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Editor Sheldon Kahn on working with shots that don’t match

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“I tend to take liberties on the time in making the scene work.  If the actor did not continue with a certain prop, and I have to hide the fact that the cigarette is in the left hand in one shot and the right hand in the next, I try to misdirect the eye to something else that is moving in the next shot so that you don’t notice the mismatch.  Yes, matching is very, very important, you try to make sure that the action does the same from one shot to the next.  But as an editor, it’s part of the puzzle to make it work with or without that particular action or prop.    [I’m never aware of mismatches in other films.]  Never.  Unless I’m bored.  If the film is not working, your eye will start wandering the frame of he shot and you might see the mistakes in the shot.  But if it’s good storytelling, good acting, good editing, good directing… absolutely not.  I’m so engrossed in being part of that story.”

–Editor Sheldon Kahn, from Conversations with Film Editors


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