Dear Damien –
I had the pleasure last night of seeing WHIPLASH and I wanted to commend you on a remarkable job well done. Not only have you written two iconic, career-defining roles for two excellent actors, but you directed their story with such precision and poise as to somehow make them both likable. Every shot felt as intricately crafted as a note from Fletcher’s band. The drama and stakes were made palpable by a sensory barrage, and it was truly fascinating to have so much conveyed through the music as well as the action. Ultimately, I felt the film, like Fletcher, was a maniacal, obsessive educator at heart as I left with an incredible new respect and understanding of the correlation between music and film.
As a musician who did not attend music school, you’ve made me very grateful for my chosen path. I’ll gladly live vicariously through your excellent film instead.
Thank you for making such a wonderful film, and good luck with your Oscar run.
Letter originally sent October, 20 2014.