Monday, 27 March 2017

2017 already? Oh. Okay then.

It's been almost 8 months since my last post. Faintly ridiculously, in that time I still haven't finished Disturbing Behaviour: Aberrant Edition (because the last few bits of compositing work to hide a minor continuity issue introduced by one of my changes are really boring. Like really boring) and I also still haven't finished Max Renn: The Video Man. I also still haven't finished the extended version of The Raid 2 that I started some time ago. I haven't had a lot of time for editing generally as I started a new job and have been spending a lot of my time getting to grips with it. (Also videogames *cough*).

I have found time, somehow, to start and finish an edit of Guardians Of The Galaxy, where the main changes are:

  • Cut Quill's mother & Ravager kidnapping scene completely - barring the last few seconds, it's a dull, lumpen scene to open with. Quill's conversation with Gamora later explains its importance without trowelling on the cheese, and with the opening scene cut the later scene now provides the viewer with new information.
  • Quill retrieving the orb has been shortened and converted into a comic strip sequence. Currently, this cuts from the face-on shot of Quill leaping toward the Milano to the POV shot travelling to Xandar. This means Yondu's introduction is a bit odd, because now he is mentioned while off-screen but not named when we first see him.
  • Stan Lee's cameo has been cut, because it does nothing for the film and I'm not a fan of Stan Lee.
  • All of Ronan's scenes before he is summoned to Knowhere are cut - he is introduced as a fearsome fanatic by others, but I feel these scenes are unnecessary momentum-killers that may add to the MCU but only at the expense of the film. So now, the perp-line-up scene ends immediately after Quill is identified (and before the "What a bunch of a-holes" line), hard-cutting to the ships heading to the Kyln. Similarly, the scene where Quill persuades Drax not to kill Gamora segues to Rocket explaining his escape plan.
  • Ronan's scene telling Thanos he's coming for him next is cut (because it is no longer needed, and because it's yet another boring scene in which characters stand around and recite lumpen exposition to each other). This loses the moment where Nebula pledges herself to Ronan over Thanos, but I don't think it's a particularly important moment, tbh.
  • The Nova Corps exchange about Quill's message is cut to remove the re-use of "a-hole". Similarly, Quill's later line "they got my dick message" is cut.
  • The climactic battle between Quill & co. and Thanos is trimmed for pace.
  • Various other little trims here and there to keep things moving.
Basically, this was aiming to be a 90 minute cut. It's clocking it at 100 minutes including all credits, so I'm pretty happy with it. Compared to most MCU films there's not a lot of fat on its bones, but I still think it plays much better without the "wider MCU" bits slowing it down.

I say "finished" but I'm still pending a final watch of this edit before it's put to bed. As far as releasing it is concerned, it'll be digital-only - I can't be arsed with a DVD image for it and don't have the interest to try and put together any extras.

After that, in order:
  • Max Renn: The Video Man (also digital-only)
  • Disturbing Behaviour: Aberrant Edition (to be released jointly with Extended Edition)
  • The Raid 2: Extended Edition
When those are out of the way? Either I'll re-start Scott Pilgrim: Eleven Evil Exes Edition, or The Shadow Over Innsmouth. Or, knowing me, I'll restart both at the same time. Based on my last few posts, though, odds are good it'll be 2018 before either of those get underway again.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

"Disturbing Behaviour" & "Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter...And Spring"

I've been revising my Disturbing Behaviour Extended Edition over the last few days and am happy to say that it is finished, with both an MP4 and NTSC DVD authored and uploaded. DLC files should be available at the usual place in the next few days.

I'll probably cut together a trailer for it - I'm still very happy with how effective the trailer for the Aberrant Edition turned out.

In the meantime, here's a DVD cover I created for the Extended Edition a while back:

1-4 Single Amaray 3240 x 2175 (170 spine) - Disturbing Behaviour - Extended Edition

The Aberrant Edition is still in progress - I'm most of the way through checking the project one last time to iron out any bugs, and have found a few small things to tweak here and there (including some compositing work I'll need to do to hide a minor continuity issue introduced by one of my changes). I'm hoping it won't take more than a few days to finish the main feature; once that's done I have an idea for a fun DVD extra that'll take a couple of days, and then it should be ready to render.

I also recently finished Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter...and Spring, a short fanedit of (500) Days of Summer. If you've seen the Kim Ki-Duk film whose title I purloined, you probably have an idea of what to expect. I made the short to submit to the Love Consecution, which should be released soon and looks to have a bunch of great short fanedits, so I would recommend keeping an eye open for it.

Here's a poster I put together for it:

After that? Most likely I'll be finishing off Max Renn: The Video Man - Videodrome recut in the style of Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo: The Iron Man. It's almost finished, apart from a couple of final bits of music replacement and some compositing work. Here's a taste of what to expect:

MAX RENN - THE VIDEO MAN from That One Guy on Vimeo.

While I'm posting Vimeo links, here's one I forgot to post last year when I finished my de-sequelised edit of The Raid 2 - a shortened version of Merantau Warrior which now tells the story of how Yuda first came to Jakarta and ended up relying on his fists to survive:

Farmboy from That One Guy on Vimeo.
(The password is "").

Thursday, 7 July 2016

The by-now-becoming-annual update from That One Guy

Whoa, it's been 9 months since my last post. I've been dreadful at posting here, but I haven't been completely inactive on the fanediting front. In the absence of anything else to write about, I'll go for a recap of my current editing projects and where they're at:

[ABERRANT]/Disturbing Behaviour - As I mentioned previously, this turned into a double-feature edit. One edit is a straight extended edition (including a rebuilt commentary track from David Nutter), the other is a fairly extensive recut with the goal of making the film into more of a paranoid conspiracy thriller and less of a tone-shifting Teenage Stepford Wives. The Extended Edition is finished (but not uploaded); most of the work on the recut is done but I need to review my faneditor's commentary track and decide if I want to re-record it before authoring the DVD.

The Raid 2 Extended Edition - I need to finish adding blood effects to a couple of the deleted scenes, which is kind of tiresome compositing work. Once that's done I have the audio work almost entirely done, so it won't take long. Given that I have recently purchased the film on Blu-Ray, and the deleted scenes were released at full-hd resolution, I may follow this up with HD versions of both my Berandal edit and the Extended Edition.

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter...and Spring - an idea that popped almost fully formed into my head about two weeks ago, in time for the much-delayed Romance Consecution at Barring any change requests from the FE Academy this is finished; it'll be released once the Consecution is complete and online.

MAX RENN: THE VIDEO MAN - Videodrome in the style of Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo: The Iron Man. Originally envisioned as a ~15 minute short, this is currently clocking in at around 45 minutes (which is fitting, since Tetsuo is around 60 minutes long). Most of the main editing work on this is done, but I still need to do some work on the audio including music replacement.

The Cursed Count - A drastic re-edit of F W Murnau's Nosferatu into a romance short. My original project idea for the Romance Consecution, not abandoned but paused after realising that the work involved meant it was not well-suited to tight deadlines. Like "The Equation Of Crime", my short for the Cops Consecution, I don't know if the change of tone and genre will be completely convincing in the final result, but these are the sorts of experiments that appeal to me in fanediting.

The Shadow Over Innsmouth - This one has been gestating for years and years; for so long in fact that I started it back when I was still using Premiere Elements as an editing suite and knew so little about DVD ripping that I still used split m2v files as my source. The project will need to be restarted in Movie Studio with a  Lagarith source, but I should be able to recreate the work I've done so far reasonably quickly once I get started. The larger challenge is finishing the script for the intertitles and cutting the ending in a satisfactory manner that feels tonally consistent with the original story.

Eurotrip Extended Workprint, v2 - What it says on the tin. Recreating my old Eurotrip Extended Edition with better source, proper audio editing and better handling of the deleted scenes. Since they're only available at lower resolution it'll be workprint-quality.

Scott Pilgrim: Eleven Evil Exes Edition, v2 - A complete do-over of my first-ever fanedit. Some of the ideas for this went into Scott Pilgrim: Punch-Out!! Edition, but there's plenty more to do. As with the Punch-Out!! Edition, I have ideas for some extras to go on the DVD release too, which will be time-consuming but fun to put together.

Sucker Punch - Removing as much slow-motion as possible, as well as the horrendously expository visual reinforcement of the narrative, adding the Ben Hibon animated shorts as transitional sequences, and creating a new ending.

Guardians Of The Galaxy - I liked the film well enough but felt that there was some flab and a couple of jokes which fell completely flat for me. This is a simple edit, really just removing things like all the Ronan scenes before the Guardians meet him (because they feel contrived to establish wider MCU nonsense rather than serving the film). Low priority.

Mortal Kombat v2 - Effectively a sort of "de-crappified" version; it's v2 because as with Shadow Over Innsmouth I will need to recreate the entire project in Movie Studio using the previous workprint version as a guide. Low priority.

  • (500) Hours Of Ramona - Scott Pilgrim, non-chronological-structure. Short.
  • Untitled Evil Dead short
  • The Odyssey - Adrien Brody combo short, using parts of The Jacket as a framing device.
  • Elysium - cut all scenes of what Elysium is like before Max gets there, cut back Delacourt's character, dump the "Max as a kid" stuff.
  • Hotline New York - Not a million miles away from Taxi Driver recut in the style of Drive, only the narrative will be closer to the Hotline Miami games.
  • X-Men First Class - As with GotG, a simple edit to trim a bit of flab, a couple of flat jokes, and maybe reinsert some of the deleted scenes.
  • Lords of Berberian - What if Lords Of Salem was the film being made in Berberian Sound Studio? Recutting both films so that the mental breakdown of the protagonists of both films happen in tandem.
  • Europe Is Bad For Your Health - Airplane-style spoof using bits of Eurotrip as a framing device, basically showing teens or travellers having horrible fates befall them all over Europe, all while the core Eurotrippers blunder on obliviously.

Yeesh. I won't be done with this list any time soon, will I?

Monday, 19 October 2015

Disturbing Behaviour update

So I blink my eyes and somehow it's been four months or so since my last update, and I'm still not done with my Disturbing Behaviour fanedit.

There are good reasons for that this time around - after listening to the David Nutter commentary track I started second-guessing some of my original decisions and having new ideas, and as a result it's turned into a double-edit project.

One edit will be a straight Extended Edition, reinserting the deleted scenes with no other changes; the other will be the Aberrant Edition, which takes my earlier ideas of cutting the goofy bits, changing music around and so forth and marries them with a slightly different narrative structure where the film follows Steve's perspective much more closely. In addition to this, I've put together a new director's commentary for the extended edition (merging the commentary from the deleted scenes into the original commentary and making trims where required) and attempted to create my own editor's commentary track for the aberrant edition.

This has unexpectedly caused me problems with the DVD authoring - both edits are basically done, but since I'm using the non-Pro version of DVD Architect and don't have 3-figure sums of money to spend on hobby software, I can't easily author the DVDs with dual audio tracks. I think I have a way around this, and will post another update as soon as the project is finished and available.

I've barely had time to even think about any other edits recently, but once I have this off my plate I'll probably dive back into adding blood FX to the Raid 2 deleted scenes and finish up my Extended Edition of that, then take a break before deciding what's next.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

STILL not dead, and other news

Wow, so nearly a year since my last post here. Well, a lot has happened in meatspace in that time, but that's not relevant.

What is relevant is that I started and finished "Berandal", a de-sequelised and trimmed-down version of The Raid 2. Crudely put, it's a "Criminal Edition" of TR2, cutting the whole undercover cop story so that Yuda (originally a cover identity) is now the actual protagonist.

Meanwhile, I still haven't finished [ABERRANT], because I got distracted by Berandal. And I've realised I need to completely restart The Shadow Over Innsmouth, which will be frustrating.

My currently active projects are [ABERRANT] and The Raid 2: Extended Edition (in light of all the deleted scenes that have been released for the film on the Merantau Films Vimeo page).

When I have both of those completed, I've got The Shadow Over Innsmouth to restart, some testing to see whether it's worth trying my Eurotrip: The Long Way Round extended edition again as a workprint edition. I also have, at this point, a rather silly list of other projects I want to get around to as well:
  • Sucker Punch De-Snydered - Remove the slow-motion as much as possible (depends how much can be done on the audio front there, it might be a lot of work), remove the dumb aspects of the story, add a different ending. If possible create an alternate soundtrack using different versions of the same songs.
  • Elysium: Bootstrapped Edition - trim the flab (ie anything to do with Max's childhood), cut any scenes taking place on Elysium until Max gets there, cut any suggestion that it's easy or common for illegals to get to Elysium, cut Delacourt's presence significantly (reducing her as much as possible to a voice conversing with Kruger). Create a new opening using the teaser trailer.
  • Mortal Kombat - basically a fix-up. I wouldn't touch the soundtrack but I'd be heavily trimming a lot of the ill-judged humour; I'd also need to see what I can do with the audio as I found that a lot of the fight sequences play much better when speeded up by a factor of 2 or 3 (there seemed to be a lot of unnecessary slow-motion).
  • Lords of Berberian - meshing Lords Of Salem with Berberian Sound Studio, so that Lords Of Berberian is the film on which Gilderoy is working, and have Gilderoy and Heidi's breakdowns mirror one another.
  • Scott Pilgrim: Seven Evil Exes Edition v2 - a do-over of my first ever fanedit, not just an extended edition but an "everything including the kitchen sink" edition. Extended versions of the songs used in the film, the animated segment, and possibly even new material built from the extras on the DVD. Long in gestation. 
  • Hotline New York - a short film using Taxi Driver as the source; tinker with the colour scheme to make it more heavily neon (think Drive), add a new soundtrack using music from the Hotline Miami games, and turn it into the story of how Travis Bickle joins the 50 Blessings initiative.
  • Maxwell: The Celluloid Man - a short film using Videodrome as the source, homaging Tetsuo: The Iron Man. Change footage to black & white, add a new soundtrack & opening, turn it into the story of how Max is turned into the Celluloid Fetishist and used in the war between a covert government group and Oblivion's group.
  • The Cursed Count - a short film using Nosferatu: A Symphony Of Horror as the source, completely reframed to tell a Beauty & The Beast-esque love story.
  • Endless Corridors - a short film splicing together the most intense corridor fight scenes from a variety of action films including The Raid 1 & 2, Chocolate, Oldboy and District 13.
  • Cubic Testing Facility - a short, genre-bent version of The Cube adding in dialogue from the Portal games of GLaDOS as an unseen antagonist for the protagonists.
  • 2011 - a combination of 2001 and 2010, cutting down on the "woah life in space" bits of 2001 and entwining the investigation storyline from 2010 with the original mission from 2001.
  • Odyssey - using scenes from The Jacket, Predators, The Darjeeling Limited and possibly other films starring Adrien Brody, this is a sort-of-homage to The Odyssey. Basically I would use segments from The Jacket (including a deleted scene) to construct a framing device that allows me to stitch together parts from various Adrien Brody films. Will likely have an ambiguous or downright confusing ending.
  • Space segments - basically, taking various science-fiction films that have gorgeous depictions of space exploration/travel but flawed stories, and creating short standalone silent stories from them. Thus far I plan to use Sunshine, Prometheus and Interstellar for definite. I'm open to other suggestions.
  • 2001: GLaDOS Firmware Update - I should hope that the appeal of a "Dave vs GLaDOS" short of 2001 would be self-explanatory. Basically, using the audio files from Portal/Portal 2 to do dialogue replacement for HAL. (I've already seen some versions of this, I'd be aiming for something with more polish and a clearer narrative throughput rather than just relying on the inherent humour of having GLaDOS's voice added).
  • Evil Dead: Army Of Darkness - I'd originally thought of this for the Time Travel Consecution, but didn't have time to participate. Basically, this would be a very short version of Army Of Darkness built around a conceit of Ash screwing up repeatedly and having to come back over and over again until he gets it right. I don't know if I can pull it off, but I'd like to just for the sake of a create teaser ending I've got in mind for it.
  • Dark Metropolis - Basically a fusion of Dark City and Metropolis, using the conceit that Freder (the protagonist of Metropolis) and John Murdoch (the protagonist of Dark City) are the same person, and the Strangers in Dark City are agents of the ruling elite in Metropolis. It would almost certainly have to be silent and B&W, but I don't see that as a problem - if anything it allows greater freedom, for instance to use establishing shots from other films with similar tones and visual styles. It would, however, be a great deal of work.
  • Monsters From The Mist Of The Pacific Rim - I'm not yet sure whether it would be a single film or some sort of miniseries in structural terms, but the idea would be to try and use The Mist, Pacific Rim and Monsters as all being aspects of the same narrative - so The Mist shows us the chaos of the fist appearance of the creatures, Pacific Rim shows us costly efforts to fight them (including the construction of the Wall) and Monsters shows us a world now struggling to cope with these creatures still roaming around.
God knows when I'll have time to get around to all of them, but at least I've got the ideas written down somewhere.

Right now I'm waiting for Vimeo to process uploads of two segments from [ABERRANT]. They're the only bits I'm still thinking about tweaking - once that's done I'll render the film, create the DVD and have done with it, then I can free up some brain space for new projects.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Idle Fanedit Ideas: Interstellar

I watched Christopher Nolan's Interstellar last night.

It was an astonishingly pretty film with some great use of music - I really appreciated the use of the organ to give it a distinctive sound without resorting to classical music as so many space-faring films tend to do.

Unfortunately, the characters weren't great and despite the film being 150-odd minutes long, didn't get fleshed out enough. The dialogue was a lot clunkier than I've come to expect in a Nolan film, and it felt over-long.

So I've been thinking about how I might tackle this as an edit. The first thing would be to shorten it - I suspect this would be a case of a lot of little trims rather than huge chunks, for example the bits where Dr Mann and Cooper are off exploring could do with tightening up a fair bit. Ditto the opening is a bit of a waste, because while it's trying to establish character the characters aren't developed enough to make it worthwhile. Similarly, I'd want to cut or trim dialogue in various places, starting with every single use of that bloody Dylan Thomas poem. (It's an overused cliché anyway, but using it 4-5 times within one film is just dreadful, like bad teenage poetry about the death of a pet).

Another thing I'm certain about changing is the ending - the existing ending is typical Hollywood nonsense where actually making sense is less important than delivering a reassuring moment of closure. (Cooper's return happens at something like 50 years after his point of departure, given that Murphy is extremely elderly and close to death, and yet Dr Brand still looks to be the same age as when he left her in the ship.) So I'd choose to play up the Kubrick homage and have Cooper send his message to Murphy via the watch (probably trimming those scenes as well), and then place the ending just after the tesseract collapses in on Cooper, fading to white and then cut to black. No "Cooper's handshake", no happy family nonsense, just end with Cooper going through something that he can't comprehend and heading to an unknown fate, just like the Starchild in 2001.

A parting thought: Interstellar is, like Sunshine, a film in which a very good director presents a bunch of visually-excellent and generally-well-thought-through ideas about science-fiction and space travel, only to completely bodge things up sometime after the halfway mark. I don't know what it is about big-budget sciencefiction but it never manages to stick the landing.

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Notes towards an Evil Dead: Army Of Darkness short film

This is really a placeholder for something I want to look at in future when I have time, but I've been inspired by the Time Travel Consecution discussion thread on and getting ideas, frustratingly at a time when I'm already backlogged on projects and have no free time to do any work on them.

This is a rough outline of what I've got in mind:
  • Start the edit as a standalone story - ie open with something like "This is Ash. He has really bad luck with the undead.", intercutting between the titles and short snippets from past films.
  • Drastically shorten the film, down to maybe 15-20 minutes or so. Facilitate this through a combination of stylised on-screen titles and use of Ash's dialogue from elsewhere as voiceover material.
  • I'd need to identify single narrative to serve as a shortened throughline for the edit; other short gags can be worked in as well.
  • Possibly also use short snippets from Black Knight as a gag (dub over with Bruce Campbell dialogue).
I've got ideas for two possible endings (though I don't know if either of them would work for definite) but I won't post those here because it would take away the fun/surprise if I do eventually get this done.