STEP UP REVOLUTION
About The Production
Starting with the 2006 debut of Step Up, producers Jennifer Gibgot and Adam
have created a series of ultra-popular hip-hop fairy tales that blend the
urgency of the latest
street dance with the romance of "Romeo and Juliet." Each new chapter in the
brought to the screen even more astonishing choreography and imaginative
scenarios than its
With Step Up Revolution, the fourth film in the series, Gibgot and Shankman
biggest and most challenging film they have made to date, packed with
production numbers and talented, red-hot young performers. The producers have
pulled out all
the stops for the story of a daring and innovative group of performance artists
called The Mob.
Using the streets of Miami as their staging grounds, The Mob blends music,
dance, visual arts
and cutting-edge technology in extravagant flash mob performances that appear
"We all gravitated to the notion of the flash mob," says executive producer
"That is a meticulously planned, well-organized form of dance performed publicly
and made to
appear spontaneous. It's done live and on the fly, so it's also got an 'anything
can happen' feel
that we wanted to capitalize on. Flash mobs are so much of the moment in our
now. People are out there doing it in the streets, but I don't think anybody has
ever done them
on this scale with top flight dancers and choreography."
The scope and ambition of the film's flash mob dance numbers are
"They are not like anything you've ever seen in a movie before, even in the
earlier Step Up
films," says Gibgot. "It's no longer about two teams battling each other. We've
exciting that is the Zeitgeist right now, amped it up and put a whole new spin
Taking dance into the streets of a major metropolis opens up the movie in a
makes it very different from the earlier films, according to Smith. "We go
outdoors in front of
huge crowds, instead of the club battling you've seen in earlier films. That
takes it to a whole
other level. And unlike the choreography of the average flash mob, which is
we are showcasing some of the greatest dancers in the world doing these
choreographed and staged dance numbers in some very surprising settings."
Eventually, Smith observes, the performances turn into something more
just eye-popping moves. "As the character Emily says in the movie, it's time to
performance art to protest art. That's a turning point for all of our
characters. The art form can
be used for something greater than just, 'Hey, look at us.' It can be used to
deliver a message.
And they take that message and then deliver it in really fun, unexpected ways
all over the city."
The Step Up franchise has already launched the careers of two highly
directors, Anne Fletcher (who went on to helm 27 Dresses and The Proposal) and
John M. Chu
(director of the upcoming GI Joe: Retaliation and creator of the successful web
Legion of Extraordinary Dancers" or The LXD). To meet that innovative, highly
creative standard, the producers of Step Up Revolution recruited Scott Speer, an
director who has collaborated with Cho on The LXD, and directed videos for Blake
Ashley Tisdale, Jordin Sparks and Mexican pop sensation Belinda.
"Scott understood what this movie needed to be," says Gibgot. "He was
working to make each number bigger than the one before and give this movie
than any previous Step Up has had. He was always trying to outdo himself, which
inspiring to the cast and crew."
The energy and audacity needed to create a flash mob drove his vision, says
Mob completely takes over the world for a moment. It's an aggressive and
liberating form of
expression, which is a relatable concept for a lot of young people. You just go
into a place, and
while everyone else is concerned with their lunch or their work or getting where
they are going,
you remind them that they could break into dance at any time. And dance is about
joy. Life is
The filmmaker's passion for dance was another factor that made him the ideal
for this film, say the producers. "Scott is a lover of dance, as John Chu was,"
says Gibgot. "He is
Jon's protege, but when he came in, he was clear about wanting to make his own
still paying homage to the earlier films. That was important to us."
Speer stages each of the film's dazzling productions numbers with the
scope of an adrenaline-charged battle scene. "He has the potential to be a great
director," says Smith. "He envisioned the dance numbers like action set pieces.
It felt like he
came in every day with something to prove."
But he also excelled at finding the humanity and romance that are the
hallmarks of the
Step Up franchise. "Scott cared deeply about the actors and the characters they
says. "He said from the beginning that he wanted to keep what made the last
special, which was the love story and the chemistry, as well as the great
To build camaraderie within the cast, the director encouraged them to spend
together on set and off. "One thing that is special about a dance movie is that
you don't meet at
the table read and then go your separate ways until you get to the set," he
explains. "We had a
lengthy rehearsal process. The cast was hanging out after work, eating together
every day. By
the first day of production, everyone had bonded through that months' worth of
training. It began as a mandate that they spend time together. Eventually it
took on a life of its
own. They formed a little family."
The way the company came together was a new experience for producer Smith.
my first Step Up," he says. "I couldn't have asked anything more. There were no
just wanted to make this the best Step Up film there could be."
Even producer Adam Shankman stepped in to help, volunteering to run the
for Speer. "Adam just brings such enormous spirit to everything he does," says
it's directing Rock Of Ages and Hairspray or producing the Step Up movies,
Adam's energy is off
the charts and it's infectious. To have someone with his experience on second
The finished film depicts the world of the flash mob in a way that has never
before, says the producer. "You will be going on a ride during which you'll see
some of the best
dancing and the most amazing dance sequences in the world. And in addition to
that, you will
see a great young love story in the Step Up tradition. You're going to have a
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