Blade Runner 2049: Aerodynamik

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Blade Runner 2049: Aerodynamik
Faneditor Name:
Original Movie Title:
Franchise:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2017
Original Running Time:
163
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
150
Time Cut:
13
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
My main problem with 'Blade Runner 2049' was the insanely slow pace of the editing/cutting. Every line had a vast gap after it and every shot lingered for too long, even if nothing whatsoever was happening in the shot and the camera was motionless. I love long movies but when a film is nearly 3-hours, careless and lax editing is a crime. It's like they assembled all the footage and forgot to go through and tighten everything up like a good editor should. So I was interested in making a cut of this film that focused (almost) entirely on improving the pace of the cuts. The same film/experience but edited properly. An experiment in doing a fanedit that doesn't actually remove anything!

Intention:
My intention was to present the same film, with no scenes removed, no shots removed and no lines removed but with the excessively slow pace of the editing fixed. Great pains have been taken to make sure every shot is as long as it needs to be and no longer, even if this is a matter of a few frames. That does not mean I wanted the film to feel fast, I still wanted it to feel slow and considered, but not to the ludicrous extremes of the original cut. So when dramatic pauses are appropriate, they are still there. No new music or additional soundFX have been added.

I also felt Roger Deakins' Cinematography (for which he won an Oscar) was particularly ugly and flat in comparison to Jordan Cronenweth's majestic Cinematography for the '82 original (for which he did not win an Oscar). No amount of re-grading is ever going to make this look as good as the original because the same care, talent and artistry just isn't there. However, I've done my best to maximise contrast, deepen shadows, lighten highlights, tone down some of the hideously aggressive tinting and generally make things more dynamic and varied.

Special Thanks:
Thanks to everyone who gave feedback in the project thread.
Release Information:
Digital
Special Features
- 1920x800 / 11.7gb MKV / AC3 448
Editing Details:
General plan of changes:

- Regraded the film scene-by-scene and shot-by-shot (if needed) to tone down excessive tinting, make blacks black (not grey), make whites white (not grey), lighten up scenes that were impenetrably dark, increase saturation in some scenes, decrease saturation in other places and generally make things look more varied and contrasty.
- Removed overlayed location titles because the '82 film had none and the information isn't really important.
- Made some (hopefully invisible) VisFX tweaks to fix continuity mistakes and combine multiple takes into single shots.
- Reordered some lines and shots, mostly to facilitate removals of dead time but these changes are rare.
Cuts and Additions:
I've made 429 tiny cuts to the length of shots which are far too numerous and small to list but here is a list of other more significant changes:

00.00.00 - TM2YC and FE.org titlecards added.
00.02.18 - Opening sequence rearranged and shortened to more closely approximate the faster pace and intercutting style of the '82 opening e.g. the eye is now in two shots in the middle and we open on a slow fade up timed to the music.
00.02.36 - Removed part of shot that had the opening location title.
00.03.47 - FX tweak to time the spinner door closing with K clicking the thing in his hand.
00.04.59 - Added slow zoom in on the kitchen to make it more of a Sapper POV and to smooth in the cut to Sapper already in motion in the next shot.
00.07.05 - Reordered shots to increase pace and to make the timing of the gun being placed on the table more menacing.
00.10.24 - Tweaked yellow flower in long shot so it's more prominent. Also added slow zoom in on tree and animated spinner window to match new camera move.
00.11.46 - Shortened flying sequence and timed the cuts to the drum beats on the soundtrack.
00.11.52 - Matted the window to adjust the grade separately in order to maintain a consistently grey sky.
00.12.34 - Matted the window to adjust the grade separately in order to maintain a consistently grey sky.
00.13.02 - FX tweak to remove the baseline onscreen title.
00.22.32 - FX tweak to fix continuity error by adding Madam's elbow to the edge of the autopsy table.
00.23.18 - Rearranged a couple of lines to aid the removal of some dead time and to make the conversation flow better.
00.23.45 - Added slow zoom in on K's face to make the shot more impactful.
00.25.12 - FX tweak to combine two halves of this shot so K reacts to Madam quicker.
00.26.09 - Adjusted grade of two shots to fix mis-match of neon lighting colour across the cut.
00.26.29 - FX tweak to remove Wallace onscreen title.
00.27.42 - FX tweak to re-time Luv and what is on her computer screen.
00.31.57 - FX tweak to combine two halves of this shot so Luv reacts quicker to K's comment.
00.43.54 - Added slow zoom onto the carving to make the shot more focused.
00.46.56 - FX tweak to combine three parts of this shot so Madam and K's conversation occurs quicker.
00.48.27 - FX tweak to make the gap between Madam's lines shorter.
00.48.43 - Added slow zoom out to the first 2 seconds of this shot to increase the menace in Madam's stare.
00.49.19 - FX tweak to re-time computer screen readout.
00.49.54 - Added slow zoom to shot of screen to make it feel more like a natural POV from K.
00.53.31 - Several shots in this sequence had to have the windows matted and colour timed differently to maintain a properly graded cockpit but keep the skies grey and overcast.
00.54.36 - Did my best to correct what I believe to be an FX error. Joy's head was partially transparent, so I've made the black of her hair black again to look more solid. It's improved but not fixed.
00.56.18 - Sped up pace of K waking up, this meant I had to carefully re-time each of the heavy bass beats of the music, so the gaps between them were all consistent to the new pace.
01.03.00 - Added slow zoom to make the shot more focused on what K is looking at.
01.04.46 - Added slow zoom to make the shot more focused on what K is looking at.
01.07.11 - Added slow zoom in on horse to make the shot a little more intense.
01.09.12 - FX tweak to combine two halves of this shot to decrease the gap between lines.
01.12.47 - Added slow zooms in on K and Ana's faces to make them a little more intense.
01.13.13 - Cropped shot of K's face tighter to be more focused on his reaction and to maintain consistency with the new earlier zoomed shot.
01.13.37 - Added slow zoom and camera tracking move to focus in much more on K flipping out.
01.18.26 - FX tweak to combine two halves of this shot to decrease the gap between lines.
01.35.26 - Added slow zoom to draw more focus to the dog.
01.42.36 - Added slow zoom in on K's face to make the shot more interesting and intense.
02.16.20 - Brought forward shot of Deckard looking down at the horse to increase pace and drama. FX tweak to re-time movement of K's arm.
02.16.35 - FX tweak to combine two halves of this shot to improve pacing.
02.18.18 - Reordered ending shots to intercut K and the snow, with Ana and the snow, timed to the existing Vangelis music.
02.19.17 - Added slow zoom out and upwards from K's body to give his last shot more finality.
Cover art by TM2YC (DOWNLOAD HERE)
image

Opening Scene

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Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.8(11)
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9.7(11)
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9.7(11)
Narrative
 
9.3(11)
Enjoyment
 
9.5(11)
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10.0
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10.0
Amazing edit that sets out for one simple goal and delivers on that goal perfectly. It truly is amazing that I felt absolutely nothing missing from any scenes throughout the movie and it was able to speed along at a much better pace due to the edits. I found myself enjoying a movie I already love even more, because of the better pacing.

Excellent fanedit and for sure my definitive version of the movie from now on.
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Overall rating
 
8.8
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7.0
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8.0
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9.0
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10.0
Lovely edit. Improves enjoyment of watching by cutting some dragged scenes, without making it feel 'snappy'. Great fine-tuning overall. Personally, I like the dialogue to music volume a bit more balanced. For some dialogue, I had to increase the volume just to turn it down after when the soundtrack blasted my ears.

Still, it's a great improvement over the original.

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Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
The many small changes here are subtly done, the audio and video cuts are seamless. They work wonders by reducing the constant unresolved tension, felt throughout the entire original film, because all the scenes are dragged on, most with no apparent conclusion / reveal at the end.

One of the only reordering of scenes done for the edit, happening just at the ending, worked really well, both in a story and cinematography perspective.

The pièce de résistance here is the change of the color palette. Does it look much better now, yes it does…

Also, the almost invisible fixes (they’re so well done that the viewer sometimes doesn’t catch them) for the few continuity mistakes are technically impressive; as incredible as the quite frequent “fusing of takes into single shot” moments, which streamline dialogue and do so much for the new tighter pacing.

My only minor point is that I’m left wondering if the film could be further improved by trimming the fat, by being more aggressive and removing dialogue / characters. However, considering the author’s stated objective for this version, that purpose has definitely been delivered and then some.

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(Updated: April 21, 2022)
Overall rating
 
9.8
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
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10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Full disclosure. I love the Blade Runner franchise and most everything by Ridley Scott (Legend (1985) is a guilty pleasure). I consider Blade Runner (1982) a masterpiece and I have two (2) fanedits (The Penultimate (TM2YC) and Extended Edition (ADigitalMan)) which are quintessential in my film collection. When I heard that Blade Runner 2049 (2017) was being made I was very interested, to put it mildly, to see the next chapter of the franchise. It is a very good movie, mind you not directed by Scott, but never the less a worthy addition to the lore. If I had a criticism it would be the pacing. As great of a movie that it is, there are points where it feels like it slows, almost to a stop. So I when I saw that an edit had been released which said it was going to fix that very thing I had to to see how brilliant this diamond could become.

After watching I can say, without a doubt, this edit is superior to the theatrical release. As it is stated in the description of the edit, everything in the original release is here but with a runtime 13 minutes shorter. It is also surprising how the trimming of the little bit of fat present improved the pacing so much. It really is a testament to the skill of the editor that he was able to do so much by changing so little.

This edit is my preferred version of 2049 and I would recommend it to anyone who has watched the theatrical release, as well as anyone who has not. I would normally say that you should really watch the director's original vision before watching an edit, but since this edit doesn't remove any story, I think it is safe to say the viewer would get the same vision, just in a slightly faster, but superior, pace.

On back to back days I have watched Blade Runner: The Penultimate Cut and Blade Runner: Aerodynamik, both by TM2YC. Taking two (2) excellent films and making them more than what they were is really a quite a feat and I appreciate the time and effort you took and your generosity in sharing them with the community.

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(Updated: April 23, 2022)
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
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10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
TM2YC turns in another one of my favorite fanedits with this carefully-crafted cut of Blade Runner 2049. A film that many people liked but thought felt overly slow or long, this version with shortened shots does a lot to improve the flow and feel. I think it reveals that part of the issue is actually in the script rather than the direction (as I elaborate on in my review here: https://letterboxd.com/nottheacademy/film/blade-runner-2049/) but I'm not actually sure any edit can change that. Perhaps if you cut out the C-plotline of the revolution and focus instead on "K" and his Pinocchio-esque quest, but I don't know if there's enough conflict in the end then.

What we have here instead is a cut that ups the dramatic tension, though it does leave you feeling a bit disoriented at times. The film lacks any narration and with such a silent protagonist, I think a bit of on-screen text would be subtly helpful to orient a first-time viewer, though seemingly unnecessary for a rewatch. That little quibble aside, I want to point out how well the other subtle changes that TM2YC made work to enhance the story. Even when I read the change-list beforehand, the push-ins and reordered shots were so subtle that I missed most of them, though I was aware of the greater dramatic effect. The wooden horse (broken unicorn?) reveal scene in the factory is particularly tense, as is that Sapper Morton opening.

Overall, this is a great example of what fanedits can be. Too often, we focus on adding or cutting whole scenes or plot lines. Here is an edit which significantly improves the original film, without any extreme alterations. It simply makes the experience more "aerodynamik".

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