The Director's Chair: Adam Shankman's Hairspray Diary #10

July 20
10:12 AM 2007 has an exclusive look into the making of the movie musical HAIRSPRAY with this special Director's Diary written by Adam Shankman. Check back daily for new entries!


So I have my creative team locked in.  Rita Ryack will be doing the costumes.  Her passion is unsurpassed and the fact that she seemed a bit like a maniac made me very happy.  She has a great black bob with a nice white streak through it and a nice white bod with a great black streak through her heart.  She has done a ton of work with Ron Howard and was also nominated for an Oscar for her work on the GRINCH. She's gonna keep me running. I think I talked about Peter Pan collars and buttons with her for about three and a half hours.  This is going to get fun.  

For the Production Designer, I'm going to be working with David Gropman. He did CASSANOVA, AN UNFINISHED LIFE, THE SHIPPING NEWS, CHOCOLAT and THE CIDER HOUSE RULES to just name a few.  He started out as a theater designer and really seemed to understand that I was trying to anchor the movie with a very firm physical reality.  I love the color palettes that we discussed. We just seem to see eye-to-eye on everything.  He's going to do an amazing job.  

Finally, the insane Bojan Bazelli, my Director of Photography, is from somewhere in Eastern Europe. I'm not exactly sure where, but I can barely understand him because he gets so excited and he talks even more quickly than me which I've never heard of before.  He did some really interesting work on MR. & MRS. SMITH and THE RING, which were two of my favorite visual movies the last couple years.  Once again, his unbridled passion is winning him the job. He seemed to understand that I wanted the whole thing to look like a giant bowl of candy.  Let's see what he does.  With this group, I'm very interested to see how exactly it's going to work out.

For an editor, I chose Michael Tronick.  He also worked on MR & MRS SMITH, but most compellingly, he was Bob Fosse's music editor.  I think he's really going to understand what I'm trying to do and certainly he's worked with music enhanced with the greatest director of the film musical possibly to ever live. 

More tomorrow with entry #11...

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Adam Shankman Adam Shankman is a master of comedy yet is still able to capture the sensitivity of each story, making him one of the most loved and commercially successful filmmakers of his generation.

Currently in post-production on Hairspray, Shankman is bringing the feature film adaptation of the Tony award-winning Broadway production to life with a remarkable collection of talent including John Travolta, Queen Latifah, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken. Hairspray is scheduled for a July 2007 release from New Line Cinema.

Shankman is also in pre-production on Bedtime Stories, which he will direct and executive produce through his Offspring Entertainment banner for Walt Disney Studios, with Adam Sandler set to star. Additionally, Shankman is producing an Untitled Project in the works also through Offspring, with Hairspray star Zac Efron set to star. He is also producing, through Offspring, All Of Me, starring Queen Latifah and based upon the 1984 film starring Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin.

Shankman and Gibgot?s Offspring Entertainment are set to produce Monday Monday, a film about a neurotic teenager forced to relive the first day of high school until he gets it right. Offspring Entertainment is also producing an adult treasure hunt project in association with Benderspink.

Most recently, Shankman produced the Sandra Bullock film, Premonition, as well as Step Up for Walt Disney Studios. Step Up, directed by his co-choreographer Anne Fletcher, garnered critical acclaim and grossed over $100 million at the box office. The sequel Step Up 2, directed by John Chu, is scheduled to begin production this summer. In addition, Shankman recently directed the box office success, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, the sequel to the 2003 20th Century Fox smash hit family film.

Shankman began crafting an enviable career with his directorial debut, Columbia Pictures' The Wedding Planner. The Jennifer Lopez and Matthew McConaughey film was the heart-felt hit of 2001. Shankman's following grew with his next film A Walk to Remember, distributed by Warner Bros., starring Mandy Moore and Shane West. A Walk to Remember was nominated for a 2002 Phoenix Film Critics Award for Best Live Action Family Film.

Shankman followed this up with Bringing Down the House, a Walt Disney comedy starring Steve Martin and Queen Latifah which was number one at the box office for three weeks in a row, grossing over $130 million. Shankman followed that up by directing another Disney film, The Pacifier starring Vin Diesel. To date, Shankman?s films have grossed over a half-billion dollars.

Prior to directing, Shankman was one of the entertainment world's premiere dance and physical comedy choreographers, putting his creative stamp on many well-known comedies, dramas, thrillers, and animated films. His projects include The Addams Family, Casper, Inspector Gadget, Anastasia, George of the Jungle, Boogie Nights, Miami Rhapsody, and The Flintstones for which he was nominated for a Bob Fosse Award. Shankman won the Bob Fosse award for his work with Simon West.

At age 24, Shankman teamed up with influential video director Julian Temple as a music video choreographer. One of the first videos as choreographer was Whitney Houston's "I'm Your Baby Tonight." He has also choreographed videos for The B-52's, Barry White, Aaron Neville, Chic and Stevie Wonder.

A native of Los Angeles, Shankman developed a love for the theater at an early age. After high school, he moved to New York and attended the Juilliard School.

After five years as an actor and dancer in New York and regional theater, he moved back to Los Angeles and began dancing in music videos, including videos for Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson. He also performed at the 1989 Academy Awards.