Sometimes there's a thin line between dedication and derangement. That's one of the themes explored by writer-director Damien Chazelle's drama "Whiplash" (in theaters now), which stars
It's also something Chazelle has experienced firsthand. As he told Los Angeles Times reporter Glenn Whipp at a recent presentation of "Whiplash" for the Envelope Screening Series, Chazelle drew on his own personal experiences for the film. (Watch a clip from the event above.)
"I was a jazz drummer, and it was my life for a while, what I lived and breathed every day," Chazelle said. "It started out, as these things often do, as kind of a hobby and fun and enjoyable and self-expression — all that artistic stuff. And then it became like boot camp. It became like going every day up for execution, and wondering if you were going to get a stay of execution."
In making "Whiplash," the 29-year-old director said, "I wanted to look at the mentality that can breed that sort of intensity, that kind of cutthroat, pressure-cooker feeling, especially a form of music like jazz, that should be — or you'd think should be — all about liberation and improvisation and everything."
For more from Chazelle and Simmons, check out the clip above, and check back every day this week.