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The Dark Crystal - Dreamfast

catferoze

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This is my attempt to edit The Dark Crystal to more closely resemble the workprint (this thread discusses similar projects). The most prominent changes from the theatrical version are the removal of narration and voiceovers (Jen's thoughts) and replacement of Skeksis dialogue with their original alien language. Also, there are a few scenes that have been trimmed and reordered. The main feature of this edit incorporates changes where blu-ray footage exists and doesn't use the workprint audio. The main audio track has the Skeksis speak their alien language amongst themselves, and a 2nd alternate audio track is included which retains the theatrical English dialogue for the Skeksis. I also put together a 2nd bonus feature, Workprint Enhanced, that reconstructs the workprint as best I can using the official blu-ray release, deleted scenes and extras, as well as some audio from a low-quality black and white version of the workprint. The a/v quality of the extras and workprint is noticeably worse than the blu-ray, but I did my best to clean it up and blend the audio with some of the surround channels and soundtrack to make transitions less noticeable or jarring.

Cutlist:
D=Dreamfast
E=Workprint Enhanced

ED-removed intro narration (D-uses truncated version)
ED-reused exterior castle shots to transition to Jen playing flute [used "Jen Plays His Pipes"]
ED-moved scene of the urRu chant to later
E-moved fading of UrSa to end of convo with Jen & before Emperor death [used "Death of the Emperor, Death of the Mystic Master"]
ED-used Skeksis language audio for Emperor death scene [used "Death of the Emperor, Death of the Mystic Master" again]
E-added deleted funeral scene after death of emperor [used "The Funeral and Jen's Journey"]
ED-removed Jen voiceover leaving valley [used "The Funeral and Jen's Journey"]
ED-Used Skeksis language audio for debate and duel [used "Skeksis Debate Leadership, Skeksis Duel (Film Version)", "Chamberlain Is Attacked", "Opening Titles and Main Theme, Mystics' Sandpainting"]
ED-Used workprint audio for the crystal calling the Skeksis (only one line replaced in Dreamfast) [used "Skeksis Summoned By Alarm"]
E-cut reaction shot to Jen in crystal and second shot of Jen in crystal
E-cut shot of SkekUng after summoning Garthim and few frames of Garthim at either end to match workprint timing
ED-removed background Skeksis english dialogue over final Jen in crystal shot before transition
ED-removed Jen voiceover on mountain before meeting Aughra [used "Garthim Are Dispatched, Jen On Aughra's Mountain"]
E-used extras audio and add a few extended shots for Aughra's Orrery scene
ED-inserted earlier urRu introduction scene at Aughra's Orrery timeskip [used "Opening Titles and Main Theme, Mystics' Sandpainting"]
ED-removed Jen voiceover, Aughra background dialogue during choosing the shard (E - used workprint audio through garthim attack)
ED-removed Jen voiceover looking back at Aughra's burning home
ED-removed urRu voiceover during departure from valley
ED-removed Jen voiceover while contemplating shard, hearing noise
ED-removed dreamfast voiceover [used "Gefliings Meet, Dreamfast"]
E-removed or replaced with workprint audio Skeksis english dialogue during feast [used "Skeksis Feast (Part I)", "Skeksis Feast (Part II)"]
ED-used Skeksis language audio for confrontation with Aughra (fewer lines replaced in Dreamfast)
ED-replaced Jen & Kira discussing shard dialogue at Podling party with alternate dialogue from extras
E-added extra shot and line during podling party
ED-removed Jen voiceover while sleeping with Kira [used "Jen and Kira Love Theme"]
ED-used Skeksis language audio for draining Podling, SkekUng drinks essence (only one line replaced in Dreamfast) [E-used "Jen and Kira Set Off On Landstriders, Pod Person Drained", "The Battle, Mystics Travelling"]
ED-used Skeksis language audio for Kira brought before Skeksis, trim brief shot of SkekUng speaking with missing dialogue (fewer lines replaced in Dreamfast) [used "Kira Brought Before the Skeksis"]
ED-removed SkekTek dialogue during Kira draining scene (D-replace Augra dialogue with workprint)
ED-removed Jen voiceover discovering the crystal chamber (D-use workprint audio for Aughra convo) [used "Jen Discovers Crystal Chamber","Gelfling Frightens Skeksis, The Crystal Made Whole"]
ED-removed or replaced with workprint audio Skeksis dialogue during conjunction scene, trim brief shot of SkekOk speaking (no workprint audio in Dreamfast) [E-used "Gelfling Frightens the Skeksis, The Crystal Made Whole"]
ED-removed Aughra dialogue while saving Fizzgig
D-used workprint audio for Aughra reciting prophecy in crystal chamber

Dreamfast: 92 minutes
Workprint Enhanced: 95 minutes

Theatrical: 93 minutes

I have included full English subtitles as well as a subtitle track for just the Skeksis' dialogue. As the Skeksis' English dialogue was added retroactively, most of the subtitles don't have corresponding audio in this cut, but I retained subtitles where it seemed to make the most sense. Furthermore, their dialogue is quite banal since it was originally meant to be understood visually anyway, so I do not recommend using the Skeksis only subtitles.
 
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The Scribbling Man

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This is something I've considered as well, and I think there is a similar cut floating around somewhere - but it's only SD. Would definitely be interested in checking this out.
 

catferoze

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Here's a couple clips with the Skeksis' original language.
password: fanedit

Haakskeekah

Feast
 

The Scribbling Man

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Would you consider including an optional subtitle track for the skeksis scenes?
 

catferoze

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Looks like there might be a fourth version of this edit! I have yet to work on the more complete workprint cut which will incorporate workprint footage where no other source is available. However, I'm almost done with what I'll call a hybrid cut that doesn't strictly adhere to the workprint, allowing for more of the higher quality blu-ray audio. This means the Skeksis will speak English more often (usually around non-Skeksis), the lower quality audio from the extras is only used for a few scenes, and the terrible quality workprint audio is no longer needed. All other aspects of the edit will remain the same.
 

Echoweaver

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Haha. I'm about halfway into a take on this. I was using the workprint audio entirely, at least for the first pass. This makes me wonder if I was going at it backwards. I'm not necessarily interested in reproducing the workprint so much as the plot changes and the foreign language Skekses.

I'm very curious what other people are doing with this idea.
 

catferoze

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Haha. I'm about halfway into a take on this. I was using the workprint audio entirely, at least for the first pass. This makes me wonder if I was going at it backwards. I'm not necessarily interested in reproducing the workprint so much as the plot changes and the foreign language Skekses.

I'm very curious what other people are doing with this idea.
Excellent! It's always great to see the results different approaches produce. I couldn't quite make up my mind which way to go and ended up with a bunch of different versions, though the less-faithful-to-the-workprint hybrid version has become my main priority. I had considered using the workprint audio to avoid jarring transitions between sources and still wonder if that would be better. I did try to see if I could extract and improve the dialogue with Adobe Enhance Speech which returned hilariously disastrous results!
 

Echoweaver

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I need to take a look at the audio I'm using. I downloaded it as a separate mp3, not with the workprint, after wandering around someplace in the depths of movie forums while looking for information on The Darker Crystal fanedit. I'm pretty sure it's the same audio used by The Darker Crystal, and I didn't find it too bad to listen to. Maybe it's already been cleaned up some, or maybe it's a different version of that audio. Or maybe I'm just less discerning ;). Since the movie was shown to test audiences with foreign-language Skekses, etc., I presume better audio than the workprint existed at one time.

I wonder if it's worth using the modern audio with Frank Oz's iconic Aughra voice for Jen's trip to the observatory. Jen has the same voice actor in the old audio, but the quality change would be noticeable.
 

catferoze

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Yeah I found something similar, a stereo ac3 file which sounded slightly better. Not sure if it's true stereo, I should look into that. I agree it's not too bad on it's own. It's the cutting back and forth with the bluray that makes it stand out.

You could try altering the bluray audio to match the workprint. From my experience that would probably be more successful than the other way round.

edit: just checked and the "stereo" is just the mono track duplicated
 
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Echoweaver

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You could try altering the bluray audio to match the workprint. From my experience that would probably be more successful than the other way round.

This hadn't occurred to me. I like this idea.
 

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I've finished the Hybrid cut. Both audio tracks and subtitles (alien Skeksis & English Skeksis) for it are ready. Workprint Enhanced is about 90% done. Hopefully I'll be able to wrap it all up in the next week.
 

catferoze

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After watching my Hybrid cut, I've decided to revert back to the theatrical scene order for the Mystic Master/Emperor death scenes. Without the extra scenes from the workprint, that order just doesn't flow well.

It's a shame some of these workprint scenes aren't available in higher quality. I also would've liked to see some of the scenes as described in this shooting script.
 

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Hybrid complete. Enhanced Workprint mainly done, just working on a potential alternate mono audio track from the workprint.
 

catferoze

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I'm calling this good for now. I discovered I would have to make hundreds of microcuts to match the workprint audio to create a workprint cut and just wasn't motivated enough to finish it. The Hybrid cut is the main feature with an alternate audio track with Skeksis speaking English from the Theatrical cut, and the Workprint Enhanced is a bonus feature more closely following the workprint and includes the deleted scenes from the bluray.
 
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