Fanedits?

Discussion of Dune

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Evenreven
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Fanedits?

Postby Evenreven » Wed Apr 23, 2008 9:20 am

I'm not usually a big fan of fan-edits, but Dune is a film that always seemed like a prime candidate for one.

-It's heavily edited down in an attempt to make it an easier sell. (With no knowledge of the book, I think it's safe to say that the theatrical cut is incomprehensible at times.)
-The extended edition is badly put together.
-Additional deleted scenes have been released that would flesh out the story if re-inserted.
-The director doesn't want to revisit it, making fan-edits the only option of a better extended cut.

Still, I can only find one fan-edit that looks decent. Has anyone seen that or a different one? (I can remove the link if it's a problem, but fanedits are only to be downloaded if you own the original anyway.)
Last edited by Evenreven on Mon Jun 23, 2008 12:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby Annie » Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:51 pm

As a fan of David's Dune, I wouldn't want to see anything added to it that he didn't approve of. I think the whole story is heart-breaking that he was left with such a sour taste after making it.

Anyway, now that Peter Berg is making a new one, we have that to look forward to---maybe. People at the Dune message boards seem to think he has the power to do infinite sequels. Which makes me gag. :roll:
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby Evenreven » Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:46 am

I'm usually of that opinion too, but I have a more pragmatic attitude when the creators clearly didn't get their way and were forced to cut. And the damn extended version is out there so the damage is already done. And the good thing about fan-editing is that it's always A version, never THE version. Besides, I was looking around the net for info, and it seems that most people equate the extended edition with "director's cut", even to the extent of mislabelling it. In such a situation doing fan-edits can hardly do any harm. Especially when they try to follow the shooting script.

I know you like the theatrical cut, but personally I found it a failure in most respects, Lynch-approved or not (and I don't think it's a stretch to call it semi-approved). That's why I don't have a problem with people adding stuff back in, especially when they do it with a better feel for the source material than the extended version, mix the sound properly, etc.

Just my two cents.
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Annie
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby Annie » Thu Apr 24, 2008 8:15 pm

Well, everybody's entitled to their own opinion. I just wish they'd leave DUNE alone already. The books are far superior anyway (well, Frank's books are.)
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby moviemaker » Wed May 14, 2008 1:30 pm

Annie, I agree with you. The books are really so much better that these films will always pale in comparison.

That being said, I do agree with Evenreven--I don't think the real issue with David is necessarily the final cut of Dune but the film itself. You could cut Dune 7 ways 'til Sunday (or whatever that saying is..) and it would still be the same beast. I think it boils down to the compromises he probably had to make at the script stage.

Also, I think the fact that it was not his own story (not that he always has to write his own stories) but I feel in the end the whole process of this big, bloated baron of a film made him feel like a journeyman director as opposed to an artist.

I cringe at the Peter Berg version. I don't think it will be bad, just... normal, mainstream, accessible. And that's what I love about David Lynch's Dune is that it has those wierd, almost abstract moments... like the heart plug being pulled and oily blood splattering on the tulips or the strange rat and cat serum contraption or the Jom Gabar (sp???), or the Guild Navigator (with it's Eraserhead overtones).
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby Evenreven » Wed May 14, 2008 1:44 pm

moviemaker wrote:I don't think the real issue with David is necessarily the final cut of Dune but the film itself. You could cut Dune 7 ways 'til Sunday (or whatever that saying is..) and it would still be the same beast. I think it boils down to the compromises he probably had to make at the script stage.

That's what I'm getting at, but I'm not sure I agree 100 percent. It's not just the script stage, but also the editing stage. Obviously, judging by the length of the extended cut, and by the fact that there are several deleted scenes in addition to even that, major compromises happened there too.

Anyway, for me, especially with TV movies and a new big budget movie, there's nothing to really "leave alone". Add to that, David is not happy with it, and a version he's even less happy about is making the rounds and is being labelled (by clueless people, but still) "director's cut" simply because it's longer. For such a butchered film, I can't really see the trouble in a fan effort trying to reconstruct something closer resembling the script by re-editing the existing material. The theatrical cut isn't sacred for me for the simple reason that David Lynch is not happy with it himself.

I'll probably see the fan-edit in a week or two. It will be interesting. I can tell just by the description that it's an improvement over the extended cut; it's obviously done with greater care for the source material and with great love and respect for David's original vision.
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby moviemaker » Wed May 14, 2008 1:51 pm

I'll definitely check out the fan-edit. Many times they are better than the original (Star Wars Episode 1 anyone?).

Have you seen the great trailers fans have done for Blue Velvet and The Shining that makes them comedies (available on YouTube I think).
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby Evenreven » Wed May 14, 2008 2:30 pm

The "magnoliafan" fanedits of Star Wars episodes 1 and 2 wipe the floor with the originals. I think those are the only instances where you can truly say with a certain degree of objectivity that the fanedit is a much, much better film than the original. "The Matrix De-Zionized" probably belongs in this category too.
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby HumanMedia » Sun Jun 22, 2008 9:14 pm

Id love to see a fan edit - bring it on.

Is it ready to download yet?

;-)
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby HumanMedia » Mon Jun 23, 2008 6:55 pm

Wow.

I just went to the fanedit.org site.

This is truly an amazing phenomena, akin to remixes in music.

These arent just hack jobs, these edits take many weeks with professional software, some even have new special effects and sound effects constructed.

I applaud the creativity shown here by these people, and some of the results are inspired interpretations, others are actually better cuts of the films. More often than not the theatrical version is not the result of the Directors intent but at the insistance of the studio (to get the runtime down, appeal to marketing, or some notion of political correctness), or at the behest of other parties with artistic sign-off (producer) or even the censorship board. Some are the directors intent, but are still conscious compromises done to make the film more marketable. Sometimes the fan edits can be more in tune with the artistic core of the material (Hannibal Rising), than what a work-for-hire hack director, or the studio editor puts out. The actual edits often come with new DVD packaging and the site urges people to by the originals for these to sit alongside.

I am waiting for the 'workprint' version of Dune to arrive, and I am now convinced that this is closer to what Lynch would have created if Universal didn't insist on getting the runtime down (as opposed to that dreadful TV version).
Last edited by HumanMedia on Tue Jun 24, 2008 10:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby Evenreven » Tue Jun 24, 2008 2:32 pm

I agree. I was endlessly fascinated by fanedit.org this winter, and I saw quite a few and downloaded more. It really covers the whole spectrum, from reinserting deleted scenes or reconstructing theatrical cuts (like the Leone films) to butchering/mashing-up/re-imagining films in the name of fun, exploration or improvement. I think what interests me the most is the mix of arrogance and deep respect and admiration that lies at the heart of it. And, like you say, especially with your average blockbuster-type film, fanedits often get much closer to the director's vision than the official cut did. And, of course, sometimes the director's vision isn't worth shit, like in the Matrix sequels, and can easily be improved upon. :)
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby Evenreven » Wed Oct 15, 2008 2:00 pm

I saw the "Reconstructed workprint" version, and I liked it a lot better than the theatrical cut. Even with footage from different sources, including parts in inferior video qualit (the deleted scenes), it flowed better.

Since I watched it, though, there have been two more fanedits released following virtually the same template. One looked like it might be an improvement since it has the Fremen eyes in the segments from the deleted scenes coloured by hand. Nice!
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby Annie » Thu Oct 16, 2008 8:32 pm

moviemaker wrote:Annie, I agree with you. The books are really so much better that these films will always pale in comparison.

I cringe at the Peter Berg version. I don't think it will be bad, just... normal, mainstream, accessible. And that's what I love about David Lynch's Dune is that it has those wierd, almost abstract moments... like the heart plug being pulled and oily blood splattering on the tulips or the strange rat and cat serum contraption or the Jom Gabar (sp???), or the Guild Navigator (with it's Eraserhead overtones).


Just re-reading this thread and noticed what you said. BTW, it is Gom Jobar, so you just transposed the letters. But I think I'll point out what you said about those pure Lynchian moments in his movie that Peter Berg won't do. I hang out more at the DUNE board now. Especially since the new books started coming.

I think those scenes like the blood splattering on the tulips and the Baron's floating under oil and having it pour over his facial sores that's so gross is really cool. The only thing I had to see corrected was the weirding modules--that was too far off, when the Bene Gesserit--and Paul had special VOICE powers with no mechanical contraptions attached.

I ask Byron Merritt every few months for an update on the new movie, and he claims it hasn't gone beyond the script-writing. For now.

Even, how do you find those "reconstructed versions" you've talked about? It's kind of like picking up all those pieces David had to discard on to the cutting room floor and are supposedly gone forever.
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby Evenreven » Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:44 pm

I have neither read the book or the script myself, but the idea behind all these versions is to insert footage from the extended TV version into the theatrical cut while trying to keep the music cues right and the tone and flow consistent. Since there are deleted scenes that are now available on DVD (that made it into neither version), fan-editors now have even more to work from.

The script and the theatrical cut form the basis for all such editing. Editors use those and edit back in scenes from one of the other two sources. It can never be the film David intended, but it can, I believe, get closer to what he intended than what premiered in cinemas.

Without going into details - most of which I can't remember anyway - the fanedit I watched offered some closure to the dr. Yueh storyline that was absent from the theatrical cut. I always felt that was left hanging. It's probably good in the book, but since I've only seen the film, I much prefer the fanedit.

You can read more about them here
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Re: Fanedits?

Postby Annie » Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:35 pm

Thanks Even! :)
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