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SPLIT UNBREAKABLE GLASS - A Narrative Experiment Commences

Wraith

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All

This is really a heads up on what will be my next NEW project. The archive clearance is over.

This will likely be my most ambitious Fanmix to date, combining three movies to tell a structurally quite different story, much like my first edit X-Men Requiem War.

I'm not going to reveal the content yet, and I may not pull it off, but there is a 90% chance that I will.

Despite knowing these 3 movies very well, I am going to need re-watch them all and take extensive notes in order to plan this. At the moment the biggest challenge is to decide the narrative flow. Do i go Chronological, Parallel or flashback style? This choice will be fundamental to how the story unfolds, and what I can drop vs. what I can keep.
- Chronological has the advantage of a clear narrative but the down side is a longer movie which will suddenly appear to be about something unrelated to the first part.
- Parallel has the advantage of intertwining two threads which are brought together for a finale but again would lead to a long run time, even with aggressive pruning
- Flashback has the great advantage of permitting large excisions (think Godfather Part II) and keeping audiences highly engaged at the risk of confusion if screwed up .

I used flashback succesfully in Fallen Hero, my Clint Eastwood mashup. The key is does the third movie have enough dialogue or visual hooks to trigger sufficient flashbacks to tell the back story in enough detail? Well, so far on an initial scan, there is a choice piece of dialogue in movie 3 to trigger a great flashback tie-in. But I need more.

Film 1 has broadly what I call master scenes, about 32 of them. I need 16 of these in the cut. Film 2 has 38 Master scenes, of which I need around a dozen. So i need near on 25/30 jump points. They may not be there and that's a lot of jumping about which may not be sustainable from a viewing perepective. Film 3 will need a significant reduction, which is achievable, to create the room for the flashbacks. This will mean dropping half it's content. I'm targeting 2.5hrs, which means losing 3.5 hours potentially. I don't know at this point if that is deliverable. I certainly do not want a run time thatexceeding 3 hours if pos

For now, there is a lot to plan, quite a few packs of Post-it notes to juggle scenes with, and a lot of watching.... A LOT. The biggest issue is that I'm crazy about so many scenes I would love to include, but already know that I will need to drop if this story telling is to work....RATS!!!!

I have no idea how long this will take.

In my head, it all works a dream and I could go with all 3 structures.

Once I have a workprint, I will post some details. When that is being polished, I'll put a trailer together and all will be revealed EXCEPT the chosen structure.

Finally, two of the three have had fanedit touches, two extended versions and a tweaked narrative to one. One of the movies has never been touched. None have ever combined them.

I've got my work cut out!
 
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DigModiFicaTion

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Here are my guesses...
Bourne
John Wick
Mad Max
The Dollars Trilogy (Fistfull of Dollars, A Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly)
Jurassic Park
 

Wraith

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HA HA , im not playing a game on this one...Just very intermittently posting (very intermittently or I will annoy everyone)
HOWEVER, I have a detailed plan for another Clint mashup, where Unforgiven is the anchor and the Dollars trilogy, the flashbacks....so kind of well done.
 

Wraith

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UPDATE:

Well well well...

This is turning into a real head scratcher .....

These are 3 very different films, and the question is can the punches in them translate to a new narrative with similar impact?

I have now watch the third film 3 times. First view, to watch and note my reactions. The second time, to just note down the scenes sequencing for the third viewing. Third view, is the scene this vital? That third viewing is also looking for narrative springboards for flashbacks.

Now some movies use flashbacks, as a flash...you get 20 secs to a minute or two and you are back in the main narrative. Others, will begin, set up what you THINK will be the story, and then go back for over an hour...so much so that you forget you are in a flashback, and the. BANG, you are at the beginning and then the climax plays out. Then you have what I call KUBRICK style (not Tarantino....Kubrick got in there way before....well, so did others). You go back and forth in fairly equal measure. Another way to approach this would be to have scenes from the first two intercut, come together, and then film 3...but that would feel just like what it is....

Analysis and viewing will continue. My gut is beginning to feel this may be very interesting. I am also considering using split-screen....First, I need to practice though. I have never done that and if I am going to, it MUST serve the narrative. Which brings in another challenge. This will sound REAL strange, especially since I'm not going public on the movies....YET. Depending on how the story is told, the main protagonist is NOT who would have liked. That is real annoying for me BUT, by the third viewing of the Film 3, I realized, the edit and the characters MUST serve the narrative. This is not a fan fix, and as a fan mix it must tell the story creatively. So, I'm going to finish watching Lovecraft Actually. This has the amazing advantage for me that I have NOT seen the three underlying movies, though I have them shrinkwrapped on the shelf. Im then going to watch it again. THEN I'm going to watch the 3 underlyers....I'm sure it will bear some creative juices....
 
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Wraith

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UPDATE:

Well, I'm still firmly in two camps; those being a PARALLEL CUT (PC) and a FLASHBACK CUT FC).

How much in two camps? Well I'm behaving like I have a split personality. I started to do a the flashback edit only to find after 3 scenes that I was actually doing the parallel cut. I mean crazy. So saved that, and watched all 3 films again taking notes. Then I laid of the three movies into scenes, 36 for the first two each, and 48 for the last movie. I dropped that into Excel, and now I can move shit around and not spend hours ACTUALLY doing it. I did this for one other unreleased Duo of movies...I could not have done those two any other way (there were too many threads and stuff to track). I may release those....lets see how things pan out. What was useful there as well is that I could see how unbalanced the flow of plot vs character vs action was and as a result I was able to craft 2 movies each with 3 acts, balanced out plot and character pacing and a cliffhanger to boot!

As far as this is concerned, I have a broad structure for both now in Excel. Interestingly, the scenes used for the Parallel cut differ from those used in the flashback cut. So much so , that both contain scenes I do not want to loose BUT, the narrative structure is forcing me to ditch material in one edit or the other. SO...I may just do both versions. Although the las hour will play out pretty much the same, the lead into it is vastly different and the experience as a viewer will differ too.

So, I'm going to start with the FC version, which is by far the more challenging and intriguing narrative. The PC, being more straight forward is nevertheless a far more satisfying viewing....at least in Excel it is.

So I finally started the edit proper and have completed the first 70 secs. That is the custom made opening and then credit roll. The opening titles was insane to complete. Over 150 elements went into a 50 sec sequence, hand animated graphics to boot. The pre-credit sequence, all 20 sec of it was simple and even then contains re-purposed material. Interestingly, all 3 films start off with a big hook. This new opening, is none of those. But it is a HUGE hook!

Am I insane to be writing about stuff that is unnamed...?

Maybe I'll just stop writing and come back with a trailer when they are done? Less painful for all?
 
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Wraith

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UPDATE:

The reveal on this may come a lot sooner than I expected!

I must say, that by Sunday I had multiple versions of how this might best flow only to find as I began to edit that I would meander off in directions driven by the compelling narrative that deviated from my plans. This has been going on for days, despite best intentions and a big spreadsheet. I was really beginning to think that this wasn't just a tough nut to crack but probably in fact an unbreakable nut to crack. then, an epiphany in my sleep.

I awoke on Monday realizing there was a third way to crack this nut!. Yes you can do a linear summary, but how boring is that. I want to repurpose these three films to deliver a fresh approach which obviously still tells the same story but take advantage of the fact we as viewers, can still be challenged, with a few interesting twists in how this narrative and protagonists interact.

So...we have
  • Chronological (already discounted)
  • Parallel and
  • Flashbacks
So which is the other way? FLASHFORWARDS!

With that, I went back to my Excel sheet and in 3 days I'm already 45 mins into this thing. And it is just flowing. I'm now at a critical juncture in which a dozen or so scenes need to be carefully sequenced and judged in order to dovetail into the playoff, so to speak. This will take some real discipline because there are scenes that as much as I (and you guys who own these movies and also love them) just HAVE to go or we end up with a 4 hour monster. So I'm in the "ditch and stich" phase as I call it. With that out the way, I will probably be at the 60/70 min mark and thereafter it really is about tightening up the payoffs and removing anything that is redundant, plus a little something here and there.

This may be only a couple of weeks away and if all goes well, expect a trailer for the reveal OR we could play Hangman and 20 Qs again?

Any takers?
 
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maven48

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Three films... not your fringe edits then...
 

sgp1428

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Would the name 'Shyamalan' shed any light?
 

Wraith

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I can see why you would say that, but well, I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise either way so, I'm going to say no...
 

Wraith

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UPDATE:

Editing has been going well. Currently at the 80 min mark. Unfortunately I hit a tough spot where the sequencing it critical. I did a dozen versions , and just could not get happy with at this critical juncture.

So I took a few days of it, and re-did Fatal Attraction (which was technically poor and overdue a rebuild).

Then, one morning I awoke and there was the solution fully formed in my mind. So I am definitely now in a "glass half full" (rather than half empty) mode and ready to resuming the edit build in the next few days.

Once I'm over this critical point, it's pretty much a sprint to the finishing line...there is a lot to do, but THAT part is fully laid out and just needs to be done rather than planned. Then, I will step away again for a few days and do a clean watch without baggage to make sure I'm happy. If I am, I will move on to credits and a trailer. The trailer will be the reveal. The initial submission will NOT contain any editing details. They will follow after a few weeks to avoid any spoiler.

See ya next week....
 
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Wraith

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UPDATE:

After over a week of not editing at all, I have started to work on two areas. This is unusual for me since I am not editing this linearly as I do with all my edits.

The edit is 80% done for the first 70 min (currently needs removal of redundant dialogue etc).

The next two blocks, which will account for another 20 minutes are ordered but again, need redundant material removed.

I'm focusing on the most critical scene in the edit which involves intercutting two scenes that do not appear together in the original material. I'm also focusing on a powerful flashback which takes place about 20 minutes after that. These two pieces must be nailed. Without them the edit will not work the way I envisage them. This will take a while since one of these needs a completely audio rebuild from the ground up. Every single sound, music you name it, need to be rebuilt . I have the isolated score, so it is not an issue, but the mix on the blu rays is not a clean seperation so there is no other way of doing this without jarring audio clues or poor transitions; PERIOD. So I am not letting a little thing like this put me off. I have done it many times and no one has ever noticed, and if they did, they never commented. Superman has is in the "Can you read my mind sequence". To shorten that using an unused shorter cue from the CD (which I trimmed further)I I needed to rebuild everything else. The 80s mix had zero separation of the elements in the rear and front vs center channels. The only difference here, is that this is a 4 minute sequence. I even did it in The Godfather Michael Opus when he leaves Anthony's room and walks into his room, all the audio was rebuilt...steps, jacket, door, motor boat, night ambience and more/ This is just a longer version of the same and fortunately, the unique sounds ARE isolated (coz they occur with nothing else going on), just all the ambient sounds are not.

Once these two are in the bag, I will return to the new opening credit roll I have manually animated for this and expand it by about 45-60 secs. Two fellow editors have seen this opening, and their comments have prompted me to expand and create a hybrid of two version I previewed to them.

And finally, coz it must drive everyone mad that these are unnamed movies so far, there are clues in these posts; two sets of them in fact.

By all means guess, but I will neither confirm nor deny. The announcement will come in the trailer and THAT will come when I am on the home straight editing-wise...which is about two weeks away I think.

PM me if you want a response to a direct guess, I'd like to keep the suspense and surprise for a little longer....

W
 
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Wraith

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UPDATE:

After a week break on vacation, and not doing anything on this, I will today return to editing.

The new opening titles were completed prior to my break as were one of the two blocks I mentioned above.

I also made a start on the crucial sequence which I will no work on exclusively until completed. This is going to be fun.

I will then need to go through and polish the first half of the movie. Once that is done, the second half will be far easier to deal with which means that I may start work on the trailer next week, for the reveal. Once the trailer is out, we can have a proper discussion (without spoilers).
 

stferguson78

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Aw man, when I saw you had a new post I thought you were going to drop a big reveal!
 

Wraith

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... had to have time off, not from the edit but just life in general. Needed to just do nothing at a professional level of NOTHING....just sleep, eat, walk, repeat.
GLORIOUS...no reading, no TV, no tech...nothing...Just me, the Mrs & 2 dogs plus countryside......

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

NOW, I'm refreshed.....onwards with obsession No. 1!
 

Wraith

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LOL, none of them....
or
I'm doing a mash-up of the 35 best....
 

Wraith

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CLUE TIME:

HIDE IN PLAIN SIGHT
 

Wraith

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Now that would be interesting....Those films need saving.
These films do not need saving at all, on the contrary...
 
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