Watch the Short Film That Inspired the Oscar-Winning ‘Whiplash’
Before he made the Oscar-winning film Whiplash, writer/director Damien Chazelle made a short film called “Whiplash,” an excerpt from the feature script with the same characters, one of the same lead actors, and much the same story. J.K. Simmons, who won an Academy Award last week for his performance as the brutally abusive music teacher Mr. Fletcher, first played the role here. Miles Teller, who played ambitious drummer Andrew Neiman is MIA though; his part is played by Johnny Simmons from Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, 21 Jump Street, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Teller aside, this is very close to the finished feature. At least to my recollection, the dialogue is nearly identical, right down to Simmons’ ominous refrain “Not quite my tempo.” The rehearsal room is a little more generic, the sound mix isn’t quite as polished, and the cinematography isn’t as attractive, but this is Whiplash in everything but length (and Teller). At 17 minutes, it still works great.