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Watch the Short That Inspired ‘Whiplash’

Eighteen minute film starring J.K. Simmons as a hot-headed jazz instructor premiered at Sundance in 2013

The short film that would form the basis for Damien Chazelle’s Oscar-winning Whiplash has surfaced online after being re-released as part of the movie’s new Blue-ray edition, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The 18-minute movie, also titled Whiplash and written and directed by Chazelle, initially premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2013, where it won the jury award for Best Short Film. While J.K. Simmons appears as the dogged jazz instructor, Fletcher — a role that would earn him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor — the young drummer, Andrew, is played by Johnny Simmons (Perks of Being a Wallflower), who would later be replaced by Miles Teller.

The short film takes place during Andrew’s first day as a member of Fletcher’s band, where he confronts his conductor’s full range of emotion, from eye-of-the-storm calm to apocalyptic rage. During rehearsal, the instructor berates a trombonist for not knowing whether he’s out of tune, and later warms up to Andrew, learning personal information about the student he later uses against him in a vicious tirade. The crime? Rushing and dragging, of course.

Along with Simmons’ win for Best Supporting Actor, Whiplash picked up two more trophies at this year’s Academy Awards, winning for Best Editing and Best Sound Mixing. The film was also nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture.

Last fall, in a chat with Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers, Simmons declined to offer a then-premature preview of his awards show acceptance speech, but did have plenty of high praise for his co-star, Teller — though he also took the opportunity to tease the young actor, as well. “[Teller] was reluctant to be slapped really hard dozen of times,” Simmons joked, “and I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t enjoy that, that level of acting and commitment.”

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