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AMERICAN HISTORY reXamined? - Improved Version Now Available

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Adabisi

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Improved version now available.


Improved version with updates:

AMERICAN HISTORY reXamined by Adabisi

Original film name: American History X
New film name: AMERICAN HISTORY reXamined (yes, I know it's not spelled properly. But it looks better than "reeXamined")
Original runtime: 119 mins
New runtime: 119 mins
Amount of time Cut/Added: 5 minutes cut (small snippets here and there, nothing big) and 5 minutes added in with a deleted scene.

Cuts removed/added/extended:

-Re-ordered the scenes so that it flows chronologically

-added 1 of the 3 deleted scenes (the one with Seth and Cameron in the restaurant)

-there are a few almost unnoticeable continuity errors in the film that really aren't that important, but one that always bugged me has been fixed: In the first flashback after Derek shoots at the car and is approaching one of the other guys he shot, he leans down and is about to pistol whip him before it cuts. In the second flashback, it shows the same scene with Derek approaching him but this time, when he gets to the guy, he just drags him into the street. Now there's no approach by Derek to pistol whip him, he just drags him into the street.

-turned the scenes with Danny working on his paper into a simple, short montage rather than having him go back and forth to it all night

-removed all narration by Danny and Derek. If you're watching the events chronologically, it makes no sense to have the narration. Derek's narration is in the original because he's telling his prison tale to Danny through flashbacks. Since it's chronological, it doesn't make sense to have him narrating it as it happens. Danny's narration is essentially bits from his essay that introduce flashback sequences. Again, no need for it. And, it allowed me to lose that terrible, cringe-inducing monologue at the very end. Seriously, that was almost as painful as the curbing scene. The DVD is presented in stereo rather than 5.1 to make it less obvious where the narration has been removed.


Your intention for this fanedit:

The director of American History X, Tony Kaye, notoriously disassociated himself from the film during the editing process. This is not an attempt to reconstruct the film as Kaye might have wanted it. Depending on who you believe, either Kaye's version and the theatrical version were drastically different or they were nearly identical. In my opinion, they were very similar. In any case, this is simply a different way of looking at the film, chronologically from beginning to end. It's not intended to be superior to the original.

Time needed for the edition: about 3 weeks

A DL NTSC DVD is available at RS.

AMERICANHISTORYreXaminedDVD3DCover.jpg
 

rijir

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My 2 cents

I would make the whole film B&W. It would be weird to just go color at one point.

And the B&w scenes work better for the type of film it is anyway.
 

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rijir said:
My 2 cents

I would make the whole film B&W. It would be weird to just go color at one point.

I considered that, but thought it would be better to leave it as is. Derek finally "sees the light" when he's released from prison. It fits the context. Plus I don't think it would look right. Different lighting techniques are used for filming in colour as opposed to B&W. I don't think it would be just a simple "convert to B&W" process. You'd end up with various shades of grey.
It worked for Pleasantville, although the context was much more fitting there than it is here.
 

ThrowgnCpr

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Adabisi said:
Plus I don't think it would look right. Different lighting techniques are used for filming in colour as opposed to B&W. I don't think it would be just a simple "convert to B&W" process. You'd end up with various shades of grey.
It worked for Pleasantville, although the context was much more fitting there than it is here.

I've mentioned this in other topics, but you can get very nice results converting a color picture to black and white if enough care is taken. And yes, it is much more than just desaturating to greyscale. The levels have to be adjusted quite a bit to get enough contrast (and sometimes must be done for each shot). While it can be time consuming like any other color work, it can produce really nice results.
 

boon23

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still there might be a problem with a lot of the movie already being B/W. It is likely those things will not mix well with the new B/W style.
 

ThrowgnCpr

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aha, yes, i didnt know that. matching a color source to B&W to something that was filmed in B&W will be quite difficult. But it is worth a try. Just may not be able to pull it off right.
 

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boon23 said:
still there might be a problem with a lot of the movie already being B/W. It is likely those things will not mix well with the new B/W style.

That's the main reason why I didn't try it. You'd have "real" B&W and a transition to something that looks like "fake" B&W. If you're going to be able to tell the difference anyway, might was well just leave it in colour.
 

boon23

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yes, I think you were right with your choice.
 

tranzor

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Not sure if you saw it, but the dir's original workprint is drastically different from the final product. In othr words you would not really be able to just combine the two. It is like watching two differrent versions for the same film (one being close to 2 hrs and the other being only 90 mins). The workprint also is much meaner in style (especially with the language).

your edit sounds interesting, though I would prefer a dvd version from your master material and not one made from the divx file. I am also glad you choose not to make the whole film black and white. I think it works better with the colors mixed. Presenting it as all black and white would kind of lump it in the indie art film category (not every b/w film would come across as that, but this one definitely would)
 

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tranzor said:
Not sure if you saw it, but the dir's original workprint is drastically different from the final product. In othr words you would not really be able to just combine the two. It is like watching two differrent versions for the same film (one being close to 2 hrs and the other being only 90 mins). The workprint also is much meaner in style (especially with the language).

your edit sounds interesting, though I would prefer a dvd version from your master material and not one made from the divx file.

I'll take a look at the workprint and see if anything can be done.

I've been mulling it over and I think I need to try and remove Derek's narration from the B&W footage. It just comes out of nowhere during his 1st scene in prison and it doesn't make much sense. I'm just starting to play around with Vegas now and I'll see what can be done. If I can get that done, I'll torrent a DVD.

Perhaps this should be moved to "in the works".
 

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I have not watched the workprint in a long time, but I am pretty sure some of Derreck's narration (during his prison stint) is not on the workprint version and you get to hear the actual film audio instead, likewise some of Danny's narration is different or missing
 

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tranzor said:
I have not watched the workprint in a long time, but I am pretty sure some of Derreck's narration (during his prison stint) is not on the workprint version and you get to hear the actual film audio instead, likewise some of Danny's narration is different or missing

I watched the workprint. There's actually more of Danny and Derek's narration in it. Aside from that, the reordering and deleting of a few scenes and some harsher dialogue, it's pretty much the same film. Of course, Tony Kaye would say otherwise.

Danny's narration in the workprint is actually quite good and gives some deeper insight into his character. If I can clean it up a bit (the quality is quite bad - hiss, pops and VHS flicker noise - are there any good programs for cleaning up audio like that?) I'll try to use it in the edit. I'm still planning on removing Derek's narration as soon as I can wrap my head around Vegas.
 

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Improved version is now available. First post has been updated.
 

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Maybe downloadable from Fanedit.info
 

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American History ReXamined by Adabisi



I liked the original film. I also liked the meaner and more vicious version that comes through on the workprint. I was very interested when I read Adabisi's idea for this edit.

This is a retelling of the film in chronological order. I waited a long time to see this edit and now due to its easier availability I was finally able to do so.


The edit was worth the wait. The chronological order presented the story in a new light and I am slightly now partial for this to become my preferred viewing method. Story wise and flow this works perfectly. This also alters a few things as the story is no longer told through Danny's report. In this version the report has no major significance and only slightly contributes to the film as well as Danny's change in attitude that occurs later on. This edition will also at times makes you feel like you are watching a persons life in chapters. Even though the original was like that as well, it was a bit more emphasized here due to the nature of the edit. I enjoyed this effect and it still makes you care about the characters we see on the screen.

Adabisi had mentioned in forum posts that there were at least two scenes that made him cringe, and that some minor tech issues are present because it was one of his first edits.

Quite a few times while watching this I thought a better or longer transition to bridge scenes and show time pass could have been used (a transition with a possible "a few months later" title card was needed when we went from the early Derek on the newscaster tape and then cutting to the basketball court game with him much later on in life). Overall this edit could have used some tightening up with some of the transitional scenes (Danny finally writing the report was one of them), but the minor tech issues aside it did not hamper the viewing in anyway. I also noticed at least twice where the audio level from one scene to the next needed adjusting or more so a gradual cross fade to keep the levels proper. The actual video editing itself was done well and for the most part the audio was on key with no problems (minus the two mentioned instances I found). The picture quality was also good and looked really no less than the old dvd version this was derived from

Adabisi was very good in working around scenes that were infused with present and flashback material (most notable was Derek talking to the newscaster and seeing flashbacks of his father, which was a nice way to fix the gap in video because of other material that interrupts it in the original)


A good film, another great way of telling the story and a worth while edit

rating from me gets a 9

NOW THE BAD NEWS:
The ntsc DL dvd version for this was NOT authored properly for a dual layer. A big issue Abais had with many people on fanedit.org was his choice of not including any chapters in the film. I understand his reasoning (in bizarro land), but if you are making a dual layer dvd then that option is going to backfire against you and here is why:

When burning to DL, you need to have a layerbreak. Since this edit has no chapters and no cells (you can have cells as hidden chapters so to speak) the burning programs have absolutely no where to put in a layer break because it is not seeing anything.

If any of you burned this know now that you burned a very nonstandard DL dvd and many players will choke for this reason

In my case I used dvdremakepro and input chapters as well as cells and this fixed the problem.

For the rest of you an easier method since this has no extras would be to use vob2mpg or pgcdemux. Break the film down into one big file or elementary streams and re-author using at least 22-24 chapters or just cells. This way you will be able to burn and view this properly
 

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Wow, 9/10. Thanks for taking the time to watch and review this.

I agree with what you said about the transitions. Some of them could be better and if I knew what I know now, they would be. It's only in a couple of places and while they're not so bad that they take you out of the experience, they are a bit annoying.

Regarding the authoring, I had no idea it might present a problem. I burned it just fine to a DL disc and my player had no issues with it. I guess I just figured it would be fine for anyone else. I'll keep this in mind next time I do a DL edit.

Thanks for offering the fix. An even simpler solution would be to run it through DVD Shrink to fit on a SL disc. It comes out to 78.2% compression which is not the greatest solution, but you shouldn't see that much of a reduction in video quality.

EDIT - The available DVD is now fixed with a proper layer break/chapters.
 

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it was a good edit and made for a new way of viewing the film which worked out very well
 

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- majority of the audio transitions were rough (abrupt and/or could have used a crossfade), however I know that this was one of [MENTION=6765]Adabisi[/MENTION]'s early edits and his editing has improved since this edit was initially released
- good job with the removal of the voiceovers
- cool addition of one of the deleted scenes
- a fresh way to watch the movie
 

Adabisi

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Gatos said:
- majority of the audio transitions were rough (abrupt and/or could have used a crossfade), however I know that this was one of Adabisi's early edits and his editing has improved since this edit was initially released
- good job with the removal of the voiceovers
- cool addition of one of the deleted scenes
- a fresh way to watch the movie

Yeah, I think this was the 2nd edit I ever attempted. I agree, it's certainly a little rough around the edges. Thanks for watching and reviewing.
 
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