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Frank Herbert's Dune - The Spence Edit

spence

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If you were hoping to watch this this week, unfortunately I will be delaying. Goal is to have this out in the first half of December now.

There are a few reasons for this:

1. We have seen the release of many great, ambitious, long projects recently. I want to make sure there's enough breathing room between these projects so that everyone that wants to enjoy them has a chance to do so. I don't know that I'd want to tackle an almost 3-hour edit of Dune after watching one of these new great Hobbit projects or the Rocky series, and vice versa. A little bit of space helps out everyone.

2. This is "done", but I like to have a bit of time between completion and release. Sometimes letting it sit for a minute gives you time to think, re-analyze, and make sure you've done everything to the best of your ability. This project has changed a lot since I first considered it "nearly done", and it was nowhere close to done at that point. Giving it a week or two to settle may open unexpected opportunities to improve it.

It'll be worth the wait, I promise!
 
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spence

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đź‘€

full


poster by @ArtisDead
 

ArtisDead

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If you were hoping to watch this this week, unfortunately I will be delaying. Goal is to have this out in the first half of December now.

There are a few reasons for this:

1. We have seen the release of many great, ambitious, long projects recently. I want to make sure there's enough breathing room between these projects so that everyone that wants to enjoy them has a chance to do so. I don't know that I'd want to tackle an almost 3-hour edit of Dune after watching one of these new great Hobbit projects or the Rocky series, and vice versa. A little bit of space helps out everyone.

2. This is "done", but I like to have a bit of time between completion and release. Sometimes letting it sit for a minute gives you time to think, re-analyze, and make sure you've done everything to the best of your ability. This project has changed a lot since I first considered it "nearly done", and it was nowhere close to done at that point. Giving it a week or two to settle may open unexpected opportunities to improve it.

It'll be worth the wait, I promise!
It is definitely worth the wait!
 

Stromboli Bones

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I just finished watching an early release of this, I'll probably just copy/paste this as a review once Spence finally releases it, and you can all expect it to be a 10/10!

I divided my thoughts here into 3 sections, each progressively longer for the people who prefer to read less and the people who prefer to read more!



Short version: This is my (current) favorite version of Dune on a screen. It was edited perfectly, I noticed no weird transitions or audio dips or anything and I recommend this to anyone who enjoys Dune in any of its forms!



Longer version:

I haven't actually seen the original 1984 version or the 2000 miniseries, but I enjoyed the first half of this edit more than the 2021 version, and everything after was a bonus! (will re-evaluate once part 2 drops but that'll be a couple years) This also should not be taken lightly because I generally cannot stand movies that look/feel old. I acknowledge that I have a lot of Recency-Bias in my movie reviews.

I read the book in the weeks leading up to the 2021 release and I finished it the day before. I watched Dune 2021. I'm not sure why I thought reading the book first was a good idea, because everything I've ever known in life has told me reading the book AFTER the movie is the way to go. So, while honestly didn't really care for the book (been reading Sanderson and Abercrombie lately) I surprisngly liked Dune 2021.....less? More? I'm not sure. It LOOKED amazing, and I love Denis Villenueve, but I was pretty bored because, ironically, it followed the book pretty well, so I felt like I'd almost already watched it (I LOVE BR2049 for the record) Anyway, quality was clearly paramount for Spence, it wasn't until I got to the midpoint (at 1:22:32, where the 2021 movie ends, roughly) and started on my notes, that I remembered I was even watching an edit. (note, the 5 year time-skip happens a bit later, so I suppose 2021 cut those out, or will adjust them or something? Not sure.)



This last version is an informal bulleted-list comparison between the book, this edit, and Dune 2021, and reflects moreso how I felt about the work of the original filmmakers vs the author.
However, I haven't seen the original 2000 miniseries, so any props I give to that version over the 2021 version also should be given, in part, to Spence!
(most of these points I left as they were when I wrote them out as notes mid-viewing)

Part 1:

- I don't really care for movies that are/feel old, but I managed to overlook the cheesiness and wonky CGI here for the most part (except for the rabbit lmao)
- The dialogue is cheesy but I didn't think much of the dialogue in 2021 felt organic either, and I was pretty bummed about it
- Honestly this feels much faster paced than 2021 despite also feeling much more dialogue focused (both good things)
- They actually use the word Muad'dib thank god
- They sort of included the dinner scene where Paul ends that man's whole career, so, props for trying
- The Hunter-Seeker bit was less stupid in Spence's version
- There was less exposition dumps in Spence's version (it felt like it anyway)
- There was more emphasis on the importance of water in Spence's version
- Uh they did Duncan Idaho DIRTY in this one but honestly I thought the body shields in 2021 did not function like they were described in the book. I hate his death in 2021 because of this, so I'd put this point as a tie.
- I also don't remember Paul addressing his sister in 2021
- love the tidy whities duel
- 2021's "do you yield" was stupid and forced. This one wasn't perfect but it was much more organic!
- Also, with that being said they managed to include just as many book scenes as Dune 2021 in half the runtime (maybe even MORE scenes?)
- Jessica didn't cry in 2/3 of her scenes in this version so that's a bonus for me *cough* 2021 *cough*
- I've really enjoyed everything. Feels pretty spot-on with the book, give or take

Part 2:

Psych. I decided to disappoint you all the same way that Denis disappointed everyone who hadn't realized it was going to be a 2-parter (I did) Spence's edit played out in a very satisfying way that was pretty faithful to the books in my opinion (bear in mind I didn't really care for the book). Obviously not everything will translate 1:1 but I felt that it worked out pretty well. Also, as Denis hasn't had his chance yet, I'll reserve my final judgment for a few years lol.

(not sure what the significance of the bit where the kill the baby worm in the pool was about though)


I am excited to see the final product, although I imagine it will look very similar to what I just watched, because it seemed pretty polished and solid to me!
Nice work here Spence!
 

ArtisDead

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Awesome of you to take the time to truly review a preview. That's real class! Who does that?
 

spence

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A little progress update:

@bionicbob was gracious enough to watch my most recent version for the eleventy billionth time and I've got the thumbs up to go ahead. That's good enough for me, so I'm more or less at final release.

I had a few small changes I personally wanted to make, and I mean small. Changing cropping on a few shots, flipping around some reaction shots, adjusting some establishing shots, and some music levels stuff. I'm working on those now.

Honestly, after those small changes I'm at the point where I'm just tinkering for the sake of it. It's just about time to get this thing out there.

Thanks to everyone who has followed along for the creation of this. It's a real labor of love, the biggest edit I've ever done, and certainly the most work. I described it to someone as "A fanedit of a fanedit of a movie that doesn't actually exist." Remember when I thought this was going to be an easy/simple project?

I'm excited for you to be able to sit down with your spiced beer or Fremen coffee, relax, and enjoy this new version of Frank Herbert's sci-fi masterpiece.
 
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