One of the things that all students learn in our directing classes is that if you are unable to fund a feature-length version of your idea for a film, a short film is often a great means to attract funding for their projects.
The Oscar-winning Whiplash initially started off life as an 18-minute short film directed by Damien Chazelle in which J.K. Simmons—who would go on to earn a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his star turn—starred opposite actor Johnny Simmons, who would later be replaced by Miles Teller.
The short film, which was also titled Whiplash, is being included as part of the Blue-ray release of Whiplash and it can be viewed by clicking on the video box above. It originally appeared at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where Simmons electric performance and the fact that it won the jury award for Best Short Film helped it to secure financing for Chazelle’s full-length version.
An interesting fact for those that were vexed why Whiplash was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay at this year’s Oscars instead of Best Original Screenplay: since the full-length version of the film was based on the short, it was considered an adaptation and not an original screenplay.