<I>Death And Other Details</I>: Editor Franzis Müller
March 13, 2024

Death And Other Details: Editor Franzis Müller

Hulu's murder mystery series Death And Other Details stars Mandy Patinkin as Rufus Cotesworth, the world's greatest detective. The 10-episode series centers on Imogene Scott (Violett Beane), who becomes the prime suspect in a murder at sea. To prove her innocence, she must partner with a Cotesworth, a man she despises.

Franzis Müller (pictured) edited Episodes 103, 106, and 109, and drew upon her love for murder mysteries and past experience editing episodes of American Horror Story, Pose, American Crime Story, and Shadow and Bone to balance the storylines of the series’ extended cast with the new discoveries. The show is full of twists and turns, which Müller says made it an exciting challenge throughout the editing process. 


“Not only do we have a vast array of characters to navigate, each with their secrets and demons, but we are also in a race against time to uncover the facts of the case,” she explains. 

Müller worked from home, with the team using Evercast to connect with the directors and producers, who were shooting in Vancouver.

“Once filming was completed, we were able to spend some time in the edit bay with our showrunners,” she adds. “Remote Picture Labs supplied our Avids. They were fantastic to work with and provided a seamless remote workflow.”

The show was shot using Arri’s Alexa Mini LF at ProRess 4444 with a 2.3:1 framing and edited with DNx36 media. 

“ColorTime took care of our dailies in Vancouver and shipped our footage via Media Shuttle to Remote Picture Labs in Burbank. We also used Pix to distribute cuts between departments.”

A show like Death And Other Details has a large cast of characters interacting with each other and intertwining storylines, making it important Müller to prepare a script board ahead of dailies to help navigate the footage. 

“This board serves as a reminder of the show's structure and the direction the characters will go — a visual continuity of the story. I assign a color for each character. Then, on note cards, I add a brief scene description, plus keywords to indicate the character's emotional state. This proved a valuable tool to keep storylines coherent within the edit. It allowed me to focus on the minor details within scenes and how they, in turn, affect the episode as a whole.”

Once dailies arrived, Müller began focusing on the scenes on a micro level, ensuring that each investigation or conflict between characters worked individually, and that no clues were left out. Since there were multiple characters to navigate, it was important to consider how their actions in each scene would affect them and those around them. 

“From there, it became about finding the balance in the rhythm and pace so we didn't lose the audience along the way,” she notes. “Ensuring a flow between the scenes was important, not only in pace and rhythm, but also in the characters' emotional arcs throughout the episodes.”

The eclectic cast of characters provide a variety of unique traits to explore throughout the edit. 

“In Episode 103, the scenes with Hilde Eriksen come to mind,” says Müller. “Linda Emond, who portrays Eriksen, delivers her lines with an alluring cadence. Her rhythm changes depending on who she's communicating with, but she always commands her presence. With access to a strong performance like this, we were able to use a character trait to build the pace within the scenes.”

Episode 106 had several scenes where important revelations about the characters are made. Imogene and Rufus confront Sunil about his involvement with Viktor Sams, and so does Teddy when it's revealed Winnie's involvement in the murder is connected with Vikctor Sams. 

“Editing Imogene and Anna's confrontation was particularly satisfying. Imogene learns the secret of Anna's family business and how their blackmail by Viktor Sams led to the death of Imogene's mother. As both women reveal their cards, we see the pace of the scene increase; they don't talk over each other at first. They are testing the waters. But then, there's a turn in the scene. The rhythm changes, and they almost overlap until the intensity explodes and Anna delivers the final blow to Imogene. It's a subtle shift in pace as the scene evolves, but it helps portray the fracture in the relationship between the two friends.”

As the episodes evolve, viewers can feel the walls closing in and the lengths the characters are willing to go to hide the truth. 

“Episode 109 will present new obstacles in a race against time,” says Müller. “Everyone on this cruise has something to hide, so how far will they go to hide those secrets?”