The Knick: Series Notes
Season 1 & Season 2
On THE KNICK we posted edited scenes as opposed to dailies—something we’ve been doing for the last few years—because edited footage gives a much clearer indication of directorial intent and also prepping, posting, and watching all the dailies is a pain in the ass time-waster.
So, it went like this: no editing on Monday nights because that day’s footage usually wasn’t ready and Mondays are already a struggle. Tuesday night I would cut Monday’s material and maybe first half of Tuesday if it was ready (more likely if we’re shooting on stage, next to editorial). Wednesday night I would cut Tuesday’s footage and maybe the first half of Wednesday, Thursday night I would cut Wednesday and maybe first half of Thursday. No editing Friday nights. Saturday and Sunday I would finish editing whatever was left from the end of the week.
Total amount of time spent editing season one: 465 hrs, 30 mins, and fifty seconds.
Here are some fun, completely useless facts compiled by script supervisor Tom Johnston:
• Total Set ups: 2081* (28.5 daily average) (*Total number in dispute)
• Total Scenes shot: 557
• Total Pages shot: 539 4/8
• Total Number of Pages in which the word “Cocaine” appears: 56
• Total Number of Pages in which the word “Douse” appears: 8 (4 are non-sexual references)
• Most Set-ups shot in one day: 60 (Day 15 in 11.5 hours - Int. Surgical Theater - Christiansen Previa Surgery sequence)
• Number of Days more than 40 Set-ups were shot: 12
• Least number of Set-ups shot in one day: 10 (Day 48 - 11 hours - Int. Men’s Ward, Int. Tenement building, Reshoot Ext. Algernon beats up Traveling man)
• Number of Set Ups shot on an 18mm lens: 577
• Number of Set Ups shot as “dueling 18’s”: 33
• Most pages shot in a day: 11 4/8 (Day 38 - Int. Thackery’s Townhouse - in 13.8 hours)
• Least pages shot in a day: 3 6/8 (Day 32 - Ext. White Tenderloin - Phinny Stabbed - Ext. Cigar shop - Ext. Brothel)
• Longest Day: Day 63 14.5 hours - Cromartie Hospital / • Carriage / Wedding Shortest Day: 7 hours 17 minutes - 8:00a - 3:17p
• ( Day 4 -Int. Thackery’s office - Examines Abigail)
• Earliest Wrap time: 2:20pm (Day 3 - Int. Barrow’s Office - Thack’s Office - Knick Hallway - 7 hour 20 minute day)
• Latest Wrap time: 12 midnight (Day 64 - Int. Police Station - ended at Cornelia’s Bedroom)
• Number of RED Camera bodies used: 6 (A - F) Most Episodes shot in one day: 7 (Tie Day 43 and Day 48)
• Only Location where the entire Principal cast worked together: Episode 7 Scene 7-39-40 Int. Algernon’s Sub-Basement Clinic.
A holiday hiatus during the 2013/2014 shoot provided an unexpected benefit: the ability to see 85% of the show cut together, with text slugs for missing scenes. This enabled the brain trust to do some re-writing and re-calibrating of certain narrative threads, which we then incorporated into the final three weeks of shooting. This proved so helpful we built an identical hiatus into the shoot of Season Two.
Optimization of process is not just my goal, it’s something of an obsession, and one way to get to the “solve” faster is to remove unnecessary layers of communication. In the case of THE KNICK, this meant establishing a direct line with Kary Antholis, the head of Cinemax. What follows is a mostly unedited transcript of our emails about the edit for Season One.