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Logan’s Run Music Editing Log

This is page one (for reel one) of the music editing log to Logan’s Run (1976), which was given to us when we produced the expanded edition CD in 2001.

Warner Bros. had these on hand somewhere in their “tech ops” department for movies produced in-house by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer from roughly the 1950s to the 1970s (I forget exactly).

Always a point of confusion, but—we need young Virginia Madsen to explain this in a prologue (sorry, wrong franchise)—the historical M-G-M catalog (they used hyphens) was sold to Turner Entertainment in the 1980s and later acquired by Warner Bros., while the historical United Artists catalog today belongs to the current MGM film studio...which I guess is now Amazon. (I’m glad I don’t have to deal with this stuff anymore.)

Unless you have some experience with film editing in the old days, you’re probably wondering what in tarnation you’re looking at. I’ll try to explain.

On the top, “1929” is the film’s studio production number, I am pretty sure. Then the title, the version “release” (as opposed to preview), and reel no. 1 (out of 14, for this film).

On the next row down, you’ll see the number 35, which means it’s a 35mm mag film machine, playing a six-track mag (Logan’s Run was a big production with six-track stereo). On the first machine, “BM–1,” starting at the 100 mark on the paper, all the way on the left column, “D.D. 2522-8” is the main title music (“The Dome”).

M-G-M’s music score nomenclature was to label the first piece of music recorded as 2501, followed by the take number. So any number you see with “25XX-X” (extending into 2600 and 2700 and beyond for super long scores, and also television shows) means it’s music.

See the 53' and 193' with the downward pointing arrows, in the left-hand column? That means that “The Dome” plays from the 53-foot mark to the 193-foot mark in the roll of film. A roll of film could be up to 1000 feet but usually was shorter than that.

Which means that this is like the Kessel Run in Star Wars, these footage marks are really a measurement of time, not of distance. Twelve feet of film equals eight seconds. So “The Dome” starts at 35.33 seconds into the reel.

After “The Dome” is “The City,” which is electronic...and honestly, as much as I’d like to explain everything on the page, this feels like I’m going back and taking a high school calculus exam. There were a lot of different sound elements in the “city” portions of this film, between the scoring (which was sometimes a hybrid of orchestra and electronics) and sound effects that were created alongside the electronic score. And given that this was a stereo movie, there was a lot of effort to make use of the surround channels.

So it’s kind of a big mess that for the most part didn’t concern the CD production, but it was great to have—and there were lots of times when a the music editing log was useful if not invaluable in putting the CD together.

Specifically, if a film had a lot of unused cues and/or overlays, the music editing log might still have those indicated (just crossed off, “OUT”) and could be used to time how the cues were meant to segue or overlays to line up. Sometimes they also had the “preview” version with deleted scenes and cues, galore. I loved getting a hold of those logs!

Back to Logan’s Run: die-hard fans know that the movie was edited after a preview screening. There was originally a “first runner” chase before the “nursery” bit with Logan and Francis looking at the babies.

As far as I am aware, the music editing log above reflects the edited version. But you can see reconstructed versions of the Logan’s Run deleted scenes on YouTube: a loyal fan got a hold of audio from the preview screening, and put in visuals to match, some of them stills and some of them parts of the cut scenes that were used in a teaser trailer or promotional reel.

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Amer Zahid
Amer Zahid
Oct 10, 2021

This is heavy!

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