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As a fan who’s spent the last 13 years of his life adoring the ALIEN films and the various media that’s branched from them, and as a member of YUTANI, I’ve been wanting to do something to give back to the community that’s provided me with so much enjoyment over the last few years. I’m super excited about these projects and have spent dozens of hours working to make them absolutely perfect. Please enjoy this in-depth process review of my editing projects.
Prometheus was an instant favorite for me the second I walked out of the theater on June 8th, 2012. I was blown away by the story, the breathtaking cinematography, and most of all by the addition of the Engineers into the Alien Franchise. The cherry on top was Prometheus being the first time I was able to see an Alien film in the theater. When late 2012 rolled around and we finally got the home release, I was completely blow away (again) by the vast amount of special features packed into only two discs. They were endless! We got a documentary of the making of Prometheus that was over and hour and a half longer than the actual film, over 15 deleted scenes, plus tons more to watch and look at!
I really enjoyed some of these deleted scenes, especially the one of Millburn finding the small flatworm creature in the mud, the one of Captain Janek visiting Vickers after she killed Holloway, and the one of the ax fight between Shaw and the Engineer towards the end. These scenes not only fleshed out characters a bit more, but they also provided reasoning for some of the characters’ actions made throughout the film. The viral ad videos that were a part of the extensive marketing campaign Prometheus ran before its release were also included in the home release.
I was curious for a long time to know what Prometheus would be like if all of this new footage could be reintroduced into the original film in an organic way. This eventually led me to wanting to put my own cut together. But with most of the deleted scenes essentially being just too rough to put back in the film without them being noticeable and jarring, what I wanted to achieve wasn’t possible on my own. The visual effects weren’t finished and the audio was off – there was no way I could re-add these scenes into the film without watching them on screen and immediately be taken out of what I was watching. I certainly don’t have the capabilities of finishing visual effects.
After digging around on the internet at the beginning of 2017 for a while, I came across something called Prometheus (Workprint Edition) which had a release in 2012 by a fan named Jimmy Delaroja. This specific fan edit caught my eye after I found its trailer on YouTube, which got me hyped. After downloading the 720p version of Jimmy’s fan edit, I was in shock. The special effects in the deleted scenes that weren’t finished before, were finished! They looked real and they looked professional!
Original Deleted Scene from the Blu-Ray:
Jimmy’s reworked deleted scene with finished VFX:
Original Deleted Scene from the Blu-Ray:
Jimmy’s reworked deleted scene with finished VFX:
And he also had completely new scenes! These were brilliant!
At first glance of this new fan edit, I thought I had my definitive cut and figured this was the only version of Prometheus I’d ever need. Unfortunately, after watching it all the way though, I ultimately had some issues with his Workprint because, well… It was a Workprint. Meaning it had every single piece of footage filmed for Prometheus that Jimmy could plausibly add into it. From the deleted scenes I enjoyed, to behind the scenes shots and scenes in the trailers that didn’t make the final cut – he added them all. I applaud Jimmy’s effort to go through all of this. According to his trailer, he worked on his Workprint Edition for over a year which is an insane undertaking. All of the scenes he added were placed where they were most likely meant to be in the film, but no matter what amount of work was put in, the really short and incomplete scenes just didn’t feel natural. There were also places in his version where I found the editing of the audio and visuals just weren’t what they could’ve been.
I longed for something more streamlined. I wanted something that didn’t take me out of the film watching experience. I wanted the perfect, seamless version of Prometheus that contained the beautifully re-worked deleted scenes that Jimmy created. So, I did just that. I used everything that was spectacular about Jimmy’s work and edited all of it into something I deemed to be the definitive version of the film – Prometheus (2017 Workprint Edition). I finished it in May of 2017 in time for Alien: Covenant’s theatrical release on May 19th, 2017 and I lived happily with that version of the film for several months and shared it with many people – Jimmy even gave surprise positive feedback on it over at the AVP Galaxy forums!
When Alien: Covenant hit theaters, I went into the film incredibly high expectations (don’t do that!). While I found the lack of some things in the film to be incredibly frustrating, namely the write-offs of the Engineers and Elizabeth Shaw, I mostly enjoyed it. Since the day Covenant hit home release, I immediately wanted to make a new version of it with all the deleted scenes and bonus footage we got from the Blu-Ray and various ads/virals that were provided during its marketing campaign. We once again got loads of brilliant special features on the Blu-Ray.
The viral video ’Advent’ provided an in-depth analysis of the Accelerant, the Morph species, the Engineers, and what happened to Shaw which was all shot from the 1st person perspective of David. The ‘Phobos’ viral video was a super neat and creepy look into how Weyland-Yutani hires its employees for deep space colonization. ‘The Crossing’ prologue was beautifully done and I wish it had been in the film from the start. There were several viral marketing videos that didn’t make it onto the Blu-Ray, which include the crew’s transmissions back to Earth, the #MeetWalter viral, the “She Won’t Go Quietly” viral, and the Audi Lunar Quattro viral, but we’re released through Twentieth Century Fox’s YouTube instead.
First and foremost, while working on the extended edition of Covenant, I learned that adding most of the deleted scenes and bonus footage that were part of the home release wasn’t nearly as challenging as what I dealt with while working on my first cut of Prometheus. All of the deleted scenes from Covenant already felt very polished and I did very little, if any, work to them or their audio. These deleted scenes were very likely taken out of the film close to release to keep the run-time down to around 2 hours. In the end, I easily placed the scenes where they should be, or where I think they maybe fit better, within the original film.
I added every single piece of video media I could that was part of Alien: Covenant, and I think the final product that comes in at a hearty 2 hours and 40 minutes is an incredible journey in space horror from the original run time of 2 hours and 2 minutes. Everything in the edit, which I affectionately call ‘Alien: Covenant (Chaos Edition)’, feels natural. My goal with the Chaos Edition is seamlessness and I honestly feel I accomplished that to a T.
I don’t believe that anything in Covenant is inherently bad enough to take out, so I left everything that was already in it, in. I’ve seen a few fan edits try to take out large portions of the original film and I just don’t believe it works. I’m like, “I know something is supposed to happen here, and it’s not happening, but it’s supposed to be” and then I go on a self-inflicted tangential argument with myself about why it was or wasn’t a good idea to remove something integral to the plot.
After spending about two weeks with the Chaos Edition of Covenant in Final Cut Pro, I believed it was perfect and ready to be viewed in all of its 1080p with 5.1 surround glory. Also, because I spent so much intimate time with Covenant, it even knocked ‘Aliens’ down to the 5th spot in my personal ranking of the Alien films, which took me by surprise.
Working on the Chaos Edition of Covenant brought me back to the Workprint Edition of Prometheus I finished in May of 2017. Unfortunately, at the time of creating it, the files I worked from were only 720p with stereo sound. If you currently have that specific Workprint Edition of Prometheus, you may have noticed the file’s details say it’s 1080p but the quality really isn’t all that great. The reason is simple – I was a novice at editing and I exported the finished file at 1080p which I thought would make the quality of the actual video better… Nope! Since then, I’ve learned that isn’t how these things work and if you export a 720p source video at 1080p, it’ll only make the lack of quality larger for you to see!
So, I put out a great, but flawed product. Knowing that, I felt an insatiable urge to change it after working on the Chaos Edition of Covenant so that the quality would match across both fan edits. I reached out to Jimmy again and he was thankfully able to send me his revised 2017 Prometheus Workprint in 1080p – bless his soul. I had to work out the same editing kinks I had with his 2012 Workprint, but after working diligently and quickly, I now have the new and improved, perfectly seamless Prometheus (Chaos Edition) with over 30 minutes of extra scenes in Full HD 1080p with 5.1 surround.
Prometheus (Chaos Edition) includes:
- Added the Elder Engineers speaking to the Sacrificial Engineer. (Deleted Scene with Finished VFX by Jimmy)
- Added the close up of the Accelerant on the Engineer’s brain. (Deleted Scene)
- Reworked title screen. (Addition)
- Added Weyland’s TED Talk. (Marketing Viral with Finished VFX by Jimmy)
- Added Shaw’s transmission to Weyland on his Mars facility. (Marketing Viral with Finished VFX by Jimmy)
- Added extended scenes of David watching Lawrence of Arabia. (Deleted scene with new footage made by Jimmy)
- Added Janek’s Christmas talk with Vickers – I color corrected this scene. (Deleted Scene)
- Millburn says “My fingers are still numb” before introducing himself to Fifield. (Deleted Scene)
- Added “Our First Alien” – Millburn finds a flatworm-like creature in the muddy floor of the Pyramid. (Deleted Scene)
- Added David smiling at the Accelerant atop a vase in the Head Room. (Deleted Scene Shown in Trailers)
- Added “A woman in Africa told me how the world came to be” Post silica storm team briefing – I color corrected this scene. (Deleted Scene)
- Added Millburn and Fifield finding the shed skin from.. something. (Deleted Scene with Finished VFX by Jimmy)
- I placed an audio easter egg that plays throughout the scene where David infects Holloway. (Addition)
- Added the extended dialogue after Holloway sees something in his eye – I color corrected this scene. (Deleted Scene)
- Added ”I know you can hear me, you tin can! Now report!” Back and forth dialogue between Vickers and David before she kills Holloway – I color corrected this scene. (Deleted Scene with Finished VFX by Jimmy)
- Added ”Because you killed a man today” Janek talking to Vickers after she killed Holloway – I color corrected this scene. (Deleted Scene with Finished SFX and VFX by Jimmy)
- Added CGI Xenomorph Fifield’s Attack on the Prometheus hangar. (Alternate Scene with SFX finished by Jimmy)
- Added Shaw crying and praying at the mirror after finding out Weyland was on the Prometheus. (Deleted Scene Shown in Trailers)
- Added ”A king has his reign” Extended back and forth dialogue between Vickers and Weyland – I color corrected the hell out of this scene. (Deleted Scene)
- Added “And Gods never die” dialogue where, Weyland and co. wake The Last Engineer. (Deleted Scene)
- Added Shaw vs. Engineer vs. Trilobite. (Deleted Scene with Fixed Continuity Errors and Finished VFX by Jimmy)
Post Credits Includes:
- David 8 Viral ad. (Marketing Viral)
- Meeting the Prometheus crew and Earth’s message to space. (Bonus Features Scene)
Alien: Covenant (Chaos Edition) includes:
- Added David telling the story of the Entry of The Gods into Valhalla. (Deleted Intro Scene)
- Added ‘The Crossing’ prologue – edited out David’s narration and added SFX and music. (Marketing Viral)
- Reworked title screen – the ship flying across the screen is now implied to be David and Shaw in the Juggernaut instead of the Covenant.
- Added the ’Phobos’ viral – edited so footage on the monitors from the first Alien film isn’t part of this scene. (Bonus Features Scene)
- Added ’The Last Supper’ prologue – Took out Oram and Karine’s dialogue about Tennessee being a jerk. (Marketing Viral)
- Added Lope’s, Rosey’s, Tennessee’s, Oram’s, and Daniels’ transmissions back to Earth – edited so each person’s shoulder camera footage wasn’t included. (Marketing Viral)
- Added Walter in Hydroponics / Walter and MUTHUR converse – I opted for this alternate version of MUTHUR alerting Walter to the Neutrino Burst instead of the theatrical cut’s version. (Deleted and Alternate Scene)
- I placed an audio easter egg that plays throughout the scene of Walter in Hydroponics. (Addition)
- Added the Flashback with Daniels and Jacob – I added this scene intercut with the scene of Daniels initially mourning Jacob’s death instead of where it’s supposed to be later in the film. The reason for this is because if it were kept where it was supposed to be, it would’ve felt like we were lingering too long on Daniels mourning instead of moving on with the plot. (Deleted Scene)
- Added Oram telling Daniels to “Cry It Out” after the team meeting (Deleted Scene)
- Added Walter bringing Daniels cannabis. (Deleted Scene)
- Added Oram’s worry beads scene with Daniels talking to Walter about couples. (Deleted Scene)
- Altered the audio of the scene where Daniels says, “No birds, no animals… nothing” to make her voice louder. (Addition)
- Added Ledward’s fall as he and Karine rush back to the dropship. (Deleted Scene)
- Added the scene where Lope drops a flare into the Juggernaut hanger located in the centre of the Engineer city. (Deleted Scene)
- Cut the lines “There’s so much here that doesn’t make sense” and “I’ll talk to him.. brother to brother” after David’s introduction. (Cut)
- Added the scene where Walter talks to Daniels about David and the city. (Deleted/Alternate Scene)
- Took out the bombing sequence after David quotes Ozymandias. (Cut)
- Added Rosey’s prayer and the Neomorph stalking the halls before Rosey’s death scene. (Deleted Scene)
- Added Walter talking to Daniels and Oram about David. (Deleted Scene)
- Added David offering a Lavender-like deodorizer to Oram on the stairs down to his successes. (Deleted Scene)
- Added the bombing sequence back in after Walter asks David if he was the one who deployed the pathogen. (Addition)
- Added in the first few seconds of the Audi Lunar Quattro viral once MUTHUR comes back online. (Viral Marketing Video)
- Added in the Alien jumping from wall to wall down the red corridor – used Alien: Isolation’s Alien sounds. (Deleted Scene Shown in Trailer)
- Added the ‘Advent’ viral right as Walter’s transmission back to WY ends. (Bonus Features Scene)
- Changed out the end credits music with another song from the OST and a fanmade track. (Cut/Addition)
Post Credits Includes:
- Added the #MeetWalter viral videos. (Marketing Viral)
- Added the “She Won’t Go Quietly” viral. (Marketing Viral)
- Added the entire Audi Lunar Quattro viral. (Marketing Viral)
Overall, I am extremely pleased with how these fan edits have turned out. They are by far my favorite cuts of the films and I hope you’ll agree. It’s been a unique learning experience as some of the edits I made were very tedious, time-consuming, and just downright hard! Even through the small frustrations here and there, I really did get so much enjoyment out of working on them. I hope that when you watch them, you’ll be as in love with them as I am. Availability will be through Google Drive and MEGA.nz. Thank you for the continued support and make sure to check back to Yutani.blog for links to Prometheus (Chaos Edition) and Alien: Covenant (Chaos Edition) in the near future!
– Christopher (CoalescedChaos) @coalescedchaos