André Holland as Dr. Algernon Edwards, Eric Johnson as Dr. Everett Gallinger and Clive Owen as Dr. John Thackery in The Knick: Season 1

The Knick Notes | Season 1

Here you will find a collection of back-and-forth communications between Cinemax and Oscar®-winning director Steven Soderbergh that took place during post-production of seasons 1 and 2 of Cinemax’s The Knick. These notes provide an unprecedented look at the unique collaborative process that went into the making of The Knick as well as insights into Soderbergh’s decision making for the show.

Click here to checkout “Useless Stats” from Season 1, or here to go to Season 2.


101 CUT A

1–2
As discussed, this is our most radical structural thought in the series: we suggest lifting this sequence and placing it at the end of the episode. We’ve discussed the intended effects (delaying our knowledge of Thackery’s addiction and propelling us into the next episode), and acknowledge that we may be trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist and may be creating others. But let’s revisit the suggestion, after we have all had a night to reflect on its full implications.

SODERBERGH: The primary reason for this note was an interest in saving a “reveal” of Thackery’s addiction to propel us into the 2nd episode, but in point of fact Lucy’s retrieval of Thackery for the Gentile surgery makes that idea unworkable. The real problem, to my mind, was a missing beat between Thackery leaving the hospital and then being rousted by Lucy, exacerbated by the confusion caused by Thackery leaving cocaine behind at the office and then having some on his nightstand at home.

SOLUTION: Cut Thackery pulling cocaine out of his bag and then leaving the office; steal scene of Thackery working late at night at home and flashing back to Christiansen introducing him to cocaine from episode 103 and place it between the two scenes of Lucy checking on Gentile at The Knick. By doing this, we imply that Thackery’s attempt to go without cocaine was instigated by this late night flashback. Snap! Please make check out to CASH!

1–10, 11
Can we tighten here, possibly cutting Nurse Monk up top walking around for prep and beginning with Thackery and Christiansen entering behind Lucy? Can we find trims and cuts to ratchet up the tension as the confidence of surgeons and spectators gives way to anxiety and eventually distress?

SODERBERGH: Trimmed head of scene as suggested. Don’t know how to make the surgery scene and more tense/intense, but I’ll keep looking at it.

1A-13, 1B-13
Can we tighten? Perhaps we can hold back on the reveal of the gun in the drawer and ease up on the score so Christiansen’s act lands as a shock?

SODERBERGH: Done.

1–13
Can we come into the funeral scene a beat later, perhaps on Thackery up at the lectern looking at Christiansen’s casket? Are there trims in the body of the eulogy?

SODERBERGH: Trimmed head of scene.

1–14

Any plans for score on Cornelia and Sister Harriet’s walk outside?

SODERBERGH: Not currently, for reasons of tone. If the music is too light (or in the “things are moving along” vein), it’s out of kilter with the fact we’re leaving a funeral; if it’s too heavy, it’s out of kilter with the dialogue, which is quietly sarcastic.

1-A20
Can we find trims in this boardroom scene?

SODERBERGH: Not really. Already cut 1.5 pages and this is information we need re: The Knick’s status and Algernon.

1–22
Can we cut this first orphanage scene?

SODERBERGH: Done.

1–27

Can we cut Algernon’s, “you envisioned something different, something lighter,” and Thackery’s response, “I did”?

SODERBERGH: Not sure why we would cut that exchange, but I tried it and it resulted in a very awkward transition in the dialogue.

1–29
Can we find trims here? Perhaps cut from Speight’s line, “good looking family…” to “where did you get those patients…”?

SODERBERGH: I like that stuff; it’s good character detail re: Speight’s values.

1–31
Can we trim Bertie’s ministrations here, possibly even start out on Bertie and Cornelia’s conversation in the hallway: “I don’t think she makes it through this week”?

SODERBERGH: Done.

1–33
If we decide to hold back the knowledge of Thackery’s addiction until Lucy finds him and end with Thackery shooting up in the carriage, can we cut Thack dumping the vials into his drawer?

If we don’t make that change, can we make clear that Thackery is deciding not to use here, i.e. see his face? We are aware we may well not have it, but can we cheat his face from somewhere else? Additionally, this scene raises the question of what Thackery’s point is leaving the vials in his office since he has cocaine in his apartment that we later see Lucy shoot him up with.

SODERBERGH: See first note.

1–36
The jump cut from day to night threw us slightly. Can we can just show the day piece of the scene and cut Lucy’s discovery at night that Gentile is getting sicker?

SODERBERGH: See first note.

1–38
Can we trim Algernon’s reaction to Barrow’s pronouncement?

SODERBERGH: Not sure which reaction you mean.

Given Gentile’s later racist comment, is it peculiar that he is not recoiling at being touched by Algernon?

SODERBERGH: Agreed. I’ve cut Gentile’s comment in this scene.

1–39–1–42
Can we use jump cuts here to advance the urgency? Get Lucy to Thackery’s bedroom quicker? Can we play this whole sequence more frantic and frenetic and get into the act of Lucy shooting Thackery up quicker?

SODERBERGH: Done.

101 MUSIC

Thanks for taking the time to chat this morning. As discussed here are a couple of final music notes for episode 101.

Under the board meeting, perhaps a version of the heartbeat from the final episode board meeting.

SODERBERGH: Tried that, but it’s a little too foreboding considering the content of the meeting, and we don’t want to rob that final scene of its dramatic weight. We’ve also got a completely scored scene immediately following, so scoring the entire boardroom scene isn’t really an option. What I DID do is to put a transitional piece between Cleary getting the phone call and Thackery waiting in the boardroom just to give a sense of going somewhere.

Perhaps rather than thinking of our suggested cue as a “typhoid theme” we can think of it as a “public health theme” which might go under Speight inspecting the tenements or talking to the German slumlord. Also under the Chickering-Cornelia scene regarding the tuberculosis patient.

SODERBERGH: Think I found a piece from later in the show that could work as a typhoid-type theme. Trying it under Speight’s first appearance and at first Hemming house scene.

102 CUT A

2–11–2–20
Can we tighten, pace up? Get into the episode quicker? Looks for trims, particularly in the breakfast scene (2–21)?

More specifically, would it help to find trims if we intercut 2–21 and 2–20 so as to play Cornelia getting dressed juxtaposed against the Robertson family breakfast?

SODERBERGH: Trimmed a little and added some score. Intercutting had the effect of making the dialogue from the breakfast scene hard to hang onto, and it’s important stuff for us to retain.

2–33

Can we look for trims in the earlier part of this surgery scene?

SODERBERGH: Done.

Will there be score here?

SODERBERGH: Not sure. Now that it’s so short, probably not. Also want to lull people into thinking this surgery is somewhat routine so they don’t see the electrocution coming.

2-A35
Can we look for trims and possibly come into the scene later? Perhaps open on Bertie and Lucy as the Demonstration man says, “… the problems you’ve been experiencing”?

SODERBERGH: Done.

3–1
It feels a little early to us to play Algernon setting up his clinic off the conversation with Cornelia. Can we consider pushing it back, possibly to where beats 2–62 and 2–63 are, and maybe move those two beats to the top of episode 103?

SODERBERGH: I agree setting the clinic up is too early here, but I don’t want to change the later structure, so I’ve moved setting up the clinic to immediately after Algernon sees Ida turned away at the outdoor clinic; this way we directly connect the idea with a witnessed event.

2-A36
Can we make a slight trim at the end of Mrs. Hemming tending to her daughter, i.e. before she picks up the pot?

SODERBERGH: Trimmed head of scene.

2–41
Do we need this scene of Cleary and Pouncey collecting the body?

SODERBERGH: Nope. It’s gone.

2–47
Can we come into this scene a bit later? Perhaps prelap Barrow’s, “We’ve had fires, surges…” and then come in on Barrow when he says, “A girl died, Clarence”?

Also, can we cut off Mulkeen’s line at, “That girl’s on your head.” and come back in on Barrow’s, “How much?” and end the scene on Mulkeen’s reaction shot?

SODERBERGH: I trimmed the tail of this scene but kept the body because Mulkeen is going to become an important character next year. And I like the scene.

2–48

Could we possibly tighten, maybe come in on Bertie as he’s standing over Algernon’s shoulder?

SODERBERGH: I like having the head because it’s the first time we see this space. Also, having no head on the scene felt awkward.

2–49
Will we have score under the surgery here?

SODERBERGH: Now that Algernon setting up the clinic precedes it (and has score all over it), I think not.

2–51
Can we find trims in this scene, i.e. perhaps after Barrow enters, Collier’s thug breaks the vase just before Barrow has the chance to speak?

SODERBERGH: This scene is pretty short to begin with; I’m not convinced it needs to be shorter and I like Barrow telling the thug to put the vase down.

2–52
Can we cut out before Barrow’s “I’ll get them! I’ll get them!” Maybe instead lengthen his pause and sigh and then cut out?

SODERBERGH: Tried that. Very awkward. Put score underneath tail of this, which helps with transition.

2–2, 2–3, 2–4, 2–5, 2–6, 2–7
Is there a way to condense this? Can we find trims in Cleary’s following of Harriet and clocking what she is up to?

SODERBERGH: Done. Also moved final scene with Algernon and Ida down so this plays as one sequence with score underneath.

2–61
Can we find trims in this scene in Wadsworth’s office?

SODERBERGH: Trimmed head of first piece and tail of second piece. Added score.

2–62, 2–63
Perhaps move these scenes to Ep 3 per earlier note about moving 3–1 here.

SODERBERGH: See earlier note.

2–68
Is there a way to jump cut into the scene to cut back on Collier’s performance? After Barrow enters the cigar shop, perhaps we can cut right to Bunky’s, “Your weekly is due in two days…”

SODERBERGH: Done.

Can we cut out after Bunky says, “I’ll hold on to that tooth as collateral” and end the scene on Barrow’s anguished face? i.e. let’s cut his, “look on the bright side, at least you know I’ll never kill you…” and the rest of the beats of that scene.

SODERBERGH: Done.

102 CUT C

Notwithstanding the big note we discussed on the call, here are a few detailed notes on the cut.

2–18/21
Why did we lose the intercutting of these scenes? Kind of liked that. Helped the pace of the opening.

SODERBERGH: Total fuckup on our part. Tight checkerboard version is what we want.

2–33
CGI of steam from water on soldering iron?

SODERBERGH: Um…sure, if you want. Charge $$$ to you?

Btw, without being asked, we are now getting out of Sc. 35A very early.

3–1/2
This sequence feels substantially too long. It really slows down the pace of the episode. Can we tighten Algernon’s survey of the basement at all? Can we trim his stirring the paste and jump to him gluing the newspaper on the window?

SODERBERGH: Agreed. Trimmed. Also, trimmed tail of 53A.

2–56
Do we need Cornelia praying? Again slows the pace of the episode and feels both out of the blue for Cornelia and a bit literal. Also, the cut from Algernon at the Negro infirmary to Thackery in his office would be a nice one.

SODERBERGH: Agreed. Done.

2–7/8
Can we trim a bit more of the sequence where Harriet washes the equipment… get to the reveal of Cleary watching sooner?

SODERBERGH: Done.

2–68
Can we cut around Collier fiddling with the pliers a bit. Feels a bit theatrical and diminishes the brutality and realism of the tooth-pulling.

SODERBERGH: I like the amount of time it takes Collier to get Barrow’s mouth open, so I’m not sure which part you think is going on too long.

MORE IMPORTANTLY

I think I’ve addressed the big note, which is a combination of losing material in EP 2 that doesn’t involve Thackery and by ending EP 2 with the first scene from EP 3. Which means EP 3 now opens with Abigail arriving at the Knick which I think is great. Let me know what you think.

102 CUT D

(some notes appear under both 102 CUT D and 103 CUT D, if the note impacts both episodes)

The changes are very effective. Losing material, and advancing the scene from Ep 3, really help Thackery’s impact on the episode.

As we watched the two episodes back to back we had just a few other suggestions, which we thought might further enhance that impact, and also help calibrate the pace and momentum of both episodes, particularly episode 2. Generally speaking the intent of these suggestions is to build to the moment of episode 2 up to the electrocution a bit more deliberately with more personal investment in Thackery, and then keep the momentum of the episode moving more briskly thereafter. We think that these changes would also help Ep 3 as described below.

2–27 Bringing Thackery/Catherine and perhaps Clearly/Pouncey ahead of the surgery
Can we try to move the sequence 2-A40, 2-B40 (which includes Thackery in Christiansen’s office, the flashback to Christiansen showing Thackery the Path Lab, and Catherine & Christiansen in Thackery’s office) up before 2–27 (Nurse Monk turns on the electric lights in the surgical theater)? We would of course have to remove Catherine’s reference to Nurse Monk’s death in her scene with Thackery. However, this might have the effect of galvanizing our attention on Thackery leading into the “electrocution surgery” and would give us a bit more of an emotional investment in him heading to that shocking moment (sorry, bad pun). We might also move Scene 2–1 (Cleary and Pouncey unloading bodies) ahead of the Thackery flashback/Catherine scene, again heightening the build to the electrocution and giving us the dramatic cut from the execution to Cornelia upbraiding Barrow about the faulty electrification.

To be clear, the sequence of scenes would go as follows:

2–25
2–26
2–1
2-A40
2-B40
2–27
2–29
2–33
2-B35
2–35
2-A36
2-C40

SODERBERGH: Great. Done.

2–65 Moving Eleanor’s translation scene to episode three
Can we move scene 2–65 (Eleanor trying to translate the French medical text) to Episode 3 immediately after 3–30 (Algernon performs hernia surgery)? This has 3 potentially positive effects:

1. It juxtaposes Gallinger’s anxiety of Algernon against Algernon’s dramatic actions in the hospital basement.

2. It places the translation scene in closer proximity to Scene 3–48 (Bertie and Gallinger trying to figure out the French diagram), thereby strengthening the story point.

3. It helps the pace of the latter part of Episode 2.

SODERBERGH: Done.

102 CUT E

One last suggestion on episode two and we can lock episodes two and three…

Can we try to move scene 2A–36 (Hemming girl vomits and doctor examines Mr. Hemming suggests they call for an ambulance) just before scene 2–53 (Cornelia visits Mrs. Hemming and daughter)? This move may tie that storyline together a bit better and has the added benefit of creating a juxtaposition of Algernon in the basement against Eleanor and Everett in the lobby. It may also help the flow of both sections.

SODERBERGH: Done.

102 MUSIC

For 102 & 103:

We love almost all of the new cues (with only two areas where we suggest perhaps revisiting the cues*… Most of these notes are suggestions for additional areas where score might help. In total, I imagine that these will seem like more than you will want in the show. But please think of it as a buffet of options that you may or may not want to put on your plate…

102

2–43
Is there anything we can do with music or sound design underneath the scene of Thackery in the men’s ward that culminates with him taking an ax to the electrical box. Perhaps some electrical hum, arcing sounds and pops. And for music, perhaps a light tension sustain thats starts as Thackery starts to insult Algernon, then builds as he grabs the ax and goes out with ax striking box

SODERBERGH: We have great SFX for this and scoring is tough — you don’t want it to become comical because we aren’t making a show that is overtly funny, but if you score it with something serious, the somewhat amusing ending will feel out of sync with the score.

2-A36
 Perhaps we can establish a theme for the typhoid narrative under the Hemming girl vomiting, the doctor suggesting they call an ambulance and/or Cornelia visiting the Hemmings in the hospital, i.e. prelap music under the end of scene where Bunky’s thugs leaning on Barrow, though the girl and dad and out as Cornela opens the door?

SODERBERGH: Agreed. See above (not your ceiling, the previous response). (This refers to response in 101 Music)

2-A62
 *Do we have the right music under the Thackery Lucy scene before they discuss what happened the night before? Perhaps a shift in the cue after the Algernon scene at the Negro Infirmary (once we get to Thack/Lucy) to something a bit more intimate.

SODERBERGH: Methinks we don’t want to tip any sense of intimacy between Lucy and Thackery BEFORE they’ve had the conversation…

2–2,4
Assume we will build the bar/street sound as Cleary drinks and beats guy/though Harriet walking outside.

SODERBERGH: Oh yeah. Buckets o’sound.

2–8
 2–68/2–66 Perhaps a cues that starts when Bunky is saying “open” to Barrow, then takes out his tooth through Algernon beating man in the hallway and connects to the bells/cue under Thackery in the opium den…

SODERBERGH: Well, that would be a cue that runs 2:30 that has to incorporate three different feelings, which would also have the effect of dampening Algernon’s shift from pacifist to fighter. What I DID do was add a cue under the Bunky scene as suggested that ends before the confrontation in the Diggs hallway.

103 CUT A

Sc 1–2, 9, 13, 22 Small thought but could we be more directly on Ping Wu on “Dr Thackery thinks oranges are free here.” Would love to continue to establish Wu and particularly see the look on his face that compels Thackery to leave behind the orange.

SODERBERGH: That’s a great note and I would absolutely do it if I had the coverage (although there is a very big CU of Wu when Thackery puts the orange down and leaves). I promise more CUs of Wu in Season 2!

Can we consider moving the Abigail/Thackery sequence before Barrow/Effie? Though it would necessitate losing the transition from Effie leaving to Abigail entering, Would love to place the audience right in it with Thackery at the top of 103 as these scenes between he and Abigail are exceptionally strong.

SODERBERGH: Good idea. Done.

3–4
Can we cut back on the Effie/Barrow scene substantially? What are the critical beats here? Do we need all of the information about her father? Her plans for the day? The fact he once thought she was a good kisser? Can we do more with silence between them?

Or perhaps we can just start it much later. Perhaps begin with Effie saying: “I wanted to take a few friends to lunch…” or even “You haven’t by chance seen those pearl earrings…”

SODERBERGH: Herman Barrow is the secret weapon of the show. He’s a fascinating character beautifully limned by Jeremy Bobb, and because his double life is so crucial to the show (both this year and next), any interaction with his wife — who has only a single speaking scene in Season 1 — gives us vital information about him. That’s why I am going to resist making any huge cuts in this scene, although I did get out of it early. It’s my job to have the mosaic of the entire show (visually and narratively) in mind whenever I make any decision during prep, on set, or in the editing room, and this, in my opinion, is an instance where a short term gain in moving things along hurts one of our key characters.

3–7,8,10
Just love this scene with Abigail and Thackery.

SODERBERGH: Even better now that it plays early.

Sec 3–11, 12, 13.
Can we consider cutting the coal men’s conversation with Algernon and maybe instead pick up with Algernon walking in to ok Ms. Oden’s stitches? Know we lose information without the scene but wonder if it’s worth further advancing the idea Algernon has things cooking down there right away. Not sure the coal men scene suggests how much Algernon has accomplished.

SODERBERGH: I like it because it shows in a short amount of time that Algernon is thinking about the macro of how the shadow infirmary is going to work and the kind of help he will need. And it’s a very short scene.

3–18
Can we trim this scene? Particularly the head of Barrow dragging the body.

SODERBERGH: Done.

3–22
Can we find trims? Perhaps cut Collier’s lines “Just in the nick for the man from the Knick.” and “Am I forgetting something?” Go from Barrow’s “Aren’t you forgetting something?” To silent reaction from Collier back to Barrow: “The collateral.” And perhaps trim Collier looking for the tooth.

SODERBERGH: Got rid of Collier repeating “Am I forgetting something?”.

3–25
Perhaps begin this scene with Junia’s line: “You save people’s lives.” Then reveal Barrow is with her.

SODERBERGH: I like hearing him boast about his job.

Scene. 3–36
Can we look at potential trims here? Love the idea of keeping Algernon on the move as much as possible as he’s essentially keeping his clinic a secret and needs to evade being found out. Maybe lose “yes” plus the scooping of the suet and just jump to Algernon walking downstairs with breakfast?

SODERBERGH: I made one trim, but it’s very important to know he’s waking up at The Knick every morning.

3–39
Perhaps trim the head of the scene in the Robertson Mansion. Could we cut the quote from the article “Students indulged…”? Also perhaps cut: “They delight in reminding us… bit of a prick.” And have Mrs. Robertson’s reaction, “August!” respond to “…too sweet that the times wont print one weekly.”

Can we also cut some of the air out of the scene as Evaline serves the cream potatoes?

Any other trims in the latter part of this scene?

SODERBERGH: Made a big cut early, let me know if you think it results in an awkward segue. I think we can get away with it.

Scene 3–43
Can we trim the scene? Maybe cut from Harriet’s “let’s get inside for lunch” and pick up with Harriet coming up the steps?

SODERBERGH: Trimmed head a little.

3–60
Perhaps we can trim Algernon’s eye-rolling a bit as he listens to the story about traveling to Delaware.

SODERBERGH: We could if I had other coverage. But I don’t.

3–62
Can we discuss the freeze-frame and forward and backwards technique here? Not against it per se, but wonder if there is enough of the combat.

SODERBERGH: Done. I think. At least it feels more like I feel when I get into a drunken brawl.

3–65
The fake pig parts need some CGI help.

SODERBERGH: Agreed.

103 CUT B

3–10
Just a thought: While the pathos of Abigail’s entreaty is undeniably powerful, might it not be a bit more impactful to have her simply and intimately say, “Please, John…” and omit the more formal “Do it not for what I am but what for what I was.”

SODERBERGH: Done.

3–4 / 14:03–14:16
“You left the apartment so quickly this morning… It’s not much.”

Understand your reasons for playing this scene with only minor trims. Is it possible to cut back on the extended close-up of Effie here and perhaps play the second half of this little speech on the wide shot?

SODERBERGH: Done.

3–4
In the exchange between Effie and Barrow about the maid, can we favor Barrow even a bit more in the cutting?

SODERBERGH: I looked at that and I’m pretty much cutting for each line…to leave her offscreen any more would feel awkward…

3–19
Can we see Barrow riding the carriage without seeing Thackery re-enter the hospital? This seems an artifact of when this was preceded by Thackery at home remembering using cocaine with Christiansen. Now we can play it as if Thackery has been in the hospital the whole time. This would also eliminate the surreal sequence of Thackery entering the front door and immediately exiting the back door.

SODERBERGH: You say “surreal” like that’s a bad thing! But yes, we can lose the Barrow carriage shot.

3–24
The wide shot of Thackery working on the pig’s heart is gorgeous, but does it hold a beat too long?

SODERBERGH: Yes. Trimmed tail and pre-lapped Barrow from next scene.

3–29
Can we trim the tail of this scene after the orderly says, “Have a seat.”

SODERBERGH: Done.

3–43
The wide shot of the kids running around the yard feels like it goes on way too long. Do we even need it? Can we go from Sister Harriet saying, “Come on, my love” to the other wide shot of her, the other nuns, and the children walking up the steps just prior to the close-up of her chat with Cleary?

SODERBERGH: Did something similar which moves things along.

3–46
The last beat of this scene feels like it goes on too long. Can we trim the beat of the nurse feeding the spoon to the girl just after she pours the medicine into the spoon? And then come back to Cornelia’s observation.

SODERBERGH: Tried getting out even earlier, after Thackery tells her he won’t do the operation. Certainly keeps momentum going; let me know what you think.

3–53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58
Score here could really help to ground this sequence. The sting at the end of 3–58 is not quite enough.

SODERBERGH: Maybe I can do something more, but we cannot have score over the scene where Algernon bursts into the operating room and plays what amounts to a semi-comedic beat. I will keep trying stuff before and after that, though.

3-A60, 60, 61, 62, 63, AA65, A65, 65
What do we think about ending the episode with Algernon picking the fight? i.e., time cut from 3-A60 (Thack asks Mrs. Hemming for permission to operate) to 3–62, 63, AA65 (Cornelia goes to check on Cora / Thack is operating on Cora), then 3-A65, 65 (Barrow cuts / burns pigs), then 3–60, 61 (Algernon picks fight / fights). That last image of Algernon feels like the end of an episode.

SODERBERGH: This idea doesn’t NOT work, but I’m not sure it’s good to end two consecutive episodes with Algernon fighting. Also, having Barrow at the furnace with the jar and pig parts as the last scene increases our chances of people making a clear connection with the next time we see him carrying the jar with the remains to the widow at the beginning of EP 4.

103 CUT C

okay, begler’s idea of moving the second half of the barrow/junia scene into ep 5 works like gangbusters. there’s a great cut from barrow in the boardroom to barrow with his head on junia’s chest, and having the phinny proposal here helps in two ways: we’ve seen phinny follow him to the bordello in ep 3 and then we see him again here, which makes him look diligent; and later in ep 5 comes the scene where phinny and barrow take two girls to hunky, which makes them look smart for acting quickly on their idea.

Moving the suction machine stuff from 4 and the bertie/lucy walk and talk from 6 into 5 resulted in some very awkward transitions and also having the bertie/lucy walk and talk prior to him asking her out before the failed pre via case makes for weird emotional chronology.

By moving the barrow/junia stuff into 5 i think we’re at a better length and it feels good story-wise.

103 CUT D

(some notes appear under both 102 CUT D and 103 CUT D, if the note impacts both episodes)

The changes are very effective. Losing material, and advancing the scene from Ep 3, really help Thackery’s impact on the episode.

As we watched the two episodes back to back we had just a few other suggestions, which we thought might further enhance that impact, and also help calibrate the pace and momentum of both episodes, particularly episode 2. Generally speaking the intent of these suggestions is to build to the moment of episode 2 up to the electrocution a bit more deliberately with more personal investment in Thackery, and then keep the momentum of the episode moving more briskly thereafter. We think that these changes would also help Ep 3 as described below.

2–65 Moving Eleanor’s translation scene to episode three
Can we move scene 2–65 (Eleanor trying to translate the French medical text) to Episode 3 immediately after 3–30 (Algernon performs hernia surgery)? This has 3 potentially positive effects:

1. It juxtaposes Gallinger’s anxiety of Algernon against Algernon’s dramatic actions in the hospital basement.

2. It places the translation scene in closer proximity to Scene 3–48 (Bertie and Gallinger trying to figure out the French diagram), thereby strengthening the story point.

3. It helps the pace of the latter part of Episode 2.

SODERBERGH: Done.

3–60,61 / 3-A65,65 Ending episode 3 with the fight
Since we are no longer ending Episode 2 with the fight, can we consider ending Episode 3 with Algernon picking a fight / beating the traveling man? It feels like a more powerful ending, and we think we will still get the connection between Barrow burning the pigs in the penultimate scene in Ep 3 and his delivering the ashes in ep 4.

SODERBERGH: Yes. Done.

103 MUSIC

For 102 & 103:
We love almost all of the new cues (with only two areas where we suggest perhaps revisiting the cues*… Most of these notes are suggestions for additional areas where score might help. In total, I imagine that these will seem like more than you will want in the show. But please think of it as a buffet of options that you may or may not want to put on your plate…

2–65
Perhaps we can weave in some music under the scene between Gallinger and his wife that could transform into the music under the scene of the baby being left at the steps of the orphanage.

SODERBERGH: Put a different cue here that I think helps the transition. It has also been my experience that trying to help can sometimes make things worse. Just one of life’s crushing ironies.

3–39
Under the Robertson’s breakfast scene, can we we reprise some of the music from the opening of 102 which played under the breakfast scene at the Robertson’s home which was intercut with the shoe scene at Algernon’s hotel?

SODERBERGH: Yes and no. We CAN reprise that music, but not if we have it do the exact same thing it did before. The solution is this: put it under Algernon in the previous scene, which will prevent us from having two un-scored mid-tempo dialogue scenes in a row. I believe the word you are searching for right now is either VIOLA! or EUREKA!

3–44,46
 If we can establish a Typhoid theme, can we use it under some of the scenes about Cora Hemming/Typhoid?

Perhaps we could prelap on Cleary after he says “If they only knew” (just the last beat on him) and cover the Corn/Speight conversation (44) or maybe just come in later as doctor says “I’ll have Thac take a look”(46) and play through his examination..

SODERBERGH: Agreed. Now have same cue playing when we meet Speight in EP 1, when we meet the Hemmings in EP 2, and this scene in EP 3.

3–49,50
 Understanding that you want no score under Algenon’s emergency surgery later, is there any possibility of score under the transition from Thackery shooting up to Algernon draining the knee.

SODERBERGH: Stole a cue from EP 5 that works so well you might make pudding in your pants.

104 CUT A

4–2, 3
Can we consider trimming or cutting 4–3 and jump cut from Cleary seeing the kid at the door of the bar to Cleary carrying the bag of rats? Or if that is too drastic, cut early in the transaction, well before panning down to the bag? Would love not to give away the main event before Cleary’s dumps the rats.

SODERBERGH: Yes. Done. How do you feel about having no natural sound here? I like it, obviously, but won’t go to the mattresses over it if everyone hates it.

4–6
Can we trim the end of the beat of the orderlies putting the sheet over Mr. Gatchell and wheeling him out of the patients’ room, and jump cut to them wheeling him around the corner/Barrow with the ashes?

SODERBERGH: Didn’t do that, exactly, but trimmed way down.

4-A15
Not that it really matters but what is it that Christiansen puts in Gallinger’s glass?

SODERBERGH: Cocaine vial. Adjusted head of shot in the hopes it will be more obvious. Massive social media campaign will help clear this up.

4–36
Just making sure there will be CGI enhancement to the corpse when Thackery reaches under the rib cage.

SODERBERGH: What are you thinking here, specifically? Since the patient is dead, there is no blood flow, so I’m not sure what you have in mind.

4–45
Might we suggest ending with 2B-62, Thackery watching Lucy on her bike, to plant their growing relationship more pointedly and to bring the story back to Thackery? So after 4–42, go to 4–43, 44, 45 then 4–46 (Algernon pulling out Vacuum) and then 2-B62. This has the added benefit of tracking the daylight to night a bit better.

SODERBERGH: Good idea. Done.

104 MUSIC

4–2 to 4–5
After Cleary sees the kid, will these scenes have naturalistic sound or will it play mos with music? Will there be additional sound design? Music is great. We like it without naturalistic sound.

SODERBERGH: Here’s a good party trick: in the midst of describing someone how amazing the show is, say that one of your favorite sequences is one in which “Soderbergh removes all diegetic sound”. It never fails to impress.

4–13
Any possibility of a “Typhoid theme/cue?” If so, might be nice here. Not suggesting that we need a cue every time that there is a typhoid scene or that the cue that we use should cover much of any given typhoid see scene, but perhaps some sort of musical vocabulary to accent and to distinguish progress in this story arc.

SODERBERGH: The typhoid theme I’ve been using is a little heavy for this, but I found something to start over the Hemmings exterior that plays over the introductions that I think works nicely. But really, how excited are you about that “diegetic” shit? Awesome.

4–14
Thac Watches Abigail. Does it make sense to start the 4-a15 flashback cue earlier over this scene and let it continue over the flashback?

SODERBERGH: Setting aside the fact that “making sense” is not only subjective but overrated, I have executed this note.

4–15
do we want to reprise the cue from ep 2 where Cleary observes Harriet prep for abortion?

SODERBERGH: The one you roundly (and squarely) criticized as being from a horror film? Absolutely! I put it in right as Cleary makes the turn to call her what she is.

4–20 or 4–22
Robertson Mansion: Might we introduce source piano mx in the back ground in either of these scenes?

SODERBERGH: Buckets o’stuff for this. Prolly Chopin.

4–33;34
Great cue.

SODERBERGH: Agreed. Stole it from EP 9.

105 CUT A

Eliminated scene outside of Barrow arriving with Bunky and the Goon for three reasons: light is obviously not morning light in the wide shots; no information is given here that isn’t provided in the next scene; and more momentum.

5–11/12
Can we cut away from Bunky to Algernon and Thackery a bit earlier as he says “That black bastard better not get too familiar…” His gesticulations are a bit broad and it might be more interesting to see another beat of the Drs working before the threat to hang Algernon from a lamppost lands.

SODERBERGH: Done.

5–19
While we assume that we will ADR this scene so that we do not hear the wind blowing, the dialogue about how muggy it is seems to visually conflict with the breeze that seems to be blowing and the apparent lack of sweat on the characters. Can we change the dialogue here slightly to accommodate the breeze and lack of perspiration? See also note at 5–40.

SODERBERGH: Changed line in ADR to “humid”. Works better.

5–26
Feels like we may milk Barrow’s self-satisfaction with his conquest a wee bit here. Perhaps trim the very last beat of Barrow looking down again at the very end of the scene.

SODERBERGH: Trimmed 32 frames from tail.

5–40
Perhaps cut after the Captain says “Nicaragua.” The lines about the heat and humidity feel forced. The characters don’t appear to be sweating nor is there apparent discomfort.

SODERBERGH: I think we should keep these lines. Since it’s nighttime, I think we can infer that the characters are speaking of the heat in general, and of the days and weeks to come. More importantly, Thackery using Algernon’s quote about the buildings is a huge thing, character-wise.

105 MUSIC

5–18
typhoid theme?

SODERBERGH: Yep. Done.

4-A6
can we look at the score under the boardroom scene in episode 10 and perhaps use a variation of it under this boardroom scene, and perhaps others?

SODERBERGH: Done.

3–34
Sears has a proposal for Barrow. Cue seems overly ominous, also depending on cue you could continue until Cleary speaks on steps.

SODERBERGH: New cue from Cliff is slightly less ominous.

5–32 thru 5–35
Algernon finds out Mom is ill and goes to Mom… Score here?

SODERBERGH: Tried it, but the problem is the tone shift from Algernon relaxing to Cornelia showing up, and then it’s twenty seconds before he enters the room with Evaline and Thackery. We will have distant source music playing in Diggs Hotel scenes, though.

5-A43
Previa case, from Bertie telling Lucy to get Thac, through scrub in and out just as we land in operating room… Score here?

SODERBERGH: Tried it, but I like saving music for the aftermath, otherwise we might tip our hand.

5–47
Did you change the bike riding cue? Miss the tone and quality of what was there before.

SODERBERGH: The new cue here from Cliff is spectacular. Check it out.

106 CUT A

6–17 At 18:38
in the wideshot over the prelap of Mr. Luff asking “who are the new heroes in America?” just before we cut to his seated side medium shot, we see his mouth open, and for a moment I thought he was talking in the wide. Can we trim the tail of the wide before his mouth opens?

SODERBERGH: Done.

And at 18:40 can we ADR his line “Sousa and Joplin” as it sounds like “Susan Joplin”.

SODERBERGH: Sure.

6–27
Can we trim the tail of Cleary receiving the payment? Feels like it goes on a beat too long.

SODERBERGH: Agreed. Getting out right after Cleary’s line.

6–29
Do we need Previa patient being sent. It might be a better cut to go from The Cleary — Harriet seem to Bertie running down the hall.

SODERBERGH: I’m sure that would work, but I like having the sense that what the Knick is up to is known around town, and if we never see the face of the previa patient, I feel like it robs the failure of some emotion…

6–34
Does this is seen feel like it goes on a couple of beats too long? Can we consider ending the scene right after Thackery finishes his swig? (38:59)

SODERBERGH: Getting out right after Thackery’s line about Bertie’s father. Not sure if you meant earlier than that, but I think Thack’s awareness of the father stuff is important…

6–44
This may be too trivial to note, but when Algernon says “we have a re-herniation rate of less than 3%,” it implies that they’ve done dozens of hernia surgeries, which seems a bit far-fetched. Perhaps cut after he says “but with the others the operation has proven incredibly effective.”

SODERBERGH: Good catch. Done.

106 MUSIC

Is there a piece of thematic music that could support the Eleanor/Gallinger/ dead baby material. Perhaps there is something thread of music that could be pulled from the botched self-abortion scene from episode 5?

Sc 6.
As suggested in the general note, is there an opportunity for an additional music cue — perhaps after “you have to fix this” @ 7:26 thru the cutting of the baby?

SODERBERGH: Done.

Sc 20
Again, can we support this musically, as mentioned earlier — perhaps after “she is going to get better” @ 26:45 but it would prpobably have to stay in during the dialogue of Sister H and Gallinger or otherwise it’ll feel pretty short.

SODERBERGH: Done.

Sc 29
Bellevue hospital/thru Bertie telling Thac: Do you want to start this cue at the phone call by the Bellevue doctor to Bertie… connecting that to the end of the scrub in (where the cue starts now)?

SODERBERGH: Looked at it, but feels too wall-to-wall, with the effect that it robs the placental repair scene of its impact…

Sc 39
Does the music cue here telegraph too much?

SODERBERGH: First of all, telegraphing was a normal part of everyday life in 1900, and to use it in a derogatory sense here is just…well, it’s just wrong. What I did was start the cue after Thack sees the people in the hall. This does eliminate the dreaded “telegraphing”, but it also makes his trek to pathology and studying seem longer. Easy to decide on the day of the mix.

107 CUT B

107 B

Many of the notes relate to pacing and tension of the building threat of mob violence. As always, look forward to your response.

8-A11 Insert Visual of Appendix
A minor suggestion adjusting Thackery’s presentation of the discovery: When Thackery says, “No matter what the size of the patient,” (4:01) can we cut to the insert of the appendix being pulled out, and then cut back to Thackery to finish his line, “you will always find the appendix”?

SODERBERGH: Done, and also changed order of last two shots.

8-C11 Pushing Title Card to after Wu Scene
Can we include the Ping Wu choking scene as part of the pre-title sequence… It would suggest that the flashback we had just seen was a Thackery opium dream, and feels of a piece with the flashback. In other words, can we push the title card from the end of this scene to the end of 7–2 (Thackery attending Wu in the opium Den)? We’d like to try the title card come right off the rack focus of the bamboo curtains (5:35).

SODERBERGH: Great idea. Done. Also, letting music ring out longer after flashback will help transition.

7–5/7–7 Trim to Help the Transition from Sears to Mob
The transition from 7–5 (Cleary and Pouncey unloading Sears at the hospital) to 7–7 (the white mob gathering and the arrival of Cornelia and Gallinger) dissipates the pace of this section. Perhaps we can get out of scene 7–5 after Cleary and Pouncey place Phinney on the gurney.

SODERBERGH: Done. Also went to tighter B cam shot in the middle to get a better look at crowd and body being pulled out of ambulance.

7–7 Trim Crowd Shot to Keep the Tension Building
On the cut when Gallinger and Cornelia enter the crowd, the reverse over Cleary’s shoulder dissipates the tension of the scene. Perhaps we can trim the head of that reverse shot, and begin that shot with Gallinger pushing away a member of the mob to extricate Cornelia.

Also, the tail of the ending shot feels too long. Perhaps we can end just before or just after Cleary says, “I’ll get back to the rest of you later” (8:38).

SODERBERGH: Agreed. Done.

7–9 Trim on the Sears Women Arriving
The cops’ performances and the crowd reactions feel a bit literal, and we cover their racial attitudes in the subsequent scene. Perhaps we can end this scene with the cop saying, “He’ll be home bouncing Charlie and Ailish on his knee in no time,” or the other cop saying, “Part the way” (10:34).

SODERBERGH: Agreed. Getting out after “Get your asses to the side!”

7–12 Cornelia’s Warning to Algernon
We might consider cutting Cornelia’s warning to Algernon that he should leave. This warning is much more effective later coming from Thackery (7–20).

SODERBERGH: Done.

7–14 Crescendo to Mob Violence
In this scene where Cleary deals with the crowd, we don’t really feel much of the menace of the crowd. It’s only at the tail end of the scene that we feel any jeopardy or tension. Can we look how each of the scenes impacts the build to mob violence over the course of this section of the episode?

SODERBERGH: Well, initially they think they are going hear something that will calm them down from one of their own (an Irishman), and it isn’t until he doesn’t give them want they want that they start to get unruly. That’s a fancy way of saying I’m not sure how to address this note. I personally think there is a pretty good build-up to the break-in, especially with the notes executed (both prior and upcoming).

7–15 Racist Comments and Algernon’s Reactions
Not sure that there is much that we can do about it but the racist asides after Lucy leaves seem heavy handed, as does Algernon’s reaction.

SODERBERGH: First of all, you say “heavy-handed” like it’s a bad thing, and you should really see someone about that. I tried getting out of 7–15 with Lucy saying “I take orders from all the doctors here,” and cutting 7–16 in order to go straight to 7–17 as you suggest below, and there’s a problem: in that version, Algernon would never leave Phinny’s bedside but then is NOT present when Thackery arrives with Lucy in the next shot. It’s very awkward. SOLUTION: Keep Algernon’s exit, lose 7–16 and replace it with 7–14, then come back to Lucy bringing Thackery in. This idea allows me to be both the arsonist AND the fireman, which feels pretty fucking good, let me tell you.

7–16 Jump-Cutting to Maintain Energy
The tone and performance of the Cornelia and Harriet walk and talk dissipates the tension and energy of the situation, and we’re not sure that the information about a possible adoptive family in the scene is particularly critical at this point. Can we consider jump-cutting from scene 7–15 to 7–17 to maintain energy?

SODERBERGH: See above.

7–19 Quickening Thackery’s Reaction to the Violence
The delay in Thackery’s reaction as the pan over his shoulder comes to a rest and he clocks what is going on feels too long. Can we have him react a bit sooner?

SODERBERGH: Tightened a little.

7–20 Thackery’s Warning to Algernon
See earlier note in scene 7–12 about Cornelia’s warning. This scene feels like more effective, and Algernon’s decision to stay and his subsequent beatdown of a racist mob member, speak more effectively that his declarative response to Cornelia.

SODERBERGH: I hear ya, brutha.

7–27 Trim in the Outdoor Clinic
The shot here seems to linger. Can we trim the end of the scene just after Harriet begins to attend to the injured person?

SODERBERGH: You don’t have to ask twice!

7-A22 Trimming Pouncey/Cleary at the Door
This scene feels a bit forced. Can we cut it a bit?

SODERBERGH: “Forced”? Is that like “heavy-handed”, but with more pace? Hopefully the trim I made will make it go down easier…

7-A28 Trimming Black Patients’ Arrival
This scene feels like it goes on for a bit too long. Can we end a beat after Thackery says, “Not the time, Everett” (19:21)?

SODERBERGH: Done.

7-A30 Trimming White Kids Watching Arrival
The shot over the shoulder of the white kid watching the black people enter the hospital feels too long. Can we look for trims here?

SODERBERGH: Oh, I can do better than that. I’ve moved the kid forward, changed the entry shot of the patients going in, and generally done the kind of stuff that results in a shelf-full of hardware, aka EMMYS, baby!

7-A26 Trimming Pouncey/Cleary at the Door
Again, this feels like it goes on too long and dissipates the tension. Perhaps we could start a beat later, just before Pouncey says, “Holy shit, they’ve got ropes” (20:26).

SODERBERGH: Not sure what you mean here…we actually come in on that line, and then Cleary hands him the bat and leaves. Maybe you hit pause and went to bed?

7–33 Cutting Thackery’s Instruction
We’re not sure Thackery should be heard to say, “Let’s take the south stairs through the basement.” If he does, wouldn’t the remaining white patients tell the mob where to look?

SODERBERGH: Leave it to you to identify what the racist white people would be picking up on! Done.

7–52 Trimming Barrow’s Arrival at Brothel
Can we pick up Barrow a bit later in his walk? It feels like this goes on too long.

SODERBERGH: Dude, that shot is so MONEY (and I mean that literally). I think with all the screaming and sound effects it won’t feel that long. We do want to sell the scale of the riot, and this is one of our big shots. If we get any letters, I will forward them. I mean emails.

7–59 Re-Ordering Bertie/Nurse Pell Operating Scene
We’d like to look at re-ordering this scene. Can we put it just after the shot of rain at Knick (scene 7–61, 33:55) to establish the hospital and then go inside to Bertie operating, and then cut to Thackery et al finishing up in the Negro hospital (7–60) as juxtaposition?

SODERBERGH: Well, that would work if this wasn’t clearly (to me) a daylight scene…

7–67 Lucy Inviting Thackery In
Do we have a reverse on Lucy saying, “You can come in if you like” (38:59)? Would be nice to see her say it.

SODERBERGH: No, I do not have a reverse. Have we met?

7–69 Clarifying Lucy’s Bloody Uniform
Ok this is a note that I am loathe to give, but we’ve been through a lot so I will offer it and you can take it or leave it… The cutaway to Lucy’s bloody uniform (41:57) might be momentarily confusing to some. Dare I say it… (and I’m not the only one who thought it) but it might seem for a moment that the blood is a result of Lucy losing her virginity rather than treating the patients earlier in the evening.

SODERBERGH: Totally valid point — let’s lose it. I don’t want anyone’s mind going there in the middle of this sequence.

Love her laughing at the end.

SODERBERGH: Me too. She’s very good, our Eve…

Now, as you might imagine, the result of all these well-reasoned cuts is to shorten an episode that was already on the short side, but in my opinion, no one will notice or care because its so active and the ending with Thackery and Lucy is one of my favorite sequences in the entire show. Just sayin’.

107 CUT C

(one note applies to both 107C and 108D)

These episodes are in great shape and ready to lock, with two final thoughts/questions…

7–59 Re-Ordering Bertie/Nurse Pell Operating Scene
We would like to revisit this note. Totally appreciate that re-ordering this scene (i.e. putting it just after the shot of rain at Knick (scene 7–61, 33:55) to establish the hospital and then go inside to Bertie operating, and then cut to Thackery et al finishing up in the Negro hospital (7–60) as juxtaposition) doesn’t work because it is “clearly a daylight scene…”

Point taken about the daylight, but it does feel odd that rain shots that we have are of EXT THE KNICK, and they break up (and seem to serve as exterior shots for) the shots inside the Minetta Clinic. It would help our orientation if we could pop inside the Knick for Bertie’s surgery after the exterior Knick rain shot.

So as a technical matter, can we use digital filters and timing in the color correction of this to make the Bertie/Nurse Pell scene feel like it is at night and lit by lamp bulbs?

SODERBERGH: Because I agree with this note, I had a conversation with Peter Andrews about the possibility of making a color adjustment to scene 7–59. I won’t reproduce his reaction here — such language has no place in a discourse between adults — but I’ve decided to go ahead and make this change with the understanding he won’t be attending the timing session himself, out of pique. I should mention that I take his threat not to do Season 2 a hollow one, since his personality issues make him unemployable anywhere else.

107 MUSIC

Great day yesterday.

Here are a few music suggestions for episode 107. Look forward to seeing you tomorrow.

Ep 107

13:32 — Could we explore a music cue here from Cleary closing the hospital doors thru to the death?

19:00 Might we add a shift or another level to the music cue when the hospital doors get pulled off by the mob?

23:02 — from the cut to Cleary pulling the ambulance, might we Add a music cue -which might pause when they stop to deal with the racist mob and continue after Lucy’s threat of testicular leprosy — and continue through Harriet on the street and end as we enter The Knick.

SODERBERGH: 1. Tried a couple of things but they kind of robbed the upcoming cue of its impact (rioters pulling guy off bike). i think it’s an active enough scene/shot to play as is.

2. Yeah, that’s a mix thing — there is a big shift there that needs to be helped.

3. Done.

108 CUT B

This episode is in terrific shape. Only a few thoughts/suggestions.

8–35
(Thack gives speech about hernia procedure)

Are we at all concerned that, by saying the hernia procedure has a failure rate of only 2%, we imply that they have done at least 50 such surgeries (which would mean one failure)? Clive ADR of “a failure rate of 10%” would fit in his mouth and imply one failure in ten procedures, which would be more feasible.

SODERBERGH: Is that the royal “we”? Just curious. Well, think about this: 10% percent doesn’t sound as impressive; 2% is close to the actual failure rate for this procedure; and now that we are in EP 8, several months have passed, and it’s quite plausible this procedure has been performed 50 times. So there’s that.

8-A40
(Jesse tells Evaline that what Cornelia does is not of his business)

It might be more effective to cut this scene and go from Cornelia getting in a taxi to her arriving at Algernon’s room. The scene with Jesse and Evaline doesn’t tell us any real information that we don’t get in the scenes that precede and follow it.

SODERBERGH: Agreed. Done.

8–58 / 8–46
(Barrow visits Archbishop / Barrow suddenly fires two of the coal workers)

Let’s consider moving Barrow’s firing of the two coal diggers to right after he’s turned down by the Archbishop (8–58). It will make the cause and effect a bit clearer, and might be a nice pacing cut. This would mean jump cutting from Mary’s testimony (8–57) to Bertie’s (8–59), which would help pace in that section as well.

SODERBERGH: I tried this — it took thirteen seconds to execute, just so you know the kind of hell you’re putting me through — and there were two unintended effects: the courtroom stuff actually feels LONGER without a break in the middle, and less intercutting means losing a sense of things happening simultaneously in different parts of the narrative (and the city).

8–46
(Barrow suddenly fires two of the coal workers)

See earlier note about moving up this scene.

SODERBERGH: See above.

108 CUT D

(note applies to both 107C and 108D)

Moving 7–16 Cornelia/Harriet walk and talk between 8–28 and 8–29
The tone and performance of the Cornelia and Harriet walk and talk and the information about a possible adoptive family might work well immediately after the Thackery/Algernon scene in Thack’s office. The jump from Harriet telling Cornelia she had an idea for an adoptive family to Gallinger holding the baby might be helpful to set up Harriet’s intentions. There IS a wardrobe continuity issue for Cornelia (thank god, I guess, that it’s not an issue for Harriet) but since she’s wearing a jacket in the earlier scene with Speight and later when she is outside, we might just assume she’s gone down to shirtsleeves after the Board meeting.

SODERBERGH: Tried this, but it’s pretty awkward. We can’t use the head of the scene because of all the Phinny Sears stuff, and then we can’t use the pan at the end because without the context of the riot it makes no sense, so the result is a shot with dialogue that lasts 9.5 seconds that feels abrupt and inelegant. Your impulse to cut this scene was a good one — let it die the death it clearly deserved!

108 MUSIC

Sc D11, E11 Int Thackery Bedroom 
The cue here feels a bit too surreal so as to take us out of the scene. Could we start the music cue on Lucy’s, “I do” @ 3:06 and carry through into the Knick.

SODERBERGH: Swapped first cue, added stinger for end of scene.

Sc A28 Boardroom 
Music and dialogue feel at cross purposes. While the inclination to get inside Thack’s head for this scene, feels right, the prior thematic use of this music seems to confuse where we are tonally.

SODERBERGH: Really? I like this a lot, because it’s not too heavy and gives the feeling of Thack’s racing mind. I can’t find anything else that works as well, and believe me, we NEED music over this…

Upon reflection, I agree with you.

(and if I were TELEGRAPHING, I would put it this way:
..- . — . — — -. / .-. . ..-. .-.. . -.-. — .. — — -. — .. — / .. / .- — . .-. . . / . — .. — …. / -. — — — ..- .-.-.-)

A-33 NY Surgical Society 
The music cue @ 9:42 feels heavy at the start and would a cue work during the 2nd half of this scene?

SODERBERGH: Starting cue at a later, less heavy point.

Sc 35 NY Surgical Society
Thack shoots up @10:46 then presents his paper: could this cue build in pace and force, then subside towards the end.

SODERBERGH: Yeah, we can do that in the mix.

Sc 39 Gallinger Apt
(@19:35 — Harriet brings baby Grace to Gallingers: could we have a music cue here… obviously something that would tonally capture the hope for the Gallingers and of course avoid telegraphing the next tragedy that lurks.

SODERBERGH: I put something in the back half that I think works nicely — having something up front had the effect of TELEGRAPHING what was coming…

Sc 41
Might be interesting to introduce the cue earlier while Lucy is lying in bed @ 25:40 and connect it to the cue that starts when she’s with Thack in his office.

SODERBERGH: I’ve started it earlier, which works well, and then it ends right around the time Thack starts talking. Not having music over the ending makes the scene a little more harsh, which is not a bad thing.

Sc 45
Music transition from previous scene to Gallinger Apt — could we fill out the music @ 26:59 emphasizing the eeriness of the moment?

SODERBERGH: Tried a new cue here. Not sure if it’s eerie, but it feels like something is happening…

109 CUT B

9–4
(Thack finds single cocaine vial — is discovered by police)

Can we get out of the tease a bit earlier… I.e. Go into the title off the shot of Thackery stopping when he sees the police light, and cut the cop shouting, “Hold it right there, what do you think you’re doing?”

Also can we cut the poker game? Would be a better open to come back from title with 9–7 (Captain Robertson pays off Police Captain). Better and more dramatic scene than poker game.

SODERBERGH: We have to see Thackery get caught. But yes, we can lose the poker game. So you’re ahead by like, 47 seconds.

9–7 (Capt. Robertson pays off police Capt. to release Thack)
After Robertson says, “And this will keep the good doctor’s name out of the paper?” and the Captain nods, might be better to get Robertson’s reaction, then go to Barrow reaction.

SODERBERGH: Oh, it gets better than that. When you see when we now get out of this scene you are going to fall to your knees and wonder WHY WHY WHY you didn’t think of this!

9–13 (Barrow goes to Collier for help with drugs)
Can we favor Barrow a bit more in this scene? He is far more interesting and compelling to watch than Collier. And the subtext of his performance is far more critical to the series narrative.

SODERBERGH: Done.

9–13 / 9–14
Can we trim Barrow’s long walk here?

SODERBERGH: Yes, done, but every frame that was lost cost approximately 400 thousand dollars.

9–46
(Lottie sees newspaper report of war ending)

Do we need this scene. The exposition that the sea lanes have been opened is not necessary. Nor do we need to see the roommate clocking Lucy’s empty bed. It feels like it would be a much better cut going from desperate Thack leaving Luff’s office to Lucy on her mission to the German hospital.

SODERBERGH: OMFG! I’ve been saying this since the beginning of the shoot and no one would listen to me! I didn’t even want to shoot it! So glad I can hide behind you to make this cut!

9–38 (EXT German hospital)
From here on to the end, it’s excellent.

SODERBERGH: Well, you’re the smartest person I’ve ever met, as of today.

109 MUSIC

109 sc12 @ 6:50
Lucy comes to Thack’s: What about a cue here? Something akin to the cue under the presentation to the medical society that would start on “How did you know” and stops when he yells at her. Could make the quiet of “What can i do?” “Find me an ocean of cocaine” more powerful.

SODERBERGH: ADDED SOMETHING WHEN SHE APPROACHES HIM AT THE END OF THE SCENE

109 scA33
Lucy arrives with her bike. Should the previous cue from Thackery’s house extend and through Lucy hiding the money and staring off into the ether… This might more firmly make the emotional connection between Thackery smoking the opium and Lucy having traded the Lotus for it.

SODERBERGH: MY TIMELINE HAS A CUE THAT COVERS ALL THAT — LET ME SEE WHAT CLIFF’S FINAL CUE IS LIKE

109: sc40, 41
Lucy is caught: Is this cue intense enough, maybe we just need to turn it up?

SODERBERGH: PROLLY A VOLUME THING

110 CUT C

The episode is very good. Our notes aim to keep the episodes momentum going so that the climax realizes it’s full emotional power. Look forward as always to what you make of these thoughts.

10–5
When Cornelia first spotted Cleary on the carriage she was surprised to see him, saying, “You?!” But here Cleary tells Sister Harriet that Cornelia “See, she come to me, and asked me for a fix.” Since Cornelia didn’t know Cleary was involved, it’s unlikely she would have gone to him. Maybe we could just drop Cleary’s line, “she come to me, and asked for a fix.” (You can leave the word “See” and come back in on Sister Harriet’s line, “Yes, it’s me…”)

10–14A
Do we need the scene between Philip and Algernon? It seems odd that Philip does not read the impatient and patronizing facial expressions. Also, and perhaps most importantly, it dissipates the pace of the episode. And, while there is obviously value to the slightly comic relief the scene provides, removing it would help maintain the tension of the episode.

SODERBERGH: Done. Gone.

10–14
Let’s also remove this scene of Zinberg prepping the surgical theater as it puts a black hat on the character unnecessarily and again dissipates the tension and momentum of the episode. We think the cut from Algernon leaving Cornelia to the zoom out of Zinberg presenting in the operating theater over the shoulder of Thackery and Algernon is a more powerful cut and really keeps the episode’s momentum going.

SODERBERGH: Done. Gone.

10–19
The storyline of Cornelia selling the earrings she received from her future in laws to pay off Cleary feels a bit cumbersome and awkward in making its emotional point, ie Cornelia’s contempt for Hobart Showalter. All we really need is Cleary’s demand for the money, and Cornelia’s agreement to pay in Sc. 10–6, and the payoff transactions in Scenes 10–33 & 10–55. Cut 10–19 and 10–25. We can simply infer that she’s rich and had access to the money.

10-A28
Can we back into the part of this scene where Henry says, “and a man, above all, a man about whom it can never be said missed his sister’s wedding” and trim out the part of the scene when Cornelia gets to the bottom of the stairs and Henry talks about “travelling cross-country in a private Pullman car with 3 buxom opera singers.” Everybody’s guffawing feels forced and it feels like it stalls the scene.

10-A29
Do we need the shots of Capt. Robertson leading into the Henry / Cornelia scene? Do they help us?

10–42
Is there a way, perhaps through some added dialogue while Thackery’s mouth is obscured by the microscope, to make it clear why Thackery thinks this blood transfusion will work? Presumably he thinks, based on his erroneous criteria, that his blood matches Sonya’s, but it would be helpful if that could somehow be articulated.

(This note was not taken.)

10–44
The Thackery / Sonya transfusion scene is so shocking that it may take some of the steam out of the wedding / Algernon fight sequence that follows. Have you explored intercutting Thackery’s botched procedure with Cornelia’s wedding and Algernon’s fight, scored with the choir hymn? It could be extremely powerful especially by ending such an intercut sequence with Thackery saying, “Fuck… What have I done?”

(This note was not taken.)

10–46
There’s something very literal about Cornelia’s looks to Hobart and Henry. Can we omit these in the montage? Let’s try incorporating the exchange of vows and the exchange of rings MOS in the montage, and omitting the pastor’s speech at the end. And again, end the montage with Thackery saying, “Fuck… What have I done?” And then cut to the carriage pulling up to the Knick with Cleary’s money.

(This note was not taken.)

10–58
Can we trim these long shots of Henry and Cornelia?

10–50
Can we trim Ping Wu’s entrance into Collier’s office and the revealing of his knives so that it has a bit more energy, and can we end the scene with the shot of Collier with the axe in his head and omit Ping Wu’s mannered removal of the ax from Collier’s skull?

SODERBERGH: Done.

10-A64
Love the heartbeat sound design under the board meeting. Can we find other places to use it earlier in the series? It is very organic to the show and adds tremendous tension. Are there other sounds that we will be exploring as part of the sound design, ie breathing, medical equipment, gurneys rolling, and the hum of electricity pulsating through the hospital?

110 CUT D

10–1
Can we shave a few frames from the opening. Perhaps come in at :26 picking up Cornelia on the move?

SODERBERGH: In theory, yes, BUT — I think seeing the look of anticipation on her face for a beat before she moves really contributes to the sense of mystery and foreboding. She knows it’s the Season Finale!

10-A29
The shots of Capt. Robertson at his desk with the bills seem oddly placed. Could this scene go between 10-AB29 (Cornelia and Henry discuss wedding and Dad’s business) and 10–30 (Cornelia couldn’t sleep). This could provide a natural time transition between the Cornelia scenes.

SODERBERGH: Agreed. Done.

10-AB29 (Cornelia and Henry discuss wedding and Dad’s business)
Playing Henry’s introduction MOS with music is very effective. And it becomes clear late in the Cornelia/Henry scene that they are siblings, but if it’s possible to fit a word of ADR (I.e. Henry referring to her as “Sis” or something period-appropriate) somewhere earlier in this scene to establish their relationship at the outset of the chat, all the better.

SODERBERGH: “We” will take a look at that.

10–42 etc
If we can’t weave the botched surgery into the wedding / fight montage, what about putting it after the montage? So 10–38/39 (Thackery tells Lucy he wants to try the transfusion) would be followed by 10–45, 37, 41, 52 etc (the intercut wedding and Algernon beat down ) followed then by 10–42, 44, 48, 54 (botched surgery) followed finally by 10–55 (Lucy approaches Bertie at the wedding). The botched surgery is so powerful that it might best serve as the culmination of the trouble our leads have caused for themselves.

SODERBERGH: I tried this, and there’s a problem with the timing: if we put the failed transfusion after the wedding but before Lucy arrives at the church, it suggests there was a large gap between the end of the ceremony and the married couples’ departure from the church, which there clearly wasn’t. You feel the power of the failed transfusion merits pushing it further into the episode, and I would argue the opposite: precisely BECAUSE it’s so strong, it makes everything AFTER it more weighted; our emotions are heightened and raw, like Lebron James.

Also, during the Algernon beat down, can we look at replacing/removing a couple of the shots where Algernon misses by a mile and his opponent hasn’t moved (i.e. 44:50 and 45:05) which make the fight seem a bit staged.

SODERBERGH: “Staged”? Oh lord. I fear this might be a kissing cousin to “heavy-handed” and “forced”. Who know what verbal daggers await me on Season Two! I have executed this request, but you should manage your expectations — the footage I was working with was shit.

110 CUT E

…You’ve left Lucy’s line to Thackery “you look terrible” in the soundtrack at 30:39. (Though admittedly the Captain does not look great.)

SODERBERGH: And that’s how we lock picture on season one of The Knick.

In all seriousness the dialogue on these cuts has been a true pleasure. Thanks for your engagement and terrific work…

Look forward to seeing you next week.

SODERBERGH: While cleaning up mary ann’s dangling line of dialogue, i nearly reinstated the cornelia jewelry scene, but as much as i like the detail, it really did affect the momentum and thus will remain deleted.

A year ago we didn’t even know each other and now we’re locked on a ten-hour show. crazy.

Greg and i got the master season 2 document and will read this weekend. onward!

110 MUSIC

110–13
Algernon attempts to comfort Cornelia: Do we want a cue here? Starting on “it’s done” and out @ Zinberg.

SODERBERGH: NAH, WANT TO KEEP THIS SPARE AND GO AGAINST THE GRAIN OF NORMAL MUSIC CUEING; MAKES THE SCENE TOUGHER.
 
110–22/23
Thack interrupts Algernon’s surgery/Thack asks Lucy to collect blood samples:

Add a cue here to help us with Thackery’s spiral? Start just after Algernon talks about disease changing blood/Thack walks off and play through Thackery asking Lucy to get blood samples from the hospital staff.

SODERBERGH: DONE.
 
110–36
Bertie arrives, Thack has cracked the blood types:
 Cue here? Start when Thack screams “first without him” and play through Bertie leaving.

SODERBERGH: TRIED IT, BUT IT ROBBED THE UPCOMING DEATH SCENE OF SOME IMPACT…
 
 It’s been a pleasure!

SODERBERGH: INDEED!

NEXT: READ SEASON 2 NOTES OR READ Season 1 “Useless Stats

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