Editing in the age of improv

Article in the New York Times magazine about Brett White, who specializes in editing Apatow-style improv comedies. He has an interesting take on critics’ obsession with continuity errors:

“You run into editors who say, ‘I can’t make that cut, the glass of water is in the wrong place in that take,’ ” White said. “But I’ll say: ‘Who cares? The performance is strongest in that cut!’ Why would you match the glass and take on that worse performance? ‘Matching is for sissies’ — that’s one of the things Dede would say all the time.” White argues that as audience members, we “look at actors’ eyes most of the time, so as long as they’re engaging, you’re going to be connected to that person, and whatever happens elsewhere in the frame is less important.” Increasingly, White is able to have his cake and eat it too, paying digital-effects houses to swap out an unwanted portion of a frame with one more desirable, say, or superimposing an actor’s head at the bottom to fabricate visual continuity between shots.