no master copy of ambersons in florida. wise met welles here with one copy, they did welles voice over at fleischer's animation studio, then wise flew back with it.
for many years i had hoped a copy would turn up in brazil. bogdanovich asked richard wilson about this, and wilson said not likely. every copy they received, after viewing and taking notes, according to legalities, had to be taken outside, torched, and witnessed. and this is what they did.
it's all very sad.
recently i saw A STAR IS BORN reconstruction, and i thought it was a valiant, but terribly failed effort. this ambersons thing is working out much better than that.
this project has been consuming. the most radical editing that i had to do was in the opening, the rest, so far, has been recreating scenes that don't exist, and rearanging footage. the opening, from when the horse drawn streetcar exits frame, to when eugene arrives at the mansion, i had to do a lot of work on. i heard that opening monologue so many times, and every time it becomes more poignant, and just made me feel more determined to keep going with it, even though the possibilities of getting this project out are small.
most of the restoration is being done in adobe premiere. then i got adobe after effects because premiere is more for editing. well, after effects i just realised a few days ago is not the perfect software for what i'm doing, it's great, and is aabsulutely needed for some parts. so i got lightwave, which is a bitching, 3D modeling program. is anybody familiar with lightwave? or after effects for that matter.
i have mastered premiere through video tutorials, now i'm searching for video tutorials for after effects, and lightwave. once i master those, if i get a reverb, i can master the world.
mteal is doing an excellent job doing the reading. the original idea was to have scrolling text but the reading got overwhelming. he also is incredibly knowledgable and knows everything the ambersons needs to return to welles ambersons. even the music cues he knows where they belong, and at what speed they need to be played. he's also done some incredible editing with 2 vcrs! he sends me that on tape then i use that as a map to recreate it in adobe premiere. (premiere has been the work horse of this project)
last week the major e-mailed me that he's going to try his hand at directing the stable scene, i should have that shortly, then we'll move on to the sleigh ride scene. what was taken out of that is one of the most heart breaking parts of the film.
also the ball restoration has taken on an incredible texture with what we put back in. you have georgie striding around the ball acting like a creep, then we put back in scenes of adults confirming that georgie is a creep, and how he's going to get it. it's incredible how it's coming together. that scene where georgie sees guys at the ball from a club he used to belong to but he's not into that type of thing anymore? right before ball, is the FOTA scene! the narrative is tremendous. all we are trying to do is represent the missing chunks with graphic segments that are not boring to look at, and so far it's developing nicely.