THIS MOVIE WILL GIVE YOU WHIPLASH: EDITING IN WHIPLASH

One half of my dad's celebrity gay father duo.

One half of my dad's celebrity gay father duo.

I recently saw the Oscar nominated film Whiplash, starring J.K. Simmons (who I have a weird soft spot for because my dad looks like he could be the love child of Simmons and Bruce Willis) and Miles Teller, and couldn't help but be floored by the amount of time and thought that went into its editing. If you've seen the movie you know what I mean – it's shot like an action flick, and the last 6 minutes alone have enough cuts and jumps to make your head spin. 

In a New York Times article, director Damien Chazelle and editor Tom Cross talk about their vision for the editing and pacing of the film. 

This isn't even the whole sequence - there's almost 5 minutes before that show Teller's character starting and playing through a whole other previous number.

"Damien wanted the film to be an action thriller first and a music film second."

By smash-cutting and subverting audience expectations for when we expected the cuts to come, Cross created a movie that felt both fast-paced and quiet. It's a great film to watch if you're interested in learning how to spot things like editing or composition – it's a particularly dramatic example, and once you recognize the technique you begin to understand how it works to make the movie feel the way it does.