Whiplash follows Andrew (Teller), a first-year college student as he begins his quest to become the core drummer of the top jazz orchestra in the country. Under the direction of a prestigious but borderline abusive instructor named Fletcher (J.K. Simmons), Andrew would do anything to become a famous musician. His commitment is put to the ultimate test when the unrelenting and eccentric band professor all but drives him to madness. Fletcher’s extreme teaching methods rattle Andrew’s faith in drumming…and in himself. In the end, the struggle is only worthwhile if Andrew is really the one-in-a-million talent that Fletcher believes him to be.
Whiplash is an American jazz music drama thriller film written and directed by Damien Chazelle. The film stars Miles Teller as a young jazz drummer who attends one of the best music schools in the country under the tutelage of the school’s fearsome maestro of jazz (J. K. Simmons). It also stars Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell, Jayson Blair, and Kavita Patil.
The film premiered in-competition in the US Dramatic Category at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 16, 2014, as the opening film of the festival. Shortly after the film’s premiere screening, Sony Pictures Worldwide acquired the international distribution rights.
About the Production
Originally conceived in the form of an 85-page screenplay, Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash came to prominence after being featured in the 2012 Black List that includes the top motion picture screenplays not yet produced. When producers started showing interest, Chazelle took 15 pages from his original screenplay and adapted it into a short film starring Johnny Simmons in the role of the drummer and J. K. Simmons (no relation) in the role of the teacher.[ The 18-minute short film went on to much acclaim after screening at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, which ultimately attracted investors to sign on and produce the complete version of the script. The feature-length film was financed for $3.3 million by Bold Films.
In August 2013, Miles Teller signed on to star in the role originated by Johnny Simmons; J. K. Simmons remained attached to his original role. Principal photography began the following month with filming taking place throughout Los Angeles, including the Hotel Barclay, Palace Theater, and the Orpheum Theatre.
Directed by: Damien Chazelle
Starring: Miles Teller, J. K. Simmons, Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell, Jayson Blair, Kavita Patil
Screenplay by: Damien Chazelle
Production Design by: Melanie Jones
Cinematography by: Sharone Meir
Film Editing by: Tom Cross
Costume Design by: Lisa Norcia
Set Decoration by: Karuna Karmarkar
Music by: Justin Hurwitz
MPAA Rating: R for strong language including some sexual references.
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: October 10, 2014