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Silk Spectre (Watchmen fanedit) by Mark Moore

Mark Moore

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Well, "Soldiers of Love" wasn't approved, so, until I can get all of that Highlander footage moved to my new comp (dunno if I mentioned it on here or not, but my old comp crashed in December), I've started working on a "Watchmen" edit centered on Silk Spectre.

Now, before anyone brings up "Mary Jane" (which I still have personal confidence in), I'm going to say I believe all important plot points are revealed in exposition in Laurie's presence. We learn about the other characters only as much as Laurie learns, but I believe it's enough. I considered making it about both Silk Spectres (Sally and Laurie), but I've ultimately decided to focus on just Laurie. She doesn't get along well with her mother, and she likely doesn't care what her mother did in the 1940s. We know her mother was a crimefighter, who eventually pushed Laurie into the same business. We know the Comedian nearly raped Sally. We know Laurie started hated him for it when she found out. We know Jon is a "superhero" that Laurie is with. We know Rorshach, Adrian, and Dan are people that Laurie used to be on the team with. No need to go into their personal histories. We don't get Adrian's explanation of how he enacted his plan. Jon informs Laurie that Adrian's behind it, and Adrian shows off the purpose / end result of his plan. That's enough.

It's my belief that Laurie Juspeczyk is truly the heart and soul of "Watchmen". She has direct connections to many of the other characters. She's the "miracle" (as Jon calls her) that is impacted and impacts others throughout the film.

Also, for what it's worth, Malin Ackerman gets first billing.

I'm using both the theatrical and director's cuts of "Watchmen" on DVD. So far, I've created timelines for each version and roughly cut out the footage that I won't be using. Next, I'm going to compare each of Laurie's scenes side-by-side, one at a time, to see if anything was added/altered in the Director's Cut.

I might include one non-Laurie scene where Hollis and Dan discuss Dr. Manhattan's freak-out and Laurie eventually finding out, or I might include it as just an extra, since we learn during Laurie's interrogation that Jon took off.

I will include Rorshach's death, mostly to avoid an awkward jump. Even though Laurie isn't in the scene, it's shown that she's standing relatively close to the open door, so it's possible that she watched it.

The only potential plothole is Rorshach suddenly being in prison, but I could create a small scene in either Dan's living room or Archie where they hear the news broadcast of his arrest.

I'm going to create a new opening title sequence showing Laurie growing up. For opening and closing songs (as well as some filler to cover up the deletion of Rorshach's journal entries), I'm going to use Devo.
 

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A short update: I'm considering which Devo songs to use throughout the edit. Also, the opening title sequence (when it's done) will double as the trailer. The whole thing won't be very long - under an hour. I probably won't do an audio commentary, but extras will include trailers and deleted/alternate scenes relating to Laurie.
 

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Malin Ackerman was billed first because her name is first alphabetically in the list of cast members.
 

Mark Moore

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In the opening credits, each of the names listed one at a time are alphabetical, but the three last ones are not. In the closing credits, the Watchmen's actors' names are alphabetical, but everyone else is listed randomly. Even Silk Spectre I got demoted from alphabetical in the opening credits to "and the rest" in the closing credits. Still, admittedly, I didn't catch the alphabetization of the Watchmen's actors' names.
 

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It sounds like an interesting edit - mostly because the current watchmen edits (which I really enjoy) strive to make it closer to the comic so I am interested in every edit that gives a new spin on it and tells the story differently.

Only problem for me was that I hated Malin Ackerman's acting and wished her out of the movie :p but that's the problem when you have haley rorschaching the whole time - you just wish to spend more time with Haley, but with haley gone for the most part it will probably be easier to digest :D

i am curious if there ever will be a faneditor who after-effects the squid back into the film
 

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Sunarep said:
i am curious if there ever will be a faneditor who after-effects the squid back into the film

From what I've seen of the Motion Comic the squid ending there is done quite well, at least in the context of the near-silent 3 minute opening sequence where the camera just pans around the wreckage in New York. It'd be a hell of a lot of work, though, and I don't think that by itself it would resolve all the film's issues.
 

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Bit of an update. The first 16 minutes and 45 seconds are pretty much finalized. I have to order the Devo album, "Are We Not Men?", so I can add the intro to "Gut Feeling" to the opening credits sequence.

It at the 16:45 mark that I run into a bit of a problem. Laurie has just arrived at Dan's and is talking about Jon (this is around 1 hour and 3 minutes into the Director's Cut). We see Jon getting dressed for his interview (which would be confusing, since I cut out the part where Dan is watching Ted Koppel talk about it on TV), and I don't know how to cut out those shots without cutting Laurie's dialogue.
 

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Okay, I managed to get rid of the shots of Jon dressing up by inserting a previous reaction shot of Dan (in slo-mo) in both spots. Problem solved.

I need to find suitable music to use in the alley fight (I've edited all of the shots together and need to mute them to get rid of the interview audio) and when Rorschach is spying on Laurie and Dan (I gotta mute his voice-over). I've listened to the samples of Tyler Bates' score on Amazon. I'm not sure if some of those would work or not, but I'm likely going to order the CD anyway. I'd really like to use the music from the DVD menu, but it doesn't seem to be on the score album. I might go for instrumental parts of some 1980s Pop songs.

I need some help on the dates. Rorschach meets with Laurie and Jon on October 13, around 24 hours after the Comedian is killed (what took him so long?) and has dinner with Dan on that same night.

Laurie meets with her mother on October 16 (the day of Blake's funeral).

Laurie and Dan meet at the Gunga Diner, where she's informed of the "attack" on Adrian, on October 21, and then she starts staying with Dan.

She and Dan presumably go out in Archie early the next morning (around 3:00 AM), October 22 (or might it be a few days later?), during which they rescue people from a burning apartment, have sex in Archie, and bust Rorschach out of prison.

I'm confused on which night that Laurie leaves Jon (the interview night), and she and Dan get in that alley fight. Is it on the night of the 16th (the same day that she met with her mother) or the 20th (the day before she starts staying with Dan)?

In either case, there's the question of where she was staying after she left Jon but before she started staying with Dan.

Also, is her interrogation on the night that Jon leaves (logically, it should be) or on the following day?
 

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You could also look to the graphic novel for music ideas.
 

Mark Moore

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reave said:
You could also look to the graphic novel for music ideas.

I already have. :)

watchmen-feb09.gif


But, yeah, I'll check the comic for more inspiration.

It might even help me fill in the dates for some of the events.

Another problem that I have is how to convey that Rorschach has been captured without breaking perspective. We're never shown Laurie or Dan finding out in the movie, so we're left to assume they heard about it on the news. Same with the cancer scare (which Dan briefly discusses with Laurie in Archie). However, Laurie makes one comment to Jon about how he seemed surprised when the reporter ambushed him on the news, which means she must have watched a repeat of it. What should I do here? If there was footage of Laurie sitting on the couch and watching TV, I could maybe cobble a scene together, but there isn't.
 

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I'm going through the edit one last time, step by step, trying to get things just right. A little over 18 minutes into the edit, the alley fight occurs. Since I've muted the audio of the Dr. Manhattan interview, I need a piece of music to put here, but I'm not sure what. I really love the music from the DVD menu, but it doesn't seem to be available on the score album (and the DVD menu includes distracting sound effects). Any suggestions?

I've purchased two Devo MP3s from Amazon. The opening theme is "Gut Feeling", and the closing theme is "Beautiful World".

Due to my adding dates on the screen, an amusing error is highlighted. When Laurie visits her mom early in the film, it's October 16, 1985 (a Wednesday), according to Rorschach's journal later that night (both in the film and in the comic). However, Sally is reading a morning paper that has "Friday" clearly visible on the front page. I can't make out the date, but Friday was the 18th in October of 1985.

The comic is helping me date various events in the film, but things are kind of weird. The prison break occurs on Halloween, Laurie apparently spends the ENTIRETY of November 1 on Mars, and she arrives back on Earth at midnight on November 2.
 

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I just watched the edit straight through. I didn't make any changes. I simply observed where things needed to be tweaked. I'm going to order the "Watchmen" score album on Amazon and add a track (probably "Silk Spectre", appropriately enough) to the alley fight. I might add some music after Jon says "and let's go home" during the zoom-out on Mars (unless I decide to cut that part entirely). Some clips in the audio part of the timeline need to be re-positioned, due to my deleting Laurie and Dan's walk across the street from the Gunga Diner (that part will be available as an extra, anyway, complete with Rorschach's narration). Some dates have to be added to certain scenes. All told, that'll probably be one hour of work.

While Laurie and Dan don't learn of Rorschach's arrest on-screen (in the original film, we just have to assume they saw the same or a similar news report), I think Laurie's "You're a wanted man" line earlier can diffuse the audience's surprise when Laurie later says they'll "lock us up with Rorschach". Thoughts on that?

The only major thing that I have to deal with is the closing credits. It's convenient to already have all of that information professionally typed up. However, it includes actors and songs that obviously don't appear in this edit. Is there a way to use a lot of the existing credits and type up only a little? Would screencaps of still credits work?

The extras and the DVD menus shouldn't take long either. Probably one evening of work for everything. Heck, this edit might be done before Transformers.
 

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I got the score album today. I also typed up a breakdown of the scenes, showing how they roughly correspond to the chapters and page numbers of the comics. Even though I enjoy Laurie overall more in the film (doesn't smoke, doesn't have to go into hiding in the end), I'm upset that so much of her backstory was cut - as well as her interactions with Dan and Jon.
 

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Okay, during the last two editing sessions (the second of which I just finished), I've managed to pretty much finish this edit. All dates have been added. I cut away from Mars after Jon stops speaking (so no smiley face). I tried to avoid hard audio cuts. I decided to go with the Comedian's theme for the continuous alley fight between Laurie/Dan and the Knot Tops.

The only things that I have slight concerns about are the lack of sound effects during the alley fight (will anyone find this weird? I find it nicely surreal) and perhaps some hard audio cuts (but I'm gonna burn a test DVD and watch this on my TV to see if anything stands out).

I need to type up new closing credits (enough to fit the ending song, anyway), but I'll be including the original closing credits as a bonus, because I don't feel like typing every single thing out.

It's gonna be just under 72 minutes total.
 

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All right, I checked this out on my 32" 1080p HDTV (didn't watch the whole thing, just the credits, date stamps, alley fight, and transitions. I've spotted a few things that need addressing:

Despite lowering the volume in the timeline, the songs that I added are still too loud. I gotta lower them.

There are some glitches during the scene where Laurie shows up at Dan's place after leaving Jon. Among them, there's a noticeable audio glitch on the first time that it switches from Laurie to a recycled, slo-mo reaction shot from Dan (to hide the footage of Jon getting dressed for his interview). It's pretty noticeable, but I have no idea why it's there (since I merely made a cut and moved Laurie's dialogue down to the Music track of the timeline) nor how to get rid of it. (As an aside, you can still hear the sound effects of the clothes swirling around Jon, but that's unavoidable.)

Most notable, the date stamps that I added do not correspond, visually on my TV, to how they appear in the video preview in the Womble timeline, so they actually extend off the left and right sides of the screen (depending on which side that I happened to place them), cutting off the beginning of the day of the week or the "5" in "1985". Perplexingly, they appear just fine when viewing the DVD files on my computer!
 

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Huh. Thanks. I wonder if Womble has some kind of "safe area" overlay (other than for its DVD menu maker).

I guess I'll try adding some blank spaces in and see if that helps.
 

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Mark Moore said:
Huh. Thanks. I wonder if Womble has some kind of "safe area" overlay (other than for its DVD menu maker).

I guess I'll try adding some blank spaces in and see if that helps.

the mpeg wizard does not have safe area guidelines.
 

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I've been thinking about the dates of some of the scenes in my edit, and I'd like your opinions:

I currently have Laurie's interrogation occur on Sunday, October 20. Should it be moved to Saturday, October 19 (the same night as the alley fight) simply by removing the Sunday subtitle? She and Dan definitely meet for lunch on Monday, October 21. If her interrogation at Rockefeller is on the 19th, then there's a question of where she spent her time until the 21st (in the comic, she was kicked out of Rockefeller, so we could guess she stayed at a motel; in the film, she's on the run). If her interrogation is on the 20th (starting on the evening of the 19th), then she was homeless for only one evening. The loosely equivalent scene in the comic occurs on the 19th.

In the comic, the scene where Laurie's dicking around in Dan's basement occurs on Saturday, October 26, and the apartment complex rescue occurs in the early morning of Sunday, October 27. Hollis seems to call Sally later that evening. The prison break occurs very late on October 31, and Hollis is murdered when there's less than an hour left until November 1. In the movie, Hollis' phone call to Sally (regarding the apartment complex rescue) comes on October 31, right before he's murdered, and the prison break seems to occur that evening as well (did Dan and Laurie simply fly around in the owl ship all day?). Since most of the prison scenes won't be appearing in this edit, nor will Hollis' phone call, I've been using the comic's dating of events (to give Laurie and Dan more time to plan the prison break). Should I do that or place the apartment complex rescue on the early morning of October 31 (and the scene in Dan's basement on October 30)?

Finally, when does the final scene with Laurie, Sally, and Dan occur? It seems to be Christmas in the comic, but there's no indication of that in the film.
 
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