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Stephen King's The Stand (1994)

Conrad MacIntyre

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Hello all!

So, while I wait for my edit of the IT to be approved (or not) I tried taking a stab at another King miniseries -- the Langoliers -- but the only source I have for that is VHS and once I digitally converted it and tried making some edits, the quality was just TOO poor. So I'll put that one on the back burner until I can at least get a DVD copy.

Which leads me to The Stand, yet another 90s miniseries from King. I want to turn this into a theatrical cut -- which presents no small challenge. The total running time of the original miniseries is 6 hours and ten minutes. I've set a goal of the Godfather II running time of 3 hours and 20 minutes (or less), because I want to have a realistic theatrical running time. This means removing almost half of the footage, while trying to maintain the story and character development. Should be a fun challenge.

I'm currently into part 2. My plan is to cut down each part individually as much as I can, then combine them and make further edits if/as required to hit my goal running time.

If you are familiar with this terrific miniseries and want to throw some input my way, I would love that! I expect to start posting some clips soon.


Thanks!
- Conrad

Originally I didn't plan to get this listed, but I've changed my mind after re-ripping my DVD with some tweaked Handbrake settings. That comment is in the spoiler below, but is no longer relevant.
NOTE: Because my source is a DVD I will not be submitting this to the Academy or listing on the IFDb if I am approved as an editor, because I don't feel the source quality is high enough. I'm hoping for a Bluray release since there is a remake forthcoming.
 

bionicbob

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Conrad MacIntyre said:
NOTE: Because my source is a DVD I will not be submitting this to the Academy or listing on the IFDb if I am approved as an editor, because I don't feel the source quality is high enough. I'm hoping for a Bluray release since there is a remake forthcoming.

Nothing wrong with DVD quality.   I have The Stand on DVD and it is very good, equal to the broadcast version.
 

Conrad MacIntyre

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Part of my theatrical cut is a widescreen crop. This lowers the resolution too far IMHO. I’ll still make this edit available to whoever wants it, but unless my sharpening filter does some voodoo magic, I won’t be attempting to get it listed.
 

TV's Frink

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Thread moved to Workprints since you don't intend to submit.  PM a staff member if you change your mind.
 

MusicEd921

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@"Conrad MacIntyre" why not just leave the aspect ratio alone and then submit a cropped version at a later date?
 

Conrad MacIntyre

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musiced921 said:
@"Conrad MacIntyre" why not just leave the aspect ratio alone and then submit a cropped version at a later date?

This is not a terrible idea, but my first priority is to make the edit I want. And the full screen ratio really makes it look like television. Once I finish, I’ll try to export my edits into a full frame project and attempt a submission.

Thanks for the input.
 

Conrad MacIntyre

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Here is the opening sequence from my Theatrical Cut. This is Anamorphic SD. 


Thoughts? Anyone remember this miniseries? Anyone else love it as much as I do?
 

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this sounds like a very cool idea, i have always wanted to see it more compressed and into a single film, btw how long do plan on making your edit with all your choice scenes? i would be very eager to catch this one!
 

Conrad MacIntyre

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scrapesky said:
this sounds like a very cool idea, i have always wanted to see it more compressed and into a single film, btw how long do plan on making your edit with all your choice scenes? i would be very eager to catch this one!

My goal is to get the total running time (including credits) down to 3:20 (The Godfather Part II runtime). This means cutting almost half the total footage from the miniseries. So, I'm just going one part at a time and cutting it down as much as I *think* I can. Then I'll put them all together and see how close I am to my goal. That's when the hard part starts: ruthlessly trimming every possible plot thread and cutting a second or two here and there until it's ready to go. I'm pretty jazzed about the challenge this presents. But I doubt this will replace the miniseries for me (like my IT edit has), I think it will just serve as a shorter alternative. 

The only two cuts I KNOW I'm making are the beginning scene (you can see that in the preview) and almost everything after the hand of God destroys Vegas. Those are pretty big chunks, but I don't think they quite add up to 3 hours. haha.
 

Conrad MacIntyre

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I've done my first pass of parts 1 (The Plague) and 2 (The Dreams)... and so far I've managed to cut in the neighbourhood of 80 minutes. Good, but not good enough -- I suspect -- to hit my goal of 3:21. I fear I may not yet have been ruthless enough. I'll convert my chicken-sctrach cut-list into a digital version so I can share it here. Also, looking for good music cues to add back into this. The primary music is all done by W.G. Walden. He leans pretty hard into the stringed instruments. Guitars and Pianos mostly. So any suggestions in that "string" category would be  terrific. Especially if all the cue come from a single score, so they sound like they fit together.

Cheers!
 

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Worry less about trimming parts as much as cutting side characters and lesser story lines.
 

Conrad MacIntyre

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revel911 said:
Worry less about trimming parts as much as cutting side characters and lesser story lines.

Agreed, I’ve started cutting side characters and even scaling back a couple of the primaries already. I’m a little more than halfway through the workprint, then the real hard work begins (depending where my running time sits when I get there).
 

Conrad MacIntyre

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I need score ideas. I would like to complement this existing score by WG Walden (30-Something, The Wonder Years) with some more cinematic and orchestral score. But it needs to fit the guitar-driven themes that are used in the original soundtrack, so nothing synth-y... I'm super stuck. I don't even know what genre to pursue. Probably a dramatic score would be best, but I really don't know. Any suggestions?
 

Conrad MacIntyre

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My version 0.4 is *FINALLY* ready for public viewing. Once I can get 2 or 3 instances of feedback from people who aren't me (haha) I'll be ready to move this to a 1.0 and list it in the directory. I do not yet have my cut list, but it is EXTENSIVE. Additionally, I decided -- rather than going with a cinematic score -- to go with a popular music score (it gives the film a little more of a stylish vibe anyway).

Please message me directly if you would like to see this edit. At a brisk 3:21, it is totally do-able in a single night. :)
 

Conrad MacIntyre

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Well, after getting some feedback on the quality of the actual picture (framerate/compression issue), I opened FCPX to adjust the output settings and parts 1 and 2 of my source are no longer in the library. Unless I can re-rip with to-the-frame accuracy I fear this may mean that I need to re-do this edit using the original as a template. 

In any case, if you'd like to see my current cut to offer general feedback, I would appreciate it. And it may help encourage me to finish (re-make) this project.

Thanks all.
 

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Had a quick peek at the clip and it looks as though the framerate is a bit jinky.  Every so often there is a jump or repeated frame, which makes the footage mildly jerky.   I assume this is due to the original DVD being interlaced only some of the time.  (I ran into the same problem way back when I was planning an edit of this.  I gave up trying to figure it out as I'm terrible with interlacing.)

That, and I'd recommend cropping off the rough black borders on the sides.  :)
 

Conrad MacIntyre

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Well, I've got to re-rip the source (which is going to be a pain -- I just upgraded my iMac and no longer have a DVD drive), and I'm going to see what I can do in Handbrake to get that quality up as high as possible. And the frame rate issue was a stupid mistake on my part. The source files are 30fps and the project was set to 24fps. Probably because the first clip I dropped in was the Paramount logo rather than a source clip.

Thanks for the feedback!!
 

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revel911 said:
Worry less about trimming parts as much as cutting side characters and lesser story lines.

And one thing that may help is the first attempt at filming The Stand.

Not too long after Dawn of the Dead hit theaters, George Romero took an interest in adapting the book, he met Stephen King, they hit it off (which of course led to Creepshow, Tales from the Darkside, The Dark Half, and so on), and they worked on it through the early Eighties, with King eventually condensing his 1,000+ page novel into a script that was just over 200 pages.

It was still slow going, and ultimately, Rospo Pallenberg (Excalibur, among others) did another draft which roughly clocked in as a close to three hour film, but which was lean, trim, and which actually managed to contain many of the book's most memorable sequences (and inventing a few new ones), while trimming out a lot of excess material that King couldn't bear to part with.

I'm not saying it would be a perfect match, but maybe using this script, which was widely well regarded (even by King) in spite of Warner Bros. dropping the project, as a source could help with the edit? I've got a copy lying around, if you think that there's enough material in common to make it work...
 

Conrad MacIntyre

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I only know a little of the history of this miniseries. But if there is a completed script that comes in at 3 hours, I'd love to take a look (I have to re-do the whole edit thanks to a frame rate issue that is unresolvable)!!

Please send it to me. That would be fantastic. I did get this down to 3:21 (including the credit roll) in my first attempt. But I've already received some wonderful feedback on my edit -- let's call it a "workprint" -- that included some terrific suggestions for items to cut further, remove altogether, or restore. 

Thanks so much!
 

Conrad MacIntyre

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People! My "The Stand" bluray preorder is arriving Tuesday and I could not possibly be more excited to do this project in High Definition!! If it's anything like IT: Chapter 2, I'll get ~100 requests for a copy of my edit when the new Josh Boone miniseries hits CBS All Access next year.

Since I heard the Blu was coming out, I went back and re-worked my entire edit. I wrote out every scene into a spreadsheet and outlined setups and payoffs and really looked at what can be cut (and how those cuts would affect other parts of the story)... anyway. I'm excited. If you like King minis (and I would argue that The Stand may be the best one -- though a good case could be made for The Storm of the Century) then this should be a good one.

Anyway. Will update as I go along. Just wanted to updated for that small handful of people who had expressed interest. The edit isn't dead, it's just getting ready for launch. :)
 
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