Video:Prom Interviews, Joe Nussbaum, Katie Wech and Oh Darlingwith Rebecca Murray
Director Joe Nussbaum, first time feature film screenwriter Katie Wech, and the band Oh Darling were among the 'Prom' talent hitting the red carpet to talk about the high school drama from Walt Disney Pictures.See Transcript
Transcript:Prom Interviews, Joe Nussbaum, Katie Wech and Oh Darling
Rebecca Murray from About.com Hollywood Movies at the World Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures' Prom.
Prom Director Joe Nussbaum
So tackling another teen movie, is this just your genre now?
Joe Nussbaum: "Apparently it is."
You're the king of teen.
Joe Nussbaum: "I'm definitely not the king of anything. But Prom was a great script. It had a lot of romance and comedy. It had characters that I could relate to, and I was excited about telling the story."
You're very good at telling stories for teens that don't talk down to teens. How difficult is that to do?
Joe Nussbaum: "You know, I don't think it's that difficult at all. You just put yourself in the shoes of the characters, and there's no reason to talk down to them. We've all been through it, and one of the things you learn at the time is how important it all feels to you. And maybe a few years later it doesn't feel quite so important, but then again maybe it still does. I think we're all still, you know, ringing with moments from our teen years and so they deserve to be treated this way."
You have a lot of people in your cast who had never acted before. Was that difficult for you to rein them in and get them pointed the right direction?
Joe Nussbaum: "Not necessarily. Something about the actors who were new to the process is they had so much enthusiasm, they were so excited to be there. And obviously in auditioning we found kids who could act. If they couldn't act and they'd never done it, forget about it. But as long as they can act, having never done it actually can become an asset because they're just so excited to be there and they bring a great energy to the set. They work their butts off. It was great."
But when you're casting unknowns, there's a chance you are going to get someone who is the bad apple that's going to spoil the whole mix. How do you know that you don't have one of those?
Joe Nussbaum: "I guess you never know, but you set a tone where that kind of thing isn't accepted. And you audition not once, not twice, three times. You bring them in for chemistry reads. I like to talk to the actors a lot and get a sense of who they are, and then just lay down the law and tell them how it's going to be - and lead by example. And, also, when you have the veterans on the set, people like Aimee Teegarden and De'Vaughn Nixon and this guy, Cameron Monaghan, they follow the lead of the other actors. We had no bad apples in the bunch."
What are you working on next?
Joe Nussbaum: "Next, well I'm writing also. And then there's a script that I wrote that I'll hopefully direct about a guy who's going to have a baby and finds out it's a boy, and feels like he's not man enough to raise a boy - which has to do with my own fears even though I wrote the script, then had a son. So I'm living it, but it's all good."
Prom Screenwriter Katie Wech
These are your stories? You actually lived some of these?
Katie Wech: "Yes. I was the prom planner. I was the over-achieving 'Nova' (played by Aimee Teegarden) type in my school. But I also had the unlikely romance with the kind of bad boy with the pony tail type, which we try and usually fail to stay away from. So I really learned that some of the best things about high school you can't plan for, and I really wanted that to be the beating heart of the story for everyone in the cast, not just that main love story between Aimee Teegarden and Thomas McDonell. But what I found throughout my research listening to people's stories about prom - whether they were good or bad or terrible - everybody had a story. Even the people who don't go to proms, what they did that night instead becomes their story. And so the universality of that was so interesting to me. I really wanted to get as much of that into the movie as I could."
What are you working on next?
Katie Wech: "I've got a bunch of things going. Disney is kind of my home at the moment, and I always feel like I write for the 17 year old version of myself. So, there's lots of fun."
That's a fun job.
Katie Wech: "Yeah, it really is, and it's also a very difficult one. It's a very discerning audience, the teenage audience is very sophisticated and I think giving them something authentic where they really feel like they see themselves reflected is a challenge that I love rising to. I'm so happy to be here on this red carpet having brought this one in."
It's nice to get that first one under your belt.
Katie Wech: "It feels wonderful. I say my first prom night was pretty great, but I think this one trumps it."
Prom Soundtrack Artists Oh Darling
So tell me about working on this film. They used your songs in the soundtrack?
Oh Darling: "I think the person that does the music for the film was a fan of ours and liked our song. It fit perfectly. We haven't seen it yet - I'm very excited. We're very excited. It's during the part where she tries on her dresses, so it's very important."
Is it tough sell when they ask you if you want to put your song into a Disney movie? Do you have to really consider that?
Oh Darling: "It's exciting. It's like, 'Let's do it.' We all love Disney movies. We all grew up with Disney movies. I think it's great."
Oh Darling: "We want people to hear our music so it doesn't really matter what venue it gets into, and I think that they will. They have to like it, otherwise we're pulling it from the film tonight."
Do you have good prom memories?
Oh Darling: "I was so tame. I didn't make it very fun for myself. I just went and I was real nervous. I remember that. I've come a long way."
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