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"The Dark Crystal" (Film Workprint)

Discussion in 'Fantasy Worlds' started by John Kotila, Dec 18, 2014.

  1. John Kotila

    John Kotila Member

    Has anyone watched the complete Workprint of “The Dark Crystal”? -the black & white poor quality version- Aughra not voiced by Frank Oz; but by an unknown actress (not Billie Whitelaw).

    It’s been said that the 35mm print of the original version of the Film; no longer exists. The only available copy was the Color VHS workprint tape; from which the deleted scenes found on the LaserDisc and later video releases; were sourced from. But, a black & white VHS tape of the film’s workprint surfaced among fans sometime after the film’s theatrical release. This workprint was originally used by the production team to evaluate the films’ background music (the Score). For some reason a b&w professional-grade VHS tape was used (probably was cheaper). This tape actually contained two full versions of “The Dark Crystal”. One with Trevor Jones’ music score and the other by Vangelis. The version of the workprint that has appeared on the internet is the Trevor Jones score.
    Apparently, fans got together to transfer the films onto another commercial-grade VHS tape; but that tape was only sufficient enough to contain the full Trevor Jones version and just over 10 minutes of the other film version.

    Since, a workprint is an unfinished film. There are some missing elements. This print has no opening titles/credits, some missing special effects,the music score is a bit different on some tracks(but basically the same),the Skeksis speak in their own language(but have some English dialogue),contains some deleted scenes,extended shots,the theatrical version has a few shots that are not present in this workprint,the dialogue is a bit different from the theatrical version, some scenes are missing their scenic glass-matte paintings. Puppeteer Dave Goelz can be seen holding Fizzgig on a stand during an unfinished shot of Aughra & Fizzgig in the Crystal Chamber balcony (balcony matte not yet added),Aughra speaks a few lines of Skeksis (observatory & banquet scene),scene showing Jen swimming beneath the water, urZah the Ritual-Guardian approaches Jen at the pool, film ends with a view: Castle of the Crystal within a geometric crystalline pattern(supposed to be a view within the Crystal itself). Exterior shot of the Castle and landscape (not yet added). No ending credits/ending credits score not complete. No voice-overs by Jen/Kira,image of urSkeks superimposed over Jen/Kira, puppeteer arm control rod visible in superimposure of urSkeks, some dialogue can be heard during the Dreamfasting sequence(not voice-overs by Jen/Kira) including crackling fire.
    One fan who owns a copy the b&w VHS tape converted it to digital format and created a very professional DVD. Including a Menu containing individual Chapters,dialogue Subtitles (including the fantasy languages) and another feature that translates the fantasy language subtitles into their scripted English meanings. A DVD-Rom gallery of Dark Crystal collectibles. The album soundtrack plays during the Menu.
    Recently, I was told that a collector owns a copy of the full color workprint VHS tape (Frank Oz voice of Aughra)- some unfinished scenes in b&w. He was granted special copyright by the JHC to convert it onto DVD for their archives.

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