Watch the short film that became Whiplash

JK Simmons stars in the short film that became an Oscar-winning feature - and is now available to watch online

If you were paying attention to the 87th Academy Awards this year, you might notice a few similarities between one of the winning movies and this short film. You could even say they follow the same beats.


A tough jazz band environment, lots of intense drumming on the soundtrack and JK Simmons playing the band leader-cum-drill sergeant from hell, as well as stress triggers for anyone who’s ever played an instrument in public.

It even shares the title of the triple Oscar-winning movie – Whiplash. So what gives?

No, it’s not a blatant rip-off that Oscar-winning actor JK Simmons is oddly complicit in, nor did director Damian Chazelle steal someone else’s work. This short film was made and premiered at the Sundance festival back in 2013 by Chazelle in order to secure financing for the feature-length version of his passion project, and it’s now popped up online.

The film went down well, which was lucky for Chazelle but less so for the short’s young star Johnny Simmons who was replaced by Miles Teller in the feature-length version of the story. Hopefully he wasn’t drummed out too harshly.

Now you can watch the short as the audience at Sundance did and appreciate the intricate movie development process in all its glory, as well as the evolution of one of the year’s best films.


Alternatively, you could just use it as crib notes for the full Whiplash without forking out to see why J Jonah Jameson is so angry about music. Whichever suits your tempo.