America ferrera gotta kick it up -
It was directed by Ramon Menendez and written by him along with two other writers Tom Musca and Nancy de los Santos, based on the story by Maghan Cole. Writer Rachael Ellenbogen of millennialhallmarker. How did Meghan Cole seek you out for this project? What about the idea made you want to jump on board? Not in the MOW department, but in some capacity in animation. She pitched the story to the Disney MOW department, and was given the green light to develop a script.
She contacted my agent at ICM, who then introduced us. MH: Can you explain a bit more about the real-life background of the story? Meghan was placed in a local Los Angeles low-income area. Meghan was there to teach English, but soon found out the Girls Dance Team did not have a teacher-sponsor.
MH: How did you prepare to write this script? Who did you talk to, where did you visit, what kind of mindset did you have to get in? As soon as I was hired, I contacted the school and made arrangements to meet with the current dance team members. Meghan and I spent a great deal of time working together. She told me her story and while the film is not a direct reflection of her experience, it certainly is the blueprint.
Was it an easy sell to the Disney execs back in the early s or did it take some convincing? MH: Why do you think there are still so few Latino-led movies and series? That is the trillion dollar question. Research proves that films with diverse casts tend to have bigger box office results. Would the answer to your question be that the folks who are responsible for greenlight projects at networks and studios are just not conscious of the Latino community?
This is the lowest this number has been since it began over 10 years ago. And the same or similar can be said for television. Who are the Latino stars on television? The starring or co-starring roles for Latinos on televisoin are very few and very far between.
But, the Spanish-language audience is not the English-language Latino audience. The Latino American audience wants to see Latino representation on English-language programs and films. Whatever the answer is, it is my mission, and the mission of many Latinos working in the business to be a part of changing those dismal numbers.
MH: Did you feel pressure to do this story justice? And while I was never a dance team member, I knew the feeling of being judged and considered to be less than, for the color of my skin and my ethnicity. And I listened to each of the young girls we interviewed. They told their story through me. MH: Why is this movie so important for the Latino community, and for Hollywood as a whole?
MH: What has this movie meant to you — both professionally and personally? But they did! Favorite scene? MH: To this day, so many of all backgrounds still quote this movie.
How did this saying come to be and can you explain its importance in the film? The phrase is credited to Ms. I love the phrase, and wanted the young dance team to have words that reflected their strength and commitment to their goal.
And, it was great to hear these words spoken on television. Always makes me smile. Does it have significance to the story? MH: This film not only has strong Latina characters, but just strong female characters in general. How does it feel to write such great female characters? MH: What do you hope viewers, who might now be watching for the first time, take away from this movie?
We all have hopes and dreams. We all have obstacles. And, everything in between — We all have shared experiences as human beings. And, we live those experiences through our own special filters and lenses. Sharing these stories among ourselves, make us better human beings. MH: What was the hardest part about writing this script?
Hey, Disney Channel! I have a few ideas! MH: Were you able to visit the movie set? I think it was shot in Canada. How did you get involved with that project, what was your role with it, and what did that film mean to you? I was the Associate Producer on that film, working with Nava as a researcher for the script and being on-set, linking the director to the production departments and crew members. That was my first big film production, and it was amazing.
It was my honor to be a small part of that magnificent film. The service is all about female-driven shows and movies. Do you have any thoughts on this type of company? MH: What are you working on now? Are you currently writing any other movies or possibly shows? And, hope to direct my first feature, a rom-com that I wrote about three friends to get a prayer guaranteed to find them their perfect mate! This is a tough business. And to stay in it, you have to be committed to it.
I suggest that anyone considering a life in the arts to take a long and deep dive into their hopes and dreams. Take your commitment temperature, and before you jump, ask yourself what truly makes you happy.
Writing for television and film is challenging and rewarding, but the foundation to flourish is based on your commitment. Do you believe that? Artists want to create. Directors who direct feature films, have also directed MOWs. Actors from theatre star in MOWs. Writers will write with their hearts for any and all mediums. The film had a hand in giving these young actors the opportunity to hone their craft and to shine.
It worked! They both developed into bight and success stars!