Release Date: October 14, 2011
Studio: Paramount Pictures
Director: Craig Brewer
Screenwriter: Dean Pitchford, Craig Brewer
Starring: Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Craig Brewer (Director/Co-Writer) – Craig Brewer is a distinctively regional screenwriter and director known for using music to complement his storytelling. Brewer’s films capture the complexion and experience of the American South, creating unforgettable characters that manage to both entertain and challenge audiences.
Brewer studied playwriting at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. His first feature film, “The Poor and the Hungry,” won Best Digital Feature at the Hollywood Film Festival and was acquired by the Independent Film Channel.
Brewer’s second film, “Hustle & Flow,” was financed by director John Singleton and produced by Stephanie Allain. Shot in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, “Hustle & Flow” premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, winning the Audience Award for Best Feature. The film went on to secure a record-breaking acquisition deal by Paramount Pictures and MTV Films, garnered an Academy Award® nomination for lead actor Terrence Howard and winning the Academy Award® for best original song, Three 6 Mafia’s “ It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.”
Brewer’s third film, “Black Snake Moan,” starred Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci. Driven by a classic and contemporary Blues soundtrack, “Black Snake Moan” is a Southern gothic tale featuring the Brewer hallmarks of sex, sin and redemption. The film premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Paramount Vantage in February of the same year.
In 2008 Brewer launched $5 Cover, an online music drama series for MTV he created and dedicated to the Memphis music scene. The series followed a cast of young musicians as they fought for love, inspiration, and money to pay the rent. The success of the Memphis series lead to $5 Cover - Seattle, which Brewer produced.
Dean Pitchford (Co-Writer) - Dean Pitchford was born and raised in Hawaii and graduated from Yale University. He began his career as an actor and singer off and on Broadway in (among other shows) Godspell and Pippin before turning to songwriting, screenwriting and directing.
He won an Oscar® and a Golden Globe for co-writing the song Fame. Three years later, his screenplay and lyrics for the hit movie “Footloose” resulted in an international #1 film, a #1 album (it bumped Michael Jackson’s Thriller from its nearly-yearlong perch at the top of the charts) and six top-forty songs, including two #1 singles.
Besides his kudos for Fame, Dean has been nominated for three other Academy Awards®, two more Golden Globes, seven Grammys and two Tony Awards. His songs have been recorded by such artists as Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Cher, LL Cool Jay, Bette Midler and Martina McBride, and have sold over 70 million copies.
His musical stage adaptation of Footloose played over seven hundred performances on Broadway and is now being seen all over the world.
Dean’s first two Young Adult novels, The Big One-Oh and Captain Nobody, have been published by Putnam/Penguin. His audiobooks recordings of both (released by Listening Library/Random House) were nominated for Grammy Awards. His third novel, N ickel Bay Nick, is due in 2012.
Craig Zadan & Neil Meron (Producers ) – Craig Zadan and Neil Meron are the producers of critically acclaimed and award-winning feature films, television movies, series and Broadway productions. All totaled, their films and television movies have garnered six Academy Awards®, five Golden Globes, eleven Emmy Awards and two Peabodys. For their work in television, their movies have amassed 69 Emmy nominations. Their work in theater has received 12 Tony nominations, including 1 win. Their work has also received five Grammy nominations, including one win.
Their hit television series Drop Dead Diva, has started its third season on Lifetime in 2011. The critically acclaimed series was created by Josh Berman and stars newcomer Brooke Elliott and veteran Margaret Cho.
The producing duo were recently honored by The Casting Society of America with Career Achievement Awards at the 24 th Annual Artios Awards.
Their three hour television movie event of Lorraine Hansberry's A Raisin in the Sun, with Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad, Audra McDonald and Sanaa Lathan was nominated for three Emmys including Outstanding Television Movie, as well as nominated for a Golden Globe for Best TV Movie. The film was also nominated by the Television Critics Association for Best Television Movie or Miniseries and by the PGA for Best TV Movie or Miniseries of the Year. Raisin was also nominated for six NAACP Image Awards, winning three, including Outstanding Television Movie.
Zadan and Meron's last feature project was the Warner Bros. film, “The Bucket List” starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, directed by Rob Reiner, which won the National Board of Review's Top Ten Pictures of the Year. It was also a box office hit grossing $175 million worldwide.
Zadan and Meron produced the smash hit feature film musical “Hairspray” which was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards including Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy), winning many awards at both the Hollywood and Palm Springs Film Festivals. It grossed over $200 million worldwide.
In 2007 they were honored with the Hollywood Film Festival's Producers of the Year award for “Hairspray” and “The Bucket List.”
Their feature film “Chicago.” which they executive produced for Miramax, won the Academy Award® as Best Picture of the Year. Nominated for thirteen Academy Awards®, it won six. Nominated for seven Golden Globes, the film won three, including Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy). “Chicago” has gone on to become Miramax's highest grossing movie in the studio's history and was the first movie musical to win the Oscar® for Best Picture in 34 years.
Their most recent television musical, Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, starring Matthew Broderick and Kristin Chenoweth received five Emmy Nominations.
Life with Judy Garland: Me and My Shadows starring Judy Davis and Tammy Blanchard was both a critical and ratings success, topping most Ten Best lists, receiving thirteen Emmy nominations including Outstanding Miniseries, and winning five. The movie was also nominated for three Golden Globes, winning one.
Their production of The Beach Boys: An American Family, was nominated for three Emmys including Best Miniseries.
Zadan and Meron's new version of the musical Annie, which starred Kathy Bates, won two Emmys, the Peabody Award and the TV Guide Award for Favorite TV Movie or Miniseries. It was nominated for a total of 12 Emmys including Outstanding Made for Television Movie and was also nominated by the Television Critics Association for Best TV Movie.
Zadan and Meron produced Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, starring Whitney Houston and Brandy. The critically acclaimed television musical received the highest ratings for a TV movie on ABC in over a decade, reaching over sixty million viewers. The production also garnered seven Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Special of the Year.
Zadan and Meron also produced Serving in Silence: The Margarethe Cammermeyer Story, starring Glenn Close and Judy Davis. This landmark movie received six Emmy nominations, winning three. The show was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards and won the prestigious Peabody Award for Outstanding Achievement in Broadcasting.
Their first TV movie event was Gypsy in 1993, a three-hour movie musical, starring Bette Midler. Gypsy was a ratings and critical triumph and was nominated for 12 Emmy Awards including Outstanding Made-For-TV Movie (the first such nomination for a film musical in the Academy's history). The show was also nominated for three Golden Globe Awards including Best Telefilm.
Other critically-acclaimed TV events include: Martin & Lewis starring Sean Hayes, Wedding Wars starring John Stamos and Eric Dane, What Makes A Family starring Whoopi Goldberg, Brooke Shields and Cherry Jones, The Three Stooges starring Evan Handler and Michael Chiklis, Brian’s Song starring Sean Maher and Mekhi Phifer, Living Proof starring Harry Connick Jr., Amanda Bynes, Angie Harmon and Bernadette Peters.
The Reagans, starring James Brolin and Judy Davis received seven Emmy Nominations and two Golden Globe nominations.
Zadan's first feature film production was Paramount Picture's “Footloose,” starring Kevin Bacon, which received two Oscar® nominations, one Golden Globe nomination, and a Grammy nomination for Best Soundtrack Album.
Zadan is also the author of the critically acclaimed Sondheim & Co., the first book ever written about Broadway composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim. He also produced the first-ever celebration of Sondheim's work, called "Sondheim: A Musical Tribute," which was staged at the Shubert Theater on Broadway. He subsequently also produced the digitally remixed and remastered Original Broadway Cast Album of the show which, at the time, was the first benefit tribute recording by a major record label in Broadway history.
They are currently producing the new television drama, Smash, in collaboration with Steven Spielberg, Theresa Rebeck, Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, for DreamWorks TV and NBC, about the behind-the-scenes creation of a Broadway musical. It stars Debra Messing and Anjelica Huston.
In 2010 they returned to their theater roots with the first-ever Broadway revival of the Neil Simon/Burt Bacharach/Hal David musical comedy, “Promises, Promises” starring Emmy Award winner Sean Hayes and Tony and Emmy Award winner Kristin Chenoweth. The production was nominated for 4 Tony Awards (winning 1) as well as Best Musical Revival nominations from The Drama Desk Awards, The Drama League Awards, and the Outer Circle Critics Awards.
They are currently represented on Broadway with a hit 50 th Anniversary revival of the Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning Frank Loesser musical comedy, “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” starring Daniel Radcliffe. The revival has been nominated for 4 Astaire Awards, 3 Drama League Awards, 5 Outer Critics Circle Awards, 5 Drama Desk Awards and 8 Tony Awards (including Outstanding Revival of a Musical), winning the Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical for John Larroquette and the Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical for John Larroquette.
Dylan Sellers (Producer) - Dylan Sellers has produced numerous features, television series and TV movies, including Ron Howard's “The Paper,” “Passenger 57,” “The Replacements,” “Cody Banks” (1&2) and “Cinderella Story” (1,2,&3). Prior to producing, Sellers was an executive vice-president at 20th Century Fox and an entertainment attorney with O'Melveny and Myers.
Brad Weston (Producer) – With over 20 years of experience in the entertainment business, Brad Weston began his career in marketing at Lucasfilm, has presided over two major studios, Paramount Pictures and Miramax’s Dimension Films, and is currently a successful, independent producer. After having produced six independent films in the mid-late 1990’s, Weston went on to run Dimension Films where he closely oversaw and executive produced the hugely successful “Spy Kids” trilogy, “Scary Movie 2 & 3,” “The Others,”“Bad Santa,” and Robert Rodriguez’s “Sin City.” In 2005, Weston segued to Paramount Pictures as President of Production. While at Paramount, he was responsible for such films as “Star Trek,” “Cloverfield,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “World Trade Center,” “G.I. Joe,” “The Fighter” and “Rango.” In 2009, Brad transitioned to a producer on the Paramount lot, continuing to work closely with management at the studio. He is currently in post-production on a second film for Paramount’s newly formed Insurge Pictures label.
Amelia Vincent (Director of Photography ) – “ Footloose” marks Amelia Vincent’s third collaboration with director Craig Brewer. Vincent previously served as Director of Photography on the films “Hustle & Flow” and “Black Snake Moan.” Vincent's work on “Hustle & Flow” was recognized with the best cinematography award at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival.
Vincent's earlier work includes Kasi Lemmons' “Eve's Bayou,” which earned Vincent a Golden Satellite nomination. Vincent's diverse list of credits also includes “The Experiment,” “Way Past Cool,” “Some Girls,” “Jawbreaker,” “Freedom Song,” “Kin” and the documentary “This Film is Not Yet Rated.” Vincent, who holds a master's from AFI, was honored with the 2001 Kodak Vision Award for cinematography at the Women in Film Crystal Awards.
Billy Fox (Editor) - As editor of “Footloose,” Billy Fox has teamed up with Craig Brewer for their third film together. Previously, Fox has cut numerous films including the Academy Award®-nominated “Hustle & Flow,” “Black Snake Moan” (Paramount Classics), “Four Brothers” (Paramount Pictures), and “Traitor.” Fox was co-producer and editor on the Award-winning HBO mini-series Band of Brothers, a project for which he shared a Golden Globe award with Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg. He is the recipient of 15 other major awards, including 7 Emmy wins, the Peabody Award and the Golden Laurel award.
Laura Jean Shannon (Costume Designer) – Costume designer Laura Jean Shannon's recent credits include, "Scott Pilgrim vs. the World" directed by Edgar Wright and "Iron Man," directed by Jon Favreau. The latter of which earned Shannon a nomination for The Costume Designer Guild award for excellence in contemporary film design.
Shannon was thrilled to be a part of the re-make of “Footloose” under the direction of Craig Brewer. It was an opportunity to help create a “love letter” to the original, which being a teen in the 80’s was an influential film for her.
Shannon's work has a wide range, she began her career in NYC designing indie cult classics such as "Requiem for a Dream," directed by Darren Aronofsky and "Made." directed by Jon Favreau. Over the years she has had the pleasure of designing many genres including family favorites like "Elf." which afforded Shannon a spot in the prestigious costume exhibition "50 designers/50 Costumes: Concept to Character," curated by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.
Shannon enjoys working all over the globe and calls a farm in central New York her home, which she shares with her wonderful family.
Deborah Lurie (Score) - Named by the Hollywood Reporter as one of the top composers to look out for in 2009, Deborah Lurie has repeatedly proven herself to be one of the most versatile composers and arrangers in Hollywood.
Music has always been a visual experience for Lurie. She was born with perfect pitch as well as a rare condition called synesthesia, which allows her to identify every note by seeing a specific, corresponding color in her mind’s eye--and won her a childhood nickname as Palo Alto’s "human pitch-pipe." She became fully aware of these talents in the tenth grade while excelling at music theory, a newly "academic" subject she had largely taught herself with colors since she had heard her first scale. It became evident that Lurie wouldn’t just continue to pursue music out of passion, but make a career in sound, too.
Deborah Lurie began her career by scoring short films like the celebrated "George Lucas in Love." In the years following, Lurie worked as an orchestrator on studio films such as "The XFiles" and "X-Men 2," and as a composer for additional music on "Bubble Boy" and "View From The Top." In 2004, she reunited with "Lucas in Love" director Joe Nussbaum, scoring the preteen comedy "Sleepover" for MGM. In 2005, she scored the Lasse Hallstrom film "An Unfinished Life." In the following years she went on to score acclaimed films such as “The Little Traitor,” and the Tim Burton-produced animated feature "9." Debbie scored a second Lasse Hallstrom film: "Dear John" in 2010; which earned her a ASCAP Film and Television Music Award honored in Top Box Office Films. Most recently, Debbie scored the box office hit “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” and the Disney release, “Prom.”
Lurie has worked frequently with Danny Elfman, composing additional music for "Wanted," "Spiderman 3," and the IMAX film "Deep Sea: 3D" as well as arranging/orchestrating for "Charlotte's Web," "Charlie And The Chocolate Factory," and "Alice in Wonderland."
In addition to work on film scores, Lurie has an extensive background as an arranger and producer of pop, rock, and theater music. Lurie has arranged for such artists as Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, Hoobastank, Papa Roach, 3 Doors Down, Creed, Hawthorne Heights, Daughtry, The All-American Rejects, Allison Iraheta, and Adam Lambert. The #1 hit single “The Reason” by Hoobastank marked the beginning of Lurie's longest and most prolific collaboration in rock music with producer Howard Benson, who was Grammy nominated in 2007 for Producer Of The Year.
Lurie's work in pop music began with productions for the live stage, including arranging and producing the music for The Pussycat Dolls' live appearance at The Roxy, starring Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, and Carmen Electra. Deborah is also recognized for arranging/producing the music for the Off Broadway musical Bare and Vegas' hit show PeepShow, staring Holly Madison at Planet Hollywood Casino. In film, Lurie’s arrangements appear in the musicals Dreamgirls and Fame."
Deborah Lurie’s career certainly is one to follow as her contributions to film, music, and stage continue to reach fans all over the world.
Jamal Sims (Choreographer) – Jamal Sims has led the way in contemporary choreography in the movie industry for over a decade. His work on “ Step Up,” “Step Up 2: The Streets,” and “ Step Up 3D” has turned the franchise into one of the most popular and highest grossing dance movie properties of all time. Some of Sims’ other film credits include “ Year One,” “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” “17 Again,” “Soul Men,” “Get Smart,” “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story,” “Hairspray,” “Beauty Shop,” “After the Sunset,” “Garfield” and “Vanilla Sky.”
His work with producer Adam Shankman on the “ Step Up” franchise led to his choreographing the Emmy-nominated 82 nd Academy Awards®, which Shankman also produced. Sims has choreographed concert performances for Madonna (the Sticky & Sweet Tour) and more recently, the attention-grabbing Wonderworld Tour for Miley Cyrus (recall the infamous pole-dancing routine) which he also directed. Sims most recently choreographed the high-profile production of Rent at the Hollywood Bowl. Starring NicoleScherzinger andVanessa Hudgens and directed by Neil Patrick Harris, Sims’ choreography was consistently praised by critics and received glowing reviews.
Although rooted in movies, Sims’ experience has also lead him to choreographing for the Teen Choice Awards 2009, 2010, the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards 2010 and several routines on So You Think You Can Dance as a guest choreographer.
Studio photos, notes and videos © 2011 Paramount Pictures