Step Up Revolution: Interview with Scott Speer
“Step Up Revolution,” the fourth installment in Summit Entertainment’s dance and romance franchise, ups the ante with unparalleled 3D action in sultry, sexy Miami where a group of hot young performers takes to the streets to what they do best—dance!
Director Scott Speer makes his feature film debut, working from an original screenplay by Amanda Brody. The film is produced by the Offspring Entertainment team of Adam Shankman and Jennifer Gibgot, along with Erik Feig and Patrick Wachsberger. Bob Hayward, David Garrett, Meredith Milton, Jon M. Chu, Matt Smith and Nan Morales are the executive producers.
In the film, childhood friends Sean (Ryan Guzman) and Eddy (Misha Gabriel) work as waiters at Miami Beach’s ultra‐posh Dimont Hotel, owned by ruthless developer Bill Anderson (Peter Gallagher). In their off‐duty hours, they lead a renegade crew known only as “The Mob,” a group of cutting‐edge dancers, musicians and artists that captures the collective imagination of the city with dazzling, high‐tech, hit‐and‐run flash mobs that appear out of nowhere—and vanish in an instant.
The Mob’s outlaw performances attract the attention of Anderson’s daughter Emily (Kathryn McCormick), a gifted dancer in her own right. Under pressure from her dad to leave her lifelong dream behind and get a “real” job, Emily has reluctantly agreed to go to work for him unless she earns a coveted spot in the prestigious Wynwood Dance Company. But after witnessing a flash mob, she is determined to join in.
Emily’s impressive dance skills win her a place in The Mob, but her presence drives a wedge between Sean and Eddy. When Anderson and his young protégé Tripp (Tommy Dewey) announce plans to raze The Mob’s neighborhood to build a huge commercial development, the group begins planning their most daring flash mob ever to try to save the waterfront, forcing Emily and Sean to choose between family ties and their love for each other.
“Step Up Revolution” stars Kathryn McCormick, finalist on the hit television dance series “So You Think You Can Dance,” and Ryan Guzman in their feature film debuts. Misha Gabriel, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Tommy Dewey, Peter Gallagher, and real life choreographer Mia Michaels lead a rich supporting cast, with cameo appearances by fan favorites from the “Step Up” franchise.
Speer: The 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 about joy.
The Magic of Making a Dance Movie
Speer: 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. 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 rehearsing and 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.
Lead actors Kathryn McCormick and Ryan Guzman
Speer: The sky’s the limit for them. I hope it was a great experience for them. For me, it was an absolute pleasure working with them.
Working with Producer Adam Shankman
Speer: Adam just brings such enormous spirit to everything he does. Whether 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 unit was invaluable.
Speer: From the very beginning, it was important to me to include the full spectrum of dance in this movie. I believe everyone is naturally a dancer. And every style of dance is really about communicating. The Mob blends many different styles of movement into their flash mobs, including non‐dance styles like parkour, which incorporates vaulting, rolling, running, climbing and jumping. I don’t think anyone has brought all of these different aesthetics together in a film…You really appreciate the hard‐hitting hip‐hop when you see it set up against the elegance of contemporary dance. That’s when you can best understand how universal dance is, which is one of the most powerful ideas in this movie.
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