Frank Herbert's Dune - The Spence Edit Revised

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Faneditor Name:
Tagline:
The Sleeper Has Awakened
Original Movie Title:
Fanedit Type:
Original Release Date:
2000
Original Running Time:
265
Fanedit Release Date:
Fanedit Running Time:
169
Time Cut:
96
Subtitles Available?
Available in HD?
Brief Synopsis:
Frank Herbert's Dune is a fantastic miniseries adaptation of the original novel, but what would it look like as a feature length film?
Intention:
Cut the 3-part miniseries of Dune into a feature film that makes sense from beginning to end and has a reasonable runtime (under 3 hours). Color correct and crop the footage to make it more cinematic, and use the score from Children of Dune throughout.
Other Sources:
Frank Herbert's Children of Dune
Frank Herbert's Children of Dune OST by Brian Tyler
image
Special Thanks:
ArtisDead
Bionicbob
Stromboli Bones
Release Information:
Digital
Editing Details:
This is a remake of the edit from the ground up with a better HD quality source, new and extended scenes, different color timing, and a 5.1 surround track. This will be the definitive version of my Dune edit, so if you're curious about it, I'd wait for the newer version.

Some changes:
- Additional scenes: New/extended dream sequences for Paul, Yueh and Jessica in the palace, Paul is visited by the Reverend Mother, Paul rides the worm.
- 2:35:1 cropping is further refined, now moving within the same shot to keep the framing correct throughout.
- Further color correction and use of LUT's to make the cinematography more cinematic.
- Further soundtrack replacement/additions from Children of Dune.
- Extended runtime, it will still be under 3 hours. Goal is 2:50-2:55.
Cuts and Additions:
- Crop the footage to 2:35:1 and desaturate the over-bright colors to make it more "cinematic". The film was actually originally shot in 2:1 ratio, so the cropping actually works quite well. Still, ever shot had to be hand cropped.
- Brian Tyler's score from Children of Dune has been incorporated and blended in with Graeme Revell's original score. Both composers are credited.
- New opening credits sequence.
- Princess Irulan's subplot with Feyd is removed. It doesn't really add anything to the story, she's just finding out things we already know.
- Paul is less whiny, less childish. Because this footage is so condensed, I needed to make him a little stronger right off the bat, so we can believe he has grown into the leader he becomes.
- The first act of the movie has been chopped up the most, completely reordered with a large amount of scenes removed.
- The majority of the cutting I did was for pacing and truncating the plot. Though it's still a long film, this length to me feels like the perfect amount of time to tell this story without it feeling hacked to bits.
Trailer

User reviews

11 reviews
 
91%
 
9%
5-7 stars
 
0%
3-5 stars
 
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1-3 stars
 
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Overall rating
 
9.6
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.8(11)
Visual Editing
 
9.9(11)
Audio Editing
 
9.9(11)
Narrative
 
9.5(11)
Enjoyment
 
9.6(11)
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(Updated: February 08, 2022)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
What more can I say than this was brilliant! I've always found this series frustrating to watch with its many problems, but Spence so carefully and cleverly expanded the universe without it feeling choppy or confusing, it worked very well and pulled me even deeper into the rich world.

Spence has created a masterful cinematic adventure that every Dune fan should experience.

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Yes
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Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.5
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
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10.0
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10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
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9.0
What a save - a great edit!
As the best way to watch more of the Dune story than the movies ever touched, the original tv series was still a slog. But Spence saves the day with a digestible Dune story that does great covering the source material without the typical TV padding and fluff.
In general, I am not a fan of the original series, and the Caladan scenes are still so obviously low budget tv, but once we get to Arrakis and past the story already covered in Villeneuve's Part 1 movie, the production quality fit so well for the story, mostly due to the cinematic LUTs that were masterfully implemented here. Technical aspects and narrative pacing are suburb, as always from this great editor!

Definitely the best way to watch the FULL Dune story (or at least the most so far) - highly recommended!

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(Updated: February 20, 2022)
Overall rating
 
10.0
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Frank Herbert’s Dune is a faithful adaptation of the novel, overall. I really enjoyed Spence's original edit of this television miniseries. It has sat next to Spicediver's edit of the 1984 David Lynch film for years.

Spence's revised edit allows the story to breathe by showing (instead of telling) in just a few hours. The edit explores the political, religious, and mystical elements in detail. Paul and Jessica’s journey through the sand dunes of Arrakis, establishes the desert dwelling Fremen culture through detailed scenes of their ritual and customs and gives plenty of necessary screentime to the character of Chani, the Fremen woman whom Paul first meets in his dreams and with whom, falls in love. Everything is told in a cohesive manner.

The color regrade works beautifully. The golds and indigos for Emperor Shaddam IV’s palace and deep reds for House Harkonnen are more vibrant. Also, visually striking is the intense blue glow of Fremen eyes that adds a unique mystical characteristic to these characters and the world they inhabit.

Spence took the time to painstakingly crop each frame to create a more realistic cinema experience. I can't fathom the time and effort required to pull off this endeavor.

Spence used the Children of Dune score which was a stroke of genius. Now present is a greater sense of tension and urgency than was present in the original production. This alone, has the desired effect of causing the viewer to enjoy a cinema type experience and changes the entire ambience.

Overall, Frank Herbert’s Dune was originally a puzzling, at times frustrating effort. It was satisfying to see such a faithful adaptation, yet disheartening to see that the story wasn’t given the proper production that Dune desperately deserved. Spence has created the movie that the miniseries could have been.

I wonder if it was my familiarity with the world of Dune, or if it was Spence's edit overpowering its limitations—the ultimate triumph of storytelling over form, where stories themselves contain the power to enlighten, compel, and transcend their medium and resonate on intellectual, emotional, and spiritual levels that caused Spence's edit to come to life as the best version of Dune.

It’s difficult to put into words, but it’s something that I feel every time I experience a compelling story.

Spence has edited this mini-series in a manner in which the narrative comes to life and displays that timeless power of story to speak to us in ways beyond conventional means we are familiar with and immerse us into a journey through a strange and magical world. I love it! I am honored to be a small part of it!

The best version of Dune! Highly recommended!

User Review

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Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
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Overall rating
 
9.3
Audio/Video Quality
 
10.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
10.0
Narrative
 
9.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Dune 2000 is one I've always found hard to enjoy. What is good about it is the strenght of the story as told in the book, but taken as cinema... it just lays there, in the best of cases. It lacks a grandiose directorial vision beyond going through the motions (say whatever you want about the Lynch version, but you can't deny that it looks and feels majestic), and that's without even taking into account the horrendous CGI, the "exteriors shot in a soundstage" factor, the supremely silly costumes, the uneven pacing, and the wrongness of quite a few of the performances (Paul being the worst offender - from the start I thought the actor would have made a better Feyd).

But along came Spence, and the clips he posted on the forum with his version of certain scenes were a real eye-opener. Somehow, it all now felt way more exciting than I ever expected it to feel. And after watching the full edit, my best hopes were confirmed. While nothing can really be done about the worst visual aspects listed above, the spice of this cut does flow much better than it used to, and even Paul finally feels pretty much like Paul. It's true, though, that as other reviewers have mentioned the edit really finds its legs from the second act on (more due to the source than to the editing), and it is also true that I didn't think all of the changes worked for the best (for example, I think opening on Paul's vision was a better start, cinematically speaking, than doing so on the Reverend Mother Mohiam arriving on Caladan, which is of course the start of the book but is filmed in such a flat way that it lacks the power to hook the viewer from the get-go), but this is now a whole lot closer to how I imagine Dune. And it even manages to feel a bit more grandiose due to the excellently executed reframing to a wider aspect ratio and the color correction. Less obviously TV-ish, fortunately.

Thanks to Spence this sleeper has awakened. This is a clear replacement of the original for me, and will stand proudly on my shelf next to Spicediver's cut of the Lynch film. Highly recommended.
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Overall rating
 
8.9
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
10.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
8.0
Enjoyment
 
9.0
Having struggled through the original full series, I had a hard time mentally preparing to revisit. That said, the ponderous tones that dragged down the original are gone. While the acting was far from stellar to begin with, the trims are meaningful in developing a communion with Paul and Leto, whom I found immersion-breaking many times per episode. The new music additions add to a more soaring tone than the original series allowed for.

The picture quality, especially on a large screen, is far from enjoyable, but surprises in some places. There are some highlights in the palace that reveal TV-quality set design, a nice artifact of the upscaling. The overall pacing of the movie is watchable in one sitting, even with tween children in tow. Well-done, especially given the challenge of the source material.

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