“Step Up 3D” Director Says Dance and Technology Are Perfect Partners

Step Up 3D” director Jon Chu used a novel marketing team to help fuel his film’s box office success: mom and dad.

“They own a restaurant and when the movie was out in theaters, anyone who had a ticket stub from the movie got a free drink from the restaurant,” Chu tells PopcornBiz. “They think they're doing huge numbers, like, 'I think we just sold you a thousand tickets, John! It should be good for your box office!' I let them believe that.”

Praised for its innovative use of 3D for its dance sequences, “Step Up 3D” hits home video this week, and Chu – who’s also helming Justin Beiber’s upcoming 3D concert film “Never Say Never” – remains entranced with the ever-burgeoning technology.

“It feels like we're in film school again: nobody knows the rules,” he says. “We keep getting told what the rules are, but we broke plenty of the rules in 'Step up 3D' and found out it could be okay. The technology is still being perfected, so everyone is scrambling and there are new inventions every month.”

Chu points out that dance films have long incorporated cutting-edge technology, with Fred Astaire dancing on the walls and ceiling in “Royal Wedding” to Gene Kelly cutting a rug with Jerry the Mouse in “Anchors Away.”

“With 3-D it's the same thing – we couldn't just shoot our movie in 3-D,” he says. “What it really did was make us think, 'Wow, there's so much more than you could do,'” Chu explains.

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