I attended Granger High School. We had a dance squad named The Excaliburs. They wowed us at assemblies and during some halftime shows. Then we had The SExcaliburs…they brought the stadium to their feet. It was the male version of our dance squad. Oh, the memories!
Now, Excel Entertainment is released UNITARDS on January 27 in select theaters. Watch Unitards on Amazon Prime now.
I took my 86-year-old grandmother, Charlotte the Great, to the Unitards Movie Premiere. It was the very first movie she and I ever attended together. She met the producer and when the movie was over we stood in lines to meet the cast. Grandma had a movie poster signed by the cast that was there.
UPDATE: Charlotte the Great at 90 has dementia. I went to visit her with Jake and she recognized me. She did not recognize Jake until sometime during the visit. The one memory that she kept talking to me about was the Unitards Movie Premiere. She knew about this movie. She remembered standing in line to meet the cast. She talked about the movie poster that was signed.
Based on a true story, Lewis Grady (Sam Featherstone) has just won the student-body elections at Skyline High School. Vice Principal Spooner (Michael Buster) has big plans for the goof-off high school senior.
It’s up to Grady to bring the school spirit back to Skyline. He teams up with two of his oddball friends (Jamison Featherstone and Zack Spurlock) for what would forever change the school; a guys-only dance team called the Unitards. Finding the perfect group of misfits to join the team, Ms. Zarolla (Karen Dodge), coaches the school’s award-winning all-girl drill team, and vows to bring the UNITARDS to an end before they ruin the school’s reputation or worse…embarrass her.
Director and writer, Scott Featherstone, didn’t stop at the Unitards, he has gone on to break almost every rule of filmmaking in UNITARDS–self-funding the project, using “real” kids instead of actors (More than 90% of the cast was selected from open auditions at Skyline High.), launched production as the economy spiraled downward and shot a film requiring nearly fifty tracks of music.
That’s right, fifty songs! The film’s score includes several tracks by Salt Lake City composer, Tom Hewitson; six popular songs by well-known artists; nine songs by upcoming artists; two original tracks written exclusively for UNITARDS, including the theme song, “Gonna Dance” plus over twenty licensed production tracks such as “My Girl“, by The Temptations, “Come On Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners and Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer”.
UNITARDS was filmed over a three-month period at Skyline High School. The schedule was crucial and ambitious as the writer and lead actor, Sam Featherstone, received his LDS mission call and was scheduled to report to the MTC in just six weeks. Production wrapped up six days before Featherstone departed for his mission in Mozambique, Africa.
UNITARDS has been honored at every film festival to which it’s been selected and has earned nine awards. This film is based on the actual experiences of Sam Featherstone—the actor playing Lewis Grady.
This movie is truly a tribute to kids.
UNITARDS Movie awards include:
ReelHeart International Film Festival (Toronto, Canada): Best Feature Film Award, Best Actor Award (Ensemble Cast of Lewis, Greg, & Jake); International Family Film Festival (Hollywood, Calif.): Best Musical Award; Santa Clarita Film Festival (Santa Clarita, Calif.): Best Feature Film Award; Fallbrook Film Festival (Fallbrook, Calif.): Best Feature Film Award; KidsFirst International Film Festival (Santa Fe, N.M.): Best Feature Finalist; International Accolade Awards (Los Angeles, Calif.): Award of Merit; Foursite Film Festival (Ogden, Utah): Best Direction Award; BEST OF FEST, Official Selection.
Running time: 104 minutes
*I received tickets to the premier in exchange for this post. All opinions, where expressed, are my own and were in no way influenced by the sponsor. Others experiences may vary.