Interview with Writer, Director Mark Marchillo and Producer Micah Brandt About their Delightful Dance Film “Breaking Legs”


By: Saga Elmotaseb

With the  whirlwind success of  Sundance institute alumni Damien Sayre Chazelle  “La La Land”  there is a sweat darling of a dance film I would like to focus on. “Breaking Legs” is another testament to the totally tubular decade of the 80’s!!! This film is light and heartfelt and shows that even in our most tumultuous times of High School dramas, we can still lean on the passions that set the foundation of our lives.

Written & Directed by Mark Marchillo, this break out feature film plays homage to being a teenager, moving to a small town and never giving up on yourself or your friends, even the ones who don’t know it yet. Earlier this year The Art Of Monteque was able to sit down with writer and director Mark Marchillo and producer Micah Brandt at The 2016 Dances with Films festival where “Breaking Legs” had it Los Angeles premier.

The Art Of Monteque: What was the inspiration for the movie?

Director Mark Marchillo: It’s my first feature film and I really wanted to make a movie that meant something to me. I’m a dancer and I grew up on 80’s dance music and I figured those were the kinds of movies I wanted to make plus making movies with kids was something I really wanted to do.

TAOM: Considering that musicals are not as popular as they were back in the day, it’s a niche audience. What challenges did you face knowing this and why you still pursued it?

Producer Micah Brandt: It’s obviously been done and Mark plays homage to the old school movies and I love the 80’s movie too. Actors like John Cusak, Molly Ringwald, people still love to watch “Dirty Dancing”, it’s So in right now. This was an opportunity to bring that style back. We also shot on film that plays homage to that era too. I liked it for the challenge for having that nostalgia of bringing that style of movie to modern day.

TAOM: My hats off to both of you. In a world where we’re saturated with superhero, VFX heavy movies, you stayed true to your passions. As a producer, what were the biggest challenges? You worked with kids, dancing, singing, I can only imagine?

Brandt: At times, it did become aggravating in regards to having minors on set, at the same time it was wonderfully pleasant. We had super moms and did everything by the book. The studio teachers were great too. We scheduled weeks in advance because we knew we could only shoot a certain number of hours per day with those kids so we could fit everything in around their times. Plus working with an ultra low budget was a challenge and we made it work.

TAOM: Let’s not forget that even the greatest filmmakers started with ultra low budgets.[TAOM]

To follow Breaking Legs go here