It was an early Saturday morning (5am, to be exact) during a brutal, but typical NYC heat wave but I had agreed to do it. I was invited to contribute choreography to Broadway Dance Center’s entry in a promotion/competition in conjunction with the upcoming release of Step Up 3D, the latest installment in the popular hip hop dance movie franchise. The concept was simple… sorta: the video was to be a one-take dancefest that would start in the lobby of BDC and end in the middle of Times Square.
I was assigned the task of creating movement for the first verse of the movie soundtrack’s Flo Rida-helmed lead single. The song was a fun, upbeat, happy hip-poppy “I Gotta Feeling”-esque track that is perfect for beer-fueled end of the night bar sing-a-longs… and movie theme songs. With a little over a week to pull the whole thing together, I quickly rounded up a handful of dancers that I’d worked with recently and scheduled a pair of rehearsals. The challenge of this project was that whatever movement that I came up with had to move—- no you don’t understand, the choreo had to move move—- as the concept was that the camera was going to shoot my dancers in a studio and follow them with an edit-free transition as they traveled into a hallway… sure, absolutely!
The big (Satur)day quickly arrived and I begrudgingly hopped in a cab and made my way through the early morning streets of Manhattan en route to BDC trying to shed my not-a-morning-person grumpiness. Once there, the logistics of the ambitious shoot were mapped out, the dancers and extras were checked in and briefed about what was to go down, and we quickly started filming as we had to be wrapped in the studio before the 9:30am start of the business day of classes. The first take was expectedly chaotic with directions being shouted over the music and throngs of gray t-shirted dancers racing through 44th and 45th Street in a panicked attempt to hit their next mark in and around Times Square—- remember, any major foul-up and the whole take would be ruined.
Two shoots, several jetes, a few b-boy windmills and a couple of back handsprings later, it was decided that we should give it one more go now that everyone pretty much knew what they were doing—- the gotcha gotcha? We basically had twenty minutes to get it done as the official start of the day at BDC was minutes away and students were already filtering into the studio and were predictably curious about the crazed video shoot unfolding before them. However by 9:30am, we miraculously and triumphantly completed the third take, one that everyone seemed to be pretty happy with, and the battle cry of “It’s a wrap!” was met with cheers from the cast and curious photo-snapping tourists alike.
The results of everyone’s hard work (along with videos from studios in L.A., Atlanta, and Miami) are now up on the official Step Up movie site—- as part of the movie’s “Dance Dub Competition”—- and you can vote for your favorite dance studio’s entry here... which will of course be Broadway Dance Center’s!
To commemorate the unique project, I decided to document—- as I often do—my rehearsal process and the shoot day with the intent of putting together a montage of photos and videos as a way of saying “thank you” to my dancers. However midway through the editing process, I realized that I had a significant amount of material featuring the other dancers/choreographers and I decided to make it an all-inclusive project instead. So, it is with great pride that I present “The Making of BDC’s Step Up 3D Promo Video” as a companion piece to the actual clip. It was definitely a labor of love and I hope that you enjoy watching it as much as I did putting it together. Be sure to check out some exclusive QsNewz pix here before diving into the series of videos below.
And, of course… crazy mad shoutouts to the other choreographers (Kelly, Shyrelle, Derek and Michelle), the dancers, the hordes of extras, April, Bonnie, Reese, the fine folks at Disney and anyone else who I absent mindedly neglected to mention who was a part of this amazing experience!
BDC Step Up 3D Promo Video
Making The… BDCStep Up 3D Promo Video
Flo Rida featuring David Guetta - “Club Can’t Handle Me” (Official Video)
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