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HD Rebuild: The Godfather FULL 1-3 Chronological Edit MAX LENGTH

Wraith

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BONUS MEANDERINGS

So, as I polish up my huge comparison video (yes I will be rendering this and making the 4 way split screen comparison available) it dawned on me how lazy the AMC trims are. In fact, they don't even achieve some of their objectives. HUH you say....let me explain.

At the end of Part 1 (which is when the funeral and the multiple shootings occur) there are some further trims to the violence.

As with all such sequences, I have gone in shot for shot (pun intended) here rather than settle with "oh, 7 secs short over that minute". What it reveals is an interesting question in regards to what is, or is not, violent.

THE NAMES OF THE PROTAGONISTS HAVE BEEN REMOVED TO PROTECT FROM SPOILERS

Lets take the chap who is shot in the eye while face down.

Many reading will have read about or seen the classic example of how editing conveys meaning. But here is a reminder.

Consider 3 shots, then the meaning

BABY CRYING
MAN FROWNS then MAN SMILES
BABY SMILES

SO, the baby was crying, which made the man sad, so the man smiles at the baby, and the baby smiles. Conclusion: Nice Man

Now the same 3 shots in a new order and splitting shot 2.

BABY SMILES
MAN FROWNS (1st part of shot 2)
BABY CRYING
MAN SMILES (2nd part of shot 2)

So, The man does not like the smiling baby, so he frowns at it and the baby cries, which pleases the man. CONCLUSION Nasty man.

All that happened is the baby shots were swapped and the MAN shot split, massive narrative change.

Now lest look at that sequences where the chap is shot in GF1 near the end.

First of all, its a single 4 sec shot. So, lets break that down further sec by sec.

1 sec Man is face down
1.5 sec Man looks up
2 sec Man's glasses break to sound of gunshot
2.5 sec Man slumps
2.5 -4sec Man bleeds out of his eye

NOW, the suits say "make it less violent".

Lets pause........

Consider a man on screen with a nose bleed....That is not violent per-se.

Back to the edit....

How was this made less violent? By trimming 1 sec from the last part where the blood runs down his nose.
HUH? That just makes it less bloody.

The moment of violence is when his glasses break to the sound of the gun fire.

I, would have had him look up, cut back to Michael for the gun shot audio and glasses breaking, cut back to the full 1.5 sec bleed out. That ties Michael nicely into the act (bonus), removes the ACTUAL moment of violence while leaving the consequences of the violence on screen. Censors should like that because it does not sanitise the event's effect (by removing the bleed out) AND it removed the arguably visceral image of the bullet impact and not shorten the sequence.

Oh, it needs to be shorter....No problem.

Remove the first 2secs, but have the audio play over the shot of Michael and then cut to the broken glasses and bleed out. Saving 2 secs (1 sec more than was cut), not violent and still clear he was shot.

That's how you can tell that Coppola did not make those additional trims. They are lazy cuts.

I won't go into the AMC toll booth sequence or we will be here all night ( but it is a butchering with 75% of it removed).

AND THAT friends, is why I like to edit movies.....

Ciao
W
 

Moe_Syzlak

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Any chance you’d do a full extended edition in the traditional, non-chronological order? I definitely find parts 1 & 2 pretty perfect but I’m a big enough fan to want to see and own a version with all the footage. But, though I found the chronological cut an interesting one time thing, I’m more interested I the traditional cut.
 

Wraith

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There is already an extended cut in the traditional structure out there that has very very little missing...Halover9000's edits are superb. There are a few caption issues I will sort out and also some of the tweaks I've mentioned on transitions, the Vegas issue and a few other minor bits.

I'm more than happy to get to doing them as well, but they will differ to those that are already out there by very little HOWEVER, once I'm done on this build, if the differences amount to more than adding trimmed shots (we are talking frames and secs, not minutes), then I will defo dive in.
 

Wraith

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FURTHER RANT

In the third murder in the bedroom at the end, having trimmed the first two,  THAT ONE IS UNTOUCHED. I mean WTF...!!!! that is by far the most violent, sure not a lot of blood for sure, but naked people in a bed being shot up with squibs going off left, right and center....and no AMC trim......see what I mean by mindless trims....

Yes, I know that in the US there is some kind of NETWORK CENSORS GUIDE that says, "don't dwell on this" and " don't show more than one gun close up" and all that kind of crap, and it leads to this kind of inconsistent butchery of a masterpiece.

......and breathe....
 

Wraith

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oh, and I almost missed this one...coz the length of the murder is the same in the AMC edit..., the last murder on the steps....AMC have the same length BUT, amazingly it's a single long shot WITHOUT the close-up of the guy being shot up...which means they DID have access to unique material (hence the new establishing shots I mentioned in previous posts). So that may bode well for the final section of this exercise, MIchael's Part II material. There could be some more new bits to extract. I must say, it does play well as a long unbroken shot (but I won't be using it...I think)
 

Wraith

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COMING SOON
A fun little video of ALL AMC trims...
 

Wraith

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AHHHHHHHH!!!!!
BOZZOs....all of them

I mean...That scene at the end of PArt 1 where Michael has the "ONE TIME" chat with Kay. Kay's lingering looks are VITAL to the feel of that scene, and AMC trimmed every one of them...1 sec here, 2 secs, there....I mean for heavens sake!!!!! Coppola would have spent hours in the edit suite with Walter Murch dicussing how long each look should linger for...to get that FEEL just so....And these hatchet men dive in and grab another 10 secs....JEEZE, cut out a walk down a drive, or trim a city establishing or something inconsequential....BUT KAY TRIMs.....AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

I promise no further ranting during the final stretch (unless the crimes top the ones noted so far).

Do any of you out there feel the same way about this stuff as I do?

To quote Roy Neary
"WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE" (directed at THE AMC hacks, not faneditors)
 
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Jrzag42

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I'm not very familiar with the Godfather movies, but I'm really enjoying reading these thorough comparisons of the different versions, it's all really insightful.
 

Wraith

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thanks jrWHAG42....
I will apologise for my rants, but THIS TIME, I'm not going to bottle it up. I think its good to vent and share insights etc. My cut list for The Hobbit does some of that, but I'm finding it quite cathartic to share and pleased you are enjoying the ravings of a madman.

two thirds of the way through....more to come for sure...
 

Wraith

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AN OPEN QUESTION:

I have come across another instance in the HD extended versions of 2 sec of material in Low Res (Michael walking across a window). There are very few of these. This (and the other instances) are of no consequence to the narrative but appear to have been included for completeness. If I were to eliminate all such instances (in order to keep this HD throughout), it would amount to less a minute on what may be nearly 10 hours; it would be more than offset by HD material NOT in the extended versions which I plan to add back.

So, KEEP IT ALL, or go for CLEAN HD ONLY?
 

Heavysyde

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Wraith said:
AN OPEN QUESTION:

I have come across another instance in the HD extended versions of 2 sec of material in Low Res (Michael walking across a window). There are very few of these. This (and the other instances) are of no consequence to the narrative but appear to have been included for completeness. If I were to eliminate all such instances (in order to keep this HD throughout), it would amount to less a minute on what may be nearly 10 hours; it would be more than offset by HD material NOT in the extended versions which I plan to add back.

So, KEEP IT ALL, or go for CLEAN HD ONLY?
I would stick to full HD. I'd say that the benefit of adding just a minute of SD footage is minimal, and you have the downside of momentarily taking the viewer out of the experience via quality drops. Up to you of course. You could even include the footage in an alternate, super extended cut.
 

Wraith

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I agree...HD all the way. I'm going to assume most people would say the same otherwise, what is the point of the upgrade.

Today's scrub is yielding some interesting to questions to ponder. I'll report back on that when I'm done for the day. It would appear that  GF Part 2 poses an interesting editing conundrum to consider.

More on this, later (once it is clear to me what the hell is going on sequencing wise at that communion party)....
 

stferguson78

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Heavysyde said:
Wraith said:
AN OPEN QUESTION:

I have come across another instance in the HD extended versions of 2 sec of material in Low Res (Michael walking across a window). There are very few of these. This (and the other instances) are of no consequence to the narrative but appear to have been included for completeness. If I were to eliminate all such instances (in order to keep this HD throughout), it would amount to less a minute on what may be nearly 10 hours; it would be more than offset by HD material NOT in the extended versions which I plan to add back.

So, KEEP IT ALL, or go for CLEAN HD ONLY?
I would stick to full HD. I'd say that the benefit of adding just a minute of SD footage is minimal, and you have the downside of momentarily taking the viewer out of the experience via quality drops. Up to you of course. You could even include the footage in an alternate, super extended cut.

Another vote for full HD only!
 

Wraith

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HD Rules! Thanks

When I do the analysis video, I'll include the following sections:
"SD material not included"
"Transitions and montages that differ"
"HD Materials added to the theatrical cuts"
"AMC deletions"
"Material unique to the HD rebuild"
"Alternative credit openings"
"Previously" montages
"Alternative takes" used across different versions

Did I miss anything?
 

flaminio

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For the SD material -- do you have any means of upscaling it? If it's just a few seconds of inconsequential material, of course best to leave it out, but if you do have footage that contains significant "plot" then maybe an intelligent upscaling would allow its integration without detracting from the viewing experience.
 

Wraith

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UPDATE

305 mins in, just an extra 25 mins today.

So, I'm now in pure Michael territory in PART II. The transition will be interesting to do as was unravelling the intercutting of the Theatrical version vs the Extended/chronologicals.

There is no question now in my mind that the sequencing of the Michael scenes at the communion party was originally as they appear in the extended and chronological edits. WHY? Well here is how they play out, (simplified and labeled for tracking):

EXTENDED/CHRONOS                          
A: Communion                                         
B: Transition scenes
C: Freddo Arrives
D: Party Connie & Mum
E: Clemenza greets Freddo
F: Michael, bride, Tom
G: Clemenza Sings/Michael Connie
H: Party & Boat Arrival
I: Johnny/Michael
J: Kay & Son
K: Senator/Michael

THEATRICAL
                                                                              
A: Communion                                         
D: Party Connie & Mum
K: Senator/Michael
H: Party & Boat Arrival
E: Clemenza greets Freddo
I: Johnny/Michael
G: Clemenza Sings/Michael Connie

The following do not appear in the theatrical version
B: Transition scenes
C: Freddo Arrives
F: Michael, bride, Tom
J: Kay & Son

Now, consider the theatrical scenes if sequenced as they appear in the Extended edit....(re-order the letters)

THEATRICAL in EXTENDED order sequence
                                                                              
A: Communion                                         
D: Party Connie & Mum
​​​​​​​E: Clemenza greets Freddo
G: Clemenza Sings/Michael Connie
H: Party & Boat Arrival
I: Johnny/Michael
K: Senator/Michael

You would end up with a very odd sequence indeed.

The party starts after the communion, Clemenza is greeted, starts to sing, cut to Michael pissed at Connie, the boat arrives and we get two heavy meetings back to back. The narrative is very unbalanced...it plays as

FUN
FUN
HEAVY
HEAVY

so they reordered it for the shortened Theatrical edit

FUN
HEAVY
FUN
HEAVY.

The four sections that were removed for running time were necessary narrative relief that spaced out the drama and fun. Their removal required a resequencing per the Theatrical cut.

The extended version plays as follows
    
A/B: DRAMA
C: FUN
D: DRAMA
​​​​​​​E: FUN
F: DRAMA
G: FUN
H/I: DRAMA
J: FUN
K: DRAMA

You see...balance.

Removing BCFJ created a narrative and editing headache and it is (so far) the only re-sequencing of events in the edits. This of course exclude the Young Vito material obviously and and AMC scene relocation to create a break between scenes due to a section they removed...(see my earlier post); same problem, same solution.

Notice also, the theatrical version starts with the Senator confrontation, to draw you in FAST. The Extended version ends with that confrontation...a more natural escalation of tension in each HEAVY scene. 

So...one question is, do I retain the Theatrical sequencing in the extended version. Well, I assembled it as a rough cut, and it does not work. Given that the Extended is almost twice as long for this portion, the escalation keeps you glued. The senator playing first means, the good hand is dealt, and your mind wavers on what follows coz nothing matches it thereafter.

LECTURE CONCLUDES

So, on to today's findings.

Once again, the AMC version removes 1 or 2 seconds from reaction shots during Michaels discussions. They amount to maybe 10/15 seconds. Given that the daylight portion of the party runs 25 mins, there are ample shots of partygoers and incidental shots of people singing and dancing that could have been excised WITHOUT impacting the dramatic construction of those gazes, glances and closeups....IT's BIZZARE that they chose to do that, especially in Michael's scenes with the Senator and Connie. The scene with Johnny is untouched...go figure. They also removed the speedboat arrival (it's called a "set-up shot", you need it for dramatic expectation...do these people not know anything about the language of editing?).....and.....DRUM ROLL PLEASE.........AND AMC REMOVE THE COMMUNION ITSELF!!!!!!!!!! which is in every version...That's a clue as to why NOT to remove it numb-nuts!

....and breathe again...

So, daytime party done. Tomorrow, nighttime party.

Ciao
​​​​​​​W
 

Wraith

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flaminio said:
For the SD material -- do you have any means of upscaling it? If it's just a few seconds of inconsequential material, of course best to leave it out, but if you do have footage that contains significant "plot" then maybe an intelligent upscaling would allow its integration without detracting from the viewing experience.

Good suggestion, and apart from one shot where I will do that (i've tested it and it looks great) I won't need to . The source material for those other 2sec/1 sec pieces are quite poor SD, very fuzzy and they are all trims to a single shot, so should make very little difference. The shot I will do it to was a very clear SD source, so pumping through a 60fps step helps enormously (seperate discussion as to why that actually fools the compression algo into improving the detail)....used to great effect in THE BABYLON PROJECT by SUBJECTZERO which is truly remarkable!!!
subjectzero - Fanedit.org
 

Wraith

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B R E A K I N G   N E W S ! ! !

AMC moved a major scene up the running order AND IT IS IN THE CORRECT PLACE !!!!!

The placement of the scene is WRONG in the THEATRICAL and all other versions and I can prove it (through logical discourse).

WHICH ONE?
WHY WAS IT IN THE WRONG PLACE?
HOW CAN I BE SURE AMC GOT THIS RIGHT?

All will be revealed, tomorrow when I finish going through the night section after the party....(I couldn't resist doing a little more). Time to stop or the divorce attorneys will be in touch....

CIAO
W
 

Wraith

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UPDATE

ANALYSIS COMPLETED....

Today was interesting. I flew through the second half of the Part II Michael material.  How so? Well, It is identical across the Theatrical and Extended versions, thus the vast majority of NEW material was in the Young Vito scenes (which we knew) and the earlier Michael material. The remaining trims to the AMC version were the usual trimmed reaction shots or violence. Also, the scene where Kay drives up to the gates and is stopped by Tom is in the correct place, namely as placed in the Theatrical and extended versions and NOT earlier, per the SAGA edit. 

So, back to yesterdays question, which kind of ties in with the relocation of the Kay scene above.

The scene in question is when Michael visits his son at bedtime. In ALL version (other than AMC) this occurs AFTER the shooting. This is NOT where the scene should play. When MIchael speaks to Tom post shooting, he is clearly rattled, hair slightly out of place etc. When he visits his son, he is 100% AOK, not a hair out of place. His son asks "have you seen my present" and Michael says no. BUT HE DID SEE IT before the shoot out. So his performance, his look AND that vital Q proove that he visits his son PRIOR to the shooting. AMC, to their huge credit, have moved that scene back to where it belongs.

That is perfect, since it lulls the viewer into a calm and safe place making the events that follow all the more shocking. So WHY would Coppola move that scene to AFTER the shooting? Well, the answer lies in that in the Theatrical non-chronological version, the next scene is Young Vito looking over his son. Each transition, between the past and the "present" have imagery that juxtaposes similar events or mood. You could not cross-fade to Young Vito with the scene that would have been in its place which was Tom wading around a sewer pipe...so that bedtime scene was moved to create that bridge transition flow, and well done to them for doing it. However, it works better prior to the shooting in the chrono cut coz it sets the mood soooo well.

Finally, I will correct a continuity error where one minute, Hyman Roth has no cake, and then he has cake in his hand. Easily done by just re-arranging the waiters serving cake (which AMC made worse by removing the 12 secs of cake serving)....."ah, those advertising revenues..."!

And that friends, is it.

The analysis for Part 3 was done when I did LA Fine edit (coming soon).

NEXT

I will do a quick analysis of the run times of all versions without credits, recaps etc., and let you know what that looks like.
Then, I will do a quick "AMC deletions video", and then I will assemble the edit adding new opening and closing credits. This needs to be done to clean up the registration flutter in them which persists on the opening of A NOVEL FOR TV which plays over the Don's chair. I will take a clean plate of the chair from the HD sequence and lay new titles over that. The closing titles will also be re-done and include all uncredited crew per IMBD, for all versions of the film (including the two restorations). I did this on my unreleased Superman edits and plan to do so on any edit I do going forward; credit where credit is due: RESPECT!

Till next time...

CENT ANNI

W
ps
I'm never going to do such an analysis again...That last one was LOTR, HOBBIT and the Superman Movies, and they were easy.....THIS WAS FUN, but a pain in the rear...(but necessary)....
 

Wraith

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BONUS RUMINATIONS

SO, you just wrapped in your final shot after 6 hard weeks editing your movie for the studio.
The studio contractually has agreed that you have FINAL CUT if it is 130 min. Your cut is 150 mins. If you don't remove 20 mins from your masterpiece, the studio will cut it for you free of charge (and we know what masterpieces that ruined, Ambersons, Touch of Evil, The Alamo (lost if you haven't got the Laserdisc)), and the list goes on....

So, what do you do?

Imagine the movie we are talking about is The Godfather Part 2. And what we are talking about is the extended chrono and IMO the original cut. Well, the easiest thing is keep the narrative thrust intact (hence the last 110 mins of Michael is untouched), hack the party (since its 50% fluff), and dump half the young Vito stuff, coz it is a curio anyway coz he ain't in the main plot.

Ah, but we hacked so much Vito, it's a bit narratively disjointed. I know, lets intercut with Michael, like that, people won't really miss what's missing, viewers will fill in the gaps and we can show the parallels with Michael....Great idea!....Voila, Theatrical cut. MASTERPIECE!

All retained scenes are intact, party is rearranged and the main plot is solid.

Now, imagine your boss says " we got a 10 HR movie which we can't really touch BUT, trim the violence, and find me 20 mins such that no one will really notice, coz we added in 4 sets of openin and closing credits and recaps and NEXT ON THE GODFATHER, and we need to keep it to 10hrs, and we are over....we need those ads back....AND, YOU HAVE A WEEK TO DO IT. Well, it's gonna take you near two working days to watch the damn thing and make notes. So, I know, I'll wind thru and every time I see someone not speaking for more than 2secs, I'll just trim that out....I hit my target, the boss gets his 20 mins, and all scenes remain intact.....

Great...oops, I'm still a few mins short....I know, I'll look at all the montages and cross fades, and if there are non dialogue shots either side, I'll start the cross fade one shot earlier or end one shot later (removing that shot)... No one will notice....

Delivered cuts of 20 mins, little effort.....HERO!


I'm utterly convinced that is what happened with the AMC version coz that is exactly what has been changed....scenes which could easily have been trimmed, are not, but dramatically important ones, with glaring eyes, sad eyes, angry faces, pauses for thought....trim trim trim......the biggest sin is when Michael and Freddo are in Cuba in the open and share a moment. There are a number of long pause, glances, sadness, regret which are massively diminished by the process I just described. Many of Kay's moments suffer from this attack of the edit scissors...as do many other carefully judged moments.

Sure, I could do a 90 min edit of Lawrence of Arabia, there can't be more than 40 mins of dialogue in it, but can you imagine the result...no atmosphere, no character, no inner voices on show, no dramatic tension ("10 mins on a f'ing Camel...Cut that crap")...just blah blah "Damascus", blah blah " Faisal", blah blah "who let you in"....hardly enthralling!

And there you have it....choice, time, budget...

Quick n cheap....(not good)
Quick n good....(expensive)
Good n cheap. ....(not quick)

....but you can't have all three....(unless you are James Cameron)

W
Ps. James Cameron took 20 mins out of Avatar by removing 1 frame from every single shot....not quick or cheap...hence "frame f**king"....quite clever really, but a whole sound mix needs doing to....nuts!

W

Pps

"Mr Jackson, we love your 2hr, first of two movies of The Hobbit....could we have an extra 30 mins and an extra movie please"....
I'm convinced that is why GdT walked, and we all know what came out of that process....
 
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