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Leave it to someone more skilled
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[Proposal] The Exorcist: The Version We've Almost Seen
#1
I'm not sure if this would go beyond the scope of this forum, since it verges on fan edit territory, but hear me out.

As Mark Kermode keeps telling everybody who'll listen, The Exorcist is one of the finest films ever made. However, the version of it that I would ideally like to watch as my default go-to edit does not currently exist.

The theatrical cut is a masterpiece, which is superior for the most part (in my opinion) to the "Version You've Never Seen" extended cut and subsequent re-edit for Blu-ray. It does however omit at least one or two small moments which I feel the absence of, having seen the extended cut many times over the years. Some of the additions make me cringe big time (call it heresy if you like, but I hate that damn spider walk and the extra Captain Howdy faces are so intrusive it's comical); others are smaller character moments which I feel enrich the film. For example, there's a very brief scene wherein Father Merrin asks Regan's middle name and I love it. I also like the scene with Merrin and Karras sitting in the stairwell discussing the "point" of the demon's antics, although I think I agree with Friedkin's assessment that it is rather obviously stating what the film spends much of its runtime showing us more implicitly ("show, don't tell" after all).

I'm considering attempting to assemble a very simple edit which adds very few of the "missing" scenes back into the theatrical cut in their respective places, leaving it otherwise untouched. This would be almost entirely for my own use, but if I'm going to do it, I figure I may as well share it with others who might fancy it as well. Alternatively, someone who is more au fait with the software and the process of creating such an edit might want to crack this out in an afternoon rather than waiting ages for me to get round to trying it myself.

Thoughts?
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#2
I don't know the movie that well, but seems like a classical fanedit project to me. I'd say go for it if it's worth investing the time to learn the tools for you.
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#3
Welcome pipefan. Although the site is called fanres (fan restorations) there is no rule against fanedits. In fact I would like to see your end results. Good luck with the project.
New, low or non-posting members: Please do not post or PM me asking where to get something or what the current status of a project is. Such requests are ignored. Instead, stick around and become a participating member. Thank you.

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#4
Ive had threads on here exclusively about personal fan edit projects.
Often mine are removing what looks like studio meddling and trying to return a film back to what I feel of its original intent.

I agree with everything you are saying with The Exorcist and would love to see your results.
Your almost returning it to an earlier cut before the final trims were made.
Quick question on the Spider walk, was the footage in the 'version we have never seen' re-shot for that release?

On a side note I do suggest you have a go yourself, the end results are very rewarding and you really learn alot about the film your working on and film-making in general.
This community are some of the most knowledgeable and helpful Ive ever come across and have always been there to help guide me though learning curves.
Good luck Smile
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#5
(2019-10-17, 11:08 AM)CSchmidlapp Wrote: Quick question on the Spider walk, was the footage in the 'version we have never seen' re-shot for that release?
Not in 2000, but they did redo it in the original shoot. The first version (which remains unused) is a bit less extreme: instead of stopping on the stairs while still upside down and hissing with a mouthful of blood (which is very silly to me) they had her flip back around near the bottom, cut back from the stunt performer to Linda Blair, and had Linda chase Sharon (Kitty Winn) while flicking a big pointy tongue in and out (also rather silly).

Both had visible wires and were unused until the wires could be digitally removed in 2000, at which point the upside-down hiss version was reincorporated. Here's the original sequence for comparison (note the significantly dodgier, floaty wire work): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MF-LPsCsdr8
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#6
UPDATE: I'm looking into this now. I think if I'm going to do this it might be better to start with The Aluminum Falcon's rather impressive regrade and reconstruction of the theatrical cut, and insert the additional bits and bobs I like where they would go in the extended cut. The colour is significantly better than in the Blu-ray (the blue-graded bedroom scenes are extreme in the official Blu-ray release).

One thing I'm not sure about yet is whether I might attempt to clean up the shot reinserted from the Terror In The Aisles rip (to reinstate the Karras jump cut, since the "theatrical cut" on the Blu-ray still keeps the digital morph effect and I hate it). It's very noticeably different to the higher quality Blu-ray encode since it has a fair bit of dirt, is significantly softer, and doesn't quite match the colour.

Here's the regraded Blu-ray shot just before it cuts to Regan:

[Image: vlcsnap-2019-10-17-14h30m16s850.png]

This is impressive in and of itself because it is incredibly blue on the source disc.

When it cuts to Regan then back again to the reinserted shot from Terror In The Aisles though, it looks like this:

[Image: vlcsnap-2019-10-17-14h30m30s013.png]
[Image: vlcsnap-2019-10-17-14h46m17s980.png]

The problem is twofold though: the source just isn't as crisp as the rest of the video and never will be, plus I don't have the skill to attempt a cleanup, sharpening and/or regrade of the shot. So it might remain as is... but it will probably annoy me forever if it does.
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#7
I really like the idea for this fan edit, particularly the opportunity to see the some of the extended stuff in a cut with (mostly) the original audio mix. The 5.1 for the "Version You've Never Seen" is very overdone.
I don't know what level of comfortable with editing you are or whether you already have a preferred editing program, but I'd recommend using the free version of Davinci Resolve. It's powerful enough to do a great deal of stuff (particularly coloring) and there's a wide array of tutorials and documentation on the web for it.
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#8
(2019-10-18, 04:47 AM)iguanaclerk Wrote: I really like the idea for this fan edit, particularly the opportunity to see the some of the extended stuff in a cut with (mostly) the original audio mix. The 5.1 for the "Version You've Never Seen" is very overdone.
I don't know what level of comfortable with editing you are or whether you already have a preferred editing program, but I'd recommend using the free version of Davinci Resolve. It's powerful enough to do a great deal of stuff (particularly coloring) and there's a wide array of tutorials and documentation on the web for it.

This is useful info, thanks.

I'm having bother with Resolve on Windows 10 in that it won't import a .264 file, just the .wav audio. Apparently it's better to transcode to Prores, but doing so on Windows isn't ideal. So I'm a bit unsure where to go with it.

For the time being, I'm mucking about with a much simpler project (inserting a single added TV scene into Halloween, heavily cut) which I can only get to work in Premiere Pro...
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#9
(2019-10-20, 03:55 PM)pipefan413 Wrote: I'm having bother with Resolve on Windows 10 in that it won't import a .264 file, just the .wav audio. Apparently it's better to transcode to Prores, but doing so on Windows isn't ideal. So I'm a bit unsure where to go with it.

You can transcode to prores using ffmpeg.

Extract the exe to the same folder you are working in, and then run:

Code:
ffmpeg -i "your_input.264" -vcodec prores output.mov

in the command line. You will need 100-200 GB of free space, but it's much easier to work with in an editor (you can seek by frame much faster).
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#10
(2019-10-21, 03:09 AM)iguanaclerk Wrote:
(2019-10-20, 03:55 PM)pipefan413 Wrote: I'm having bother with Resolve on Windows 10 in that it won't import a .264 file, just the .wav audio. Apparently it's better to transcode to Prores, but doing so on Windows isn't ideal. So I'm a bit unsure where to go with it.

You can transcode to prores using ffmpeg.

Extract the exe to the same folder you are working in, and then run:

Code:
ffmpeg -i "your_input.264" -vcodec prores output.mov

in the command line. You will need 100-200 GB of free space, but it's much easier to work with in an editor (you can seek by frame much faster).

I saw that but was seeing it pointed out that it's reverse engineered so less accurate than transcoding in Compressor so wasn't sure whether I should... I guess I'll give it a go.

Ta!

EDIT: Yeah, this worked pretty well methinks. Was worried about quality loss / artefacting but it looks good so far. I'm sure if it isn't somebody will shout at me soon enough...
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