BRING IT ON
About The Production
Director Peyton Reed was intrigued by the fresh subject matter and originality of the screenplay for Bring It On. Reed, whose directing credits include HBO's Mr. Show With Bob & David, successful remakes of the classic Disney live-action titles The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes and The Love Bug (both premiered on ABC's The Wonderful World of Disney) as well as music videos for alternative bands such as The Connells and Superchunk, met with Beacon's Max Wong and Caitlin Scanlon just prior to departing for New York to direct episodes of the Comedy Central show Upright Citizens Brigade. The day Reed returned to Los Angeles, he had his first meeting as director of Bring It On.
"Jessica Bendinger's screenplay really appealed to me in that it mines this very specific world that I hadn't seen in a film before—the fanatical world of cheerleading," explains Reed. "I went into it expecting a take on cheerleading that would perhaps try to be overly hip, hating its characters and thumbing its nose at them. But Bendinger created characters whom you really like — and you find yourself really rooting for them."
Reed had read a lot of screenplays which dealt with high school characters, and welcomed the originality and humor of Bring It On.
"It's not just another teen film about guys wanting to get laid, or who's going to be asked to the prom," he notes. "It
was a real challenge to take these characters, who have
traditionally been portrayed as airheads or objects of derision, and to make real and likeable people out of them. It's an affectionate look at the world of cheerleading, in all its competitive and catty glory."
Screenwriter Jessica Bendinger had been fascinated by this world for years. "Contrary to popular belief, I was not a high school cheerleader," she laughs. "After a stint cheering for a midget football team in eighth grade, my cheerleading career ended. Since then, I've watched from afar, jealous and lusting after a career as a cheerleader. It never happened, so I had to channel my frustration through this project!"
Bendinger became fascinated by ESPN s televised cheerleading championships in the mid-'80s, and began watching them religiously. While working at MTV News, she became consumed with the idea of doing a documentary on the cheerleading nationals competition, but her idea was met with indifference. Turning to screenwriting, Bendinger had a conversation with her agent.
"He asked me what I was most passionate about," she recalls. "I responded that I love the sport of competitive cheerleading and I'd love to do a movie about it — and Bring It On was born!"
Marc Abraham, who is president of Beacon Communications, and whose producing credits include The Hurricane, For Love of the Game, Air Force One and the upcoming The Family Man, was happy to oblige Bendinger.
According to Abraham, "The truth is, I didn't know much about cheerleaders except that I always liked dating them. It was Caitlin Scanlon and Max Wong who busted into my office one day and said there is a terrific movie in this idea. I guess I was smart enough to listen, and they were just plain smart, because Bring It
On is a damn good film."
Bring It On began principal photography on July 7,
1999 in San Diego, California and completed production in early September.
The filmmakers feel fortunate to have brought together such a talented cast of young actors for Bring It On, led by the talented Kirsten Dunst as Toros cheer captain Torrance ("she puts the tor in torture") Shipman.
"Kirsten is a incredible actress, an
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