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Behind the Scenes of PROM
Depicting a Major Moment in Teenage Life
By Evy Baehr, Associate Editor
PROM is a wholesome Disney movie about the preparation and on goings of a big high school dance.
Following many different couples, PROM shows some nervous, awkward and fun reactions towards the big dance and general high school endeavors.
MOVIEGUIDE(r) wondered just why the directors and writers of PROM decided to do such a wholesome depictions of high school, when so many other movies on the same subject show the “grit.”
Director Joe Nussbaum replied, “This film instead tackles what it feels like to be in high school. . . and I think that there is so much to that rich topic. You don’t need that [other] stuff to make a movie involving high school.”
Producer Justin Springer said he feels the same way about not adding crude behavior to the movie.
“There are certain things that we didn’t touch in this film, but I think there is a sort of over abundance of things that we did explore that’s truthful about high school that makes it really representative of a high school experience. We didn’t pretend like those things weren’t happening; we just didn’t show them in the film. But, I think it doesn’t make the film any less truthful. That was just our choice, just to leave those out.
“We didn’t make a movie about what happens after prom,” he added. “We made a movie about what happens at the dance, which is a very romantic moment in the lives of teenagers.”
Nussbaum also decided not to put a lot of slang into the movie.
“On the slang front, that was definitely a choice,” he said. “For the most part, teenagers talk like we do. They speak like regular human beings. They don’t have a long unintelligible slang. That is actually more of a Hollywood construction than anything.”
Nussbaum said he came to this conclusion after he spent a lot of time going to different high schools and just listening in to the different conversations going on.
There was also a clear choice not to make a big deal about the new digital technology teenagers may be using.
“The way I see it,” Nussbaum said, “is I don’t need to show kids on computers for them to buy it. This movie is about the personal interactions that happen in-between those interactions with technology.”
He also noted that using certain kinds of computer and digital technology can date a movie really fast.
The main actors in PROM, including Aimee Teegarden, who plays Nova, the high school president, and Thomas McDonell, who plays Jesse, also like the wholesome aspect of their movie.
In fact, Aimiee said her family originally were not so supportive about working in Hollywood “because they didn’t want to be the [typical] Hollywood family. . . they heard a lot of bad ramblings about Hollywood.”
“They wanted to protect me from that,” she said.