How Did They Film the Climactic Drum Solo in “Whiplash”?


Shooting the musical sequences in the film required a lot of planning and storyboarding, as matching different takes of the music would require a lot of precision.

The best example of this is seen in the climactic drum solo. They shot one master take of the solo, and then they filmed a lot of fragments meant to represent that same performance. According to Chazelle, he storyboarded the entire sequence and made an animatic (a series of still images edited in sequence with a rough soundtrack), which then served as his guide. With that in hand, he was able to shoot specific measures of the score to the music.