Picnic At Hanging Rock: Complete Unabridged

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Brief Synopsis:
The main source for this edit is the Director's Cut blu-ray, with all unique footage of the Theatrical Cut put back in, while also retaining the small amount of unique DC footage. The HD DC footage looks fantastic but the SD TC footage looks extremely poor, however, I've attempted to grade it to match and added film grain to try and make it look a bit more like terrible 16mm or 8mm footage, rather than terrible videotape. Not wanting to crop the already blurry TC footage any further, I've elected to letterbox the DC footage to match the 1.66:1 ratio of the TC. The difference is still obvious though.
I've owned the Second Sight 3xDVD set of 'Picnic At Hanging Rock' since it came out but have been put off watching either of the included cuts because the Director's Cut is missing 9-minutes of footage and the Theatrical Cut is a poor videotape transfer. So years later I decided to buy the Second Sight DC blu-ray too and use it as the basis for reconstructing the longer TC in (mostly) HD, using the TC DVD as the reference and source for the missing scenes. Except in the process I discovered that the DC has a small amount of it's own unique footage, so I changed the project into making this a completely uncut hybrid of both official cuts. So the viewer doesn't have to miss out on anything.
Other Sources:
- Picnic at Hanging Rock: Director's Cut (Second Sight Region-B Blu-Ray)
- Picnic at Hanging Rock: Theatrical Cut (Second Sight PAL Region-2 DVD Bonus Disc)
Release Information:
Special Features
- 1.66:1 / 10 GB / 1080p / 24fps / mkv
- Director's Cut Mix 2.0
- Theatrical Cut Mix 2.0
- Custom English Subtitle track
- Chapters
Editing Details:
- Added all unique footage from the Theatrical Cut (TC). Slowed down back to 24fps from PAL speed, graded to match the DC blu-ray and with added film grain.
- Retained all unique footage from the Director's Cut (TC). Letterboxd on the left and right to match the 1.66:1 ratio of the TC DVD.
- 1st audio mix primarily uses the blu-ray, 2nd audio mix primarily uses the DVD (PAL speed-up corrected).
- Custom subtitle track created using 'Subtitle Edit' OCR of the DVD and blu-ray tracks edited together and re-timed.
Cuts and Additions:
00.00.00 - Added fanedit.org & TM2YC titles.
00.02.15 - (Retained 5-frames of Miranda asleep from DC.)
00.06.40 - Added 36-seconds of the girls on the balcony before they come down the stairs from TC.
00.07.52 - Added 4-seconds of Miss Lumley watching Sara walk away from TC.
00.08.13 - Added 22-seconds of the girls sitting down at the table from TC.
00.08.35 - FX fix on very jarring gate-weave on the blu-ray transfer as we cut to the girls exiting a door.
00.13.53 - Added 4-second medium shot of the Fitzhuberts from TC.
00.16.47 - Added 3-seconds of the cart stopping from TC.
00.17.33 - (Retained 1-frame of cake from DC.)
00.25.48 - Added 14-seconds of Michael looking around from TC.
00.26.01 - (Retained 3-second shot of Albert looking around from DC.)
00.26.03 - Added 2-seconds of a tree before the camera pans down from TC.
00.35.17 - (Retained 4-frames of Miss McCraw from DC.)
00.35.26 - (Retained 1-frame of rock from DC.)
00.36.34 - (Retained 1-frame of girl screaming from DC.)
00.53.47 - (Retained 2-frames across an edit from DC.)
01.12.32 - (Retained 2-frames across an edit from DC.)
01.27.59 - Added 6-minutes of scenes featuring Irma, Albert and Michael from TC.
01.34.09 - Reversed the order of the three "missing presumed dead" photos from the blu-ray, to match the TC order.
01.34.20 - Added 1-minute church scene from TC.
01.36.05 - (Retained 33-seconds of photographer and 2-seconds of Sara from DC.)
01.44.36 - Moved 4-second shot of bed forward to match TC.
01.44.51 - Added 43-seconds of Mrs. Appleyard from TC.
01.45.34 - (Retained 12-seconds of Albert and Michael from DC.)
01.48.19 - (Retained 2-frames across an edit from DC.)
01.56.25 - Added 12-second final titlecard from TC, incorporating background grain from the blu-ray.

Director's Cut: 107 minutes
Theatrical Cut: 115 minutes
Complete Unabridged Cut: 116 minutes (not including fanedit titles)
Time Added: 9 minutes
Cover art by TM2YC (DOWNLOAD HERE)

Theatrical Cut Sequence

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One of the less common instances where the director’s cut deletes far more than it adds, it is lovely to see everything from this hypnotic film available together here in HD. The video quality is generally excellent and editing seamless, the scenes exclusive to the theatrical cut standing out due to their poor condition but less so than might be imagined considering the available sources. The only things I can think of that could be feasibly improved is another instance of gate weave at ~0:10:48 (an earlier example being fixed), and a new cut (albeit very similar to one in the theatrical cut) at 1:45:33 feeling a touch sudden and maybe better served with a fade.

I do feel that the cropping of the entire film to 1.66:1 (to match the theatrical cut source) noticeably compromises the framing, e.g. characters’ shoulders are often cut off, though that may have been because I knew to look for it. I personally would not mind switching aspect ratios, believe that the quality differences are sufficient to mark the restored sections for me.

Audio-wise, there is a “squeak” of some sort over the cut at 0:06:40 (which doesn’t sound original to me) and an instance at 0:16:35 where the fade from one source to another stands out, otherwise fine.

Excellent overall, hope someday that the original (and maybe the unused scenes) will someday turn up in decent form and render the quality issues moot, stranger things have happened!

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