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JAWBREAKER

About The Production
With the resurgence of teen comedy and horror films, Kramer and Tornell were intrigued by the timelessness of JAWBREAKER, which sets it apart from the rest

With the resurgence of teen comedy and horror films, Kramer and Tornell were intrigued by the timelessness of JAWBREAKER, which sets it apart from the rest. Explains Tornell, "The story is mythic, a sort of Faustian tale of four gorgeous high school girls." Rather than place it identifiably in present day, writer/director Stein wanted to use production design, costuming and casting to cross the lines of time so anyone who's been through high school could relate to the film. "It's such a universal experience that I thought the film should have kind a timeless and placeless look. I wanted people to concentrate on the story, not the reality," says Stein.

Although the films parodies high school films from the '70s to present., JAWBREAKER creates a mythic high school in Reagan by incorporating elements from almost every decade. "I've always seen this as a very highly stylized film, and a film that you couldn't place, taking elements from the '40s, '50s, the '60s, the '70s and the '80s," relates Stein.

Costume Designer Vikki Brinkkord (TV's "Clueless") did this, for example, by culling clothing from each time period, dressing down Julie once she leaves the clique with much more subdued, simple 60s attire, while keeping Courtney in flashy '90s lingerie mixed with sexy peddle pushers and slit skirts from the '40s. "A lot of tight clothes, that's what I'm going to walk away with," jokes McGowan.

With an incredible cast from the leads down to the minor roles in place, Stein then worked closely with Director of Photography Amy Vincent ("Eve's Bayou," "Way Past Cool"), and Production Designer Jerry Fleming ("Permanent Midnight", "Live Nude Girls") to take the horror-fantasy of JAWBREAKER to the extreme.

The trio managed to create, along with their crew, an eerie, unique feel to the fictional Reagan High that has a certain timeless quality, despite the obstacles which preceded them. Shooting in several different Los Angeles area high schools during and around Spring recess created a tight schedule to start. The onslaught of the El Nino rain storms of early '98 further complicated the four-week shoot. The JAWBREAKER team had to be ready, at moment's notice, to transfer to a covered set in the wake of unpredictable forecasts or re-scheduled actual high-school track meets due to the inclement weather.

Says McGowan, "Darren's great. He's a fabulous writer, and as a director, his excitement is really infectious. We were doing six day weeks and were all exhausted but his enthusiasm really gives us the boost to go on."

With resilience and creativity, the JAWBREAKER cast and crew persevered and even flourished, with two of the lead girls booking television pilots, and one solidifying a lead in a studio feature during the course of the shoot. Ultimately, the cast and crew weathered nature's wrath, and the film benefited as a result. And just to keep the mood light, a huge bowl of Jawbreaker candy was always on hand during the production, for anyone who wanted something to chew on. "There've been a lot of challenges," admits Producer Stacy Kramer. "We've had a very small budget, and whenever you're making a very visual film, you're pushing a lot of limits. We're doing a lot of interesting, really creative shots and things you haven't necessarily seen before."

"Jerry Fleming, the production designer, and Amy Vincent, the D.P.,<

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