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.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

[Aberrant]: A Disturbing Behaviour fanedit

I'm most of the way done with [Aberrant], my Disturbing Behaviour edit. It's not a straight extended edition; I've swapped out as much of the soundtrack as I could (I've still got some more songs I'd like to change, but I'll need to overcome centre channel leakage and so far I've not had a great deal of success). I've also been making some small trims to help keep the tone more consistent - the screenplay seems to have been aiming for poorly-judged comedy, but David Nutter managed to bring out an ominous overtone and is mostly successful, except when the script gets in the way.

I've amended the opening so that the first scene is pre-titles, as I think it works better that way. The password on the video below is "disturbingbehaviour":

Aberrant opening sequence from That One Guy on Vimeo.

I've also done a first draft of DVD cover art, because I know some folks seem to like that.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Somehow, it's April already

I'm not sure how it's April and this is only my second post of the year, but unfortunately I've been busy with work-related stuff so haven't had much time for fanediting recently. I've been working on The Shadow Over Innsmouth a fair amount - I'm finished with at least a first iteration of the (substantial) cutting I'm doing to the original footage, and have all the footage still being used tinted according to what may yet turn out to be a needlessly complicated colour code. I'm somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2 way through writing the new dialogue, making an effort to bring it more into line with the original short story.

I may try and create a sample of my opening sequence idea soon, to try and drum up some interest.

Aside from that, I'm also picking at Aberrant, my Disturbing Behaviour fanedit. I'm around 1/3 of the way through. I'm readding the deleted scenes (after converting from 4:3 to 16:9) and making a few small trims here and there, and also swapping out some of the soundtrack. I need to go back and finish my new opening sequence, which should hopefully also make for a good sample of the end result.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Mortal Kombat workprint

I mentioned yesterday that I'd done a workprint of an improved (or perhaps just decrappified) Mortal Kombat cut. I uploaded it to Vimeo to get some feedback, so I may as well post it here. It's important to note that I did absolutely no work on the audio (except for removing the song from the title sequence), so I'm aware that the sound is dreadful and would need an enormous amount of work. Nonetheless, here it is.

The password is fatality.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Stuff in progress: Disturbing Behaviour: Aberrant, Mortal Kombat workprint, The Shadow Over Innsmouth

I've started working on the Disturbing Behaviour extended edition/edit that I mentioned in my previous post, and have also been reminded of the Mortal Kombat workprint I put together last summer as a proof-of-concept for a less-silly version of the film with better (or at least less bad) fight scenes. It's currently uploading to Vimeo so I'll post it here when it's ready.

I'll also get a final version of The Equation Of Crime posted up.

I should really get back to working on The Shadow Over Innsmouth as well; most of the cuts are done, but there's still a lot to do as I have to create all the title cards for the dialogue (which may lead to more cuts to keep the runtime reasonable) and pull together a soundtrack. I'm feeling like going in two contradictory directions: on the one hand, encouraged by how The Equation Of Crime turned out, I think that oppressive ambient electronic music would work well, but on the other hand there's stuff like Mosolov's classical music that would make for a more period-authentic soundtrack. Or I might try a mixture of the two. It's kind of moot until I've finished the video work, though...