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Mathilda

futon88

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Original movie: Leon (director's cut of The Professional)

New working title: Mathilda

Primary objectives
  • Re-frame the story with more emphasis on Mathilda's perspective. Reveal Leon's character more slowly.
  • Remove some awkward.
  • Remove some stuff that might have seemed okay in 1994 but definitely isn't after learning more about Luc Besson.
  • Maintain some of the challenging material from the International version (ie. Director's Cut) that makes it superior to the theatrical cut.
  • Augment the music. Eric Serra's score is beautiful, and it's not going away, but I'll replace Sting at the end, and will look for ways to layer in music from the 80's and/or early 90's throughout.
Changes (work in progress; subject to change)
  • FE warning / logo, custom credit title.
  • Removed opening scene at Supreme Macaroni (moved further down the timeline).
  • Removed the entire "Fat Bastard" scene. We begin to learn about the nature of Leon's work later.
  • Shortened title sequence.
  • New music during initial titles ("Leon's theme").
  • Different music for Mathilda's introduction.
  • Mystery dream/flashback...
  • Leon's apartment montage removed. We primarily stay with Mathilda for this opening section, but one shot of Leon in the shower is added to the "next day" scene as we transition to Leon.
  • Shortened antics with the "pig".
  • Mystery dream/flashback...
  • When Leon leaves the apartment, he goes to see Tony instead of seeing Singing in the Rain.
  • Leon's meeting with Tony adjusted to be vague about talking "business", and whether Leon is "free on Tuesday".
  • Different music while leaving home #1.
  • Different music during training montage.
  • Removed over-sized bras from training montage.
  • Removed "the game".
  • Removed all discussion around Mathilda's age. Nobody pretends she's 18.
  • During discussion with hotel manager, removed "He's my lover". He draws that (false) conclusion without being told.
  • Different music when Mathilda follows Stansfield in the taxi.
  • When Leon returns with a present, we don't see what it is. The dress is completely removed from the movie. He's interrupted by the hotel manager.
  • Different music while leaving home #2.
  • Tony no longer warns Leon about being "careful with women"
  • During "Russian Roulette":
  • Removed "I want love or death".
  • Removed "...for life" (instead she just says, "You keep me with you.")
  • During meeting with Tony, fixed the actor jumping his cue.
  • Different music during the first job.
  • Removed "fine dining".
  • Different music during assassination montage.
  • Removed "faggot" from the dude's diatribe.
  • Removed discussion around growing up and getting older, as it's only relevant in the context of a romantic relationship.
  • Different music when Mathilda is alone in the apartment.
  • Removed "...my love" from Mathilda's letter.
  • Mathilda no longer says, 'I love you' in the letter. Just ends on, "I'll know I'll feel better after I do this".
  • Different music when Mathilda goes to the DEA building.
  • The scene where Mathilda and Leon discuss having sex is removed.
  • Mystery dream/flashback...
  • Waking up in the same bed is removed. We see Leon wake up, but Mathilda is not there (she's gone for groceries).
  • Moved reminder of "the code" to an earlier scene.
  • Different music during "The Assault".
  • Different music when Leon is shot from behind.
  • Different music during final scene with Mathilda and Tony.
  • Different music on the way back to the Spencer school.
  • Removed meeting with School principle at the end. We're music-only after the scene with Tony.
  • Closing shot changed; we now end on tableaux of Mathilda / Pot / Plant (in the ground) instead of the skyline shot.
  • Added movie title after closing shot.
  • Special thanks...
  • Removed blue tint from end credits.
 
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Gieferg

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Remove some of the, shall we say, "awkward" moments (the bedroom scene, "Mr. President", "He's my lover")

That one I dont like.
 

futon88

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That one I dont like.
I hear you. I'll err on the side of retention. I haven't seen the movie in 20+ years, but I do think there are opportunities cut some of the "cringe", as my kid likes to say, while maintaining the core characterizations (eg. Leon's arrested development and Mathilda's over-eagerness to be an adult).
 

Gieferg

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Not sure if we're on the same page (non-native speaker here). I meant, I dont like that kind of change, not the scenes ;)
Never had any problem with those and I feel they add some spice to Mathilda's character.

Overall idea to present the story from Mathilda's perspective is fine though. And the more re-scoring, the better - not because I have any problem wth original music, but only because re-scored fanedits seems more interesting.
 
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Phase3

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I'd be keen to see your edit once it's completed! The "awkward" moments in the film I think are really important to leave in there -- those scenes are meant to make the audience feel uncomfortable! Plus, they give the audience more of a reason to care about the characters.
 

futon88

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I'd be keen to see your edit once it's completed! The "awkward" moments in the film I think are really important to leave in there -- those scenes are meant to make the audience feel uncomfortable! Plus, they give the audience more of a reason to care about the characters.
I'll tread lightly. Promise. :)
 

Phase3

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Sounds good mate! I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this edit. :D(y)
 

ArtisDead

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So...The Professional...one of my favorite Natalie movies is going to get futoned? I can't wait to see how this turns out. I say let her be a big girl if she wants but trim his cringe worthy response.
 

FrameSniffer

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  • Re-frame the story with emphasis on Mathilda's perspective. We'll learn about Leon's character as Mathilda learns about him. I plan on layering in short flashbacks
I like the idea of this, hope you can pull it off! There's a lot of Jean Reno source material too (other films) , so you could potentially pull from these if needs be.
 

futon88

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I like the idea of this, hope you can pull it off! There's a lot of Jean Reno source material too (other films) , so you could potentially pull from these if needs be.
Yes, I was thinking some very short cuts from The Big Blue could work too.
 

futon88

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I'll tread lightly. Promise. :)
So far, I'm stomping around with wild abandon in my muddy boots. Sorry, all.

I'm retaining Mathilda's crush on Leon. I think that's key for several reasons, so it stays, but I'm removing her overt attempts to have sex with him. So the dinner scene is back on the cutting room floor, so to speak. If you've only seen the Theatrical Cut, you've never seen it, so don't worry. I was squirmy when I watched it as a 20 year old, and I'm even squirmier watching it as a 40+ year old with an 11 year old kid. There's just so much to unpack in that scene, and I don't think Besson has the chops to pull it off. Remember: Leon decides not to have sex with 12 year old Mathilda because...he doesn't think he'll be a good lover. Not because it's massively inappropriate due to the manifold circumstances, the age gap, the power gap, the trauma, but because he doesn't think he's good enough for her. I don't expect any more from Mathilda. Her entire family was killed less than a week ago. She's got some transference, stockholm, you name it, going on, and he just rescued her from the bad guys 60 seconds ago (movie time), so her advances make sense. But no amount of arrested development excuses Leon from not putting the brakes on. Even if he is stuck as a "19 year old", he knows better.
 

futon88

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And now for some silly SFX sitting out on the center channel doing just their absolute hardest to help. Poor things.

(removed)

(No changes by me aside from muting all channels but center)
 
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futon88

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I'm gonna try to fix this goof by "Manolo". He jumps his cue and pops back into the door frame too soon. It's always bothered me.
x9iXz6G.png
 

ArtisDead

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I love that poster, Mr. Couch. Very appropriate for the tone of your edit. I'm happy to preview this at any point, my friend.
 

futon88

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Thank you, ArtisDead.

Re: the trailer, it's likely too long, but I wanted to retain the two big moments in the music; the first at 1:00 and the second at 2:00, but that minute down the middle drags a bit, at least according to viewer retention stats. Do you have any suggestions for keeping viewers engaged long enough so they get to the actiony kick at the end?
 

FrameSniffer

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Thank you, ArtisDead.

Re: the trailer, it's likely too long, but I wanted to retain the two big moments in the music; the first at 1:00 and the second at 2:00, but that minute down the middle drags a bit, at least according to viewer retention stats. Do you have any suggestions for keeping viewers engaged long enough so they get to the actiony kick at the end?
A24 produce some excellent trailers which could be a good source of inspiration for your own.

Here is an analysis of A24 trailers, which is very interesting and highlights common traps to avoid when making a trailer.
 

futon88

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Thanks I'll check that out! I've told myself I'm not ready to make a "real" trailer (with dialogue, beats, sound repetition, etc.), so I'm still leaning into the simpler method of aligning image to music; more teaser than trailer. But maybe it's time I commit to figuring it out.
 

FrameSniffer

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Thanks I'll check that out! I've told myself I'm not ready to make a "real" trailer (with dialogue, beats, sound repetition, etc.), so I'm still leaning into the simpler method of aligning image to music; more teaser than trailer. But maybe it's time I commit to figuring it out.
Mixing music and dialogue (for me) is the most time consuming and difficult aspect of a trailer. I tend to avoid that if I can but sometimes thereā€™s no getting away from it šŸ˜Š I think with Mathilda some dialogue could work well but you donā€™t have to over do it. Maybe just some key moments.
 
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