I edited Steven Soderbergh's “The Knick” into an 8-hour film

I’m an admirer of Steven Soderbergh’s THE KNICK and I’ve written about my appreciation of his blocking work and the show’s dialogue before.

When the first season was finished, I knew I wanted to do something to explore the work as a whole. My initial thought was to drain the colour so it could serve as more of an artifact and to make the blocking and use of shadow the primary visual focus (and because, as Woody Allen’s Val states in Hollywood Ending, New York is a black & white city).

But I didn’t want to take away from the work of Soderbergh and his production designer (Howard Cummings), art director (Henry Dunn) and set decorator (Regina Graves). Rewatching the episodes, so much of the characterisation and relationships are developed through the interplay of light and shadow, black and colour.

I also found out about Soderbergh re-imagining Raiders of the Lost Ark as a black & white silent film, so I didn’t want to simply follow his lead.

Editing the episodes together also posed an interesting dilemma. I really had two choices to make:

  1. slam cut between each episode
  2. get creative with fades and audio cues

The first option was preferrable, as I didn’t want to bastardise the work of so many, however, concessions were made. In some instances, the music clashed too heavily, with slam cuts becoming jarring to the viewing experience. The result is an attempt to stay true to the original audio mix, while fading between episodes as naturally (aurally and remaining as true to the show’s aesthetic) as possible.

The film is currently up on YouTube (though I don’t expect it to last) and you can stream it below. Or I’ve uploaded it to Google Drive for you to download (download here). Keep in mind the file is 14gb as I’ve tried to limit any compression from my export (I was already using heavily compressed source files).

I apologise for the low quality. I was initially going to export a HD file (120gb… yeah right!), and this was as decent as I could get it in a reasonable amount of time. Four hours if you were wondering.