Writer/Director Damien Chazelle must be enjoying his well-deserved recent success after his excellent debut feature “Whiplash” was nominated for five Academy Awards and took home the gold for Editing, Sound Mixing and Best Supporting Actor. However, there was a time when Chazelle’s original feature screenplay about the sado-masochistic relationship between an ambitious jazz drummer and his abusive instructor wasn’t necessarily a hot commodity in Hollywood.
Perhaps if Chazelle was willing to add a scene a la “Fifty Shades Of Grey“ involving a leather-bound J.K. Simmons whipping a bound and gagged Miles Teller while asking him if he’s rushing or dragging, he could have secured funding for his project. But Chazelle evidently decided to stick to his principles and subsequently failed to get his film off the ground via the strength of his screenplay alone. So he decided to film a section of his screenplay as a short, which won the Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival and the rest is chair-throwing history. Of course, the existence of the short resulted in the Academy nominating “Whiplash” in the Best Adapted Screenplay category for absolutely no logical reason, but we can dive into The Oscars’ usual bureaucratic dumbassery some other time.
Now, fans of “Whiplash” can watch the original, courtesy of YouTube. It’s hard to call this a traditional short film, since it takes a chunk out of the feature screenplay and presents it as-is. There isn’t any character development for the Andrew character, played here by Johnny Simmons instead of Teller. He’s just a doe-eyed kid ready for his band practice, unaware of the horrors his “musical reincarnation of Gunnery Sargeant Hartman” conductor Fletcher (played here by Simmons, as if anyone else could possibly do justice to the role) will unleash on him. The short is almost identical to the corresponding chunk in the feature, right down to specific blocking and editing choices.
For some reason, the video is posted with hard-coded subtitles in Spanish. At least now we can learn how to say “I’ll fuck you like a pig!” in Espanol. Check out the short below.