Whiplash : Editing Analysis Of The Oscar Winner

Whiplash Editing Analysis

<img src="Whiplash-Bhushan-Mahadani.jpg" alt="Whiplash Bhushan Mahadani">

Whiplash is one of my favorite movies from last year which won Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Supporting Actor, and was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture at 87th Academy Awards.

The moment you watch Whiplash, you understand that it is a film which has been made on editing table. Its Tom Cross‘s 3rd film as an editor and he had no idea that less than 12 months later, he’d be in the Academy Awards winner.

In a new video essay from Robigo TV, Rob Knook outlines a few of the most common theories of film editing in contemporary cinema, then let us know how Whiplash used those theories to masterful effect in order to create one of the finest films of 2014.

Spoiler Alert : The video essay is unnecessarily long which is about 25 minutes. First 8 minutes is really unnecessary and looks more like Whiplash’s trailer. Along with that the commentary isn’t good either, but that might be because his first language isn’t English. But again, its an instructive analysis and there are lots of things which you can learn from it.


So here are some of the highlights of the Whiplash video essay.

The soft parts of Whiplash are edited in a tradition style like the scene between Andrew, potential future jazz drummer and the Nicole who is his girlfriend. Half way this scene, the camera goes from medium to closeup shots. This composition change has been used to focus viewers full attention. So why do they need more attention?

First both Andrew and Nicole have different goals in their lives. and second Andrew is taking more interest in Nicole and hence he is getting closer to her. The scene opens in two shots and then maintain the conversation in mid shot until he starts taking more interest in her and ask what does she do and camera moves to closeup.

As they talk about their schools where Nicole says that she applied for 3-4 schools and got into one and asks Andrew why he joined the particular music school, camera goes to mid shot and Andrew tells her because its the best one. This sudden jump from closeup to mid shot depicts that suddenly Andrew loose some interest in Nicole.

Again mid shot emphasis the awkward situation and then camera is pulled out to two shot which shows that their relation is back to scratch one. as the Nicole starts to tell about her camera goes to closeup and they found that they both love movies and maintains close up, letting audience know that now they are close once again.

Rob Knook has provided some other scenes from Whiplash and their analysis. Just watch the video.

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