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Love and Mercy: The Brian Wilson Sessions (TM2YC Fanmix)

TM2YC

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Poster:



Brief Synopsis:

Brian Wilson biopic 'Love and Mercy' with the John Cusack 1980s half removed, leaving just the Paul Dano 1960s material.

Intention:

'Love and Mercy' tells the story of Beach Boys star Brian Wilson's rise, fall and eventual redemption across two different intercut time periods. One half starring Paul Dano as 1960s Brian, recording his most famous work and the other half starring John Cusack as 1980s Brian, in the grasp of his controlling Psychiatrist.

The 80s material isn't bad by any means and tells an interesting story, it's just that Paul Dano's performance is so fantastic and the 60s recording sessions are recreated with such love and detail... that I really only want to rewatch those parts. Thankfully, the narrative when the 80s material is stripped away remains cohesive. So this is my ideal John-Cusack-free version of 'Love and Mercy', called 'The Brian Wilson Sessions'.

See Brian record the masterpieces 'Pet Sounds', 'Good Vibrations' and 'Smile' uninterrupted. The music is it's own redemption.

Other Sources:

Love and Mercy (Blu-Ray)
Pet Sounds Sessions (CD Boxset)
Smile Sessions (CD)
www.freesound.org (Various additional SoundFX)

Special Thanks:

Thanks to the filmmakers for recreating these sessions with such care and love. Thanks to Brian Wilson for the spectacular music.

Editing Details:

- All four 60s deleted scenes restored (7 minutes) with minor re-grading
- All 80s scenes removed
- Scenes lightly resequenced
- Ending montage remixed
- Custom fanedit titles added/replaced
- Studio date titles added (x3)
- Additional Beach Boys music added (Plus a little Beatles too)
- New postscript written

Coverart:

Love-and-Mercy-3Dview.jpg






(^ Click to get full res images of sleeve and Disc art)

Full Cutlist:
00.00.00 - Added FE.org and TM2YC titlecards
00.00.24 - Added vintage 1969 'Columbia' titlecard from 'Easy Rider' Blu-Ray (As this is a Sony picture I thought it was almost-appropriate for the time period)
00.00.26 - Added 'Our Prayer' from The Beach Boys LP 'Smile' over 'Columbia' logo and first scene (Sorta dreamlike feel I hope)
00.00.41 - Added deleted 'Brian Meets Phil Spector' scene. Showing Brian's inspiration to move beyond the Surf-Pop genre that will play out across the film. Also added fade-in. Now transitions into credit sequence
00.01.32 - Removed original opening scene (Brian in studio talking to self) to use later. Also removed soundscape and 70s Brian in bed scenes
00.01.36 - Removed John Cusack, Paul Giamatti and Elizabeth Banks credits and replaced them with my own. Also remade Paul Dano credit (Full credits retained at end)
00.04.00 - Added 'Love and Mercy: The Brian Wilson Sessions' title and layered Brian (His head and Guitar) over the top
00.04.11 - Removed 6.5 minute John Cusack 80s section (Car showroom meeting) and added deleted 'Murray Interrupts The Recording Sessions' scene. Shows the pressure being exerted on Brian, which now transitions into his panic-attack on the plane.
00.04.56 - Removed exagerated 4th-wall-break that feature in the deleted material
00.05.39 - Removed second 4th-wall-break
00.06.46 - Removed third 4th-wall-break
00.07.12 - Added slow build-up of Aeroplane noise over end of studio scene
00.08.18 - Added more Aeroplane noise over the outro and added a slow buildup of metronome sound
00.08.29 - Added deleted 'Brian Talks With His Family' scene
00.13.53 - Added deleted 'Brian Looks For A Collaborator' scene. Added coda of The Beatles 'Nowhere Man' from 'Rubber Soul playing in background, which Brian was refrencing in the last scene
00.14.31 - Adjusted timing of first 'God Only Knows' Piano notes to leave space for Dano's last line in previous scene
00.14.32 - Removed 4-minute John Cusack 80s section (Concert date)
00.18.29 - 00.53.12 - 'Pet Sounds Sessions July 1965' title added
00.22.11 - Mixed in "Take 5" of 'Wouldn't It Be Nice' from 'Pet Sounds Sessions' Boxset to transition into next scene
00.22.16 - Added earlier scene of Brian in studio talking to self
00.23.21 - Removed 4.5-minute John Cusack 80s section (Dinner date) and added crickets chirping to night scene
00.27.28 - Replaced 2nd soundscape with 'Let's Go Away For Awhile (Stereo Mix)' from 'Pet Sounds Sessions' Boxset
00.27.32 - Removed 12-minute John Cusack 80s section (Beach house and Landy confrontations)
00.42.46 - Mixed in 'Sloop John B (Stereo Mix)' from 'Pet Sounds Sessions' Boxset to transition into "comedown" scene. Also added fades in/out of black to emphasise the break between albums
00.43.07 - Removed 6-minute John Cusack 80s section (Night together)
00.47.04 - 'Good Vibrations Sessions February 1966' title added
00.52.29 - Used shot of Brian depressed in bed from end montage to transition into 'Surfs Up' performance
00.52.35 - Removed 4-minute John Cusack 80s section (Over medicated)
00.53.12 - 'Smile Sessions August 1966' title added
01.01.45 - Totally recut, reordered and remixed the audio for the closing montage, removing all 80s shots and dialogue
01.02.07 - Removed 6-minute John Cusack 80s section (Landy confrontation)
01.03.06 - Removed 4.5-minute John Cusack 80s section (Landy and the Will)
01.04.53 - Removed 6-minute John Cusack 80s section (Closing scenes)
01.04.56 - Replaced original four closing narration cards, with four new ones focusing on the plot elements from this edit only
01.05.49 - Added 'Brian Wilson Sessions' title underneath 'Love and Mercy' title

Fanedit Length: 73 minutes
Original Length: 121 minutes
Time Added: 7 minutes
Time Cut: 55 minutes

Fanedit Trailer:

 

njvc

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Nice! I'll look forward to checking this out.
 

Brumous

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I thought your poster was so awesome I fanedited it. Desaturated and decontrasted the image, and then because the 'Love and Mercy' font looked like a 70s font, swapped it out for some Futura Black.

qyX1bwn.jpg
 

TM2YC

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^ Hmmm, that is a very nice font choice. I'll think on that, thanks :). The saturation is a "filter" I applied for the poster only, so the coverart will look more like your version.

By the way, it was inspired by this Beach Boys LP cover...

The_Beach_Boys-All_Summer_Long-Frontal.jpg


...which was no doubt inspired by this...

Piet%20Mondrian,%20Composition%20with%20Large%20Red%20Plane,%20Yellow,%20Black,%20Gray%20and%20Blue,%201921..jpg
 

Attackosaur

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Saw this in the cinema and loved it. Would definitely be interested in a Dano-only version.
 

Dustin6595

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I had the exact same feelings on this film. I would love to see a Dano-only version.
 

TM2YC

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Attackosaur said:
Saw this in the cinema and loved it. Would definitely be interested in a Dano-only version.

Dustin6595 said:
I had the exact same feelings on this film. I would love to see a Dano-only version.

Far out!

FYI y'all: OP updated with finished artwork (Thanks for the font tip [MENTION=9288]Brumous[/MENTION]! :)). IFDB listing finished. Edit rendered and soon to uploaded. I just need to get inspired trailer wise.

By the way, I watched this superb documentary on the history of SMiLE tonight...


Check it out. It was reasuring to hear lines from this movie at several points from the real life sessions.
 

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TM2YC said:
By the way, I watched this superb documentary on the history of SMiLE tonight...

Truthfully I liked that more than Love and Mercy. It even works better as a classic three-act structure with the whole 2004 concert as an emotional ending of redemption. It sure has a different story about the Pet Sounds and Smile sessions up until the band came back from England.

Brian Wilson was totally involved in Love and Mercy and I wonder how reliable he is as a narrator about his own psychological past. I mean I sure can't remember a lot of things I said or thought 20 years ago. My guess- the "truth" is somewhere in between that documentary and Love and Mercy.
 

TM2YC

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I finished up a short trailer for this edit and given that I really struggle with trailers, I'm surprised to say it's not total sh*t...! :)


This has been submitted to info and will be listed on IFDB tonight. I've had one positive PM from a viewer back already :).
 

TM2YC

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Thanks for the very thoughtful and well written review [MENTION=11578]Problem Eliminator[/MENTION]...

Problem Eliminator said:
TM2YC adds new titles, performs nips and tucks on various scenes, and does extensive audio work – all impeccable to my eyes and ears (save for one notable grammar error in the closing narration cards).

Awesome and oops! What/where was it? It looked okay to me.

Problem Eliminator said:
In the original, Wilson suffers a breakdown and then finds redemption in love. In the edit, he is left broken at film’s end.

The edit is fascinating, affecting and difficult to watch. TM2YC helps pull the film back from the brink of despair by removing a couple of composer Atticus Ross’ queasy soundscapes (one is brilliantly replaced by the instrumental “Let’s Go Away for Awhile”).

Yet somehow, I wanted THE BRIAN WILSON SESSIONS to show Wilson, well, a little more love and mercy.

I'd hoped the generally upbeat feeling of Brian's music at the end, the happier shot selections, the older Brian singing so beautifully and the new end titles would be enough to not leave viewers on too much of a bummer.

I was listening to the 'Surfer Girl' album on a loop the other day and it occurred to me that 'In My Room' could have been a great song to completely re-score the end montage with (You can hear it quietly drifting in and out in the existing mix of this movie/edit). Lyrically it's absolutely perfect and just gorgeous musically.


Some ideas you have too late. Oh well.

Problem Eliminator said:
“Our Prayer” could be played in full as an overture, so that the track’s feeling can sink in before Brian meets Phil Spector (a great opening scene)

I did think about the overture idea for that track but I thought it would just be using it the same way Smile did.

Problem Eliminator said:
Brian’s first time trying LSD could be moved before the first time he hears voices

Not a bad idea, it could definitely work like that. But I think showing his mental decline beginning as a result of the stress put on him by his father, is stronger story wise (A good choice on the part of the filmmakers IMO). The acid trip is shown as something initially positive for Brian, which I think it was... at first.

Problem Eliminator said:
the closing narration cards could include some info on Brian’s mental health, rather than just info on the music’s critical and commercial success.

I didn't feel qualified to speculate on that. He's clearly much better than he was but still pretty "damaged" from the documentaries I've seen. It seems like getting Smile finished to such acclaim, has exorcised many fears and regrets for him... I hope that's true :).

Problem Eliminator said:
It’s one thing to read about Wilson’s experiences in the ‘60s – it’s another to be given a window into his experiences, which TM2YC’s edit accomplishes. “What caused Brian Wilson’s breakdown?” is a question without a simple answer, and THE BRIAN WILSON SESSIONS gives the best answer I’ve seen so far.

The Paul Dano material is really, really strong. I'm listening to 80-90% Beach Boys on the stereo since watching this movie :). On that note, 'The Beach Boys Today!' LP is just one of the greatest things ever... sliced bread, electricity, landing on the moon etc :-D.
 

Problem Eliminator

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TM2YC said:
Thanks for the very thoughtful and well written review Problem Eliminator...
Sure thing, thanks for a great edit.

TM2YC said:
Awesome and oops! What/where was it? It looked okay to me.
In this sentence: “The Beach Boys often featured it’s best songs on their albums for years after.” "It's" = "it is" or "it has." Not a big deal, but I always notice those things.

TM2YC said:
I'd hoped the generally upbeat feeling of Brian's music at the end, the happier shot selections, the older Brian singing so beautifully and the new end titles would be enough to not leave viewers on too much of a bummer.
Unfortunately, for me, the joy of "Wouldn't it Be Nice" almost felt like counterpoint - the contrast in tone highlighting Wilson's turmoil even more. "In My Room" would be a great choice... sorta like Wilson's retreating to whatever love he can find in the music, but it also hints at his famous bed-ridden years.

TM2YC said:
Some ideas you have too late. Oh well.
The near limitless options available in the footage and especially the music make this edit fun to think about. :) I imagine The Brian Wilson Sessions is done and dusted, but either way I enjoy chatting about ideas. (If you do find I'm overstepping, just let me know.)

TM2YC said:
I did think about the overture idea for that track but I thought it would just be using it the same way Smile did.
Yeah, good point. New idea - "Our Prayer" worked a treat over the Columbia logo, but I found it a bit odd against the opening scene. What about keeping the first 10 seconds on the logo, then transitioning into the instrumental of "Wouldn't it Be Nice" over the Phil Spector scene? It might be neat to reference the openings of both Pet Sounds and Smile at the film's start.

I monkeyed around with it a little... Try jumping to 55 seconds in the instrumental (below), then start playing it 40 seconds into your edit (the instrumental would end approx. 1m45s into the instrumental). I think it complements Wilson's exuberance and disappointment nicely!


Perhaps you could then have a full reprise of "Our Prayer" over the ending montage, intercut with the closing narration? (Okay, I've officially done too much excited brainstorming by now, lol.)

TM2YC said:
Not a bad idea, it could definitely work like that. But I think showing his mental decline beginning as a result of the stress put on him by his father, is stronger story wise (A good choice on the part of the filmmakers IMO). The acid trip is shown as something initially positive for Brian, which I think it was... at first.
Fair enough. The current scene order works really well, too... The drug use is like an attempt to cope with the pressure.

TM2YC said:
I didn't feel qualified to speculate on that. He's clearly much better than he was but still pretty "damaged" from the documentaries I've seen. It seems like getting Smile finished to such acclaim, has exorcised many fears and regrets for him... I hope that's true :).
I guess you could just state the facts - how he was diagnosed (Wikipedia tells me Landy said paranoid schizophrenia, later retracted and diagnosed as schizoaffective disorder)... And the fact that he got real help eventually. I just don't like leaving the conflict of his mental health hanging, as if the music is all that mattered.

TM2YC said:
The Paul Dano material is really, really strong. I'm listening to 80-90% Beach Boys on the stereo since watching this movie :). On that note, 'The Beach Boys Today!' LP is just one of the greatest things ever... sliced bread, electricity, landing on the moon etc :-D.
The Paul Dano stuff is a great portrait of the music and the context surrounding it. I haven't explored much Beach Boys beyond Pet Sounds and Smile, but Today! is one I've been meaning to hear. I'll be sure to give it a listen sooner rather than later!
 

TM2YC

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I've now added this edit to Vimeo and included it on the ifdb page.


(Password: fanedit.org)
 

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One thing I forgot to mention in my review was the method I watched this. Around halfway through the edit there is a natural spot to stop so I took a break and listened to Side One of "Pet Sounds" as an Intermission, then I watched the rest of the fanedit and then listened to Side Two of "Pet Sounds". Blissful.
 

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Neglify said:
One thing I forgot to mention in my review was the method I watched this. Around halfway through the edit there is a natural spot to stop so I took a break and listened to Side One of "Pet Sounds" as an Intermission, then I watched the rest of the fanedit and then listened to Side Two of "Pet Sounds". Blissful.

Wow, sounds like you dug it. Was this fanedit really two years ago? :D

TM2YC found the exact right version of which tracks to use from the various "Sessions" and "Rarities" collections released through the years.


Thanks. The 90-track 'Pet Sounds Sessions' boxset is highly recommended with loads of studio chatter, instrumentals, stereo versions and a full stereo mix of the album (my favourite way to listen). I just went back and listened to the parts you mentioned and even impressed myself ;) . This scene worked really well if I do say so myself:

00.27.28 - Replaced 2nd soundscape with 'Let's Go Away For Awhile (Stereo Mix)' from 'Pet Sounds Sessions' Boxset

I forget what the original music was that played in that scene? I don't think it was a BB track.

Gonna have a listen to some fan Stereo mixes of SMiLE while I work on another edit :) .

 

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I'm just now finishing (re-)listening to the 1967 Stereo Mix. Gotta keep those lovin' Good Vibrations a-happening.
 

TM2YC

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@"turntheradioxoff" has kindly made some subtitles (including song lyrics) for this edit.  If you want them, please PM them or me.
 

TM2YC

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^ PM sent. Messaging the editor is usually the best way.
 
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