Saturday, January 31, 2015 - 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Pollock Theater, UCSB


Whiplash (2014)

Screening format: DCP (107 Minutes)

Director: Damien Chazelle

Writer: Damien Chazelle

Starring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons

"The road to greatness can take you to the edge."

Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is an ambitious young jazz drummer, single-minded in his pursuit to rise to the top of his elite east coast music conservatory. Plagued by the failed writing career of his father, Andrew’s passion to achieve perfection quickly spirals into obsession, as his ruthless teacher Terence Fletcher (J.K. Simmons) pushes him to the brink of both his ability- and his sanity.

UCSB Script to Screen is proud to present Whiplash, winner of three Academy Awards® for Best Sound Mixing, Best Supporting Actor and Best Editing. We will be joined for a post-screening Q&A with writer/director Damien Chazelle (Oscar®-nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay and WGA Nominee for Best Original Screenplay).

The UCSB Script to Screen series examines the screenplay and its transition to the screen from the perspective of writers, directors, producers, editors, and actors.

UCSB Script to Screen is sponsored by the department of Film and Media Studies, The Carsey-Wolf Center, and The Scott Frank Fund for Screenwriting. It is hosted and executive-produced by the Pollock Theater Director, Matt Ryan, and produced by the Pollock Theater student staff.

Whiplash Trailer

Whiplash Interview: Damien Chazelle, J.K. Simmons, and Miles Teller


Damien Chazelle, Writer/Director

Damien Chazelle made his directorial debut with the musical Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench (2009). In 2014, he wrote and directed his second feature film Whiplash, based on his award-winning short film Whiplash (2013). The film premiered at Sundance Film Festival and went on to receive 5 Academy Award® nominations, including Best Picture. Chazelle received an individual nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Chazelle has stated in interviews that he was working as a 'writer for hire,' but had the ambition to direct his own script. Chazelle described Whiplash as a writing reaction to being stuck on another script. "I just thought, that's not working, let me put it away and write this thing about being a jazz drummer in high school." He stated he initially did not want to show the script around, as it felt too personal, and he "put it in a drawer."

Matthew Ryan, Pollock Theater Director

Matthew Ryan started his academic career at NYU to run the Cantor Film Center, where he produced a range of events from a screening and Q&A with Martin Scorsese to a media conference with then President Bill Clinton. In 2008, he received a MFA in screenwriting from Loyola Marymount University.

Now, he is director of the amazing Pollock Theater.  He pioneered the Pollock Theater Internship, which is a selective program offering industry-level experience to students interested in event planning and live TV production. The TV shows produced through this program have generated more than 10.6 million views on UCTV. Many of these episodes come from events in his own series, UCSB Script to Screen, including 12 Years a Slave with Oscar®-winner John Ridley and American Beauty with Oscar®-winning screenwriter Alan Ball.