Picnic at Hanging Rock: Mostly Theatrical Cut

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Brief Synopsis:
Adds back all the scenes from the Theatrical Version that were removed in the Director's Cut, giving the longest version of the film yet.
The masterful 1975 adaptation of “Picnic at Hanging Rock” is remarkably faithful to Joan Lindsay’s beguiling 1967 novel of the same name; nearly all the content is included, which (in my view) unsurprisingly goes to show how stretching the story of the two-hundred odd page book over triple the total runtime in the 2018 TV series diluted its essence. In 1998 however, the director Peter Weir decided to re-edit the film, along a few minor additions he removed seven minutes of odd shots, scene trims and a side-plot, from then-on the original version has not been commercially available in any decent quality.

The aim of this edit was to create my ideal version, placing back all the deleted material (barring insignificant shot length changes) from the Theatrical Version (TV) within the better-quality Director’s Cut (DC) footage at the right places. Some insignificant DC alterations were left alone, all the (very short) added scenes were kept along with a couple of new edits I made to smooth out transitions between the sources.
Additional Notes:
Made a few colour and contrast adjustments to better blend in TV footage but it still stands out, albeit not as badly as before.
Other Sources:
• Second Sight Director’s Cut DVD
• Second Sight Theatrical Cut DVD from the same set, cropped at the sides compared to DC (1.78:1 to 1.66:1), didn’t zoom in to fill the screen as I found additional image area loss more annoying than the pillarboxing.
Release Information:
Editing Details:
25 FPS PAL DVD rips slowed down in VirtualDub to correct cinema speed of 24 FPS for editing, an upshot being that some of the dialogue is a little less chipmunkish!

Exported 1024x576 H265 with stereo sound.
Cuts and Additions:
• Added FanEdit disclaimer and personal plate.
• Replaced opening text plate (spoiling the plot to any new viewers, for all that matters) with a new one using an adaptation of the novel’s famous foreword.
• Reinstated start and end of the scene where Miss Lumley speaks to Sara; restored beginning where pupils exchange Valentines above stairs (cut half a second off beginning to better blend with DC audio), cut to DC footage when it matches, then switched back TV for the extended reaction of Miss Lumley (using TV audio throughout to avoid edits).
o Half-second added back for v2, switched to TV audio earlier in preceding scene (just before girls come into Miranda and Sara’s room), requiring a little cutting and pasting around a blip on the track.
• Reinstated extended scene around table, feels better to me, less hurried.
• Did not reinstate the additional TV shot of Michael and his family (4 seconds) or the extended shot of the school carriage arriving (3 seconds), consider both superfluous.
o Reinstated in v2 for sake of completeness.
• Reinstated short scene of Michael starting to follow the girls after he crosses the stream.
o For v2, switched order of this scene and extra DC shot of Albert from v1, Michael scene is now followed by cut to girls climbing rock as in TV (with camera on tree slightly longer before tilting down).
• Reinstated seven minutes of TV footage including the excised sub-plot and scene inside the church, but used shots of poster with identical DC ones (changed back to TV order).
• DC footage for next nine minutes, including the DC-unique photographer scene.
• Restored TV sequence after Sara’s “last” appearance using TV audio but DC footage where possible, faded out of Mrs Appleyard packing to avoid the a jarring cut to daytime.
• Faded back to DC footage until the end, including the DC-unique shot of Sara’s things being loaded onto a cart and additional lines before “I had a funny dream last night.”

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For starters, I had never seen this movie. After reviewing another Fanedit by ParanoidAndroid, he mentioned he'd been working on this.

So I grabbed the DVD, which I really enjoyed. Gave it a few days and watched the FE and enjoyed it even more!

After the first viewing of the DVD and FE, I decided to watch both side by side to get a real comparison. The longer cut flushes out the story much better IMO, where the DVD left me kind of hanging. I won't get into specifics to avoid spoilers, but the extra footage takes you on a much better, more detailed ride.

From a technical standpoint, it works well overall. I know adding footage for extended edits is tricky, as source materials often don't match. Some of the transitions feel a bit rough because of this though.

Definitely worth checking out. Thanks Paranoid for your hard work and sharing!

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