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Marvel's Eternals: Chronological Cut

You could replace the shotgun with a walkie talkie.
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I'm really excited for this! Are you going to keep the references to Superman and Batman? Those were honestly my least favorite aspects of the entire movie. I don't think a Marvel/DC crossover will happen anytime soon, and it just made me feel like I was watching an episode of CW's The Flash with Cisco making a Spider-Man or Hulk reference every other episode. I personally want the two multiverses left separate for the time being.
 
Did people interpret that line as saying Superman and Batman exist as real people in the MCU? I thought it was pretty clear they were being referred to as fictional characters that exist in the MCU just like they do in the real world.
 
I took it as a setup for a potential Marvel / DC crossover.
But mostly, I took it as a legal department insistence: referring to Superman this way may pre-empt a DC lawsuit. Disney introduced an obvious Superman knock-off into the MCU here. Calling it out explicitly, may strengthen their legal argument that it's an homage and/or parody. Is that a cynical interpretation? Sure. But Disney's copyright lawyers are famously tough. I wouldn't put it past them.

Anyway, the Superman reference is cut (it served no purpose beyond being a weak joke). The Batman reference stays, because I consider that a positive reference for Karun. I would love to see him become the Avengers butler, like Edwin Jarvis in the comics and Alfred in Batman.
 
I thought it was pretty clear they were being referred to as fictional characters that exist in the MCU just like they do in the real world.
This is absolutely what it was. To the characters in Eternals, Batman and Superman are known but fictional.

 
After the in-universe poster for the Disney cruise to Celestial Island, here's another in-universe item. This time the blu-ray cover for the remarkable documentary film by Karun Patel. 🤩

Allegedly the actor, Harish Patel, filmed his colleagues with a hand-held camera on set. Perhaps to get into character? It would be suuuuuuuuuuper if that were made into a "real" Eternals documentary!

Can ya' tell I'm having fun with this edit? ;)

Eternals%20-%20Karuns%20in-universe%20documentary.jpg
 
My opening sequence has Arishem telling Ajak what their purpose is. When Arishem talks to Sersi, I've cut the line and instead have him jump straight into exposition. Despite 50 minutes between the scenes, it felt too noticeable if the shot and line were re-used.

This creates an unexpected but interesting ambiguity:
a) Did Arishem decide that only the team-leader was allowed to know the real mission? In that case Ajak disobeyed a little by telling Ikaris. This is consistent with the theatrical version.
b) Did Arishem never set that restriction and expect the team leader to inform her team? In that case Ajak disobeyed big time and lied to her team mates for thousands of years. This deviates from the theatrical but makes sense if Ajak decided from Day 1 to disobey Arishem. Her insistence that humans weren't ready for the steam engine would then have been a deliberate attempt to slow human development and thus population growth.

Wow, I thought Ajak was likeable. Now I'm not so sure! 🤥
 
In the category of small trims:

- There are many. It reminds me of the GOTG2 Pruned Edition, which has soooo many micro-cuts to remove filler lines, gags, shots that carry on too long, and especially moments that suffer from all of those simultaneously.

- One example of a trimmed exchange: The Eternals speak many languages. No one blinks an eye at that, it's simply taken for granted. Except when Sersi finds out Ikaris speaks Babylonian; there the acquisition of a second language is treated as a remarkable effort. That felt out of place, so I trimmed the scene.
 
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Making decent progress. Draft runtime is now 121 minutes, final runtime will probably be under 120 minutes.
One benefit of cutting so much is that it's easier to find cutaway shots (in the trimmed material)!

Lots of work still to do. I haven't even started the exposure and saturation adjustments.

I'm still eyeing 5 May as release date (right before the next Marvel movie comes out).
 
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In Phastos' home, Ikaris breaks a table. I don't like the scene because a) I find the Ikea joke not funny, and b) it is redundant to establish Ikaris' dick-ish character since this edit shows his betrayal of Ajak before they visit Phastos.

But... much of the dialog is helpful/needed to set up Phastos attitude going into the final battle.

Several shots with relevant dialog show the broken table. Cutting those is proving to be a problem, either:
- tbe dialog gets replacement shots of listeners in the room (placing the speaker off-screen), or
- I cut far more of the scene.

What do you think of the scene? Indifferent, like it, hate it?
 
I'm browsing through songs to figure out what mood I'd like to emphasize, and I haven't got it yet. I'm of two minds:

- Perspective 1: The Eternals are tragic heroes. This is a Greek play more than a bright-colored comic-book story.
- Perspective 2: The Eternals are family. For all the flaws they perceive in each other, they have formed the bond of family over thousands of years. When push comes to shove, they realize their bond.

I can't create new scenes, so I can't change the perspective too drastically. This is about setting my direction for editing decisions. Which of these angles do you find more interesting and why?
Good luck with this! While I didn't think the film was "the worst Marvel movie" or as bad as some people have said, it does seem like a really hard fan-edit. For me, the problems start at the roots, with mis-casting and a bad story. You can cut the script and performances all you want, but it won't change those fundamentals. That said, I thought Captain Marvel was unsalvageable, but Tremault's edit proved me wrong!

For me, if I get one more big superhero movie focusing on "fambly" I'm going to kill myself. Good god, we get it, 'they're superhuman but they care about the same things we do.' Boring.

Perspective 2 is the only thing that makes this movie worth anything. It's horribly bungled, the film having about as much clear consensus of what's "meddling in human affairs" versus what's "grooming them like cattle" as Avengers: Endgame understands its own time-travel rules. But at least there's some unique drama in there, something to set these god-inspirations apart from every comic story we've seen ever. If you can trim all the lame retread family drama and childish petulance out of these characters and focus on them trying to execute some vague Prime Directive over aeons, you might have a real movie here.
 
In Phastos' home, Ikaris breaks a table. I don't like the scene because a) I find the Ikea joke not funny, and b) it is redundant to establish Ikaris' dick-ish character since this edit shows his betrayal of Ajak before they visit Phastos.

But... much of the dialog is helpful/needed to set up Phastos attitude going into the final battle.

Several shots with relevant dialog show the broken table. Cutting those is proving to be a problem, either:
- tbe dialog gets replacement shots of listeners in the room (placing the speaker off-screen), or
- I cut far more of the scene.

What do you think of the scene? Indifferent, like it, hate it?
I found it inoffensive, kind of weak gag but I was more put off by the childish ‘hiding behind the book so Phastos doesn’t see me’ part and the mention of Ikaris being superman just prior to that. I think the dialog is probably too important to the overall narrative to remove completely so it’s either leave it intact or consider replacement shots I imagine.
 
Could you just take away the Ikea line so maybe there's still a silly joke but now the punchline is the table breaking instead of dialogue? I think that would be more successful than removing the whole thing.
 
Here's an option for the table breaking scene:
Ikaris still breaks the table, but now simply because he's an inconsiderate jerk who vents his frustration with no regard for things around him. Combined with showing Ikaris' "big crime" up front, it helps cement Ikaris as a thoroughly unlikable fellow.
There's no Vibranium reference, no Ikea joke.

 
Nice! Someone made a parody song for Eternals. I'm already replacing the music over the credits with other songs, so I don't have space to incorporate this into the edit. That's why I share it here for your pleasure. 😁

 
Video editing is mostly done. Just fine-tuning.

Audio editing still has a ways to go, though the hardest parts are done. Including placing two songs over the end credits (see image).

Exposure and saturation correction I still have to start with. Oh. Joy. ;)
 

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Because this edit is chronological, there's no need to keep all the "Present Day" title cards. But I'm having a hard time cleaning them up. Time to take a deep breath, take a step back, and ask you all for your thoughts!

Which do you prefer?
a) Cut the entire shot, because visible removals are too distracting (though this causes a sizable trim in the Bollywood song).
b) Keep the shots, even if it means the cover-up is visible around the edges (as the image moves).
c) Keep the shots unchanged, because the redundant "present day" is less distracting than visible edges of your Vegas Cookie Cutter work.
d) Ask [recommend Incredible Faneditor here] for help to get the text seamlessly removed.
 

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I did a chronological edit of this myself and had the same question. What I did was cut both scenes to after the title cards were gone. For the Chicago scene it was an easy cut, but the Mumbai scene was more difficult because I didn't want to lose much of the Bollywood song. I was able to overlap the song with the previous scene a good bit and fade in, so that not much of it had to be trimmed. After messing with it for a long while, this was the best solution I could come up with.
 
Small update:

- Video cuts and trims are done. Final runtime is 1h59m. :)

- The two above-mentioned "Present Day" title cards continue to frustrate me because I prefer to keep the shots but also want to remove those blasted title cards. 😖

- Around 100 audio transitions left to do. Not too difficult, just time consuming. Including volume adjustment of the two songs I added over the end credits. Tip: when adding external music, check your volumes through more than one setup. What sounded perfectly balanced on my laptop, was too loud played on my phone (I'm guessing the phone's software dowmixes the surround to stereo in a different way).

- I'm going to try my hand at a trailer (or a teaser).

- I won't finish by May 5th, but it will be sometime in May.
 
I was able to remove the subtitles in Suicide Squad with a mix of AE content aware, and in the cases where the AE trick didn't work well enough, Topaz upscaling allowed me to recrop the shot without the text...

I'd be willing to help if needed!

And yes, it sucks when you think you have a great audio result on one machine, only to find out that it doesn't sound as good on other systems. The pain of the rescore! I feel ya!
 
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