Author’s fanedit version of “the phone call” scene from Valkyrie (2008). Original clip available courtesy of “Movieclips” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k9bFzgXeXE.
Brevity is the soul of wit.
William Shakespeare’s Hamlet
Remarkably, few film sub-genres are such reliable earners across time, across demographics, and perhaps most telling of all, across film production teams like the Internal Nazi Fratricide sub-genre is. (I’ve actually thought for some time that some type of sociological research study could be done, and that it might shed some light into why that is.)
Valkyrie (2008) is undoubtedly one of the highest quality films in this sub-genre. Yet, another “fanedit” seems to be in order, and I believe this one, as well, wades into the objective-improvement zone.
If you haven’t seen it, Valkyrie depicts a plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, and ultimately there is mass confusion as to whether the assassination succeeded or failed. This causes alliances to whipsaw, intrigues and suspicions to pile up, wholesale misinformation, and all of this leads up to “the phone call” scene.
Above you have my (objective?)-improvement fanedit. Assuming I understand that scene right, the idea is kind of like the Devil has come back from the dead – and that naturally portends to upend everything. (Hitler’s voice on the other end of line is the first time the viewer and the film’s relevant characters learns of his survival. He was presumed dead and his loyalists were being jailed, with executions or worse likely looming.)
And yet the original release (right down below for comparison) includes a whole lot of perfunctory, pedestrian details that bog the scene down with unnecessary information, and distract viewers from its intended purpose and true value.
Original clip courtesy of “Movieclips” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7k9bFzgXeXE.
1. Do we really need multiple “hello” greetings from one side of the phone line?
2. Did we really need multiple reiterations of how prisoners are to be captured, in this particular scene? (Which, again, steals attention away from the true value of the scene.)
3. Perhaps most ludicrous of all is seeing exactly how a Nazi soldier would exit from a standard room – first opening the door, and then closing it behind him.
On a side note, to make this simple fanedit I tried out the freeware version of Lightworks – a video editing application that many people recommend. My impression of Lightworks is that the paid version must be incredibly better than the free version – otherwise I don’t understand the level of acclaim.
To spice up the phone call audio (trying to harken back to the age of lower-quality audio), I used Audacity and the “Walkie Talkie” distortion effect. However, instead of applying that built-in effect once, I lowered the effect level, and then reapplied it several times in succession.
In closing, I’ve seen this type of issue in lots of different media content, and also outside of media. For something that’s run-of-the-mill, it doesn’t typically matter if the details are somewhat formulaic. However, for something that’s supposed to be supercharged with a distinct, higher level of interest, there really ought to be an acute attention to what details are present, how those details are presented, and what the overall effect is.