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|Podcast Summary • Podcast Transcript|
A transcript is a retrospective written record of dialogue, and like a script (a prospective record) may include other scene information such as props or actions. In the case of a transcript of a film or television episode, ideally it is a verbatim record. Because closed-captioning is usually written separately, its text may have errors and does not necessarily reflect the true Canonical transcript.
Transcripts for Lost episodes up to and including "Enter 77" are based on the transcriptions by Lost-TV member Spooky with aid of DVR, and at times, closed captions for clarification. She and Lost-TV have generously granted us permission to share/host these transcripts at Lostpedia. Later transcripts were created by the Lostpedia community, unless stated otherwise below.
Disclaimer: This transcript is intended for educational and promotional purposes only, and may not be reproduced commercially without permission from ABC. The description contained herein represents viewers' secondhand experience of ABC's Lost.
[opening Lost theme]
Kris White: Welcome to the Official Lost Podcast. In this week's installment, we join executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for more exclusive clues and a preview of the upcoming episode, "The 23rd Psalm," which airs this Wednesday, January 11th, from 9 to 10 pm Eastern. First though, we sit down with Michael Giacchino to get a behind the scenes look at the scoring for Lost.
Kris White: The score is often one of the most essential and overlooked elements in film and television, and every good show on television has its own unique score. In fact, within just a few notes, most listeners can identify the show without even being in the same room as the television—The Cosby Show, Desperate Housewives, and, of course, Lost. Michael Giacchino is the one responsible for that sound. In addition to Lost, he's also scored other hit projects such as Alias and the feature The Incredibles. We caught up with him before the scoring of this week's episode, "The 23rd Psalm," to discuss the importance of the soundtrack in the storytelling process.
Michael Giacchino: There's a story that somebody writes, and then they put it on film in a visual medium. Many times the visual itself on its own can be interpreted millions of different ways, and what happens is music helps direct the audience to which way the director or producer or composer, whoever, wants the emotion read. That's its most important role: to guide you emotionally through the story that's being told.
[clip from "What Kate Did"]
Michael Giacchino: It was set up fairly specifically at the very beginning, what the sound should be, and I wanted it to be, most importantly, uncomfortable. I wanted it to be something that you don't hear on television very often and something that, when you hear it, you squirm in your seat. At the same time I wanted it to be also something that at times is comforting because the one thing that they don't have a lot of on this island is comfort.
[clip from "Orientation"]
Kris White: Unlike films, television shows air a new episode every week. Keeping the sound fresh while also making it consistent and coherent can be a challenge, even when that show's only in its second season.
Michael Giacchino: I don't read the scripts. I don't like to read the scripts, especially on Lost because I enjoy watching the show, so I try to hold it off as much I can. Also my approach on Lost is different than my approach on other things. I like to react to the story as I see it. So I'll wait until I get the (???) tape, and then I won't even watch the whole thing. I'll watch it scene by scene, and as I come up to scenes that need music, I'll watch them, and then I'll write it, not knowing what's going to happen next because I felt like the show should have a very reactive feel to the music, in the same way that the characters are going through this thing and constantly reacting to these new and strange situations. I wanted the music to feel the same way. Every character pretty much has some theme or motif that can be used again and again and develop as the character develops—that's what's really fun. Kate has her own thing—they all come in to their own on the episodes that is describing their backstory and talking about them and what they went through prior to the accident. I do think it's also a nice way of keeping it very coherent and tying things together, and it's something you'll catch onto if you watch the show a lot. You'll figure it out, and there are different themes that stick with different people.
[clip from "Walkabout"]
Michael Giacchino: Let's talk about Locke 'cause he's got a couple of themes because he's probably one of the most complicated characters on the show. He has a theme which is really his life struggle theme, and then he also has the I'm-the-tough-guy theme because in the first couple episodes when he had all his knives and all of those things—he's really quite a hunter and tracker. He's got a couple of different themes that are used in different ways in different situations. His life struggle stuff is used during the times when his dad took his kidney or during the time you first realize that he's in a wheelchair. There's these themes that well up, and for him it's all about something that builds and builds and builds inside, so the music does the same thing. It starts out very simple and keeps building and building and building, and then in the end gets quiet again, which is very much like his personality.
[continuation of the clip from "Walkabout"]
Michael Giacchino: I'm probably extremely lucky to be working on a show with people who hand the tape over to me and let me be creative as well. That's what's really fun about working with these guys, because they allow everyone to be creative and do their thing. Now of course, that being said, if I did something that was horribly inappropriate, yes, they'd call me and say, "This is not working, we need to change this whole thing." Occasionally there are little things here and there because we work so fast. I write and orchestrate one of these in about two days, and then we record it on the third day, so there's not a lot of time for anyone to come over or check things out. They're busy working on the next episode anyway, so everyone has to trust that whoever they're handing that thing off to its next step that they're gonna do the right thing with it.
Michael Giacchino: This is the trombone section, so I was wondering if I could get you to do the out-to-commercial for us real quick.
Michael Giacchino: All right, it's a commercial, thank you, there it is. [chuckles]
Kris White: Though Michael did take us on a full tour of the scoring stage, there wasn't enough time to include it in this podcast. However, it is available on our website lost.abc.com, where we also posted photos of the musicians and their instruments so that you can see what an angklung looks like while also hearing its strange sounds. Now though, we turn it over to executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse for a preview of this week's episode, "The 23rd Psalm."
Carlton Cuse: All right, I'm Carlton Cuse.
Damon Lindelof: And I'm Damon Lindelof.
Carlton Cuse: Welcome to our podcast for "The 23rd Psalm."
Damon Lindelof: I'm trying to talk in an especially deep voice.
Carlton Cuse: That'll just confuse everybody.
Damon Lindelof: This year, well I—
Carlton Cuse: Especially if I start talking up like this.
Damon Lindelof: Okay, because I'm told that when I listen to myself on the podcast that I sound like Charles Nelson Reilly.
Carlton Cuse: You're told when you listen to yourself?
Damon Lindelof: Yes, in the conversations [Carlton laughs] that I have with myself, we assess what I sound like when I listen to myself.
Carlton Cuse: You guys want to know why there are not more Lost episodes.
Damon Lindelof: We're off to a roaring start.
Carlton Cuse: Because we're—
Damon Lindelof: That's the first issue that we should talk about. Now that we're—"The 23rd Psalm" is coming. Here we are—
Carlton Cuse: ( …) is making you talk to different voices in your own head?
Damon Lindelof: I think the perception that when the show is in reruns that the writing staff and actors on Lost go off to some vacation home and just chill out and kick back. It's an interesting thing to talk about perhaps in the whole behind-the-scenes spirit of the show which is—
Carlton Cuse: No, no, just put those margaritas over there. We're in the middle of something right now.
Damon Lindelof: Exactly. Thanks. We have monkey butlers here at our vacation compound. The idea is we are producing 24 hours of Lost in Season 2. We did 25 in Season 1. I think if you do the basic math we work 52 weeks a year just like anybody else does, and we have 52 weeks to produce 24 episodes of Lost. Maybe, Carlton, you can tell us a little bit about why the timing doesn't work out to have original episodes of Lost on the air every week.
Carlton Cuse: I was getting caught up in the math and trying to figure out whether I needed to multiply, add, divide, or subtract. The plain fact is it takes a lot longer than a week to make an episode. It basically takes us about three weeks from start of conception to a finished script for each one of these episodes. On top of that, the actual production of episodes takes about ten filming days. If we start filming on a Monday one week, we work Monday through Fridays and all that. The show is completely shot in Hawaii, so basically we would film that one show for two weeks, and we have two crews that work concurrently. Now we're getting into really complicated math.
Damon Lindelof: This is really compelling.
Carlton Cuse: I know, this is. Anyway, it takes a long time …
Damon Lindelof: We're sorry.
Carlton Cuse: … to make an episode. Sorry, sorry. We're not really into math, as you can tell. The problem is we physically cannot and creatively cannot make more episodes than that per season. Unfortunately television season is 35 weeks long—from September to May—and this leads to a lot of repeats. We wish that it wasn't that way, but that is the traditional design of the television season. What we did was prevail upon ABC to try to clump the episodes together in bigger groupings because it was very confusing last year. We felt that we'd be on for a week, off for a week, on for two, off for two. While there are longer periods of repeats now, the benefit of that is that there will then be more longer runs of continuous episodes following that.
Damon Lindelof: It's a curse and a blessing. Shows like 24, which we're huge fans of, they start in January and they run all the way through May. But it's at the discretion of the network and the particular show that's on and how they wanna air the show. We that feel that if we waited until January to air, the people would complain about the fact that they they had to wait from the end of June—I mean the end of May—for eight months for a new episode of Lost. So you're damned if you do, damned if you don't. I really do sound like Charles Nelson Reilly, [Carlton snickers] even in my own head.
Carlton Cuse: No, you really don't. You don't. I think you're just getting yourself in a bad place about that. You sound very good.
Damon Lindelof: Thank you. All right, so "The 23rd Psalm".
Carlton Cuse: "The 23rd Psalm" is coming up this week. This is an episode that Damon and I wrote together. We really wanted to do an episode that featured Adewale, and we felt it was the appropriate time to give the audience the first chapter in his backstory. That's always a really exciting thing for us because the seminal flashback stories the audience is wondering: what exactly is the story with these characters? Knowing nothing about them it's always the greatest rush to see that first thing that tells you something about who these characters were before they got to the island.
Damon Lindelof: What's always great about writing the show for us is the audience really knows nothing and they play a guessing game from the first moment that a character is introduced because what's interesting about the characters in the world of Lost is they really don't like to talk about themselves. When Mr. Eko first appeared looking down into the tiger trap of episode 2—was the first time we see him standing at the end of the beach and episode 3? [Carlton: "Right"] We start to interact with him, people went from, "Oh, that's Bernard, that's gotta be Rose's husband." Then they started to formulate different opinions of who the guy is. Now finally here we are, ten episodes later, and we're going to say: here is this your first taste of Mr. Eko.
Carlton Cuse: It's actually eight episodes later.
Damon Lindelof: Is it? Well, yes, I guess it is the tenth episode. Well, there you go.
Carlton Cuse: Just, you know—
Damon Lindelof: We are bad at math. [Carlton giggles]
Carlton Cuse: This just goes to show that you can still have a career and be bad at math.
Damon Lindelof: That is true. Listen to that one kids. You just tell your parents, "I don't have to be good at math, I'm gonna be a writer one day!"
Carlton Cuse: Preceding the show is a new clip show, which again is really an effort on the part of the network to—
Damon Lindelof: I think they like to call them "specials".
Carlton Cuse: Special, sorry—it's a special.
Damon Lindelof: We wouldn't deign to call it a clip show. Who wants to see one of those? But a special!
Carlton Cuse: [deep voice] Lost: Revelation
Damon Lindelof: That's good. You don't sound anything like Charles Nelson Reilly. [Carlton giggles]
Carlton Cuse: [deep voice] Lost: Revelation
Damon Lindelof: Is that what it's called, Revelation?
Carlton Cuse: Yeah, Revelation.
Damon Lindelof: I like that.
Carlton Cuse: Yeah.
Damon Lindelof: Okay, cool. I'll tune in.
Carlton Cuse: [monster truck announcer] Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday, 8:00, Lost: Revelation!
Damon Lindelof: That sounds more like a monster truck show to me.
Carlton Cuse: Yeah, there is the Monster in the show, so that part of it is correct.
Damon Lindelof: The monster is back and bigger and badder than ever, so we'll be seeing more of the Monster in this episode than we've ever seen before.
Carlton Cuse: That was our goal. We felt like we wanted to show you a little bit more about the Monster and add maybe another little piece to the mythology about the Monster.
Damon Lindelof: The story that we're telling with Eko is thematically linked to the Monster, although for reasons we probably won't be entirely aware of just after tonight's episode. He's a somewhat mystical and interesting character. For him to have his first Monster experience in much the same way that Locke had his first Monster experience way back in "Walkabout" in Season 1, especially since Locke and Eko are on this very similar path until they decide to go off in different directions. We felt bringing the Monster back was a cool idea, and it's funny to think there was a time on the show when all anybody ever wanted to know was, "What's the Monster, and what's the story with the Monster, and when are we gonna the see Monster again?" We found ourselves in the room saying, "Hey, it's time to bring the Monster back."
Carlton Cuse: We realized we'd gone ten episodes into Season 2 without ever doing any stories that involved the Monster, which we thought was a good thing.
Damon Lindelof: A little bit of Monster goes a long way.
Carlton Cuse: Yeah.
Damon Lindelof: We'll be learning something about the Monster in this episode that will be more for the fans to intuit about it. I would say that there is gonna be one sequence, very specifically one shot where I would get your video tapes, DVD players, DVRs, what-have-you, ready for that sequence because hopefully there will be a lot of chatter as to what it means.
Carlton Cuse: Having looked and seen some of the theories about what people think the Monster is, this will confirm some people's theories and probably confound other people's, but I think it will add a level of understanding to how the Monster functions, but still leaving some of the mystery there. Should we move onto some questions, Damon?
Damon Lindelof: I would love to, Carlton. That's my favorite part of the podcast.
Carlton Cuse: I know, it is good. May I start?
Damon Lindelof: I wish you would.
Carlton Cuse: Okay, I'd like to answer the question that was posed by DamonIsHott9000.
Damon Lindelof: I know you must be joking. [Carlton snickers.]
Carlton Cuse: No, right there. See?
Damon Lindelof: Where is that?
Carlton Cuse: It's not like that. It's DamonIsHott with two Ts, so there must be a DamonIsHot—with one T—9000.
Damon Lindelof: And obviously DamonIsHott 1 through 8999. I'm sorry about that.
Carlton Cuse: You had better be careful when you go out and about town. Just so you know, Damon is married.
Damon Lindelof: Yes, and ironically, or perhaps not so ironically, DamonIsHott9000 is in fact my wife Heidi. Go ahead and ask the question.
Carlton Cuse: "Are you going to be home for dinner tonight?"
Damon Lindelof: Yeah, exactly. "No, I'm at the compound, sweetie. With the monkey butlers."
Carlton Cuse: "Is there any significance to the music, besides that of Michael Giacchino, that you play on the show, such as 'Make Your Own Kind of Music' or 'Outside'?"
Damon Lindelof: Yes. We do what are called "needle drops" on the show. It's an old school way in the TV business of saying any music in the show that is that is recorded, as opposed to something that you originally generate. The Mama Cass song is something that we picked very specifically, not only because it lyrically felt right, but also knowing what we know about the hatch, we have certain limitations of exactly what year the records stop in the hatch. And there's something about Mama Cass' music that is very haunting given her own personal history. That just felt like the perfect song, and we selected it thusly. There's some other music coming up in the show over the course of the next couple weeks. You might wanna keep your eyes peeled for Geronimo Jackson's audacious debut. They're a band that not a lot of people have heard about. They just pressed one very obscure album, I think it was in the mid- to late-70s.
Carlton Cuse: We enjoy finding and unearthing some songs that are not the types of things that you hear on oldies radio all the time. They help us establish the mood and the setting in the period that the hatch was built. And, I don't know, we love the certain eeriness of playing that music in context with our show that we really respond to.
Damon Lindelof: I guess that answers the question, and I could've answered it at home, honey, but thanks for asking anyway. Carlton, I would like to ask you a question if that's okay.
Carlton Cuse: Sure, Damon.
Damon Lindelof: This is a great question and one that I've selected specifically for you because hopefully you will do what I hope you will do when I ask it. The question is asked by nu48mb1516er2342s—if you're out there it's "numbers" broken up with with 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42. Sort of clever there. The question is this, Carlton, "I'm sure you've gotten this before, but why do we see no birds on the island and yet still hear them?" If I had a nickel for every time somebody asked me that question.
Carlton Cuse: My god, well it's interesting that there are no snakes in Hawaii, and the reason there are no snakes in Hawaii is that—this is really tangential, but it's gonna come back around to this …
Damon Lindelof: I think it's interesting.
Carlton Cuse: It is interesting. There are no snakes indigenous to Hawaii, and if you ever go to Hawaii, you fill out these agricultural forms that basically make sure that you're declaring everything you bring in. They have people that inspect planes to make sure that no snakes have snuck up into the wheel wells or anything like that because snakes can be devastating. In fact, these brown snakes were released on the island of Guam, and they basically killed the entire bird population of the island of Guam.
Damon Lindelof: They drop down on you out of trees and stuff.
Carlton Cuse: And bite you, so snakes in Hawaii are a real problem. As for birds there, any time we try to use animals, we are extremely conscious of the environmental consequences of that, and so you can't just have birds on your show. You have to have—
Damon Lindelof: If I can interrupt though for a second, Carlton?
Carlton Cuse: Yeah.
Damon Lindelof: Is it an accurate statement to say that we have never seen a bird on the show Lost?
Carlton Cuse: No.
Damon Lindelof: In fact, haven't we seen a bird?
Carlton Cuse: We had the giant bird that appeared when they were trekking.
Damon Lindelof: In the finale.
Carlton Cuse: In the finale, in the Black Rock.
Damon Lindelof: What did that bird sound like, Carlton?
Carlton Cuse: [Hurley bird impression] Hurley! Hurley!
Damon Lindelof: That's right. It's the Hurley bird.
Carlton Cuse: We call it the Hurley bird. That is a bird.
Damon Lindelof: All this that you had to sit through that entire snake story to hear Carlton do his Hurley bird impression, which puts a smile on my face, although you're probably now looking for the Madonna video.
Carlton Cuse: Exactly, you're regretting that you downloaded this, and you're trapped in freeway traffic, and you're thinking, "I must go to FM radio right now."
Damon Lindelof: Do we have time for any other questions? Maybe one more?
Carlton Cuse: One more question.
Damon Lindelof: I'll answer briefly. That way I can ask you one more.
Carlton Cuse: Okay, good, here we go. This is from JohnLockeMotherUrsa.
Damon Lindelof: You know who you are at that point. How many of them can there be?
Carlton Cuse: 68?
Damon Lindelof: [snickers] Yeah.
Carlton Cuse: "When creating the character of John Locke, did you make a point of drawing some of his personal philosophies from the British empiricist philosopher John Locke?"
Damon Lindelof: When we name—despite our joking earlier about Locke and Eko sharing certain letters in their names—when we select the names for our characters, there's a lot of thought that goes into it. We pulled our character names from various influences, sometimes more obvious than others: calling Jack, Jack Shepard—him being the leader of all these people. With Locke and certainly Rousseau, those characters were based on the philosophers after which they were named. Hopefully it'll inspire the kids. If you like John Locke on the show or Rousseau, who's a crazy French woman.
Carlton Cuse: Go read some philosophy.
Damon Lindelof: Yeah, maybe it'll inspire you to read some French philosophy.
Carlton Cuse: Put down the damn math book, and go read some French philosophy.
Damon Lindelof: Yeah, exactly. Now, so you don't need math, but you do need philosophy.
Carlton Cuse: One last quickie, and then we're out.
Damon Lindelof: I will ask you this one Carlton.
Carlton Cuse: Excellent. [Hurley bird impression] Hurley!
Damon Lindelof: SimpleQuestion asks—and you know this one's not gonna be simple.
Carlton Cuse: Simple question, there is no simple question.
Damon Lindelof: "Why did you waste four weeks of trying to open the hatch in the first season, and Boone dies in the process, and we come to found out that there's a back door like 20 feet away that really isn't hidden, and if you say that that door can only be opened from the inside too, then I would say that it would have been easier to open that door than the actual hatch."
Carlton Cuse: You know what, you're right. You're totally—
Damon Lindelof: Busted!
Carlton Cuse: We're completely busted.
Damon Lindelof: Busted!
Carlton Cuse: There only are two conclusions: either we're idiots or the characters are idiots. Take your pick.
Damon Lindelof: No, the back door is in the rock face and completely obscure, way away from where the other hatch is.
Carlton Cuse: More obscure than a hatch that's buried in the ground with a bunch of dirt on it?
Damon Lindelof: I guess we are busted.
Carlton Cuse: I think he's right. We are busted.
Damon Lindelof: We're totally busted.
Carlton Cuse: The problem is—
Damon Lindelof: We should have a sound effect when we get busted.
Carlton Cuse: Exactly.
Damon Lindelof: We need these podcasts to get—
Carlton Cuse: We need, like, William Macy in—
Damon Lindelof: We need the guy in Seabiscuit.
Carlton Cuse: Seabiscuit, with all those little—
Damon Lindelof: Wah wah waaah … You've been busted!
Carlton Cuse: All right, well, you're right.
Damon Lindelof: You nailed us.
Carlton Cuse: You nailed us.
Damon Lindelof: Guilty as charged.
Carlton Cuse: We thank you all. We totally appreciate your support, and we will talk to you soon. Bye, Damon.
Damon Lindelof: Bye, Carlton.
Kris White: That brings us to the end of our first podcast of the year. Again, be sure to tune in this Wednesday from 9 to 10 pm on ABC for "The 23rd Psalm," and join us again next week as Damon and Carlton dissect the episode and preview next week's episode. In the mean time, be sure to visit lost.abc.com to submit your own fan questions and check out additional exclusive content, including the full soundtour of Michael Giacchino. As we go out, we leave you with just a taste of the score from "The 23rd Psalm."