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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Phantom Cymbal Hits

I finally got around to watching Young Adult yesterday. Jason Reitman delivers another good flick, teamed once again with writer Diablo Cody. Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, and Patton Oswalt all do a fine job making material that could have been long, painful, and awkward into something worth watching.

But I have to give a lot of credit to editor Dana E. Glauberman because of a small, subtle thing: while showing Nipple Confusion play live, there isn't a phantom cymbal hit.

What the hell is a phantom cymbal hit? It's a common error editors make -- and more proof that most editors are not drummers. This is when the drummer, playing his or her heart out, hits a cymbal and there is no sound. I know, I know, screw continuity when you're trying to get the best performances. Yet when even a concert film like The Song Remains the Same has one (it's towards the end), it seems like standard operating procedure.

I'm thankful how moviemakers, in the past couple of decades especially, have put a bit more faith in actors and actresses performing their own songs. Robert Altman did a great job of casting people who could play and sing in Nashville. Cameron Crowe did one as well in Almost Famous, mixing actual musicians with actors who could act like musicians. Sure beats watching people in older movies (besides Marx Brothers movies) poorly miming the act of playing.

So, is it too much to ask to get more editors to learn the concept of drumming?

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