I’ve always liked to do movie re-edits. When I was a teenager, I’d make a combined Evil Dead/Army of Darkness or I’d cut the end off a movie if I didn’t like who died. On VHS to another. Discovered the video titling machine in the TV studio at my high school, made some more “professional” titles. I can’t even remember all the things I cut up. Some I do remember and I won’t be sharing. I’m embarrassed; though I’m not sure if the Highlander re-cut or the King of New York one should be causing me more shame.
I mean, it’s the Highlander but still. There’s a pause.
I actually re-cut Highlander years later as a birthday present for someone, a recreation of the theatrical version because I really didn’t want to watch the director’s cut again and we were watching it. The director’s cut has so many backflips. It’s so bad.
But the thrill of re-cutting ran out sometime in college, both because of the technical but also because once I started creative writing… well, creative writing has generative thrills without as much overhead.
I’ve kept up with the basic skills. Back in my Windows teens, I used Premiere. iMovie on my first iMac, obviously. Back and forth between Premiere and iMovie depending on the project. Then just iMovie after a while, as the projects became fewer and farther between. It was always for something special—making a Risky Business director’s cut and such—not just fooling around with the apps. Back when those fake trailers were a thing—The Shining as a family movie and so on—I loved them and had no interest in making any myself.
I haven’t really gotten into fan cuts. Only the attempts at restorations or extensions. I did try a few years ago and wasted my big birthday movie on a godawful Jaws 3-D “fix.” Even if something’s pointless, it can also be a bad idea.
A few years ago I started cutting together little supercuts or whatever they’re called as part of this site’s fifteenth anniversary. The project fell apart for a few reasons. First, the death of a friend—The Stop Button might not seem like it, but it’s got maybe five targeted readers and this friend was literally the oldest of them. Second, technology… aging. My computer was getting older and editing was getting slower. No fun to work on something when you have to wait so long for results. I swear I don’t remember even previews taking so long back in my college second iMac and iMovie days. And, finally, lack of interest; like, I get no one giving a shit about the Kevin Costner Man of Steel video (which will have a sequel soon, just a warning, but great idea) but the French New Wave version of Friday the 13th 4 or 5? That one is awesome. Sure, it’s a thirty minute time commitment but it’s a perfect way to kill off a half bottle of red.
I can’t remember how I got the idea of doing the videos; I was doing audio commentaries of a film a month, the video accompanied the film. They were very specific geek-outs. How do the Selina comes home scenes actually pair in Batman Returns, what does Faculty end like with Simple Minds, look at Jessica Lange just monologue about Deep Throat in King Kong, the music over the silent fight scenes in People That Time Forgot. I knew these subjects were esoteric to say the least so I didn’t do much context or statement on their publication. By much I think I mean any. I also couldn’t determine the right descriptive noun for them; supercuts… suggests you’re looking at how the cuts work, which is definitely a thing, not how the content works in the re-edit. Supercuts summarize inspections (kogonda’s Kubrick stuff), while I was trying to inspect particulars in single works. Also it seems unlikely on a planet of 7.7 billion people anyone’s out there trying to figure out how Kevin Connor directs a fight scene with Doug McClure. It seems like we’d need at least 30 billion before that one interested person’s going to appear. And, as I recall, I had no ideas of projects from Innocent Blood and The Searchers. Then the iMac broke and I was on a MacBook Air, which is not a good video editing solution, not even for three minute videos.
Fast forward four and a half years and I’ve finally gotten some technology refreshes. Can’t do the edits on an iOS device, but Premiere Elements is a thing. I can’t remember how I thought of the “Night Court” opening music on everything. I haven’t watched any “Night Court” in about ten years; I can’t with Markie Post. But during the “Mindhunter” opening credits I think I realized it’d work just as well with the “Night Court” music. So I did a quick edit (in Resolve, a freeware—enough—video editor), uploaded it, forgot about it. It kind of worked but not exactly. To get the “Night Court” music to work, it turns out, you’ve got to follow the “Night Court” titles as far as timing and content. It’s easy with eighties shows, harder with modern stuff. “Picard” was actually easier than “Evil” even though there are more episodes of “Evil.” It occurs to me I should do a “Mandalorian” and “Witcher” before people forget but I might wait for second seasons. I’m not sure. The edits are fun. As long as I remember to turn off the music track; I’m really sick of the “Night Court” theme.
Am I going to do a big ol’ curated post series about the old videos I’ve cut together as I consolidate them on a single service. Eh. I’m really not in the mood to do all the fair use claim forms again so I doubt I’ll move the videos. Posts contextualizing them? Maybe? Seems like a hassle and the fun was in cutting the video, seeing the result. Though such a project would delay the great podcast sorting, which seems even less fun and far more time intensive.
Regardless, I will be posting the “Night Court” riffs, starting with these three.