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Editor Tom Cross Talks the Syncopated Editing Magic of ‘Whiplash’

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.”

Read the full story here.