Inside Editing Jazzy Whiplash

Damien Chazelle’s very hot Whiplash has the most powerful cutting style of any of this year’s editing Oscar contenders, with a very visceral jazz vibe.

Editor Tom Cross, who has been nominated for ACE and BAFTA awards and is a strong contender for an Oscar nom on Thursday,¬†knew instantly that “Whiplash” would be created in the editing room and therefore worked closely with Chazelle on honing a multi-layered editorial approach for this intense, psychological cat-and-mouse between¬†Miles Teller’s ambitious drummer, Andrew, and J.K. Simmons’ abusive instructor, Fletcher, who puts him through hell to become the next Charlie Parker.

“Damien told me that he envisioned it as an action movie first and a musical drama second,” Cross recalls. The musical sequences were edited to pre-recorded music for the major scenes, including the frenzied finale, which is an unrelenting blaze of glory inspired by the end of “The Wild Bunch.” In fact, the first cut lacked soul so they fine-tuned the performances so that Teller and Simmons attain a moment of sublime transcendence, despite the masochistic method to the instructor’s madness.

“Damien wanted it cut at right angles with one cut answering another cut,” Cross continues. “He said the editing should feel as if Fletcher were cutting the film. And he also said the style of the film should be subjective and he referenced ‘Taxi Driver,’ where the editing style represents Andrew’s state of mind, nervous and false manic at times.”

Read the rest at TOH/Indiewire.

Posted on by Bill Desowitz in Below the Line, Clips, Editing, Movies, Music, Oscar, Sound, Tech

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