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The Hidden (1987) - B+ Movie Edition

The Scribbling Man

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B+ movie edit #3 is here, and this time it's an obscure sci-fi/horror/buddy cop movie from 1987.

(Forbidden planet was originally planned to be the next edit, but this will be briefly delayed due to the fact that I don't currently have enough space on my hard drive to do another HD edit alongside my Source Code HD rework and consecution project. Forbidden planet will commence as soon as I either purchase another hard drive, or finish one of those projects. Either way, it shouldn't be too long, since I'm itching to get my paws on it.) 

In the meantime, "The Hidden" is a good movie that falls just short of being great. It is a B-movie, but it's a B-movie that hits higher than the usual standard and is let down only by some dated (but cool) effects, bad acting from smaller cast members, and some potty humour.
As is the aim of the B+ series, I will trim down those elements and streamline the film to as high a standard as possible, without making any drastic changes to the narrative or robbing it of its 80s charm.

The two largest changes I'm considering making, which I would appreciate feedback on, are:

1. Cutting short the alien reveal - one of the coolest, but also most dated parts of the movie (see clip below).
2. Re-scoring some of the action scenes. 

Here's a scene I've just been working on, which includes the alien reveal:
Cutlist:
– Trimmed man opening eyes
– cut weird eye darts (and added birds eye shot to cover gap)
– trimmed man sitting up
– trimmed alien coming out of mouth, for subtlety (and to strengthen reveal during climax of film)
– improved timing of cut to defibrillator
- trimmed exchange between nurse and doctor (they can't act)
- swapped out bad audio of nurse saying "doctor" for a better take
– approximately 30 seconds cut in total.

Here's the original for comparison:
In regards to rescoring, this is mainly due to the excessive and distracting orchestra hits during the "tense" sequences. I found them incredibly distracting, and they completely took me out the movie. There aren't any readily available examples of this that I can find, but here is a sample of the soundtrack (around 30:00):
Just picture that over the top of a "suspenseful scene" and hopefully you'll get what I mean. It also sounds a lot more compressed on the actual film. I think the film was initially released in mono, which could have something to do with it. Maybe they just didn't even try with the mix for home release. 

The centre channel isn't even remotely clean either, and so I would have to completely replace sound effects et cetera. I think it's doable though, and am willing to give it a go at least...
 

lapis molari

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I remember this! Saw this on VHS back in the day. I don't remember much of the story, but I do remember liking the movie. Nice pick! :cool:
 

The Scribbling Man

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One of the things I found annoying while watching The Hidden was the constant milking of the "this guy is an alien, and he likes rock music" element. The diner scene in particular is unnecessarily lengthy, making lame attempts at humour with farts and burp noises and customers giving the alien funny looks. For this to be "B+", I feel that these "B-" elements should be removed.

In the scene, the alien catches something on television which is important for later in the film. In the original clip, he just goes back to eating, seemingly uninterested. Removing the potty humour allows for cutting straight from the tv to the fast car driving by, so that it looks less like the alien is uninterested, and more like he is merely distracted.

Here's my trimmed version of the scene:
Cutlist:

– Trimmed several bars of rock music so as to fit with other cuts made.
– Trimmed man eating.
– Trimmed customers giving man funny looks
– Cut potty humour
– Approx. 35 seconds cut in total
 

The Scribbling Man

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The deciding factor in me giving this film a go was that I couldn't bear the inappropriate orchestra hits that littered certain scenes and ruined any sense of suspense. The channel mix isn't even remotely clean, which has made this a nightmare. But here is my attempt at semi-rescoring the mannequin shootout:

Cutlist:
- Removed all orchestra hits.
– Rescored and replaced sound effects on gaps where hits had been removed.
– Cut a couple of shots that felt repetitive and to help with pacing of the scene.
– Music now cuts out as soon as guns start firing and doesn't linger. (Replaced gun sounds for the first part)

Original for comparison:
 

hbenthow

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The Scribbling Man said:
Here's a scene I've just been working on, which includes the alien reveal:
Cutlist:
– Trimmed man opening eyes
– cut weird eye darts (and added birds eye shot to cover gap)
– trimmed man sitting up
– trimmed alien coming out of mouth, for subtlety (and to strengthen reveal during climax of film)
– improved timing of cut to defibrillator
- trimmed exchange between nurse and doctor (they can't act)
- swapped out bad audio of nurse saying "doctor" for a better take
– approximately 30 seconds cut in total.

I think that you might have trimmed too much of the "transfer". There are only a few seconds of the original (mostly the last few) in which the effects look too fake, in my opinion. In your cut, exactly what's going on isn't readily apparent.
 

The Scribbling Man

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^^^ I concur.

That isn't actually the most recent clip - sorry. I made an adjustment after my brother made the same point. I'll upload an up to date example when I can :)

Thanks for the feedback!
 

hbenthow

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That's much better, although I think that it might be better to leave a bit more in (perhaps until the original end of the shot that you ended the scene on).
 

The Scribbling Man

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^^^Not entirely sure what you mean - both clips end on the same shot. 

Since we see a similar scene at the end of the film, I'd like to show as little as possible. Narratively, I think it's pretty clear from what we see and what follows that the alien is passing from one person to another. My main concern is whether or not the transition to the next scene feels natural.


In other news, look what I found:

Screenshot_2018_07_17_17_56_29.png


Screenshot_2018_07_17_18_00_18.png


Screenshot_2018_07_17_17_56_45.png


Screenshot_2018_07_17_17_56_51.png


He fires the gun, it shows the ray and then when it cuts back there's a single frame where the gun isn't firing! 

Also, in the background during the possession scene with the dog I found some studio chatter (now removed).
 

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You're finding things in this film that were meant to be Hidden.
 

hbenthow

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The Scribbling Man said:
^^^Not entirely sure what you mean - both clips end on the same shot.

I meant the shot from behind his head when the transfer is happening.
 

The Scribbling Man

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This is one of the two more "extreme" narrative changes in this edit. I always cringe a bit at this scene, so I've cut some dialogue and shuffled it round a bit. 

I'm on the fence with tampering to this degree on a B+ edit (is it a B+ edit?), so would appreciate thoughts.

My version: 
Cutlist:
  • Cut "before I kill you I'm curious..."/"left a dead partner on altair" exchange
  • Replaced cut dialogue with "how do you like being human"
  • "Die Mother-" now occurs after this
  • Kept "Al Hog" (or whatever his name is) - cut straight to "we could take over this place
Untouched version: 
Personally, I'd like to have the "DIE MOTHER-" after "We could take over this place...", because it seems like that would be an appropriate line for human-cop to lose his cool over. But I'm not sure if it can be done smoothly.
 

Last Impressions

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A childhood/teenage favourite of mine.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this edit. I'm gonna go back and read up and view some of your previous posts as i never even knew you were considering adding this to your B-Movie collection.  I was even thinking it would make a good edit for myself one day but i just have so any others that i need to get on with.

What source are you using?
I own the Spanish bluray - its pretty good for an 80's flick.
(Sorry if this has been answered previously, i really do need to go back and read the thread in its entirety)
 

The Scribbling Man

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Last Impressions said:
A childhood/teenage favourite of mine.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this edit. I'm gonna go back and read up and view some of your previous posts as i never even knew you were considering adding this to your B-Movie collection.  I was even thinking it would make a good edit for myself one day but i just have so any others that i need to get on with.

It's a bit of an obscure film, so I wasn't really expecting anyone to be interested in my edit necessarily. Seems there are a few on the forums who have seen it though :)

What source are you using?
I own the Spanish bluray

Just the DVD, sadly. I did consider buying the Blu-ray for this edit, but it's not super-cheap and I didn't think it worth the upgrade unless there was chance of a new mix with a clean centre channel. Turns out the audio mix is the same as the DVD.

 its pretty good for an 80's flick.

It's a real gem - this edit is nitpicking really. My biggest gripe is with the score, but that can't easily be fixed in it's entirety, so I'm just picking out key scenes. The rest is just some tightening of the narrative, and removing some of the less charming "B-Movie" elements.

It's almost done tbh. Pretty much just one scene I need to finish altering the score on, which is really giving me a headache. My kingdom for a clean centre channel!
 

Last Impressions

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[
It's almost done tbh. Pretty much just one scene I need to finish altering the score on, which is really giving me a headache. My kingdom for a clean centre channel!
[/quote]


I'll have a listen to my bluray at the weekend to see if it has a cleaner centre channel. I know you say the mix is the same but you never know?
 

Last Impressions

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It's almost done tbh. Pretty much just one scene I need to finish altering the score on, which is really giving me a headache. My kingdom for a clean centre channel!


I'll have a listen to my bluray at the weekend to see if it has a cleaner centre channel. I know you say the mix is the same but you never know?
 

The Scribbling Man

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Last Impressions said:
It's almost done tbh. Pretty much just one scene I need to finish altering the score on, which is really giving me a headache. My kingdom for a clean centre channel!


I'll have a listen to my bluray at the weekend to see if it has a cleaner centre channel. I know you say the mix is the same but you never know?

Thanks! If you're happy to do that then that would be cool. Though since I'm nearly done, I think particular scenes would have to be very clean for me to consider getting it right away - otherwise it's a lot of re-editing with a new source. I'd have to shop around for a good deal too. Can't see the Italian Blu-ray on amazon... is it Region B/Free, do you know?

If it were clean, my initial hope was to have an alternate audio option with a completely different score - whereas currently I've just been eliminating some of the original score elements I find "offensive".


You said you considered doing an edit of this - Was it anything similar to what I'm doing?
 

Last Impressions

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The Scribbling Man said:
Last Impressions said:
It's almost done tbh. Pretty much just one scene I need to finish altering the score on, which is really giving me a headache. My kingdom for a clean centre channel!


I'll have a listen to my bluray at the weekend to see if it has a cleaner centre channel. I know you say the mix is the same but you never know?

Thanks! If you're happy to do that then that would be cool. Though since I'm nearly done, I think particular scenes would have to be very clean for me to consider getting it right away - otherwise it's a lot of re-editing with a new source. I'd have to shop around for a good deal too. Can't see the Italian Blu-ray on amazon... is it Region B/Free, do you know?

If it were clean, my initial hope was to have an alternate audio option with a completely different score - whereas currently I've just been eliminating some of the original score elements I find "offensive".


You said you considered doing an edit of this - Was it anything similar to what I'm doing?



I have the Spanish bluray - i picked it up for about EUR 7.00 when i was over in Madrid at a musical festival last year. 

As for my edit , i think you may have saved me a job as it was just a few trims and a bit of tidying up, however i havent seen it in a while. I think i'll watch it in anticipation of your edit.

What process / tools do you use when rescoring , i always find it tricky to remove the background music / noise. Its like taking the egg back out of an omlette.
 

The Scribbling Man

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Last Impressions said:
What process / tools do you use when rescoring , i always find it tricky to remove the background music / noise. Its like taking the egg back out of an omlette.

It varies. If the mix is too messy, then you are trying to take an egg out of an omelette - which is impossible. In that situation, there isn't much you can do outside of building up the audio from scratch - sfx and all. 

If it's just background music, then I typically I will try and use a noise gate and EQ, so that only key sounds/dialogue Spike through. The new music can also help to mask what little of the original score is left. You can also do this manually, just by cutting around the wave forms. 

With the Hidden, on the rooftop scene I've kept the original score, but I've been cutting out all the annoying orchestra hits. I then have been patching up those bits with other bits of audio, either from the same scene or another with a similar sound. I've done the same with the mannequin scene, which you can see a comparison of here

Occasionally, I have used a bit of the original isolated score and mixed that in, then rebuilt the sfx, like here:
Original for comparison:
I'm still tweaking that scene, but you get the idea. 

The above is what I would have to do to the whole film if I decided to rescore it with something entirely different. Scenes with dialogue present are the trickiest, because you have to let some original audio poke through, and will most likely get some of the original score leaking in as well. Depending on the mix, this is sometimes unavoidable. 

As far as tools go, I typically don't feel a need to use anything outside of what vegas provides. The built in noise gates, EQ and pitch shift are my go-to.

Edit: (Of course, I don't have loads of experience with this. There are much better editors than I on the forums who can probably offer more advice.)
 

Last Impressions

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The Scribbling Man said:
Last Impressions said:
What process / tools do you use when rescoring , i always find it tricky to remove the background music / noise. Its like taking the egg back out of an omlette.

It varies. If the mix is too messy, then you are trying to take an egg out of an omelette - which is impossible. In that situation, there isn't much you can do outside of building up the audio from scratch - sfx and all. 

If it's just background music, then I typically I will try and use a noise gate and EQ, so that only key sounds/dialogue Spike through. The new music can also help to mask what little of the original score is left. You can also do this manually, just by cutting around the wave forms. 

With the Hidden, on the rooftop scene I've kept the original score, but I've been cutting out all the annoying orchestra hits. I then have been patching up those bits with other bits of audio, either from the same scene or another with a similar sound. I've done the same with the mannequin scene, which you can see a comparison of here

Occasionally, I have used a bit of the original isolated score and mixed that in, then rebuilt the sfx, like here:
Original for comparison:
I'm still tweaking that scene, but you get the idea. 

The above is what I would have to do to the whole film if I decided to rescore it with something entirely different. Scenes with dialogue present are the trickiest, because you have to let some original audio poke through, and will most likely get some of the original score leaking in as well. Depending on the mix, this is sometimes unavoidable. 

As far as tools go, I typically don't feel a need to use anything outside of what vegas provides. The built in noise gates, EQ and pitch shift are my go-to.

Edit: (Of course, I don't have loads of experience with this. There are much better editors than I on the forums who can probably offer more advice.)


Thanks - it sounds like you have the same approach as me - totally rebuilding the sound effects from scratch - thank god for the freesound website.
I often think about rescoring lots of films but always give up when the task because almost impossible. I fantasise about some software nerd providing us with a way to play with clean channels. :)

Anyway I haven't forgotten to check the centre channel on the bluray . Hopefully i'll find sometime this weekend.

I think it was you who mentioned previously that you often don't have enough hard drive space and often delete old project files/source material when you start a new edit. A good cheap solution for you as you are in the UK is to buy a hard drive caddy , you can pick them up these days relatively cheap and then look for old Sky TV boxes - they can be picked up at boot sales and e-bay. I often pick them up at bootsales for around £2 - £3.. Rip out the hard drives - reformat them , place them in your caddy and viola more storage space ...just an idea
 
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