Melissa McCarthy and Jude Law in Spy

Brent White has one of the most finely calibrated senses of humor in Hollywood, and yet you’ve probably never heard of him. New York Times Magazine recently published an in-depth profile of the editor, who got his start in editing comedies in 2000 when he cut the one-season wonder Freaks And Geeks. This launched a long working partnership between White and comedy directors Paul Feig and Judd Apatow. White had an editing hand in some of the the box office’s biggest feature comedies from the past decade, including Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, The Other Guys, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up, Funny People, This Is 40, and The Heat.

Most recently, White edited for the upcoming Melissa McCarthy-starring and Feig-directed action comedy Spy which, like a lot of Feig and Apatow movies, relied heavily on improvisation during shooting. Actors tend to get all the credit when it comes to improvisational magic, but the profile goes deep into White’s process and shows just how necessary a strong editor is for improvised comedy.

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