Editor Tom Cross Talks the Syncopated Editing Magic of 'Whiplash'

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Miles Teller, already a good drummer, had to transform into a world-class one in order to believably portray his character in music film Whiplash. Still, the drumming scenes, which were synced up to pre-recorded music, did require a bit of editing magic from editor Tom Cross.

"Most of the time, Miles was very close in his drumming, to match sync. On occasion we had to help him a little with some editing manipulation," Cross tells The Hollywood Reporter, specifically citing some extreme close-ups during the film's grand musical finale. "The sync [to the music] was close but not perfect. We couldn’t alter the soundtrack and couldn’t slow or speed up the music; that would have been immediately obvious. I needed to line the pictures up, manually, for every drum hit. The most precise way was with jump cuts and to take out frames. And this had to be imperceptible.”

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