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The Song Remains the Same: Led Zeppelin live

eckoes

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The Song Remains the Same is a concert film featuring the English rock band Led Zeppelin. The filming took place during three nights of concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City in the summer of 1973, with additional footage shot at Shepperton Studios due to cameramen's unacceptable work at the concerts.


The movie is a mixture of fantasy sequence depicting the band members and their managers, some documentary footage shot around the venue, and of course the songs. I've never been really satisfied with this movie, as the concert is constantly interrupted by something. My goal here is to try doing one complete uninterrupted concert out of all official footage available.

Be aware that this movie was badly edited at the time. Especially regarding the sound/visual synchro. I couldn't do much regarding to that, but many problems were fixed officially in 2007 by remixing the sound. Something I could do is creating segues between the songs, and restoring the correct playing order. By using every footage available, and careful audio editing, I think I managed to do some acceptable work. The concert now include every song, in the right order, and the music plays without any interruption. Once a song starts, it is the official edit. Between them is my work, trying to cobble together the various sources.

I used many sources for this, some of them were really hard to find:
-The 2007 Blu-Ray,
-The 2007 double DVD release,
-The Led Zeppelin 2003 double DVD,
-8mm footage from the concerts released by the band on Youtube,
-An old VHS called "The First Cuts" from the late 80s I guess.
-The official soundtrack from 1976 (Cd from the nineties)
-The remixed soundtrack from 2007 (double CD)


I must say that this is my very first post, I've been a great admirer of the work of a lot of people here (I remember vividly the Doc Savage with dignity restored, that was magical). Any thoughts, suggestions, criticism is welcome. :)
 

geminigod

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Sounds super interesting. I have a major soft spot for this music video from my youth. Look forward to checking out what you've done once it's finished and officially submitted as a new firstling submission.
 

Neglify

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Zeppelin rules! Look forward to this, great to have you aboard.
 

Adabisi

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Sounds very cool. I did something similar myself with The Last Waltz to fix the running order, remove the sound stage stuff and ditch the Robbie Robertson navel gazing. I don't know if this would really qualify as a true fanedit or, for that matter, even a special project, especially with the bootleg material. Not my call to make, though.
 

Neglify

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Looking at his sources, I think it'll be fine.

Own the Source said:
If material has been released at no cost to the public via web, broadcast, satellite, promotional disk etc..., and never sold, that material can be incorporated into fanedits.
 

geminigod

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Music videos sound like "special projects" category to me.
 

Adabisi

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Neglify said:
Looking at his sources, I think it'll be fine.

The First Cuts is a grey area. Maybe not a bootleg in the traditional sense, but certainly not an official release. And definitely sold.
 

Neglify

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Thanks for the info. Admins will probably discuss. In the meantime, carry on.
 

eckoes

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Well, thank you very much indeed for the warm welcome. I'm working on it. :)

I think I can argue my point in this edit being a fanedit of the movie. You see, I decided to retain the whole movie aspect of the project, that is the fantasy sequences are still there, but now they're working much better by being included in the concert flow.

-Peter Grant and Richard Cole sequence is removed
-Robert Plant sequence is entirely re-edited to include much more actual performance footage, and most importantly to give it a better narrative
-The entire robbery sequence is removed. Any allusions to it is gone. Problem is: it was there to fill the enormous gaps in Heartbreaker. Using the CD 2007 audio, and by resyncing every shot of the song, I used every single backstage shot I could find to create a brand new fantasy sequence. :)
-Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones sequence are untouched.
-A couple of random shots inserted in Dazed and Confused are now replaced by real concert footage. The shots are all reused in the new Heartbreaker sequence.

I see why this can be considered as not a true fanedit. I think by keeping the film elements in it, it's still a movie. The very nature of the original fim (soundtrack made of three nights, filming of 3 nights, and studio overdubs AND studio filming) tells me that this is not a concert we are watching. It is a concert movie now, a complete creation by Jimmy Page and Peter Clifton. Anyway, whatever will be the admins decision, I'll definitely comply to it fully. :)

Does that sounds good?
 

matrixgrindhouse

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geminigod said:
Music videos sound like "special projects" category to me.

I think this counts as a proper fan edit. The primary work being altered is a film, which was released theatrically. He's cutting out the filler and streamlining the editing to provide better focus for the main 'plot' of the film. The plot just happens to be a rock concert.
 

TV's Frink

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Neglify already said to carry on. No need to continue discussing if it qualifies.
 

geminigod

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TV's Frink said:
Neglify already said to carry on. No need to continue discussing if it qualifies.

We were discussing categorization more than qualification. The source material sounded fine to me, and as you pointed out, Neglify already green lighted it.
 

eckoes

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Allright, I know got the full concert run-through. I should add some precision concerning the original editing:

The 3 concerts were professionally recorded by well-known rock engineer Eddie Kramer. The Joe Massot film crew were called on very short notice to film the 3 concerts... and they screwed up big time. Don't get me wrong: the colors are brillant, it's well-framed. Problem was that the cameramen didn't know what to film through the ocncert, and the cameras kept running out of film all the time. As a result, Massot had a hard time editing the footage to the music chosen by Jimmy Page. It worked, but it was a very long task. When Peter Clifton was appointed director, he discovered that there was too many filming gaps to do an acceptable sync with the technology available at the time. He decided to reshot some concert footage in studio the following year! So yeah, you basically had the band miming to a live recording.

Another problem came in 2007. Due to copyrights issues, Jimmy Page was not allowed to modify any footage of the film, but he did modify the soundtrack heavily to make it more in sync with the visuals. While being a huge improvement, many out-of-sync moment remains. Without any alternative footage, I can't fix the sync issues once the songs starts. So I decided to use the much better soundtrack from 2007 for the whole project.

Good news: for Black Dog and Since I've Been Loving You, I used alternate editing made for the Led Zeppelin 2003 DVD. They are much more in sync then their original counterparts from 1976, so I used them.

Regarding the "First Cut" video, I understand it is some Joe Massot edits he did before being removed from the project. I use it for the Robert Plant fantasy sequence because it contains much more live footage, I included them all and edited the sequence all over again for the first time color-corrected, cleaned-up, and at the original 24fps. It's perfectly in sync with the 2007 remix too.

For the 8mm sequence used and the Massot footage, I decided to integrate them with the exact same style Jimmy Page did with the LZ 2003 DVD. Additive transition, aspect ratio preserved, color correction, and syncing with the soundtrack. That way, the movie has the same visual style all the time. Thanks Jimmy! :)
 

TV's Frink

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geminigod said:
We were discussing categorization more than qualification. The source material sounded fine to me, and as you pointed out, Neglify already green lighted it.

Fair enough, but just to clarify, he didn't greenlight so much as not close down for now.
 

Neglify

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Admins are discussing the source materials, for now keep going and continue on with the discussion of the edit.
 

ssj

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Fist pump for led zep! Bring it, man.
 

eckoes

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I think I did enough for the moment. I filled the First-entry submission forms. Next top: reading the rules. :)

Just a quick notes about the sources:
-The LZ 2003 DVD footage is letterboxed. I zoomed in and fixed a slight aspect ratio problem (by using movie footage for reference).
-The 2007 DVD is anamorphic. Good all the way.
-The First Edits are made of UNCROPPED footage of the concert! Seriously, it looks like the concert was filmed in 1.33 and then adjusted for 1.85. A lot of footage in this VHS are in the movie, but they were cropped for the movie. I couldn't zoom in really due to the low-resolution.

Also:
-Jimmy Page used voluntarily 8mm and VHS footage for the LZ DVD 2003. And for great artistic effect. Every time I had to use an inferior sources, I did so in the same way Jimmy Page did. He used lo-fi elements, and didn't try to hide that fact. Better: he was proud of it! So, I decided to do the same thing. Jimmy had a good idea really.
 

Brumous

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You should hang on to all your work files and sources if you have the space for long term storage. Who knows, someone might turn up some day with better quality sources that you can swap in for a revised version. Happens all the time in Star Wars edits. And there's only like 1 billion Led Zeppelin fans out there so maybe one or two might know where to find better film elements.
 

TV's Frink

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Thread moved to Unapproved Fanedits until it can be reviewed by the Academy. Please be patient. :)
 
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