The Director's Chair: Adam Shankman's Hairspray Diary #12 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!


Well, it's happened. I've moved my entire life once again back to Toronto.  I've always liked Canada, but I really do miss my house. At least the dogs are gonna be up here with me. Jake and Sierra are keeping me company in the middle of all this mayhem.  The choreographers have all moved as well.  We're shooting back at Showline Studios and I'm familiar with it because we shot THE PACIFIER there.  We have the whole place to build the inside of the Turnblad residence, Prudy Pingleton's basement, the entire exterior of the Turnblad House (the backyard setting for "Timeless to Me") and various other sets.  We are going to be using practical locations for the school. We've divided them up into two because school is still in session, but we did find a fantastic school with brilliant architecture from the period.  The architect happened to have built two schools, one of which is being closed down.  So, while school is in session, we are using one and while school is out of session we will be using the other one.  The interiors we will be shooting in Hamilton, which is an hour outside the city. This is also where we are going to stage most of the march for "I Know Where I've Been."   David Gropman has been doing one of the most extraordinary jobs I have ever seen in my entire life. It's really unbelievable how much design he is doing simply by finding us perfect locations. He showed me a three block area that is going to be transformed into Highland Town, where Tracy is going to do most of "Good Morning Baltimore," where Mr. Pinky's will be; that will also be where we play the exterior for "Welcome to the Sixties."  What freaks me out is that we are going to have to shut down sixty businesses and three very busy city blocks for ten days.  What in God's name have we paid in order to get them to agree to do this?

Rita's costume shop is bustling. I walked in and almost fainted.  Thousands upon thousands of cardigan sweaters, pencil pants and the like were being loaded in from months of shopping in thrift stores, going through costume houses and from my favorite area, where the new costumes are being made. There is a giant mold of John Travolta's body that that they are building Edna's costumes on. It's a three hundred pound massive, headless lady draped in sequence right now, simply plopped into the middle of the room. There are hundreds of yards of plaids, shantung, sequence, bolts of fabric for Corny Collin's coats, which I want to be very shark skinny, and everything you can possibly imagine.  She actually seems a bit like a pig in shit right now to me.  The sound stages are getting prepped and ready. The mirrors are being rolled in and I am just looking around in awe that all of this is being prepared for me to put into motion.  

I'm moving into my house. It's this bizarre, gothic, three story monstrosity that makes me terribly uncomfortable to go in because it's too big for me, but I need a place that has a nice backyard because of the dogs. I hope that I'm getting it for not very much money because I had to take a pay cut on this job, God knows. The dogs will be happy because it has a big, giant, brick wall enclosure so they will be safe and sound and I don't have to worry about them.  One thing that does make me very happy is that it has a big living room with a giant TV in there so I can have the cast over to watch "So You Think You Can Dance" every Wednesday which is something that I think will bond all of the dancers. Does that make me a geek?  If it does, well, I guess who cares? I just know that this time spent with the dancers is going to be some of the happiest of my career.

I'm going to go to Tony Bologna's now to get my favorite veal parmesan sandwich.  Talk to you later.

More tomorrow with entry #13...

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