From Sizzle to a $3,300,000 Production Deal
to OSCAR Nomination!

What We Can Learn From ‘Whiplash’ the Short Film and Damien Chazelle’s Fearless Journey

Finding a Way to Showcase His Vision

He selected a scene from his screenplay that could stand on its own, contained a journey of sort for Andrew Neiman (the main character), showcased the dark side of the Music world Chazelle wanted to portray, and most importantly, showed how he wanted to direct it, and he presented it as a [Sizzle].

The movie takes place essentially in one room, was shot in three days with a budget of $23,000 and ended up winning the Short Film Jury Award at Sundance Film Festival in 2013.

This tactic of shooting a [sizzle] as a business card to get financing for a feature has been used many times in the past and it is a great way to show what you can do.

Capitalizing on the [Sizzle] to Reach the Finish Line

The Sundance win led to Chazelle getting $3.3 million to shoot his Feature Film, which he did in 19 days in September 2013, a particularly impressive number when you watch the unusually high number of close-ups and camera movements present for an indie film. Read More

Numerous Award Nominations Followed, Including Oscars!

Whiplash Nominations
La La Land Nominations

“I’d written Whiplash as a feature, and that’s what I wanted to do. But, as it turned out, the producers’ idea was a brilliant one. Not only did it arouse interest in the project that hadn’t existed before, it also allowed me to get my feet wet, to fine-tune what I really wanted this movie to be.”

– Damien Chazelle (Read more on MovieMaker)

This is for educational purposes only. All rights belong to Damien Chazelle and Sony Pictures.

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