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Interstellar: Where We're Going

futon88

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I'm creating a fan-edit of Interstellar (2014). The plot is largely intact, including the main through-line about love perhaps being more than a surface-level emotion. This cut retains the epilogue that many seem to detest. There are elements of it that I like enough to retain it, though I've made some adjustments.

Objectives
  • Remove some of the forced conflict, in particular the third act tension between Murphy and Tom on the farm.
  • Try to make some of the dialog sound more natural.
  • Improve pacing by removing some of the exposition and world-building that doesn't necessarily serve the plot.
  • Remove some of the forced humour and one-liners (I realize that's subjective).
There were some bigger, more ambitious things I wanted to do with this edit in service of trying to remove exposition, fix continuity errors, and otherwise make the characters behave more logically, but these things are no longer within the scope of this project. At the end of the day, this movie/story is still quite flawed, in my opinion, but these adjustments improve the experience, at least for me.

Change Log
  • Adjusted "Interstellar" title.
  • Adjusted initial dialog between Cooper and Murphy. Murphy asks if he was dreaming about the crash sooner. Only one "back to bed".
  • Added credit interstitials.
  • Removed, "That's not a dust storm." line as Cooper leaves the house.
  • Removed "old man" / "repopulate the earth" joke.
  • Fixed Murphy shifting. She was pushing the gear shift in the wrong direction for second gear.
  • Removed most of the gear grinding before the flat tire. If the gears are grinding, it's a problem with the clutch, not what Murphy is doing.
  • In the meeting between Cooper, the principle, and Ms Hanly, removed digression about tax dollars and their allocation.
  • Shortened faked moon landing discussion slightly.
  • Removed "We used to look up in the sky and wonder at our place in the stars".
  • During the first dust storm, removed shot of the rear-view mirror since I reused it later in the movie.
  • At NASA, removed Cooper's vacuum cleaner joke (lawn mower joke left intact).
  • Reworked conference room scene:
  • * Adjusted Cooper's pronunciation of "Brand". UPDATE: Unable to fix this to my satisfaction.
  • * Removed "supernatural" line and eye roll.
  • * Removed "...nobody stumbles out".
  • * Removed Amelia's smirk when Murphy says, "It was gravity".
  • * Removed line about leaving in the trunk of a car.
  • * Doyle now laughs about Cooper not realizing he's at NASA (instead of laughing at Cooper's worry about his daughter's safety).
  • While Brand is trying to convince Cooper to fly the mission:
  • * Removed "we need a pilot".
  • * Adjusted cadence of "and this is the mission you were trained for" and placed it after, "...never left the simulator".
  • * Moved, "...but something sent you" after "we had no choice": "We had no choice, but something sent you here..."
  • During Cooper's briefing on the plan,
  • * Removed Amelia's, "...that's no long shot".
  • * Removed "There's a plan A and a plan B".
  • * Moved Brand's, "Did you notice anything strange..." line ahead to the next scene.
  • Removed Cooper's, "We farmers, we sit here every year..." line.
  • While Cooper is talking to Murphy about leaving, removed the "...I can't be your ghost, I have to exist" dialog.
  • Removed Murphy's exaggerated kick when Donald catches her as she runs out of the house.
  • Compressed leaving orbit scene and removed poem.
  • While getting ready for hibernation, removed Amelia's, "That's what I love. You know, out there, we face great odds..." line.
  • Shortened transit of Saturn (35s -> 15s)
  • Removed scene where Romilly explains why the wormhole looks the way it does.
  • Removed Amelia's "first handshake" line while they traverse the wormhole.
  • While discussing Miller's planet, removed forced conflict between Cooper and Doyle.
  • Removed, "That's relativity, folks".
  • During air-braking scene,
  • * Added silent flashback to Cooper's crash.
  • * Removed one of the external shots (altitude and lateral speed didn't match final CG shot)
  • * During Doyle's death, fixed small continuity issue where Amelia abruptly turns to the right.
  • After Doyle's death, while Amelia and Cooper are talking,
  • * Removed explanation from CASE about the signal repeating.
  • * Removed Amelia's dialog about gravity moving across dimensions (including time).
  • * Removed discussion of the beings and how they might perceive time.
  • * Removed, "..but you knew about relativity".
  • After returning to the Endurance, removed Amelia's, "reality's different" line.
  • Removed Brand's broadcast to Amelia where he's reading the poem, and also removed the poem voice-over from the preceding scene.
  • While discussing which planet to visit next, removed some of the socio-utility-of-love lines.
  • After the cut back to the farm, removed the dinner table scene, as it primarily serves to set up the later tension around leaving when we hear Cooper Jr. cough. I kept the preceding scene with Murphy and Tom where they survey the burning corn, as we need to understand the stakes have been raised (corn is no longer immune to blight), and it's a nice moment with Tom.
  • After Murphy learns the truth about plan A,
  • * Removed the poem.
  • * Removed scene on the Endurance as the Ranger leaves for Mann's and we see the beginning of Murphy's broadcast.
  • * Removed frozen cloud.
  • * Adjusted curves/contrast/colour for one of the exterior shots while the ranger is landing.
  • During the revelation on Mann's planet,
  • * Removed "monstrous lie".
  • * Removed "You never would have...evolution has yet to..." dialog.
  • * After this scene cut to Cooper preparing to go home, rather than the shot of Murphy entering the farmhouse (that comes later).
  • During the subsequent scenes, beginning with Mann and Cooper leaving to survey the landing site and ending with Romilly's death:
  • * Removed discussion around the power of human connection.
  • * Removed discussion around survival instinct, and seeing your kids before death.
  • * Instead of cutting to Murphy at the farmhouse, cut to Romilly investigating KIPP.
  • * Removed one of Mann's "yes". He now says "yes" three times instead of four.
  • * Removed the 50/50 odds joke.
  • * Removed the poem.
  • * Removed Mann asking if Cooper sees his children.
  • * Removed cuts to the farmhouse and Murphy burning the corn, etc.
  • * After the explosion, added music, removed cut to farmhouse.
  • * Removed cut to the farmhouse while Mann is entering orbit.
  • During Docking,
  • * Removed "it's not possible"..."no, it's necessary".
  • * Removed "Now for our next trick" and Amelia's laugh.
  • After Cooper asks how bad the damage is, cut to Murphy and Getty discussing how worthless Brand's equation is.
  • Different music while Murphy tells Getty about her ghost (while waiting for the storm to clear).
  • Removed, "Manually?"..."That's what I'm here for.".
  • Removed, "What about the time slippage?"..."Well, none of us have time to worry about relativity".
  • While Cooper outlines the plan to use Gargantua, cut to Murphy arriving at the farm house and entering the bedroom.
  • After the slingshot, while Cooper is falling into Gargantua, removed his yell before he passes out. Instead, he passes out silently like how Amelia did during docking.
  • Inside the tesseract, there are cuts back to Murphy in the bedroom, as before, except for any scene related to the original version where we are worried about Tom returning home.
  • Different music during the tesseract scene (in some places).
  • Removed, "Love TARS, love".
  • Removed scene where Murphy hugs Tom after figuring out the watch. Instead, cut from her realization to working on the math.
  • During Murphy's eureka moment, she no longer kisses Getty.
  • After the tesseract closes, removed explicit shots of Cooper going through the wormhole. First handshake still happens, but we don't see that it's Cooper (maybe it is, maybe it isn't).
  • Adjusted dialog during the hospital scene.
  • * Removed extra "take it slow".
  • * Removed "spring chicken" dialog.
  • * Adjusted pacing.
  • Removed scene in the hallway while Cooper is being taken to his house.
  • Removed TARS asking, "Is this really what it was like?". (I prefer the idea that TARS kept his memories from Earth)
  • Removed voice-over from Murphy as the movie ends.
 
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futon88

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Haven't posted a change log yet, as I'm still not satisfied with the transition from the conference room to the exposition dump. If anyone here is familiar with the movie and has ideas, please DM me. Objective is to remove the door reveal while ensuring Cooper/Audience gets enough information to understand what's going on AND to ensure Brand's request to Cooper makes sense (in the original movie it felt out of left field; need to make sure I at least don't make that worse).

Thanks!
 

futon88

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Here's my revised conference room scene, with an experimental transition that avoids the door reveal.

Changes:
  • Added score.
  • Fixed Cooper's pronunciation of "Brand". In the original movie it sounds like he says "Brannon". (Note: needs more work, I think)
  • Removed Cooper's line about the supernatural and Amelia's eye roll.
  • Removed Amelia's smirk when Murphy says, "It was gravity".
  • Removed Doyle's laugh when Cooper suggests they might not be safe, and also Cooper's "...trunk of a car" line.
  • Doyle now laughs when Cooper starts to clue in that he's at NASA.
  • EXPERIMENTAL: Cut to Cooper looking up at Ranger as Brand says, "..the same NASA you flew for", as bridge to the next scene.
(removed video)
 
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futon88

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I'm currently re-working several scenes using a different/better approach for the audio transitions. In particular, I've re-done the Cooper/Mann fight in a way that doesn't require the silent flashbacks to Murphy as Cooper is waiting to be rescued. I took that approach originally to ensure the score lined up properly at two key points: When Cooper recovers his transmitter, and when Romilly is killed. I've since identified part of the score that can be compressed, while maintaining the proper timing.

It's been interesting finding little "mistakes" in the movie as I go. For instance, what do you hear? Brand, Branning, or Brannon?

(removed video)

Another example: During Doyle's death, there are several missing frames as Amelia turns her head back towards Cooper in the airlock.
 
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futon88

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Something else I've noticed that isn't necessarily a mistake: While Amelia and Cooper are preparing to slingshot around the blackhole, we hear Cooper explaining how they'll use Lander 1 and Ranger 2 as rocket boosters, but I think this was looped in post at a late stage. Late enough that Matthew McConaughey had trouble remembering how to sound like Cooper. His accent and speech cadence are little different.
 

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Can I get away with this?


Password = fanedit
 

DigModiFicaTion

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I haven't watched the movie in a while, but the flow felt a bit off in that clip with Cooper and Murph.

It's been interesting finding little "mistakes" in the movie as I go. For instance, what do you hear? Brand, Branning, or Brannon?

That's just his accent. He says Brand.
 

futon88

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That's just his accent. He says Brand.
I'd be inclined to agree, but this is the only place in the movie where he tacks on a second syllable. Actually, there's a second instance which I found just now in the preceding scene.

Here are some "Brands" for comparison. Number 2 and 3 sound more like "Brannon". Everything else more like "Brand".


Password = fanedit

Regarding the scene with Murphy, I agree the timing is probably a bit off. The dialog you hear was pulled forward almost a full 60 seconds. It's kind of a wonder it matches up as well as it does, but it does look like Murphy's line is looped poorly. I'm just wondering if it's one of those instances that's good enough and most people won't notice or if it's bad enough that it would be disqualified from submission in the IFDB.

Thanks very much for your feedback! When I first started chopping this movie up it was just for me, but now I'm committed to creating something with the necessary quality to share with others. I'm learning as I go, so absolutely all feedback is appreciated.
 

DigModiFicaTion

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I guess all I hear is an accent. When he talks fast it's more typical in its pronunciation. When he slows and lengthens out the name you hear more of his southern drawl. The guy is meticulous in his craft.

In regards to ifdb quality, I'd personally ask for some reworking as the audio and visuals don't quite gel together on the edited scene. It feels a bit off when Murph says her line, but the notebook is the real moment you know something was changed.
 

futon88

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Awesome, thanks very much. I'll try and smooth out that transition.
 

futon88

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I would love any and all opinions on the following variations of a scene I'm working on.

I'm trying to remove Cooper's line about his tax dollars and how they're allocated. It's nice world-building, but it doesn't feel like something you'd ask the school principal about.

I have two cuts I'm experimenting with. The first has Cooper interjecting with "You're ruling my son out for college" as the principal begins to explain the university has limited resources. I think this has potential, but the principle's head is a little too static after the cut back to Cooper, and Cooper steps on his "resources" line, so I had to truncate that.


This second version is smoother and feels like a more natural cadence but I'm not sure if the principle's initial hesitation before answering is enough to sell Cooper's anger.


Which feels more natural to you? Which do you prefer?

Thanks!

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Interesting suggestions you’re making here. Do you also propose changes to the ending of the movie? Personally I would have preferred the movie to end after the tesseract scene, when Cooper is floating in empty space. What comes after it always felt like the obligatory Hollywood happy ending stuff that this movie doesn’t really need in my humble opinion…
 

futon88

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Interesting suggestions you’re making here. Do you also propose changes to the ending of the movie? Personally I would have preferred the movie to end after the tesseract scene, when Cooper is floating in empty space. What comes after it always felt like the obligatory Hollywood happy ending stuff that this movie doesn’t really need in my humble opinion…
I've considered it, and I agree it feels tacked on. I *am* removing "first handshake". After the whiteout when the tesseract closes, I'm cutting to Cooper out in space with the sun in the shot and the slow pan that reveals Saturn. It works really well, I think.

I'm keeping the epilogue for two key moments:

1. Murphy's, "...because my dad promised me" line. That gets me in the jellies every time.

2. The final clip of Cooper and TARS stealing the ship out of the hanger. That bit is worth the price of admission for me. I love the body language, the fact that nothing is said, the timing of the music cues, all of it. It's clear from this brief scene that Cooper and TARS are good friends, and I love that because of how distrustful Cooper was towards him in their first scene together.
 

futon88

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I think I need to give up on trying to fix Doyle's death. Every attempt to make it seem like he's caught by the wave earlier makes it less plausible than if I just leave it alone. I do think I might take advantage of weird moment in the airlock. There's a bad cut or dropped frames at 01:11:50. I may use that as a cut away to tweak the order of operations, a bit. I'm not sure yet. Ideally, it would cut an exterior shot where we see Doyle scrambling to get back up except now it's too late because Cooper has forced the outer hatch to close. Maybe an earlier draft had something like that.
 

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You've got some interesting ideas. It's been awhile since I've seen the movie. What I remember the most is the pacing, I though it was a bit slow. Don't get me wrong, a good movie nontheless, which had me shed a tear of two :).

Regarding the clips of the school principle and Cooper, I think the first one works a little better. Cooper's deduction about ruling out his son from the principle's previous comment, seemed a bit more natural in the first clip. They both work, but I though the former one was slightly better.

In the clip between Cooper and Murphy, it almost works, but I did notice Murphy's lips not moving when she delivers the line "That's exactly why you can't go", while she gets up.
I'm not sure if I noticed correctly, though.
 

futon88

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Regarding the clips of the school principle and Cooper, I think the first one works a little better. Cooper's deduction about ruling out his son from the principle's previous comment, seemed a bit more natural in the first clip. They both work, but I though the former one was slightly better.
Yeah, I'm on the fence. The second clip is smoother, but the first one sell's Cooper's deduction better. If I can fix the audio a bit, I might go with that one.

In the clip between Cooper and Murphy, it almost works, but I did notice Murphy's lips not moving when she delivers the line "That's exactly why you can't go", while she gets up.
I'm not sure if I noticed correctly, though.
Yeah, you nailed it. Cooper's line is also looped, but it fits ok because you can't see his face. Murph is actually saying, "You said ghosts don't exist", but "That's exactly why you can't go" is very close to working. I think the main tell is the "exactly", but it still doesn't work if I remove that word ("That's why you can't go").

What I've done now is just improve the audio. I'm using her initial intake of breath from the original line, and I've layered in the bed noises as she postures up. Also tweaked the volume so it matches the cut a little better. This version also has a bit of brownian noise mixed in to hide the muted sections. I'm hoping if the rest of the sound effects match better it'll help. Please let me know what you think. The difference is subtle.


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theomega

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Oh yes, that's better, a subtle change, but it fits way better. You can see her lip moving on the word "go" (I didn't notice that before), which sells it a lot better.
I'll have a listen to it with my headphones when I get home, but my initial impression is that it fits much better.
 

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Drowning Miss Hanley (2022)
LINK REMOVED
 
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futon88

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I've updated my opening post to remove some unnecessary commentary, and to include my change log.

This is approaching the point where I would be comfortable submitting as a first fan edit, but if there are any editors out there with a copy of Interstellar who would be willing to give it a preview and provide some feedback, I'd be in your debt. There are some transitions that aren't quite perfect yet, and a few scenes with temporary sound-effects and/or music bleed, but I think it's close. And if it's not, and I need to completely redo the thing, I'm game.

Note: The working title is now "Interstellar: Where We're Going". I've updated the post title to reflect that. I hope that isn't breaking any rules.
 
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DigModiFicaTion

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@futon88 I've removed the google drive link to the scene you shared as it had a download option enabled. You'll need to disable downloads if posting google drive links.
 
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