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Marvel's Eternals: Chronological Cut

Here's the draft cover. Is the back text legible (enough) for you?
Update: starfield is less bright and background at top of front page is consistent.

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Its beautiful!
The stars background might be a tad bright for the text.
Also, did you mean for the tan background on the cover to begin halfway through the last line of text and below?
Its beautiful!
The stars background might be a tad bright for the text.
Also, did you mean for the tan background on the cover to begin halfway through the last line of text and below?
I must be going slightly mad, because I've been thinking all day about making a Short of Eternals (in addition to the Chronological Cut). :devilish:

The short would be the in-universe documentary made by Kingo and his valiant valet Karun. I already made the dvd-cover (see earlier in the thread). These are the scenes I'd use to open and end it:

And during the end credits I'd play the Bollywood dance on the side while the credits scroll by.

This is a downside of leaving the audio editing till the end: it's slow, unforgiving, and the mind wanders. šŸ¤Ŗ
Here's the draft cover. Is the back text legible (enough) for you?
Update: starfield is less bright and background at top of front page is consistent.

The art here is far more beautiful than this movie deserves! :love: lol
I must be going slightly mad, because I've been thinking all day about making a Short of Eternals (in addition to the Chronological Cut). :devilish:

You are already on your way, and I think the source material warrants a try. Although if you have managed to make a fun and exciting long cut, that's all we need!
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Goodbye Pink Floyd. I love your music, but in this fanedit your "Time" no longer fits the story.

The replacement music is taken from the end credits (which have been replaced themselves, so using it only here). Chronological timeline: Mesopotamia before the logo, Babylon after.
Time is one of my favourite songs of all *ahem* time but it felt out of place in the theatrical cut. Glad to see it gone.
Dane interrupted in the museum:
Cut factual errors when Dane says the skull is from a Smilodon which belongs to the extinct Macrodontinii family: in plain English he says the skull is from a sabretooth tiger that belongs to a beetle family (which is NOT extinct). No, no, and no. Unacceptable for a character who is supposed to be a professor at that institution. Solution: Sprite talks over Dane before he says the wrong thing. That seems like her style.

Update: hm, I notice that Dane's voice gets cut off abruptly in this vimeo posting. It doesn't sound unnatural like that when I play the clip in VLC or Vegas. I'll check it and update if needed.
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One step closer to completion:
V1) all video transitions are completed,
V2) the "date" title cards are not yet updated,
V3) exposure and saturation is not yet improved.
A1) all audio transitions are completed,
A2) except for the 2 added deleted scenes, which are not yet in 5.1.

For the purpose of flow, pacing, and transitions, this now qualifies as a final draft. PM me if you'd like to test-drive this Eternals edit. :cool:
For the color corrections and other unfinished items: that'll be my June project. Sorry folks, no May completion. But it'll be worth the wait! ā˜ŗļø

In the mean time, here's a tightened up bit of the battle in Druig's camp. I re-ordered the battle sequence (Ikaris arrives at Druig's location fast enough to be of help). Cut Sersi telling Druig to let his people go (because WHY must he?), cut Druig then telling them to go to the river (because WHY is that safer?). Cut Sersi ineffectively toppling a tree on a Deviant (because we don't need more examples of Sersi being underwhelming in a fight).
"Hello Sprite": 17 seconds cut for pacing. Between Druig using a mind-controlled human to welcome Sprite, and the Eternals sitting together in the meeting hall.
If you don't notice that anything is cut, that's perfect because that was the goal.
The fanediting process for this Eternals edit is proving to be quite different from any other fanedit I've made!

I'd only seen it twice before starting editing but since then I've watched it so many times I feel silly. I've done more run-throughs than for any previous edit, because I've made more changes than ever before. I used to think my Iron Man 2 edit was a thorough overhaul, but Eternals tackles more facets of fanediting simultaneously:
- pacing overall story (macro level, for lack of a better term, with over half an hour cut and story developments altered in timing and content),
- pacing of scenes / between scenes (micro level, with trims of as little as a few seconds within scenes),
- chronological order instead of multiple flashbacks,
- character tweaks (e.g. Sersi is less "I can't do this", Ikaris prevaricates less, Kro doesn't get so talkative, Druig sounds less annoying),
- fix / remove an embarrassing number of errors (e.g. Tenochtitlan is nowhere near the Amazon, see earlier posts in this thread for more),
- color corrections.

Getting the pacing right for both the overall flow (macro) and between scenes (micro), has me re-working many trims. Replace a cutaway shot in one place, restore 3 seconds in another, improve a music transition across multiple short shots to retain the long orchestral build-up that wasn't obvious until I removed it.

All in all, this is turning out to be far more of a learning experience than I'd expected. :cool:
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Another step closer to completion: I finally found a solution (cheat, if you will) for the "present day" title cards.

My first try was to change 4 title cards using Vegas:
- "six days ago North Dakota" into "present day North Dakota",
- add "London" in exterior shot of Natural History Museum (now the first shot of London),
- "present day Mumbai" into "Mumbai", and
- "present day Chicago" into "Chicago".
I didn't like the results. I want to keep those shots that the title cards are in, so I do not consider cutting them (even though that would be the easiest solution, and then I simply overlay the desired titles in the subsequent shots).

Then I asked @Wakeupkeo if he solved it smoothly for his Eternals edit, and could I use his shot(s)? They generously shared their clips (thank you for that!), but I still wasn't entirely happy.

My third approach was to try the same using Photoshop. *Much* slower, obviously, and I still didn't love the result. Now what?

My fourth try finally yielded a clean result: I realized I could do a cheat. Ha! This being a chronological cut, North Dakota comes first. I simply retain the original title card "six days ago North Dakota". Next comes London, with a new title card because I cut the shot with the original one, which now reads "two days ago London". Third is Mumbai, which keeps its original text "present day Mumbai". Fourth is Chicago, which is the only one that needs the cleanup to remove "present day" (it's the easiest to clean because the camera moves little and the affected area is mostly grass).

In short: instead of going "present day" in Dakota and only place names after that, we go "6 days ago" in Dakota, then count down to "2 days ago" in London, then "present day" in Mumbai when we meet Kingo and Karun, and only place names after that. It's a bit of a cheat because it's not necessary to include those dates, but it allows me to keep the uncropped shots in place.

And now, back to color adjusting (that's the final item on my to-do list).
Color correction is almost done. I've gone back and forth a bunch of times to get a balance that improves clarity and colorfulness without making the image too bright or over-saturated. Some scenes are untouched, others have subtle saturation adjustments that shouldn't be obvious, a few scenes are brighter (with slightly punched up saturation too).

My main lighting gripe was the darkness during the Amazon fight. That's improved now. Here's a comparison when Sersi turns a Deviant into a tree. (Note: on my laptop the difference is harder to see at maximum brightness, it's clearer when I take the screen's brightness down a notch).

Original frame:

Color and brightness adjusted version:
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I've been toying with the idea to turn Eternals into a (short?) documentary film. This version is Executive Produced by Kingo, with a Screenplay by Sprite, and Cinematography by Karun.

While my Chronological Cut puts all the scenes in a straightforward chronological order (well, duh!), this edit would have even more flashbacks than the original movie:

01 Arishem exposition
02 Domo arrives on Earth in Mesopotamia
03 Marvel logo

04 Mumbai pt1 until Sprite says "Ajak's dead", then insert
05 FLASHBACK South Dakota [find Ajak's body]
06 Mumbai pt2

07 Australia pt1 until Sprite says "We were attacked by a Deviant in London too", then insert
09 Australia pt2

10 Amazon pt1 until Druig says "It's the last place we all lived together", then insert
11 FLASHBACK Tenochtitlan
12 Amazon pt2

13 Chicago pt1
14 insert FLASHBACK Hiroshima
15 Chicago pt2

16 Babylon AD pt1 until Kingo walks out, then insert
17 DELETED SCENE Sprite talks about Babylon until "If we ever had any real home on this planet, that was it", then insert
18 FLASHBACK Babylon BC, then
19 FLASHBACK Gupta empire
20 Babylon AD pt2 until Ikaris says "I had to", then insert
21 FLASHBACK South Dakota [kill Ajak]

22 Domo > final battle > credits

Timesaver: Overlay exposition from static scenes (e.g. Sersi and Dane at the beautiful laundrette, Sprite and Dane's deleted scene in the museum) as voice-overs in other scenes. I'm not usually a fan of voice-overs but in this instance I think it can work to add a documentary feel to the movie, especially because it allows me to use Sprite's monologue from the Eternals AR Experience:

I'll experiment some more. If I can get it to make sense, I'll make this second Eternals edit. :)
A joyous update: Eternals, The Chronological Cut is finished. After a final run-through I found (and removed) one loose frame, and at the request of my 11-year-old I restored the joke that "You know that your babysitting privileges are completely revoked, right".

A disappointing update: watching that final run-through made me realize that, at 1h58m, it's so dense with information that there is no way I can make a short documentary version of the film that still feels satisfying. Even with exposition voice-overs fom Sprite as a time-saving device, it would end up feeling like you're watching an expanded trailer more so than a short movie.
The right way would be to turn Eternals into a mini-series. Six 30-minute episodes, with Sprite narrating each opening, which focuses on 2 heroes per episode and brings everything together in the final one. But we'd need Marvel to release more deleted scenes to enable fleshing it out, which they haven't done yet / may never do.

Last item on the list: improve my trailer.
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