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 Post subject: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:13 pm 
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As I announced yesterday, I'm making a new cut of the film. In short, it's the Ultimate Cut with the Black Freighter removed. But there's also room for more drastic edits, such as the prison fight sequence I hacked at yesterday. That's where you come in, should you want to. I'm all ears when it comes to suggestions, though bear in mind the principle that this cut should be the absolute best achievable by fans armed only with a DVD, editing software and maybe some online resources. When the project is complete, I'll be able to upload and share the project files, thus avoiding any copyright issues. You'll need Sony Vegas and a copy of the Ultimate Cut on DVD. If you don't have Vegas, we'll find some way around that, I'm sure.

Even if no-one replies, I'll keep this thread going to record the edits made, and to justify them. Critique is more than welcome. As with the prison fight sequence, I might upload segments with significant alteration.

-------
CHANGES
(Timecode hh:mm:ss represents film in current post-edit form. If you want to find the relevant scenes on your own copy of the UC, they'll be around the time listed, but not the exact point.)
-------

00:00:15
Extra logo added. This site's if anyone else decides to contribute!

00:15:57
Section cut. Now goes from shot of cop raising torch to shot of the empty window (and Hollis' voiceover). Sound overlapped and blended in between.
Justification: the shooting incident is confused and confusing. Considered cutting from shot of Comedian's Minutemen photo to Hollis' (as in Theatrical Cut), but decided what follows was significant - to introduce Rorschach as a vigilante, i.e. operating outside the law, hostile to it (and vice versa). Rorschach still attacks the first cop, but now escapes before the second sees him. News report in next scene still accurate.

00:23:40
Watch new version
First Black Freighter segment. Entirely removed. Scenes before and after: Rorschach walking, narrating; first Bernie's appearance. In UC, there's an extra line to Rorschach's narration, overlapping the beginning of the animation. First option was to remove this extra line, place the bookending scenes directly next to each other. Other option is my preferred choice: keeping the extra line, and fading out rather than cutting to black; extra line is heard while we only see black, then fade in Bernie scene (sound not faded in, abrupt traffic noises actually ease the cut).
Justification: the Rorschach scene is at night; the Bernie scene at day. Cutting directly from one to the other might be a little awkward, especially considering the similar locations. The fade out and fade in usefully signifies "The next day" which helps to slightly counteract one of my small complaints with the film - that it feels pretty non-stop, taking place over a few days rather than a month. Also, Bernie scene begins with Bernie the younger's comic centred in the frame. In the UC this indicates that that is what the animation was from. Here, we have an altogether different opportunity. The extra line of narration (and this is the main reason I opted to keep it in) is "But there are so many deserving of retribution, and so little time". Following this up with a shot of a comic plays on the fact that the source material is a comic, more precisely a superhero comic, the genre with which the medium is massively associated with. Rorschach, with his mask, fulfils the iconography of the superhero, but his words contradict the goodie-two-shoes outlook widely expected of superheroes by the audience. Also, the kid reading the comic is, on one level, like him reading everything we've seen; he's the audience's role in the film, if you get what I mean.

00:59:04
Act 1 ends after Pagliacci montage. I've decided to split the film into three parts with intermissions since I will be screening this cut for friends (obviously a few breaks would be advantageous with a film so long), and also it will really help with pacing given that the story is episodic. A few minutes to get a beer, and let all that's happened so far settle in the mind - it's not something that can be done in cinemas these days, but it's ideal for a social scenario. The song that plays over the intermission: "The Comedians" by Elvis Costello - what else? :)

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:24 pm 
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cool, are you going to submit it to fanedit.org or something? and i second that above ^

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:25 pm 
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AvatarIII wrote:
cool, are you going to submit it to fanedit.org or something? and i second that above ^

Sorry, I posted a request to fix the "Magic Rorschach" segment before I read this:

AYBGerrardo wrote:
00:15:57
Section cut. Now goes from shot of cop raising torch to shot of the empty window (and Hollis' voiceover). Sound overlapped and blended in between.
Justification: the shooting incident is confused and confusing. Considered cutting from shot of Comedian's Minutemen photo to Hollis' (as in Theatrical Cut), but decided what follows was significant - to introduce Rorschach as a vigilante, i.e. operating outside the law, hostile to it (and vice versa). Rorschach still attacks the first cop, but now escapes before the second sees him. News report in next scene still accurate.

Looks like it's already been addressed. Good on you, AYB.

For my part, I thought that the scene of Dr. Manhattan and Laurie in bed was a bit lengthy. Takes her a bit too long to realize that there are three hands on her. Any way to trim that down?

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:40 pm 
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Four cuts of the film? What is this, Star Wars???

Anyway, I'm looking forward to it. Also, AYB, I almost made that my sig myself.

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:02 pm 
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Godziller66 wrote:
Four cuts of the film? What is this, Star Wars???

Anyway, I'm looking forward to it. Also, AYB, I almost made that my sig myself.



there's more than that many cuts of star wars (check out fanedit.org, you'll see what i mean, SW has it's own section of the site!)

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:19 pm 
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AvatarIII wrote:
cool, are you going to submit it to fanedit.org or something?

Hadn't heard of it, but that looks like a good site. Thanks for that...

Curiosity Inc. wrote:
Looks like it's already been addressed.

Yup. Now uploaded.
We might need to tweak the music, since atm it builds up tension for nothing, but other than that I think it works fine.

Curiosity Inc. wrote:
For my part, I thought that the scene of Dr. Manhattan and Laurie in bed was a bit lengthy. Takes her a bit too long to realize that there are three hands on her. Any way to trim that down?

Once we go through the film in depth, I'll be sure to take a look...

Godziller66 wrote:
Four cuts of the film? What is this, Star Wars???

Oo! Let's digitally enhance it! Great idea!!

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:48 pm 
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AYBGerrardo wrote:
Yup. Now uploaded.
We might need to tweak the music, since atm it builds up tension for nothing, but other than that I think it works fine.


Why not cut the cops out altogether? The scene is completely unnecessary.

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:01 pm 
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ah not fanedit.org! i hate that site.

you should definitely upload a copy to demonoid.com (if you need an invite code, just PM me)


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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:04 pm 
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WJK wrote:
ah not fanedit.org! i hate that site.

you should definitely upload a copy to demonoid.com (if you need an invite code, just PM me)


i'm sure it's a good way to get your edit publicized.

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:13 pm 
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t3cii wrote:
AYBGerrardo wrote:
Yup. Now uploaded.
We might need to tweak the music, since atm it builds up tension for nothing, but other than that I think it works fine.


Why not cut the cops out altogether? The scene is completely unnecessary.

AYBGerrardo wrote:
Considered cutting from shot of Comedian's Minutemen photo to Hollis' (as in Theatrical Cut), but decided what follows was significant - to introduce Rorschach as a vigilante, i.e. operating outside the law, hostile to it (and vice versa).

I think the above is something that's very important to establish firmly, as early as possible. Otherwise first time viewers don't know the necessary information (superheroes outlawed, Rorschach still active nonetheless) until Veidt's interview more than 25 minutes in.

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it was tying it into the rape-revenge stories and making light of a verys erious sub-genre that kind of offended me.


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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 3:49 pm 
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AYBGerrardo wrote:
I think the above is something that's very important to establish firmly, as early as possible. Otherwise first time viewers don't know the necessary information (superheroes outlawed, Rorschach still active nonetheless) until Veidt's interview more than 25 minutes in.


I disagree. Doesn't Rorschach sulking around the crime scene suggest that? Or breaking into Rockefeller plaza? I'm not even sure the audience really needs to know that information so early into the movie. Plus the shot of Rorschach assaulting the officer (not in self defence) doesn't really sit well with the character.

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:27 pm 
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t3cii wrote:
Rorschach assaulting the officer (not in self defence) doesn't really sit well with the character.

As Rorschach later justifies it, "Minor wound. Won't need hospitalisation". I don't think it was particularly out of character. He needed to get out of there without some cop walking in and shooting at him*. The guy was in his way, so he took him out clean, fast and quiet. Nothing too malicious about it.

*(assuming, of course, that he didn't know that he would soon survive that very occurrence via dodgy editing)

Anywho, I still think the information is vital. Anyone else feel strongly one way or another?

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:51 pm 
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Okay, so how about instead of the cop shooting at Rorschach, the scene goes something like this:

COP 2 WALKS INTO ROOM

COP 2 SEES COP 1 ON FLOOR AFTER PULLING OUT FLASHLIGHT

QUICK CAMERA CUT BACK TO COP 2, THEN CAMERA CUT TO EMPTY WINDOW WITH BROKEN TAPE

something like that, just to get the magic bullet shit out of the way.


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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 5:08 pm 
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That sounds a lot like what I've already made:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMioKTMCxMU

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it was tying it into the rape-revenge stories and making light of a verys erious sub-genre that kind of offended me.


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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:09 pm 
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AYBGerrardo wrote:
That sounds a lot like what I've already made:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMioKTMCxMU


exactly what i had in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Mon Aug 23, 2010 6:11 pm 
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Great minds. ;)

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it was tying it into the rape-revenge stories and making light of a verys erious sub-genre that kind of offended me.


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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 12:32 am 
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AYBGerrardo wrote:
00:15:57
Section cut. Now goes from shot of cop raising torch to shot of the empty window (and Hollis' voiceover).


Wow, that sounds like it would work perfectly. I agree that the scene is confusing, but I also like how it sets up the cops not liking Rorschach (makes his capture more powerful). This edit would remove the bad, but keep the good.

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:01 am 
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ROR-SHACK wrote:
I also like how it sets up the cops not liking Rorschach (makes his capture more powerful0


It's not that powerful. :roll:

Sorry for the attitude, but really, I think by the time Rorschach gets beat down by the cops, the audience would have forgotten about that scene earlier on in the movie.

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:02 am 
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t3cii wrote:
ROR-SHACK wrote:
I also like how it sets up the cops not liking Rorschach (makes his capture more powerful0


It's not that powerful. :roll:

Sorry for the attitude, but really, I think by the time Rorschach gets beat down by the cops, the audience would have forgotten about that scene earlier on in the movie.

It's not really about the audience's attention span, it's about putting stuff in the film that would allow them to connect certain dots like that.

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 Post subject: Re: The WCM Cut.
PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:29 pm 
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What do you guys think about the music transition in the Magic Rorschach fix?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lMioKTMCxMU#t=0m30s
It still doesn't strike me as quite right... I wish that high pitched violin(?) lasted longer - anyone know how that might be achieved?

Anywho...

------
CHANGES
------

00m
We open with a Bernie scene (the one where Hollis buys TIME)

01m
Cut goes from Bernie reading the comic to Laurie in bed with Dr Manhattan. Audio of Laurie's, ahem, breathing precedes the cut, and this is where it's pretty audacious:
So we've established that Bernie is the audience's role in the film, and his reading the comic is like us watching the non-Bernie scenes... The audio from the sex scene comes in and simultaneously the younger Bernie has a WTF?! expression - one which many among the audience will have seconds later. I know it's pretty crazy, but given the aforementioned shared response this would further strengthen (or highlight) the link between Bernie the younger and the audience.

This is something that will come into play in all of the cuts to or from Bernie reading his comic, and ultimately will add to the tragedy of his death. The Bernie scenes exist in a sort of separate plane. Characters pop in, but never in costume. Until the last act the events at the newsstand don't affect the main plot, but with each Bernie scene we're thrust deeper into realising that everything that's happening in the film affects Average Joe, these guys.... leading to two results: 1) The reaction - Hollis' death. Despite their nature, the Knot-Tops can still be grouped with the Bernie's as common citizens. Hence the discussion that leads to Hollis' death occurs at the newsstand. 2) Jonergy. Having the role of commentators and observers doesn't protect the Bernie's. The audience essentially witnesses its own death.

(^Wow, that was a long write-up for a subtle split-second moment!)

13m
Cut from Dan and Laurie going their separate ways after the alley fight, to an extreme close up of the comic. This was a tricky one audio-wise because the Black Freighter score comes in before Dan says "Be seeing you". The problem is there needs to be enough of the music to justify it being there, fading it into the Bernie scene's sound. So we get a bit more music, taking it from the subsequent opening seconds of the Black Freighter bit, no problem. But the music brings along with it the sound of water rushing against the shore, and despite the 6 audio tracks at our disposal none of them have the music isolated from the sound effect. I tried mixing them together and it actually worked. I propose we keep it and make the most out of the situation... It's obvious what the source is: the pirate comic, and it's as stark a contrast you can get to the city sounds. Tranquility vs chaos. Escapism. Not to mention the fact that we've just watched ultraviolence that strongly contradicted the widely preconceived notion of the superhero (as discussed with relation to Bernie in the first post of the thread).

41m
Cut from Bernie sitting down to his comic, to Malcolm Long and Rorschach. I really like this one. I never noticed it before, but Zack and co. are very clever with the first shot of the Malcolm sequence. We're given the perspective of strangers observing Long and Kovacs; curtains open (an obvious reference to theatre) and we see them through three windows which I believe are the same aspect ratio of the frames in the comic. Anyone who's seen my Neonomicon analysis will know what I'm talking about - these are definitely comic book panels. How appropriate then, that the preceding shot should be of someone reading a comic.
Two further things I've done: audio of Malcolm speaking as a lead-in, and I've cut out the very end of the Bernie shot in which a customer comes up to buy a paper: the one who looks a lot like the (at this point) deceased Edward Jacobi.

59m
Cut from Dan waking up, panting, to Knot-Tops harassing the younger Bernie. Another tricky one, but another one I really like. The audio lead-in "Yo man" originally came from the end of the Black Freighter scene, so it carried with it the sound of bubbles. I had to use a few tricks here, because it wasn't possible to completely isolate the voice, but I managed to disguise the remnants of the sound effect. The reason I really like the juxtaposition of the scenes is 1) once again we're shown Bernie reading the comic after something particularly un(super)heroic - Dan's impotence. 2) both scenes share the theme of humiliation and fear - the younger Bernie is teased over the fact that he's reading a comic (which again brings up the idea of reality vs escapism) and the elder Bernie tries to confront the Knot-Tops but, well, you can practically see him shit himself. Not literally.

1h09m
Act II ends with Dan and Laurie deciding to spring Rorschach. Good moment to pause for drinks etc because it allows the audience to anticipate that we're entering the final hurdle and shit's about to go down. Also because last line ("It'll be more fun") is funny. Intermission music: I was thinking of Jocko Homo or Sanities, but they're both rather too out-there I feel. So instead I think I'll go with Tell All the People by The Doors which, if you recall, I used in one of my Watchmen:Origins videos...

Thoughts, comments, critique?

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