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We Are The Night Revamped by INH5

INH5

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Hi everyone. This is my first fan-edit of any sort. I've done some video editing work before, but never anything on this scale, so any help or advice would be appreciated.

I'm taking my first step into the wide world of fan editing with We Are The Night (original title Wir Sind Die Nacht), a 2010 German vampire movie. This film was not financially successful and remains obscure even in Europe (though it has a small cult following in Russia, of all places), so I'm going to assume that many people on this forum have never heard of, let alone seen, it. In which case, here's some information and a trailer about the original movie:

DVD Back Cover said:
Lena (Karoline Herfuth, Perfume: Story of a Murderer) is a troubled young woman from the wrong part of town. Antisocial and self destructive, Lena is caught in a dead end life until she meets Louise. Beautiful and glamorous, Louise is everything Lena is not and Lena cannot help but be flatered by her attention and the promise of a new life and family. A life of power and excitement. A life that will never, ever end. Fresh from the success of his internationally acclaimed The Wave, director Dennis Gansel delivers a darkly sexy spin on the vampire mythos, one where glamour and power come with a price not noticed until it is far too late.


Sorry about the bad dubbing, but I couldn't find any subtitled trailers. My edit will be using the original German audio, with subtitles in English and possibly other languages available, and if possible, an English dub track as well.

If you want to see the movie, it is available for online streaming on Youtube through IFC's VOD service, but only in an (atrociously) English dubbed version. A DVD with both subtitled and dubbed versions is available through Amazon and the like, and that's my recommended way of seeing this movie if you live in the US.

Personal Background and Motivation

I saw this on the Netflix menu a few months ago and added it to my queue since it looked like a fun B-movie. It turned out to be much better than I had expected. The story, acting, cinematography, and (most of the) special effects were all top-notch, and I found myself totally wrapped up in it. The movie turned out to be tense, exciting, poignant, and surprisingly intelligent and thought-provoking, in addition to being fun as hell.

Then I came to the end of the movie, and I suddenly found myself scratching my head. Without spoiling anything, the last minute and a half of the movie consists of a confusingly presented "mystery box" ending that resolves nothing and makes less sense the more you think about it. After everything that came before, it was really jarring and disappointing.

I ended up importing a German Blu-Ray which had 2 alternate endings. Both turned out to be much better than the official one, though neither was perfect and one has pretty serious problems of its own. I got curious to how they would work in the context of the rest of the movie, so I ripped the files from the Blu-Ray and did a quick edit to replace the ending with my preferred alternate ending. When I watched it, I was astonished at how much better it flowed and fit with the rest of the movie, even though my editing was far from seamless.

I started to think, why stop there? The Blu-Ray also had some deleted scenes that I think might improve the movie if they were included. Also, while I really like the rest of the movie, there are a few bits of awkward pacing or choppy special effects that I think I could either remove or improve. So I dusted off my video editing skills that I haven't used since art school and got to work.

The Plan

In addition to replacing the ending, there are 4 Deleted Scenes that I want to add to the movie. There are also some places in the rest of the movie where I think I might be able to improve the editing, sound, and/or visual effects. The general goal is to give the movie a smoother and more coherent viewing experience. In addition to offering good content on their own, I think the Deleted Scenes will help in parts of the movie where the pacing felt a bit rushed.

EDIT:
Here's the list of changes (and planned changes) as of the rough cut. Beware of spoilers, if you haven't seen the movie.

  • Remove Louise's narration over the opening credits. This doesn't tell us anything we don't find out later, and there's no need to know it at the beginning of the movie.
  • Add deleted scene, "The vampires land in water"
  • During the foot chase, remove shot of Tom climbing onto the truck which makes it look like he's within arms reach of Lena.
  • Add deleted scene, "Lena talks with her probation officer."
  • Add a red glow effect to Lena's eyes at several points in the club scene. This is what Louise sees in her eyes that lets her know that Lena can be turned into a vampire, and is based on a similar effect seen in early trailers and an alternate ending.
  • Edit the scene where Louise talks to and then bites Lena in the club bathroom to remove all instances where Louise is shown to not be reflected in the mirror. This includes inserting a reflection of Louise into the background of one shot using visual effects.
  • Remove the shot where Lena is shown to have a transparent reflection in her bathroom mirror.
  • Remove the scene where Lena looks in her bathroom mirror to find that her reflection has disappeared.
  • In the scene where Lena returns to the club, move the shots of Nora sitting next to Charlotte and Charlotte sitting by herself further apart, to make it more plausible that Nora moved that far offscreen.
  • Digitally repair damaged frame when Lena slaps the glass of blood away.
  • Use After Effects Timewarp to slow down Nora's movements in a wide shot, to fix continuity error where her arms suddenly change position in between cuts.
  • Remove Lena's line "what are you doing to me?" and Louise's response, "I'm teaching you something you don't want to learn."
  • Remove Russian mobster's line, "She told me you're a shy girl. We'll take care of that."
  • Insert stock footage of a burnt electronic device into the scene where the police are investigating the crime scene at the brothel. Presumably, this is the VCR that the camera was connected to, and it got damaged in the fire.
  • Add static and distortion to the brothel security camera footage, presumably as a result of the tapes getting damaged in the fire. Insert image of Louise walking past the camera, barely visible under the static, into the footage at one point. While the footage is too badly damaged to see anything useful in in the parts where the vampires are on camera, it is clear enough when the surviving mobster walks by for the police to identify him.
  • Remove Tom's line, "there's no way they could have manipulated the tapes."
  • Add deleted scene "Conversation in the garage."
  • Briefly speed up footage of security guard after he sees his dead partner under the water, so Louise doesn't spend quite so much time just sitting there.
  • Make Nora's fangs actually retract when she opens her mouth and we hear what is almost certainly supposed to be a "retracting fangs" sound.
  • Color correct the shot of Lena running away from the tropical resort to make it darker, so it doesn't look like she ran all the way back to the hotel at the crack of dawn.
  • Trim and stabilize some instances of shaky cam during the hotel raid scenes.
  • Add burning sound effects when the cops shoot at the sunproof car and the vampires inside get burned by beams of sunlight coming in through the bullet holes.
  • Remove Lena's line, "I don't know what you're talking about," in response to Louise saying that she saw her with Tom before. Lena spotted her stalking them at the time, so denying it now makes no sense.
  • Trim Charlotte's suicide scene to improve pacing and shorten the time that Louise spends trying to break the door down. Remove the shot where Louise appears to hurt her hand when she hits the door. Add crashing metal sound effects to interior shots of Louise pounding on the door.
  • Insert a shot of Louise looking at a book that was an old present to her from Charlotte, from the deleted scene "Louise Grieves," after Charlotte's suicide.
  • Remove Lena's line "I can't explain it in words," in response to Tom asking "who are you?" She can explain it just fine, he just wouldn't believe her.
  • Add deleted scenes "Louise investigates," and "Extended police station attack."
  • Add approaching police siren sounds to the scene where Lena hotwires a car and drives away from the police station.
  • Color correct the establishing shots of the Tefeulsberg hideout to make them brighter, so it looks like it is the crack of dawn. It would have to be for the sun to rise by the time Lena makes her way up the tower.
  • Trim Lena's reaction shots in response to Louise's "tell me you love me."
  • Add bone crunching sound effects when Lena hits Louise with a pipe. Make several cuts to the second half of the Lena-Louise fight, to keep the pace and energy up. Color correct shot of Lena throwing a punch at Louise to make it fit with the rest of the scene.
  • Add burning sound effects when Lena briefly passes through a beam of sunlight after getting thrown to the upper floor.
  • Crop shot of Louise jumping up to Lena's level, to make it look like they're closer. Add Louise line, "It doesn't make sense. Give up." from the deleted scene, "In the cupola". Edit Lena's charge so that she starts running while Louise is still talking, and cut frames from the charge itself to make it seem shorter. Also crop a quick shot where Louise has her arms outstretched, to fix continuity issues.
  • Add a zoom in on Tom's gunshot wound when Lena goes to check on him. Change the music to be more ominous as Lena moves to bite Tom. The intent is to make it clear that Lena is getting overcome by hunger.
  • The ending is extensively changed. A combination of footage from the original movie, alternate ending footage, and visual effects shots show the following sequence of events: After kissing Tom, Lena gets up and walks away as approaching police sirens are heard in the background. Presumably, they follwed her there from the police station. A SWAT team arrives a short time later and enters the building to find Tom still alive. Meanwhile, Lena has escaped through a manhole near the building that is just barely in the shade. Lena is shown running down a subway tunnel. She stops, looks back at the camera, then turns and keeps running. Roll credits.
  • Add Fanedit credits to the end credits.

I'll be posting clips and details as I work on this. Feel free to offer suggestions, advice, and stuff.
 

INH5

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Some additional challenges are imposed by the fact that the footage that I want to add to the movie is not available in very good quality. Even on the Blu-Ray, the deleted scenes and alternate ending footage are mostly only available in a low resolution, low quality workprint without any of the color correction present throughout the actual movie.

I say mostly, because mixed in with the above are shots of higher quality, usually digital effects shots that were presumably scanned in and color corrected early so the VFX artists could work on them. Also, a bunch of these visual effect shots were not finished.

Here's an example of what I have to work with:


I've decided to apply my own color correction and clean the videos up to the best of my ability, to hopefully make them reasonably fit with the rest of the movie. As for the unfinished effect shots, I will be touching up what I can and removing what I can't, so if you see an obviously unfinished one in a clip I post, assume I plan to improve on it later.

Here's my proof of concept attempt at putting the above scene into the movie. Turn on Closed Captions if you don't speak German and want to understand what the characters are saying.

 

Vultural

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Have not seen this one, but it was easy enough to locate, and I will try to view ASAP.
It is the dubbed at 1:39.59. Sadly, I have watched plenty of lesbian vampire films.
Most reviews at IMDB have been good, but I know not to get my expectations up.
 

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I enjoyed the film, and never got bored, yet for my taste, this could have used more juice.
Onscreen violence and nudity, and not the male sort, either (consider yourself warned, virgin viewers).
The dub was its usual awful self.
I watched this late at night, using headphones.
Movie was stereo, dub was obvious mono. Poor voice actors, to boot.
That said, I would definitely include the dubbed in your edit as an alternative audio file.
It won't take up that much filesize.
Few will admit it, but a lot of people shun subtitles.
Also, bear in mind if you use the German version, and rearrange things, you will throw subtitle timings off.
 

INH5

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Vultural said:
That said, I would definitely include the dubbed in your edit as an alternative audio file.
It won't take up that much filesize.
Few will admit it, but a lot of people shun subtitles.
Also, bear in mind if you use the German version, and rearrange things, you will throw subtitle timings off.

I'll take that under advisement. The only problem with it is that dubbed versions of the deleted scenes aren't available, at least as far as I know. So I'm not sure what I could do there. I guess having most of the movie be dubbed in English but switching to a subtitled foreign language for brief scenes wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Plenty of Hollywood movies do the same thing, so it shouldn't scare people off.

And yes, I am aware that after all is said and done, I will have to go through the .srt file and change the timings of most of the lines, as well as add lines for any new scenes. I'm not looking forward to it, but what can you do?
 

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INH5 said:
And yes, I am aware that after all is said and done, I will have to go through the .srt file and change the timings of most of the lines, as well as add lines for any new scenes. I'm not looking forward to it, but what can you do?

Make friends with Subtitle Workshop and Subtitle Edit.
 

INH5

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Vultural said:
Make friends with Subtitle Workshop and Subtitle Edit.

Thanks for the tip. I'll definitely look into that.
 

That One Guy

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I saw this recently on Netflix and really enjoyed it, so i'd definitely be interested in seeing an edit.
 

Mark Moore

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The film looks interesting. Judging by the trailer, I don't mind the dubbing. Then again, I'm not a dub snob. I think the English dub of "Angel Cop" is awesome, even with such lines from our heroine as "F**k and piss!", "Eat $h|t and die!", and "If this is justice, then I'm a banana!"
 

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Mark Moore said:
Judging by the trailer, I don't mind the dubbing.

It's worse in the actual movie, because whoever edited the trailer did a lot of rapid cutting and rearranging dialogue in an attempt to hide the poor lip synching. For instance, the "Why did you do that?" line at 1:08 is from a totally different scene than the one shown. But hey, I first saw the movie dubbed and I still liked it, so go ahead and check it out on Netflix, Amazon, or whatever.

In any case, my edit will definitely have an English dubbed audio track, though it'll still have to switch to subtitled German for the new scenes.

In other news, I've made more progress on the edit. I inserted another deleted scene, and I think I'm getting a hang of the color correction now. As before, turn on CC to get English subtitles.


I should note that this is not a kitchen sink extended edition. Some of the deleted scenes on the disc will not be making it in, because I think that some of them would not improve the movie. I will also be making a few edits to the deleted scenes that do make it in.

Case in point, in the above scene I cut a line from Lena where she said that she would get him the rest of the money tomorrow. Originally, that line built up a different deleted scene that I will not be including, where the probation officer pays Lena a visit the next night, after she is partway through her transformation into a vampire. She overpowers him and almost throws him down an elevator shaft, but settles for just tossing him against a wall and running off.

I don't think that other scene would work well in the movie, because it furthers a sub-plot that never goes anywhere (the probation officer is never mentioned again, not even in any other deleted scenes), and because it takes away some of the impact of Lena's later displays of superhuman physical prowess.

So I cut that line with the intent of leaving a general impression that the probation officer wants more money at some point in the near future, without any specific deadline. Instead of a running sub-plot, this is another one of Lena's problems that goes away when she moves onto her new life. Which should make it more palatable that this issue gets presumably resolved offscreen.
 

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I do like this scene as it shows more the forces pushing Lena.
Also, since the parole office only appears during this one scene I think you could dub it yourself or get a friend to do so.
Then fit it into the mix. Be sure to keep it in mono.
 

INH5

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Vultural said:
I do like this scene as it shows more the forces pushing Lena.
Also, since the parole office only appears during this one scene I think you could dub it yourself or get a friend to do so.
Then fit it into the mix. Be sure to keep it in mono.

You're right, I think I, or a friend, could dub over his lines without much trouble. I believe Lena's mother only has 2 other lines in the rest of the movie, so I could theoretically redub all her dialogue too, if I could find a willing voice actress. But replacing Lena's dialogue (only one line in this scene) would be problematic, what with someone else voicing her for the entire rest of the movie.

Fortunately, the only line in the plane crash scene ("wha?") can be put in the English dub as is.
 

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Replacing Lena's dialogue ought to be relatively simple.
Make an audio copy of her comments, then mix her track with your overdubbing.
Below is a screenshot of one of my audio mixes.
Layering multiple audio tracks, then rendering into one.

15ofi8k.jpg
 

INH5

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Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. My concern isn't with the technical side of things, but with the issue that having one voice actor for most of the movie, then switching to another voice actor for a scene, then switching back to the original afterwards could be kind of jarring. But I guess switching to another language (and another voice actor at the same time, really) wouldn't be any less jarring. So I'll think about it.
 

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TV's Frink said:
Hmmm...does that mean I'm not a sub snob?

Hey, if you like octopus on plankton bread with spinach and horseradish, who am I to argue?
 

TV's Frink

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What I don't even.
 

INH5

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I've got another clip. This one is a bit more complicated than the other scenes I've added. It's actually two separate deleted scenes on the disc, which I stuck together and cut a few bits out of. I'm still working on the color correction, but any feedback on the audio transitions and such would be appreciated.

This scene is from late in the movie, and while nothing terribly important happens in it, I'll put it behind spoiler bars just in case.


I always felt that this part of the movie was a bit rushed. Lena and Tom are arrested, then they're thrown in jail, then Louise comes in and does her thing and then it's off to the final confrontation. These scenes should hopefully give the audience a bit of a breather without dragging too much. Plus, the scenes are pretty cool in general.

Fun fact: the policeman who gets his throat slashed is played by Dennis Gansel, the director of the movie. He likes to make cameos in his films, and was reportedly very disappointed when they decided to cut this scene.
 

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You are correct, the finale did seem rushed.
Reinserting these scenes will give a little breath before the rush.
Dubbing will be easy for the cop quip, tad trickier for Louise.
 

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I'm considering changing my plans and broadening the scope of this project a little.

A small issue has bugged me for a while about this movie. You see, two early scenes in the movie show the vampires being invisible in mirrors, and one other scene shows them as invisible on video footage. Outside of these scenes, this is never shown or referenced again. But every time I rewatch the movie, I notice more and more instances of vampires being visible in reflective surfaces such as water (see 1:40 in the trailer on the first page), cars, rainy streets, polished floors, and even shiny tables.

And I don't just mean visible reflections in the corner of the frame for a quarter of a second, some of these are so obvious that it boggles the mind that, for instance, no one on set ever thought to throw a cloth over that table. When I rewatched the movie to take notes for this edit, I made a tally of every time I saw a vampire reflection, and ended counting 17 instances, many of them in very important shots.

More explicitly, despite one scene where vampires are invisible on camera, the movie opens with a long montage of historical photographs of them, most of which were absolutely taken after they became vampires. Also, there are a number of issues that the movie never addresses, such as how they get their makeup on if they can't use a mirror (especially in the scene where Lena is left alone in her room and walks out with perfectly applied makeup). In short, apart from those 3 scenes, it seems like the people making the movie completely forgot about the no reflection thing.

When I first started the project, I thought about taking out those 3 "no reflection/camera image" scenes, but I decided against it. 2 of those 3 scenes are plot critical, and I couldn't see any way to cleanly modify them. So I thought it would be more trouble than it was worth. But today on a whim I decided to take a crack at editing the first and most important of those scenes to remove all obvious instances of missing reflections, just to see if it was possible. And to my surprise, it came out pretty well. It's still a little rough, but I think with more polish (and maybe a bit of compositing vfx) this could definitely work:


The second scene is easy enough to remove in its entirety. But the third scene, the one with the invisible vampires on camera, is considerably more difficult. I can't see any easy way to edit it without opening up plot holes.

In the scene the police are reviewing security camera tapes as part of their investigation, and in the video they don't see the vampires but they do see a human witness. In a previous scene we were shown that the camera was at such an angle that it definitely should have seen them, and almost certainly gotten a good look at their faces. So even if I cut out the parts where we see guys getting thrown around by invisible people, that would leave the important question of why the police don't immediately know who to look for.

The only idea I can can come up with is to make the video footage damaged and staticy and only briefly clear up when the human witness walks by the camera. This would presumably be a result of parts of the building being set on fire and the tapes getting damaged, but I'm not sure if that kind of implicit explanation is good enough.

What do you people think?
 
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