The Director's Chair: Adam Shankman's Hairspray Diary #15 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!


It's 4:30am - oye.  Last night was one of the most exhausting shooting nights of my life.  We had to conquer the entire last part of "Welcome to the 60s," which included almost a hundred dancers, with John and Nikki in the middle of the triangle. The day was so long because New Line invited what seemed like a hundred foreign distributors, who were totally unfamiliar with "Hairspray" since it hasn't toured Europe or the rest of the world save for one Norwegian production - or was it Finnish? So they were trying to acquaint the rest of the world with what it is that we're doing here. 

Everybody was half-dressed; we did a show and tell in a giant room near the triangle on Dundus right below Blore.  And the dancers were made up in costume with a little bit of hair and a little bit of make-up and a lot of "looky-loos" in the street.  It was near sunset when we rehearsed over and over again.  John was in mid-make-up so it was Zac Woodley was dancing with Nikki, which makes me laugh.  I'm trying the "Funny Girl" hairstyle on Nikki, the funny beehive with the rosettes.  And I like the idea that Tracy has a new do in this particular scene.  Hells Bells, she gets a makeover.  Edna gets a makeover, so why not change things up?  After the crowds had left, or at least the invited crowds, we set up our five cameras, dollies, cranes, steady cams, you name it. Later, I'm gonna add cerucci fireworks into the end so that it has a real pop.  The exteriors look like a downtrodden Baltimorean version of Las Vegas at the very end.  I have no idea exactly how I'm going to do that since there's no neon, but I'd say for the beauty shot, dare to dream, right? 

Tonight is John's first night actually dancing. It's sort of scary.  He's running around in those giant fake legs, giant fake body, Pet Pink Cleary Dress - the pink sequence dress - and I have a feeling he was having problems breathing, because it was just an enormous amount of  work.  I started to laugh at the opening entrance - he and Nikki have to run so far, that they're completely sprinting, holding shopping bags getting out of the door to get to their marks on time.  The streets are wet so that they'll have a pretty shine to them, reflecting all the light.  And we didn't even get to the tumbling pass until 5 o'clock in the morning.  Everybody was dying.  John seems to like to work at this hour.  Oye, is this what the whole shoot is going to be like?  You've got to give props to everybody; they worked their hinies off.  Jamal, Zac, Joey and Mama.  All running around from dancing group to dancing group making corrections.  It was mayhem. I'm just going to have to cross my fingers and hope for the best.  I think it will look good.  Halfway through the night, I just started to move the camera between every take so that I'd have different angles.  This section needs a lot of cutting, I can tell, because we keep having to move dancers in order to fill up the square triangle.  I got home at 9:30am.  That's show biz.

More tomorrow with entry #16...

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