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Unsane: The Committed Cut - new trailer posted

That One Guy

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2023-04-17 update: As this approaches release, a trailer seems suitable:
Password is "fanedit.org"

Original post:

I mentioned this idea shortly after seeing the film at the cinema some time ago. Earlier this week, I decided I wanted a short project to tackle while on holiday, hence the thread.

The film itself has a B-movie plot of the sort that Hitchcock could do wonderfully, but the execution here is inconsistent. Foy's performance is great and the core concept is good, but there are several indications of what's really going on that undermine the film's ambiguity, so my goal in the edit is to play up the ambiguity of the question of whether George Shaw is actually David Strine or not.

The main way to achieve this is to keep the film focused on Sawyer's perspective as much as possible once she has been committed. The degree to which this can be achieved is limited by the available material, but for me the big changes are removing scenes which are from other perspectives unless their removal introduces plot holes.

I also wanted to have a more ambiguous resolution, since that ambiguity is the core of the film. If the edit is deliberately making the George/David question ambiguous, Sawyer's escape from solitary confinement can be trimmed so that we don't see David snap Violet's neck. Rather than being captured by David again outside, Sawyer simply escapes. Meanwhile the changed context of the events leading up to this would mean that it is the suspicious nature of Nate's death, along with the story that he was working on, that causes the police to arrive and investigate the hospital. I would also omit the police finding Violet's body in the solitary confinement chamber, leaving that as yet another scene that may or may not have been a delusion.

At the time of writing I'm exporting the edit for preview - I'm pretty confident that it is 99% done, though there are a couple of details I want to check in the preview stage and might tinker with. I also need to create new subtitle tracks and may create a commentary subtitle track as well.

For those interested, the changelist is below the spoiler:
  • Removed opening scene with David's monologue in the forest
  • Moved Matt Damon safety consultation to serve as a cold-open
  • Applied changes to colour balance, brightness & contrast to all scenes up until Sawyer is inside the Highland Creek building - the intention is to create a contrast between Sawyer's perceptions when outside Highland Creek and once she is inside.
  • Removed lengthy shot cutting back to George/David after he has shown her the envelope with her mother's address.
  • Cut George/David visiting Sawyer's mother at her motel.
  • Cut George/David discussing Sawyer's medication mixup.
  • Removed on-the-nose shots of George/David monitoring Sawyer and Nate in the dorm (we don't see any other nurses doing this, so again it's too clear an indication of what's actually happening
  • Removed shot of George/David watching Sawyer & Nate on the terrace, inserted external shot of Highland Creek to imply passage of time between scenes.
  • Removed George/David capturing Nate & torture montage, reworked audio so that scene goes from Sawyer fighting with Violet to waking up in the isolation room.
  • Removed scene of jogger finding George Shaw's corpse
  • Removed scene of police determining that the corpse in the park is George Shaw
  • Removed scene of Highland Creek staff finding Nate's notebook and passing it to management.
  • Reworked confrontation in the isolation chamber so that Sawyer just escapes after stabbing George/David in the neck, without seeing him snap Violet's neck. Her flight from the isolation chamber and arrival into the lot out back is intercut with a shortened sequence of a nurse getting a message, seeing the news story about Nate's death on TV, and the police arriving with the warrant. This then segues into the police search finding Nate's notebook, prompting the arrest of the hospital manager.
  • Removed George/David recapturing Sawyer and the confrontation in the forest.

For the time being, the plan is to release as an MP4. The edit is in HD and I was pleasantly surprised to note that the centre channel is pretty clean as far as music is concerned.
 
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That One Guy

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I've now watched through my first preview copy and made one more change:
In keeping with the "up the ambiguity" theme, I have trimmed the shot where we see George/David openly drop an extra tablet from his pocket into Sawyer's cup, with patients lining up nearby and another nurse right next to him.

I just need to put together the subtitle tracks and I'll be ready to release. Hopefully that won't be more than a couple of days.
 

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Jeez, the last 6 weeks or so just completely disappeared on me :(

I've finally been able to sit down and watch through my preview, and there are a few fixes before it's ready for release. Hopefully I'll get those done and verified during the week.
 

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You'd think I'd have learned by now about how long I can end up letting projects sit without being finished, wouldn't you? (/me tries very hard not to think about my still-not-done Disturbing Behaviour edit...)

On the plus side, the reason for this post is that I have finally finished creating both English and Spanish subtitle tracks for this edit. I need to preview it again (once for each set of subs), and if anyone reading this has a 5.1 surround sound system and is interested in previewing, please drop me a PM.

Hopefully, the next update about this edit will be within a few days, to confirm that it's complete. But let's see how that turns out.
 

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(cringing at the thought that it's nearly 6 months since my last "This is nearly done, honest!" post)

I've finished my checks on the Spanish subtitle track for this, though I found and fixed a few timing issues in there that I'll be cross-checking against the English track.

One positive result of having left it quite a while before doing this preview is that I have been coming to my edit with fresh eyes. In the context of "upping the ambiguity", there are two scenes which break my "stick to Sawyer's perspective" rule but which I had originally retained for plot clarity:
* the scene where Nurse Boles tells George/David about Nate being found dead. This scene is a bit clunky in how it's set up, not least because Boles talks openly about Nate's body being found - in front of the open door to the Dayroom where several patients can be seen - then urges George/David not to tell anyone, and
* the montage where we see the staff finding Nate's notebook and taking it to the administration team, and we see the police talking to the coroner about Nate and Actual!George Shaw's deadths

On viewing now, they stick out a bit more to me so I'm going to try removing them and see how things flow without them. The main issue will be trying to contrive some sense of passage of time in between the two scenes where George/David talks to Sawyer while she is in the basement.
 

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While applying the scene cuts above I realised that if I'm doing these cuts I should also cut one more thing:
the short sequence where we follow George/David as he gives the patients their evening treatments and then wakes Violet to bring her to the basement

There was one more cut I tried out making:
removing George/David watching Sawyer and Nate talking on the patio, as we don't see any other nurses monitoring patients like that so it feels a bit heavy handed
However, I have already shortened that shot as much as I can without making the scene end abruptly, so I've left it as is.

I think that this means changes are locked (barring fixes, of course) pending a preview and updating the sub tracks match the new runtime. Let's see if I can actually get this released before the end of the year šŸ¤Ŗ
 

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Welp, getting this edit done as a 2022 release was a swing and a miss.

I've come back to this recently and have been pleasantly surprised to find that there is very little apparent work left to do for it to be considered done.

The only changes I have made since my last post are:
* slightly finessing a couple of audio crossfades to remove minor spikes at the end of the transition (most likely unnoticeable on a regular view but I caught them while testing with headphones, so may as well fix them)
* removing a needlessly obvious scene with George/David and replacing it with a new interstitial shot
* updating my English and Spanish language subs to match the above changes

In terms of changes that I want to make for the edit itself, everything is locked - I'm purely into bugfix territory now. I will be doing a preview watch over the weekend - if anyone else is interested in previewing I am happy to upload and share.

I've got an idea for a simple trailer I'll put together over the next few days, and once that's done it should be ready for release. Given the actual nature of the edit theres no reason for it to have taken the best part of 3 years, but here we are šŸ¤Ŗ
 

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Didn't manage to do my preview watch over the weekend, but I have put together my trailer - I'm rendering it out now and will add it to the thread once I have it uploaded.

Also, looking at the original post in this thread:

"I decided I wanted a short project to tackle while on holiday, hence the thread"

Oh, the optimism! :ROFLMAO:
 

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Trailer has been uploaded now - the embed doesn't seem to be working so those interested can watch it here. (Password is "fanedit.org").

I still need to do a final watch of my current draft to make sure there are no more bugs or tweaks required, but I'm hoping to do that this weekend.
 
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I have reviewed my final draft, and applied the few bugfixes this identified - a few simple subtitle corrections and one newly-introduced transition needed some more work. I had forgotten that this new transition is based on a transition that occurs earlier in the film; I've now been able to adjust it using the original as a reference and am much happier with it.

Final render is currently under way, once complete I will upload and submit to IFDB.
 

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This has been uploaded and IFDB listing is pending. Release is a 4.5GB 1080p MKV including English and Spanish subtitles - PM me if you are interested in watching.
 
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