Salt Lake City is known for its picturesque mountains, being home to the 2002 Winter Olympics, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. But the Utah capital has added a new tourist destination to that list: East High School, better known as the home of the Wildcats from Disney's incredibly popular "High School Musical" TV movies. After receiving mammoth ratings and album sales for the first two installments, the studio is bringing the franchise to the big screen with "High School Musical 3: Senior Year." So, on a warm June day, the Hitlist arrived on the campus that tweens worldwide know intimately, to try to understand the phenomenon that has made Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale and Corbin Bleu household names.
"Yesterday and the day before, we shot the finale, and it was like 1,000 people out on the football field," director Kenny Ortega says. "And it was like 90 degrees, beating, cooking [us]."
It's no surprise that Ortega is tired when he stops by to chat, but he's hardly stressed. Little will change from the tried and true formula of the first two incarnations: singing, dancing and teen angst, and he's got that down pat. Ortega, who is best known for choreographing "Dirty Dancing" and directing the cult musical "Newsies," says he is definitely treating "HSM3" as a feature film and not another TV movie.
"You're on a much bigger screen, so detail and attention to detail is really important. Filling the frame is different," Ortega says. "So, designing choreography and scenes and sets, it just opens up."
Ortega also says more time and money have allowed the production numbers to grow in size and scale.
Watch a trailer for "High School Musical 3: Senior Year"!
"We have six major production musical numbers in 'High School Musical 3,' where I think our schedule only really allowed me to design for a couple in the past," Ortega says.
The schedule is slightly longer, too. Ortega notes, "'High School Musical 1' was, I think, 28 days; and 'High School Musical 2' was, I think, 34 days; and 'High School Musical 3' is 41 days. So, it just gives me that much more that I can imagine and plan for."
That includes a Busby Berkeley inspired cafeteria number, a senior show that references important moments in the first two films, a duet between Efron and Bleu to a new song, "Boys Are Back," and a prom scene that may or may not include a dream sequence.
"It is definitely not like my high school prom. It's a little bit more grand," Efron says. "It's kind of a fantasy, too. There's kind of a twist; you'll see. I'm not sure it will make sense tonight, but when you see the movie it will."
In the scene, filmed in an East High School gym decorated to the nines, Efron and Hudgens sing a romantic song while the rest of the cast members switch partners midwaltz. A prominent gazebo at one end of the dance floor may provide a musical portal to another scene (or so the cast teases us). As the actors twirl around a lighted centerpiece again and again, there seems to be some magic in the air. Whether that will bring new fans to the franchise once the movie hits theaters remains to be seen, but for the hard-core fans? This is heaven.
Welcome to our blog! We officially opened on March 10, 2008 and were dedicating to bringing our readers the latest High School Musical news, with the occasional word on other Disney stars and projects. On July 18, 2009, we reformatted our blog include all Disney Channel news. We discontinued the blog on January 19, 2011.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Some More Tiny Details About High School Musical 3
Check out this article about High School Musical 3: Senior Year, which reveals a couple new details of information!