As most of you may not know, outside of writing countless articles about Netflix and all it’s greatness I also edit for payment. Mostly I edit casting videos for reality television… but every once and a while I get to edit something I’m really really passionate about. This year I have been fortunate to edit two feature films that are both available! I Am Road Comic (dir. Jordan Brady - friend of the podcast) came out earlier this year and is available on HULU for FREE! The second being a 25 year old film directed by the man who had given me nightmares since I could shit my pants… Clive Barker!
I was given the near impossible task of restoring the second Nightbreed cut called The Cabal Cut which was never released, only to be screened at festivals for people see. Producer Mark Miller and I spent a month and a half getting closer than more college freshman during rush week and unbeknownst to him, I logged the entire adventure.
In honor of the bluray pre-sale release I wanted to release my editor’s journal with a day-to-day journey to the post process of this film.
In this log, you’ll find notes from Clive while cutting, real time reactions, the ups, the downs and a whole lot of dick jokes! Just a warning, this does consist of spoilers, but I tried my best to mark where they were.
July 1, 2014
Today I start my decent into madness… Today I start cutting the Nightbreed director’s cut! What’s Nightbreed you ask? Clive Barker’s Dances With Wolves, but instead they’re monsters not indians. Same thing, right? Currently there are two versions of the film, the theatrical cut and the “Cabal” cut which is two and a half hours long and all the extra footage is from a VHS rip. The original 35mm footage has been lost without a trace.. UNTIL NOW!
I was hired by the incredibly foolish Mark Miller, Vice President at Seraphim Films. Shout Factory! will be releasing a director’s cut of the film with the restored footage. My job is to replace all the VHS footage with the original film then work with Seraphim Films to craft a director’s cut! Super excited. Stoked. Elated. Terrified.
July 2, 2014
The files I have received from Shout! is a restored version of the theatrical cut, two VHS audio tracks, a low-res version of the Cabal cut and about 16 hours of 35mm raw footage. After sync-ing all the footage with the best audio I was given I have begun scrubbing through hours of footage trying to find the right takes that match the only audio source I have. If it doesn’t work… I can’t use it!
A few hours later, I have nothing fully crafted, but the scene that I have found the most footage so far is the live concert footage of the “Johnny Be Angry” song that will most likely not make it to the final film, but I absolutely plan on turing it into a kick-ass bonus feature for the blu-ray. I found a bunch of footage of funny bits and pieces and I also plan on making this classic 90’s style music video… Think Dokken and Nightmare on Elm Street… MC Hammer and Addams Family… This will be amazing… I should get back to work!
End of day: Three scenes are totally remastered and I only have 14 more to go… before I can even get in and craft the two cuts into one AWESOME cut.
July 3, 2014
Five scenes are restored! That’s a huge achievement in my opinion… I’ve sifted through over 14 hours of footage and learned that the priest in the film has a much more interesting story that both cuts for some reason didn’t delve into. I spoke with Mark and told him about what I thought and luckily he agreed… then proceeded to call me a dick licker and hung up the phone. I love working for friends.
I started at 8:30am and told myself I will stop at 9pm… Look at the clock and it’s 9:45. Where did the time go? Oh yeah, into the cut! I DO THIS FOR FILM!
July 7, 2014
This weekend was all about my computer being off! 4th of July! Freedom! Kidding. I edited through the weekend for bits and pieces. Wanted to make sure I had a decent amount to show to Mark when he arrived today.
Not only did I have as much done as I could, he was impressed! Elated! Blown away. He didn’t blow me but he was pleasantly surprised at how much I had done.
We worked today on more footage… Talked about the “Johnny get angry” number and he told me I was wrong for wanting to take it out. Apparently, Clive was thrilled knowing that it was going to be restored…. What’s wrong with me? I’m the fool. Well, not my movie so it’s going in! That was one of the stipulations when I was brought on, they asked me… “who’s movie is this?” I responded, “Clive Fucking Barker’s” to which they replied, “that’s Fuckin’ right!”
So I know whatever he wants goes. Tip to professionalism #1 know your place and stay true to it.
July 8, 2014
This was a glorious day. Mark and I watched from the beginning of the original theatrical cut and then saw what was missing that the cabal cut had inside of it that sucked… because I have to tell you… the cabal cut sucks…
Honest. It’s not as bad as I’m saying but the only thing that I think people got out of it was the fact that it’s chock full of new footage that they haven’t seen… the sound is awful. I’m very fortunate to be able to work with my friends a lot. This is someone I met as a friend liked me and what I did enough to say “HEY… want to change history with me?” That’s kind of an awesome feeling, but don’t check my social media sites because there’s where I do nothing but make fun of Mark.
I’ve started to reconstruct the opening of the film according to the script. Mark told me that Clive is just head over heels for the “Johnny Get Angry” musical number that it’s going to be in the movie. GUESS WHAT it actually makes sense in this cut. Hopefully the rest of this month will be this simple.
July 9, 2014
Fuck, was I wrong… this movie is going to be just as hard as I thought. Yesterday was so nice and simple that I got my hopes up. Today we started cutting up to the Midian battle. There’s a lot of stuff that is great in the Cabal cut scenes that were clearly cut for time. Back in the 90’s… 90 minute movies were standard and now in 2014 the 120-160 minute movie has become what people expect. THIS is definitely not a 90 minute movie. Never should have been.
I’ve been able to see the story, unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a bunch of the footage we need and it’s going to take a fine comb to find these scenes in the HOURS and HOURS of footage that has no form of organization. I hope it doesn’t blow up my flow in editing. If we can get this thing done by the end of the month, I’m nominating myself for an Oscar… I’m creating my own award and nominating myself. “Fastest Editor” It’s not a good title, but it’s a title and an Oscar… so I’m just happy to be nominated.
July 10, 2014
I don’t feel like I’ve gotten a lot accomplished today. Just sifting through old footage trying to find what Mark and I have deemed NEEDED for this film to work the way we want it to. Clive has seen a few scenes and apparently been much more pleasant around his office. That’s kind of awesome to know someone you admire has been positively influenced by something you’ve done.
Also, Clive not only tagged me on instagram, followed me. FUCKING COOL. Get over it.
As you might know, #ScreamFactory quite incredibly located the ORIGINAL FILM FOOTAGE for #Nightbreed! @markalanmiller and @andrewfurtaco are hard at work putting together the edit. @realclivebarker #clivebarker #markalanmiller #andrewfurtado #nightbreeddirectorscut #cultclassic #editingroom
July 11, 2014
My main goal at the end of the day is to make the people I work for happy and make sure they’re assured that I’m the guy for the job. GOD DAMMIT and I the guy for the job! Right now, we’re all feeling pretty good. Pushing through the cut has been so far so good. We’ve been able to get over an hour of the film cut into a functional story and you know what? It’s actually pretty good. Unfortunately, some of the footage from the Cabal Cut is officially missing. I was given 3TBs of footage and that’s still not all of it. The folks over at Shout Factory did an amazing job finding over 30 hours of missing footage and everything that they couldn’t find only fuels my creativity.
July 14, 2014
After taking the weekend off to relax with my loving girlfriend I’m back to the “daily grind”, and by daily grind I mean working on a 25 year old film in my underwear. Mark arrived around 4pm and we started to go over all the missing footage so we’re both on the same page as to what can be done and what we can do. I’ve been avoiding one scene in particular that literally goes nowhere. For those who have seen the CC its when Lori has a vision in her car. The scene has always struck me as out of place… considering she just watched her boyfriend get framed and arrested for murder, then takes a calm stroll to the shops to get some groceries. I’m sure it was in the wrong place in his cut of the film but it slows the film down and feels totally strange. SO GUESS WHAT WE DID?! Something great that we’re going to have to pre-order the blu-ray to find out! Available everywhere this October!
July 15, 2014
I’ve added music to some scenes and tried to mix others to see what kind of music will fit. NOT looking forward to the audio mix, that’s going to take some time and I’m not confident the audio will be done but I am fairly certain that we’ll have a locked cut for Shout to use to get an incredible list of special features for the blu-ray. Not giving you any spoilers, but the run time of the film is looking like the appropriate time this film is calling for. The film was punched in the dick by the 90 minute movie norm back when it was released, so now this film will be able to flourish.
July 16, 2014
We officially have a FULL CUT! This is the 1st cut that we’ll be showing Clive to see what he thinks and if he has ideas. Mark and I have watched the film down twice today just performing a quality check, see pacing, other junk like that. Some scenes are still missing music but that’s because I’m focused on getting this cut done and in Clive’s hands by Monday. The music can wait.
July 17, 2014
I’ve been adding music and combing the footage for little bits I may have missed. Working with Elfman music is kind of a dream come true, but the only thing that stinks is that I feel like I’m killing his babies. But his babies are 25 years old now. So I suppose they’re full grown songs now, they’re living on their own and have little tunes of their own. So I don’t feel bad anymore. Last night I watched the film with my roommate who’s a film lover and has seen both the cabal cut and the theatrical cut. He didn’t think it was bad, actually thought it was pretty entertaining! Even though I passed out during it… I’ve seen it a bunch I know what happens. He didn’t talk throughout the entire film and actually watched the whole way though. I’m pretty glad he had nice things to say about it.
July 18, 2014
Mark is on his way over. We’re now picking and prodding at the film to see what else we can have done by Monday before I export the film and compress it for Clive. I laid a track of music in without mixing it all the way just to get a feeling for how it will sound. Trying to find the right tracks for the tone of the scene without being too jarring for the next scene. A lot of the film has songs already mixed in from the theatrical cut. Big ballers have big dicks. #ForFilm
July 21, 2014
I’m bringing the film over to Clive today for the first time. I’m nervous he’s going to tear it to shreds and hate everything, but the good thing is that if he does feel that way he’s going to be talking to Mark about it, not me!
July 22, 2014
Another Tuesday and another day full of editing. Today Mark and I tackled a few notes that Clive had on the first cut. Oh yea… Did I mention Clive started watching the movie? And loved it!!! See what I saying? Neat huh?
July 25, 2014
Yesterday I was very busy buying a car. I had no clue I’d be there all damn day! The whole time I was there I was going… FUGGGG I wanna get back to Nightbreed director’s cut. So while Mark is at Comiccon I’m going to be working away on some killer notes Clive gave me on the 3rd act. So I’m also posting here since I can do a checklist, but wanted you to see just how incredible Clive’s writing is even when giving notes. It’s like hearing the tapes of Rodney Dangerfield that he’d send to the bands he would play with at big venues. They’re both just so naturally artistic and well spoken… Yes I just compared Clive Barker and Rodney Dangerfield… Suck it.
THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS
These are notes from Mr. Barker himself:
- Regarding Midian: Think of the orcs in Mordor from Lord of the Rings. It’s not an impoverished circumstance. This is a fully functional place. So is Midian! Let’s hear generators. Water dripping. Humming electricity. Fires crackling. Etc. Also, second overall note for later on: Let’s get screams. Roars. Animals in pain. When Midian is burning. Etc. Babies crying. Sobbing mothers.
- He wants trailing ghost shots on the two underwear scenes. You know what you did at the musical number? He doesn’t want it there. He wants it at the drug trip/fire scene in the apartment so that when Boone is watching himself come down the stairs, he leaves ghosts of himself behind as he walks to Lori. The fire should have some of this effect as well. Then, when Lori sees Boone in the curtains before she heads to Midian, he should appear more ghostly. Can we get him to look more opaque there as he stands next to the window?
- He wants a BIG screeching sound for the flying manta ray. (Both appearances. The first being next to the cat woman. The second being when he kills the guy who kills Lylesberg). He says it should be the sound of something massive flying. A huge bird of prey. Flapping wings. A great soaring and whooshing sound.
- The stop motion cat woman doesn’t work where it is. He says the eyeline isn’t right and it’s too calm for what’s happening. Can we drop it into a larger shot? Something seen through a doorway? Perhaps when Lori first enters Midian, we lose the shot of the man whose face is being washed and at the end of that long window tunnel we see the cat woman walking.
- He says he’s not a huge fan of Bone saying “Go get ’em boys” when he unleashes the Berserkers, and says to see how it plays without any line from Boone. If it doesn’t work, just leave it in.
- When the guy is trying to ignite the Berserker with the flamethrower and the flamethrower stops working, we need lots of sound effects to amp up this moment. Click click click of the flame thrower failing to ignite as the guy tests the triger. And him saying ‘shit shit shit’ really play it up. Click shit click click shit shit boom!
- Let’s get some sounds of metal bending when the berserkers push the car. Gear shanks going. Brakes cooking. This care is being tested to its limits. We should hear that in the car’s protests.
- The ground is falling in, right? People keep falling through, yes? That means that the whole place is going to implode. Why doesn’t it sound like it? Let’s get sounds effects of creaking. Breaking. Rumbling. I want it to sound like every step is tenuous.
- For some of the explosions, can we get a digital shake? If the world is rumbling, why isn’t the camera? Which brings me back to the previous note. The world is falling apart. But every time someone falls through a hole in the ground (Lori, then Boone and Decker) everything just sounds like dry dust crumbling. Let’s get tears. Ripping. Boards breaking. Ropes creaking. Steel folding in. A staccato tak tak tak of a large structure giving in and then imploding.
- A the end, when decker dies/falls, let’s cut the music. It there any way we can play this moment out and slow it down? Decker is pure evil. We need to recognize his moment of departure from our world. The music is simply not an exciting cue. I want the fall to mean something. I want us to hang there and feel it. I want to hear his bones break. I want to hear his death sigh in full effect.
- When Boone takes the knife out of his chest after Decker dies, there’s a lot of camera shake (the kind of shaking I’d like to see earlier) but there’s no sound to match the shaking. Can we get some more foreboding rumble there?
- Boon enters Baphomet’s chamber and the sound is all wrong. The lightning should be rumbling, it should be a sharp sting. Tsssss. Tsss tssss!
- The green flicker in Baphomet’s eyes feels a bit too 80s for me. Is there any way we can fudge it and make it feel more organic? Can we flicker it? Something to make it less neon and of its time?
- We here a ‘tak tak tak’ sound when Ashbury appears behind the column as Lori and Boone leave Baphomet’s chamber. That’s the crew. Let’s cover that up. Get the rumblings. Footsteps. Etc.
- Very important. They got the explosion/destruction of Midian all wrong. They just arbitrarily went through places and we see them exploding. Let’s tell a story with these explosions. The sequence should be the sequence we experienced in the film. It’s a journey and these chambers are systematically failing. Here’s the order: It starts in the baptismal chamber. The room with the small statue of Baphomet. From here, the sounds and explosions carry us out to sub corridors. We see the fall of the Midianitms houses. The various. dwelling places. Then the mural room. Then Baphomet’s chamber (getting bigger here) And we climax with the big yellow explosion in the heart of Midian that rises up through the rope bridges to the surface.
- Also, is there a missing shot here? In the theatrical cut, there’s a bit where we see the Nightbreed running from the explosion with the wrapped up pieces of Baphomet. Is that in here? We couldn’t find it.
- Eigerman and Ashbury. Let’s Come in on Eigerman much later. Keep him moving. No stop and go. No stop and go. Just get him to Ashbury already. Then fix the cue where Ashbury turns. The delay is huge.
- He suggests losing Eigerman saying “Take me with you” and just going from Ashbury saying “Burn them all away,” straight to grabbing Eigerman’s throat and killing him. If it doesn’t work, though, leave it as is.
- When Ashbury kills Eigerman, he wants to hear the bones in Eigerman’s neck breaking. Let’s get some serious damage here.
- The establishing shot of the barn, and leading into the barn let’s get some rural sounds. Start on the establishing shot with a dog barking. Night wind howling. Crickets chirping. Really ambient stuff here.
- If you feel Babette doesn’t work, even with the voiceover, try losing her completely and see how it plays.
- Lose the mural. Just fade to black over Lori and Boone. Hold for a beat. Then fade in a note from Clive over the blackness: My love and thanks to Mark Miller and all those who have made this happy reunion possible. - Clive Barker
- Fade that out. Then fade in and run credits over the mural which should play out in slow motion over the ‘la la la’ song that’s already there. Then fade that out when the shot ends and we just get into credits.
- At the very end, let’s go into Johnny get angry instead of the country song at the end end credits.
July 28, 2014
We’re rounding 3rd base on this cut. My deadline for a locked cut is the 1st and I’m just really glad theirs 31 days in July. Mark and I have a pretty incredible cut but I’m still tweaking from Clive’s notes as well as Marks recent notes. I really like how Clive thinks, sometimes because it’s just an incredible thought and others because of what he thinks can be done. For example, there’s a scene that is a complete single shot but he wants a line taken from the middle of it from a character who is looking at the camera. But I’m extremely pleased with the fact that I’ve been able to bring to life a version that a filmmaker I’ve grown up admiring can be proud of. By the way, I know it seems like all I do is stroke the dicks of people on this project but that’s only because you’re reading these entries back to back SO GET OVER IT! I’ve continued adding bits and pieces of sound design that has really enhanced some of the new scenes. It’s really taking shape.
July 30, 2014
Brian Collins of Horror Movie A Day is currently taking a look at the film right next to me. So to add to the diary while also learning stuff and not jerking the film off constantly. This’ll be the second person I’ve shown a work print to and this one is important to us because he’s a big enough dude in the horror community to where his thumbs up for this film will give us some serious clout.
August 1, 2014
We’re officially in overtime. The movie is locked (which is a miracle) but we’re working now on COLOR CORRECTION and AUDIO MIXING I was forwarded to a great sound mixer and also have a meeting with Fotokem soon. We’ll be getting it color timed in no time. Get it?
August 4, 2014
While in the color timing session we noticed that some of the footage that I thought was my computer catching up actually wasn’t. Some of the footage was missing frames and NOW I’m terrified that we’re going to be even later on delivery.
August 6, 2014
Sound is done, the footage was resunc and I inserted it into the movie. LOOKS INCREDIBLE. Today I had the incredible pleasure of recording a commentary with Mr. Clive Barker himself! This is my first time actually meeting him in person and not talking through emails. He’s just as cool as you think the creator of Hellraiser would be. I could tell that this will not only mean a lot to the fans of the original film but the filmmaker whose dream was destroyed over 25 years ago… and we made his dream come true. It actually made everything worth it. Clive has given me a painting that he decided was made for me after spending time with me and seeing how I am. He called me “sublimely stupid” but in a good way… apparently the way I unconsciously alternate between using the words film, flick and movie intrigued him… confused him… and aroused him. OK, maybe not the last one. Either way you’re talking to a man who has a Clive Barker original on my wall.
Friday night with the Barker painting. View on Instagram
It’s hard to believe that this happened! That’s all I wrote and I didn’t want to add any more. From this moment on in the diary, we finished the color correction and got the film into the hands of Shout Factory! by the 18th. The time between the 6th and 18th was mostly waiting and anxious phone calls with Mark as well as Fotokem.
I became incredibly invested in this film and look forward to hearing what people think. I’ve been fortunate to go on a few panels, podcasts and many drunk conversations. I plan on doing more and want to welcome you all who read this to contact me with any questions you may have.
Lastly, SHOUT! didn’t end up using my music video and I’d rather it not go to waste. It was originally an idea by my friend Sam Randazzo and I absolutely did it. The plan was to make a music video that would have played on MTV in 1990 when the film was released. I cut it with everything in the 1990s music video playbook. Please enjoy! Share if you care.
People were asking for a list of the changes in the film, I went through and noted the noticeable changes… and some not so noticeable. (You are going to have to pardon spelling, these were for me and I spell like it sounds)
5:21-6:29- Boone and Decker 8:25-9:33- Boone Garage 11:55-16:08- Dream Weavller-Shower-Concert 16:57-17:07- Flashes of Monsters and Boone 24:30-24:50- Boone in Graveyard 27:00-27:11- Man Drumming 32:43-33:26 Boone jumps out-lori sees ghost 34:40-34:43- Exterior of Bar 36:00-37:38 Laurelanne and Lori in bar 45:00-47:50 Colortime please 50:28 New shot 52:07-52:19 “was that a nice thing for a doctor to do” 53:11-53:53 Boone and Bradley- Bafamay 1:00:24-1:01:04 Lori looking for Boone 1:01:52-1:02:25- Lori walks through midian 1:11:30- Colortime Shots of Deker in Car 1:13:53- 1:13:58 Lori runs to car 1:16:11-1:17:33 Press conference 1:18:02-1:18:40 Cops at graveyard 1:21:02-1:22:55 SONS OF THE FREE 1:23:41 shot of smoke 1:24:40-1:25:13 Prison Cell 1:26:36-1:27:32 Graveyard slap 1:30:11- :13 new shot 1:30:22-1:31:01 Boone Speech 1:31:20-1:33:28 War Stuff 1:34:42-1:34:55 take me with you 1:36:02- 1:36:08 Shots 1:38:26 New berserker 1:41:13-1:41:30 Narcise death head 1:43:55-1:46:11 All new tabernacle scene 1:47:43-1:53:59 All new Ending 1:54:01-1:54:58 New Creits
ADJUSTED SCENES 29:15:29:20- He’s Got a gun! 30:40-30:50- Song in background 39:26-41:17 Bradley Voice 45:00-47:50 Bradley Voice 50:40-51:17 Bradley Voice 1:03:40 adjusted scene 1:05:03-1:06:01 Moved scene 1:14:50-1:15:11- Flipped Image 1:25:52-1:26:35- Car ride to midian 1:27:33-1:28:30 driving and deker stabbing 1:36:28-1:37:04 FX shot added and bradley voice 1:37:40- shortened 1:42:50-1:43:00 Audio changed 1:38:40 shortened 1:46:12-1:47:25 priest gets burned and everything goes down 1:58:23-2:30:00 new credit song