation.
  • Trims and cuts to the Troll sequence for pacing and to remove childish gags/toilet humor.
  • Thorin is no longer shitty about Bilbo after the Troll encounter.
  • Trims to the troll cave sequence for pacing.
  • Radaghast and his necromancer subplot is entirely removed from the film.
  • The Orcs chasing the party is removed from the story completely. They do not encounter orcs at all until the final battle.
  • Rivendell trimmed for mention of orcs, and for some silliness.
  • Rivendell scenes are cut so that Bilbo is walking around enjoying Rivendell while the Dwarves are eating. Majority of that dinner scene is removed. When Elrond asks Bilbo about not being with his friends, it’s because they are at dinner. I’m very happy with the way Rivendell turned out in this edit.
  • White council and Necromancer subplot is removed, though Galadriel is introduced. Her conversation with Gandalf about Bilbo remains.
  • Stone giants removed.
  • Tumbling into the goblin caves trimmed.
  • Goblin songs removed.
  • Mention of Azog and the orcs chasing the party is removed.
  • No trims to Riddles in the Dark, as it is awesome.
  • Majority of the goblin caves fight is removed, save the very beginning.
  • The Hobbits are not chased by Orcs after they escape the tunnels, nor do they visit Beorn.
  • Many trims to Mirkwood.
  • Removed Bilbo freaking out about losing the ring. It never quite felt right to me in this movie. Too dark.
  • Tauriel is now just another random elf, nothing special about her. Legolas is still there, and is indeed Legolas, but his role has been trimmed to more of a cameo.
  • Because of our lack of Orcs, the barrels scene had to be very heavily trimmed. There is now no more running battle and the party is not pursued.
  • Much of the conversation with Bard is removed.
  • The process of getting into the fish barrels is removed, they just arrive in them already.
  • Alfrid does not stop Bard on his way in. If Alfrid could be removed in any way, believe me, he was. He appears very briefly throughout.
  • Kili still gets injured, which causes him to fall over when stealing the weapons. It’s presented in a way that it looks like he was injured in the rapids while in a barrel.
  • The suspicion of Bard, and most of the Master’s scenes, have been removed.
  • Bard’s family is removed entirely from the film.
  • None of the dwarves stay behind in Lake-Town. There is no celebration for them leaving.
  • Gandalf still goes to Dol Goldur, but it’s not specifically about the Necromancer, as he is Sir-Not-In-This-Film. He learns that there is an army gathering there, then escapes by blinding Azog (who is not mentioned by name ever.)
  • Trims to Bilbo looking for the Arkenstone before Smaug awakens.
  • Mention of “dragon sickness” has been removed.
  • The entire fight with Smaug within the mountain has been removed.
  • To flow into the next film better, Bilbo’s “What have we done?” line has been removed.

Battle of the Five Armies Footage Plans:

  • Bard never gets sent to jail, so he bursts into action immediately.
  • A black arrow is no longer fired by Bard, he shoots Smaug with a real arrow, finding the spot where a black arrow knocked his scale loose.
  • A lot of Thorin’s freaking out will be removed. Just keep enough to establish that he’s obsessed with finding the Arkenstone.
  • We find out later in the story that Bilbo has the Arkenstone than we did before.
  • The people of Lake-Town go straight to Dale after the city is destroyed.
  • Obviously all the white council/rescuing Gandalf stuff will be gone.
  • All of Legolas and Tauriel’s subplots will be cut. I will only keep the scene in the battle where Legolas informs Gandalf about the Orcs marching on Ravenhill.
  • “Dragon Sickness” is no longer a thing. Thorin just becomes a bit of a greedy jerk, then later has a change of heart.
  • HUGE trims to the battle. It goes on way, way too long. This will be very challenging as it will have to all make sense geographically.
  • Alfrid and Bard’s family is removed throughout the battle.
  • Fili and Kili still die. Kili is killed almost immediately as he charges for Azog.
  • Trimmed down the Azog fight. Because he hasn’t been a main antagonist throughout the series, I dont’ think he needs quite as epic and lengthy of a fight. Still cool though.
  • Radaghast and Beorn removed from the Eagles charging in. It now seems a bit random that the Eagles arrive without prompt, but I don’t know that I’m against that. They sort of tend to do that throughout the Middle Earth series.
  • Azog popping up through the ice happens faster. It feels silly how long Thorin spends staring at him.
  • Bilbo sitting next to Gandalf at the end of the battle is removed. I don’t care for that scene for some reason, the bit where Gandalf cleans out his pipe.
  • Shots of the Dwarves surrounding Thorin’s body will be during the scene where Dale plays Thorin’s horn theme.
  • New ending: Once Bilbo reaches Bag End at the finale of the film, we go to Old Bilbo looking at picture of his younger self. I then used some footage from Fellowship to make the last scene Bilbo beginning to write “There and Back Again”. I feel like this flows nicely into the trilogy but is also a fitting cap to the end of this story.

The only major plot hole I’m finding at the moment is that Thorin suddenly gets his elvish sword back in the middle of the battle. Because I cut Legolas, I also cut the explanation of how he got the sword back. I’m not sure if I want to create some complicated pseudo scene just to fix that. If that’s the biggest problem with turning 9 hours of movie into 3 hours, I can deal.

I also recently completed Frank Herbert’s Dune - The Spence Edit, which turns the Sci-Fi Channel miniseries into one cinematic film. As of right now it’s my favorite edit that I’ve ever done, so if you’re interested I encourage you to check it out!

I look forward to being on the boards here more often and checking out what projects are going on at the moment.

The Phantom Menace - Spence Edit

Exactly. That's part of the point, to give the heroes/villains a bit more purpose.

In the crawl, it's going to say basically that when the Republic realizes what the Naboo have found is part of the Star Forge, they begin to discuss destroying it. The Federation wants it so they can build a giant droid army quickly and accelerate their plans to rule the galaxy.

Something I'd really like to do, but I'd need some help with, is have Maul's death tied to the Star Forge's destruction. I was thinking if when he falls down the pit, a big explosion of force energy (a la ROTJ) could shoot out. Then maybe some shots of the big power columns where the light "dims" to sell the effect.

I'm worried this thing is getting too ambitious, haha.

The Phantom Menace - Spence Edit

I like "Feel, don't think. Use your instincts." Maybe he could say "Anakin" before that to get his attention.

Alright, that's going in I think. I like it.

Also, what if the new power source was a fragment of the Star Forge from KOTOR? Then it gives some context of what it can actually do, and why the TF would want it (build an unstoppable droid army.)