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The Thin Red Line

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Claviusb, Jun 8, 2003.

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  1. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    [Note that I've split this thread off from the Criterion Collection thread-- Claviusb]

    Matt, the first edit of TRL was around 6 hours and had 52 key roles. This was completed in April or May, I believe. I got a call in September from my agent asking if I'd be interested in doing a bunch of portraits for "some war movie." I said "Sure!" I called someone at Fox who told me that the movie was by this guy named Terence Malick called... I finished for him "The Thin Red Line!" He was stupified. "You've heard of this movie?" I told him I'd been waiting 20 years for this movie, I loved Terence Malick's work. He said that was the reaction Fox had gotten from the actors, they had all agreed to take next to nothing to be in this movie.

    I was told that Bill Mechanic (then head of the studio) had asked Malik to cut the picture down to a more reasonable runing length and Malick already had, cutting the film in half. The movie was slightly over 3 hours with 25 major roles left, and the studio was prepping for a Christmas release because Bill Mechanic had seen Pvt. Ryan and then viewed Malick's 3 hour cut and felt TRL was superior in every way. I have a huge amount of respect for Bil Mechanic because he is one of the very few Suits who really loves film (he was once a film professor at University of Michigan), so I was really excited, to say the very least.

    I ended up getting the gig after I submitted portraits of Sean Penn drawn in three different styles for approval by Malick. They were the only drawings I did that Fox didn't return. Malick kept them for himself.

    Knowing what I do about the production, don't count on seeing much more than you already have. :)
     
  2. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Great story, Robert.

    I will need to re-visit this one, as my first experience in the theaters was lackluster.
     
  3. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    Why not? If they've already got the first, six-hour edit in the can, how hard would it be to do a DVD? Or was the six-hour edit unfinished, in terms of music, sound effects, etc.?
     
  4. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    Ron, at 6 hours, I'm sure it was a rough cut. As you correctly note, there would be only a temp track for score, no real sound effects or other audio sweetening, and the image would need to be correctly timed. A lot more work would need to be done. I'd love to see it myself, though!

    Staying on topic, I've been a member of the Criterion forum for quite a while (over a year, I think), but I'm generally a lurker. I find their information ok in a very general way, but personally, I've gleaned more useful info from Amazon.
     
  5. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    Thanks, Clavius. I guess it wouldn't be worth the expense to finish the rough cut just for an expanded DVD issue.

    Perhaps a limited theatrical run followed by a DVD release? A theatrical run of a "director's cut" would get this overlooked movie back in the limelight. I believe THIN RED LINE was hurt the first time round by comparisons to SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, which was more of a traditional, kinetic film (with a near unlimited budget).

    Can you post a couple of your drawings? I'd like to see them.
     
  6. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    Sounds good to me, and agreed: PRIVATE RYAN did crimp THIN RED LINE a bit. Spielberg's film is fine, but THIN RED LINE always seemed to me unfinished; I'd guessed, given the end result, there was quite a bit missing.
    It's not reasonable to expect a 6-hour cut, but certainly there must be enough unreleased footage to make up a solid 2-DVD set. What would be the ultimate coup is to get the director to do a commentary. For inexplicable reasons, Spielberg doesn't like to do this, but I'd sure like to hear what the actors have to say about working with Malick.

    And yes, Robert, if you have any drawings kicking around, it'd be a treat to see 'em. :)
     
  7. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    I'll dig up a few images and post them later, guys!
     
  8. Matt

    Matt New Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Wow, that's amazing Robert. Some guy on the forum, a student at U of Chicago, said Malick paid them a visit, and someone asked about the director's cut to the Thin Red Line. Malick dismissed any notion there was a longer cut, but I guess he may have been less than truthful for political reasons, either that or he didn't want to give the impression that the final version was butchered.

    If there is a longer version somewhere, parts stored somewhere, there's always a chance it'll come out. Maybe not soon, and even then maybe not in a widely available form, but someday. Apocalypse Now Redux, the director's cut of Heaven's Gate...as long as they don't destroy the pieces.
     
  9. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    Matt, understand that in his mind, Terrence Malick may feel he was being completely truthful. His 6 hour cut may have been an assembly of everything he'd shot, but he may well have known that there was much that he was not going to keep. For him, the film that was released was the only real cut. As I'm thinking about it, I know Lucas Haas and Mickey Rourke were cut out and I'm pretty sure Bill Pullman was also one of those who were removed.

    As for something more expansive down the road, it doesn't seem likely. I think Malick gets his idea of DVD extras from Woody Allen. Too bad, because I'd love to see my work included in the bonus material of the DVD.
     
  10. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    All of these images have a story behind them (or two.) First, I'll start with this image of George Clooney that I did... or maybe I shouldn't name the actor and see if you fellas can figure out who it is.... :)
     
  11. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    Jared Leto as Whyte.
     
  12. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    I was pleased with how this one turned out. I purposely made things difficult for myself. The paper I used showed every single pencil line, so if I made a single mis-stroke , I'd have to start from sctratch. The paper was easily stained, so even if I tried to erase, the erasure would show. I had to redo one drawing because of this. Also, I wore animator's gloves to keep from damaging the paper because it was extremely easy to pick up oils from one's hands.
     
  13. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    Ben Chaplin as Bell.
     
  14. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    This guy won the Oscar this year-- this was Adrien Brody's first film, I think. His mom was doing wardrobe on the movie.
     
  15. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    John Cusack. This was a difficult one to get right to *my* satisfaction.
     
  16. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    John C. Reilly. That face is amazing. Talk about a bulldog.
     
  17. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    One of my very favorites. Elias Koteas as Staros. In the book his character was Jewish.
     
  18. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    Finally, my favorite image. Jim Caviezel as Witt. I did this from a very poor color photo copy.
     
  19. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    Excellent work, Robert!:thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    And yes, I'm afraid Malick's gonna pull a Woody on us. A shame, here's a brilliant talent who you'd kill to hear at a lecture discussing his work, yet you know the DVD's gonna have squat for extras. Your drawings would be a fine addition. I don't expect a longer cut; I can settle for the release print, I think most Malick fans would. But some of what was cut out would be nice, even if it amounted to only stills or some bits and pieces. I'm not greedy. Yet the film will continue to be undervalued without some extras and commentary, which it's crying out for.

    ED:cool:
     
  20. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Oh, wow. All are very well done, Robert. That one of "Dale" is soooo intense. It is my favorite, especially being that you couldn't make a single mistake.
     
  21. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    Wonderful work Robert! You are very talented. Thanks for posting these...Each person is captured perfectly! Instant recognition without looking for the names...What other mediums do you work with?
     
  22. Claviusb

    Claviusb A Serious Man Thread Starter

    Sam, thanks! I couldn't really make a mistake on any of the images I've shown here as they all were done on the same paper. Using black colored pencil.

    Thank you, Michael. I've worked in a number of tradional mediums throughout my life (and of course, I also do a lot of digital work these days), I've got so many paintings that I can't frame them all. Doing all of these men for the Thin Red Line was pretty fun to do. Usually, I love to create images of women.
     
  23. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!


    I figured that! How about posting some of those "Women" Drawings...I'd love to see them and I'm sure so would everyone else! Come On...;) :D :thumbsup:
     
  24. Matt

    Matt New Member

    Location:
    Illinois
    Wow, thanks Robert!
     
  25. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    In this forum? Women?:confused: :confused: Who wants to bother with pictures of chicks? We're audiophiles, not voyeurs...for shame, Michael, for shame....:mad: ;)

    ED:cool:
     
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