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Ever edited your own version of a movie?


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#1 of 114 Simon Young

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Posted March 16 2004 - 02:20 PM

I only ask because I am currently cutting my own versions of Fellowship of the RIng and Two Towers, using the theatrical and extended DVDs as source material. Not for profit or to impress anyone, but purely for my own curiosity. I always had problems with the theatrical versions, but there are also some scenes in the extended cuts that bothered me. So I made a hybrid. So far I've only tackled Two Towers, and it turned out pretty well.

I could post the details of what I put in and left out, plus the technical info, if anyone is interested. Any and all thoughts would be appreciated, but as I said this was purely for my own interest. Now I have three different cuts to choose from, in a manner of speaking.

Has anyone here ever tackled anything like this before? How did you do it, and what were your reasons?

#2 of 114 Patrick McCart

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Posted March 16 2004 - 02:43 PM

I'm working on a reconstruction of the silent "The Phantom of the Opera."

Basically, I'm transferring both the restored 1929 and 16mm 1925 versions from the Milestone Video DVD set. Then, I'm going to replace all the footage in the 16mm version with pristine 1929 version footage whenever possible.

It'll be precise, too. In some instances (like the first scene with Carlotta), the scene will switch from 35mm to 16mm mid-shot (but will be timed to the near-exact point where the missing 35mm would be). I'm also using all the intertitles from the 16mm version... for most of them, there are nice curtain backgrounds. Some are more or less the same, but some of the plain black background cards still have slightly different wording.

There will also be a new score that I'm editing together from my collection of classical music. It'll feature pieces by Rimsky-Korsakov, Vaughn Williams, Saint-Saens, and of course, pieces from Gounod's "Faust" when needed.

Besides the Phantom project...

I've done short humor videos by taking scenes from silent films and replacing the intertitles. The opening scene from The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari became an excuse to tell an old lawyer joke. The auction scene from Intolerance became a talent show. Posted Image

#3 of 114 Matt Pelham

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Posted March 16 2004 - 02:55 PM

I always wished DVDs and DVD Players had an option like that. Something where every frame is numbered, and you could basically construct your own version of the movie by removing the frame #'s you don't like or adding in the deleted scenes, or even changing the order of scenes.

#4 of 114 Simon Young

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Posted March 16 2004 - 03:14 PM

Sounds interesting! Are you an editor yourself, or just do this as a hobby? How, might I ask, did you transfer and edit the files?

I converted the ripped MPEG-2 files to QuickTime files using the Photo - JPEG codec at 75% (according to the One River Media's Codec guide, it produces images almost identical to the original at only 2.7Mb/s - by far the best free 4:2:2 codec out there). The great thing about this codec is that it plays smoothly on my G4 PowerBook, and is relatively quick to render. Anyhow, I digress. I converted the audio from AC3 to AIFF, suitable for editing.

Having synced the converted video and audio in Final Cut Pro, I then proceeded to take out the scenes I disliked from the extended version, replacing them with the shorter scenes from the theatrical version. The different versions matched quite well, although the theatrical version seemed scaled down by approx. 1%, leading to some slight windowboxing on the sides of the image. A quick bit of scaling up soon fixed that! I had to tweak volume levels also, as the theatrical audio was about 3dB lower than the extended audio. However, the joins were eventually totally seamless.

The changes I made were:


- removed Sam and Frodo discussing roast chicken and Elvish rope
- replaced Saruman building his army with the theatrical version
- restored the original audio cue as the three hunters continue to give chase
- replaced some of Gandalf's return with the theatrical version, removing the conversation about the Ents
- removed Theodred's funeral
- replaced Faramir's introduction with the theatrical version
- removed Eowyn giving commands upon arrival at Helm's Deep
- removed Eowyn confessing her love for Aragorn
- replaced credits with theatrical version, to lose fan club credits
- used improved version of New Line logo, from the extended version


All of the other extended additions I left in. Most of the reasons for the above changes were pace or focus - for instance, I thought that the new opening killed the pace of the movie dead, while Faramir's newer, more gentle introduction went against everything PJ was trying to do with his character in the films.

Fellowship will be far harder to tackle, however. Most of scenes, bar a few in Lothlorien, play well in both versions, so I'll just have to see which work better in the context of my new version.

Next I think I'll do The Phantom Menace. Now that'll be easy.

#5 of 114 Chris

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Posted March 16 2004 - 03:15 PM

I've done this -one- time.. and it was cumbersome, but worth it. for those that don't know, there was a film version of "Fantastic Four" done with fairly mediocre effects and, to my knowledge, not released in any viable form. Made in 1994, and never released to video, or TV, the film has some serious editing problems, which, through Premiere, were fixed with some minor past overs (to get rid of mics) and a few graphic cleanups.

The movie still isn't great, but I break it out every now and again to check it Posted Image
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#6 of 114 Keith Paynter

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Posted March 16 2004 - 03:29 PM

Hey Patrick, great minds think alike.

I reconstructed a version of Phantom that was full B&W (including the Bal Masque scene, a totally different edit than the two-strip Technicolor) using the old Image LD, which ran at 24 FPS, similar to 16mm prints I watched for years from our local library, and a public domain videotape which ran the complete B&W 1929 version at the same speed (for the Bal Masque and the old LD side break fade out/fade in).

Many years ago, before the 16mm collection was abandoned, a new print of the 1929 cut had come in, and the music score was recorded by the late Lee Erwin , which is the most appropriate silent score I've ever heard - he wrote specific themes and spread them throughout the film along with improvised fills. I saved that to cassette then CD later and used it to build a synchronized soundtrack.

In a unique e-mail incident, I was able to communicate with David Messineo, Principal University Organist at Princeton University, a protege of Erwin's, who was thrilled that I had a copy of this recording. I sent him a copy of the disc a year or so ago. Messineo performs Erwin's work on the Phantom quite regularly.

PS Patrick - you have a PM...
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#7 of 114 Robert Ringwald

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Posted March 16 2004 - 03:31 PM

I made a VHS version of Disturbing Behavior putting the deleted scenes back into the movie where they belonged. Most of them really helped the movie, and I'm upset they were cut.

#8 of 114 george kaplan

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Posted March 16 2004 - 03:38 PM

I've only done this once. I love There's Something About Mary, but never want to see that graphic zipper scene again, so I simply cut out those few frames.

I also never watch the ballet scene at the end of Singin' in the Rain, but that's easily skipped over so I haven't actually edited it out.
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#9 of 114 Dick

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Posted March 16 2004 - 03:43 PM

I made edits of STAR TREK V, ALIEN and THE SWARM. For the first, I cut out a lot of scenes that seemed to drag the movie down ("Row Row Row the Boat," Scotty walking into a beam, etc.). For ALIEN I edited in the deleted footage from the laser. For THE SWARM I started with the longer version (156 minutes) and cut out the entire, laughably stupid subplot involving Fred MacMurray and Olivia d'Havilland, plus lots of other garbage, and brought it down to 114 minutes, slightly less than the theatrical running time. This was all done from laser to VHS in the old days. The edits were really very smooth and each movie seemed greatly improved to me (I was a film editor for 15 years). I doubt I would bother to take the time to do these same films from DVD sources.

#10 of 114 JeremySt

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Posted March 16 2004 - 03:48 PM

I made a single, long cut of The Evil Dead Trilogy into ONE movie. I edited in deleted scenes, edited out scenes that created continuity problems, etc.

#11 of 114 Jack Theakston

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Posted March 16 2004 - 03:51 PM

I've never tampered with a film (other than restoring them), but I've seen my friend's redux of PULP FICTION in which he edited the stories in order, but needless to say, it took away the charm.

About the Lee Erwin score to PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: Lee actually published the score after it had become popular as the Griggs Moviedrone soundtrack (I think it was Griggs). I've got a copy of it and it suits it nicely. I also have the three cue sheets for the film (which encludes the one that was used for the Vitaphone soundtrack on the Milestone disc). Needless to say, they're pretty good as well.
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#12 of 114 Simon Young

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Posted March 16 2004 - 04:03 PM

I was wondering the other day how one would edit the Evil Dead Trilogy together. I'm not sure I would add deleted scenes, as most of them are in pretty poor condition. However, I would use the longest cut available of Army of Darkness (from the R3 MGM release), but tack on the 'S-Mart ending' (it just makes me giggle every time).


I thought it would be really funny to start with the opening of Army of Darkness, then, when Ash begins to narrate over flashback ("I had a real life once...") go to the opening of The Evil Dead. Splice the first and second movies together, picking up where the 'evil force' hits Ash. Then cut out the stuff with his headless girlfriend's corpse altogether (a shame, but necessary). Come the end of Evil Dead II, cut when Ash falls from the sky to the equivalent bit in Army of Darkness, then let that movie play out to its S-Mart conclusion. With any luck, it'll seem like Ash has been relating the whole, 4 hour story to Ted Raimi!


#13 of 114 Patrick McCart

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Posted March 16 2004 - 04:03 PM

Quote:
I also never watch the ballet scene at the end of Singin' in the Rain, but that's easily skipped over so I haven't actually edited it out.

Don't you mean "An American in Paris" ?

#14 of 114 Christ Reynolds

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Posted March 16 2004 - 04:28 PM

i edited a chronological version of memento before the SE dvd came out. i knew it wouldnt hold up that well as a film in chronological order, but it was interesting to watch. and i am in the process of making a boogie nights 'extended' with most of the deleted scenes from the SE dvd put back in. i can see why most of them were cut, but many of them contain great material.

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#15 of 114 Chris Clark

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Posted March 16 2004 - 04:50 PM

Does a black and white Gunsmoke episode count? I've also been privy to a section of Sid & Nancy (they cut a ton out of it). There was also this crap western that we had to cut, but it isn't worth mentioning.
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#16 of 114 Beau

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Posted March 16 2004 - 05:26 PM

I'd LOVE to put together my own version of Army of Darkness. I'm more familar with the theatrical cut than the DC so I'm not sure what I'd cut or keep in, but I remember wanting to make my own version after seeing the DC the first time.(Although lots of the DC fottage looked like crap, wish it was better.) I like the idea of having a long version of all 3 films, starting with Ash's narration from AOD starting the whole thing, then going into ED, then starting ED2 where the remake shot of the first's ending, and AOD where the car falls from the sky. AOD is the only movie that I would play around with though. Wish I could do all this.

#17 of 114 Simon Young

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Posted March 16 2004 - 10:18 PM

IN many ways, it would work best to just use Evil Dead II and Army of Darkness, as they are arguably closer in terms of style and humour than the first movie. However, it would be neat to incorporate the first film into the mix as well.

However, what title would one use? The Evil Dead? Evil Dead: Dead By Dawn? This might be my next project, after I've finished editing Fellowship of the Ring and moved my files to a larger hard drive.

#18 of 114 george kaplan

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Posted March 16 2004 - 10:18 PM

Don't you mean "An American in Paris" ?
No. I don't like that movie enough to own it, so I have no need to edit out that film's ballet. I'm talking about Singin' in the Rain, on the old dvd it's chapters 43-49, entitled "The Broadway Melody Ballet".
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#19 of 114 Keith Paynter

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Posted March 16 2004 - 11:22 PM

Quote:
Lee actually published the score after it had become popular as the Griggs Moviedrone soundtrack (I think it was Griggs). I've got a copy of it and it suits it nicely.

I have to wonder if the print used for the Image LD soundtrack originally had the Erwin score and was removed in favor of what exists for the Blackhawk print (Gaylord Cater's version). There a couple of obvious splices in the print, and the audio of the Erwin score jumps appropriately a short time later (as the splice eventually reaches the optical head).

Quote:
Lee actually published the score after it had become popular as the Griggs Moviedrone soundtrack


Jack, can you elaborate?
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#20 of 114 Chris Dugger

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Posted March 16 2004 - 11:38 PM

Well....

I have a 6 hour version of BACK TO THE FUTURE.

Took the 3 films and put them together... added a few deleted scenes back in and tightend the film up a tad.

Showed it to a couple of friends who had never seem the original.

When asked if they enjoyed it, the questions of a 6 hour movie came up. They wondered how theatres showed the thing....

Thatz when I had to break the news that they had seen 3 films instead of just one...

Hell, they didn't even notice that Marty's girlfriend changes 110 minutes into the film...

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