Director Damien Chazelle, Paul Reiser and Austin Stowell Talk WHIPLASH at Sundance 2014

     January 31, 2014


One of my favorite films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was writer/director Damien Chazelle’s Whiplash.  The film stars Miles Teller as an aspiring jazz drummer who aspires to greatness under a ruthless instructor, played brilliantly by J.K. Simmons.  While the film focuses on musicians, it’s really about anyone trying to become great at something and the cost of achieving said goal.  Trust me, it’s a great movie, and one you’ll be able to see by the end of the year because Sony Pictures Classics picked up the film for domestic distribution.  Whiplash also won both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize for the U.S. Dramatic competition at Sundance.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

While at Sundance, I landed a short video interview with director Damien Chazelle, Paul Reiser (who plays Teller’s dad) and Austin Stowell (another drum student).  They talked about the positive reaction to the film, whether the project changed during development, the making of the film, getting it ready for Sundance, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Damien Chazelle, Paul Reiser and Austin Stowell:

  • :15 – The enthusiastically positive reaction to the film. Paul Reiser talks about the Sundance experience.
  • 2:44 – Reiser talks about the difference between hearing “buzz” and hearing “about buzz.”
  • 3:30 – How much did the project change throughout development?
  • 4:16 – The experience of making the film in only 19 days and getting it ready for Sundance. Chazelle describes it as boot camp.


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