By Fred Topel | Image property of Walt Disney Pictures
High School Musical 3: Senior Year
High School Musical has become a well oiled machine. They've done one every year. Now they've done it so well that the third film is going theatrical, instead of airing on The Disney Channel. Corbin Bleu explained how the team has honed their craft the third time around.
Corbin Bleu Ready to Graduate from High School Musical 3: Senior Year
"I think [director] Kenny [Ortega] from the first film was always very open to ideas from the whole cast and was always accepting our input," Bleu said. "I know that everybody had a hand in their characters since the first film. What was great about this third one was that I felt like the rehearsal process, since we had longer time, we had five weeks, we had more to workshop, to really sit down, everybody discuss characters and relationships with each character, so I think you just saw the background with all these different personalities throughout the whole movie."
Familiarity with everyone from the background dancers to scene extras also created more of a real high school experience. "Of course when you have an entire ensemble onstage, and there's a certain scene in the foreground and in the background there's still moving bodies all over the place, and you want to be able to see, just like a real high school, kids intermingling. You pass through the hallway, you're not just passing through the hallway, you know you have certain friends, so I think we really got a chance to expand on that and get more in depth with that on this film."
High School Musical 3 came to an end with the summation of the whole trilogy: a graduation dance number signifying both the characters and the actors moving on. "The final scene in the movie was actually the final scene we shot, which is very rare. You constantly shoot out of order. The final scene of the film being the curtain closing on these characters, on their lives at high school, was very similar. It was art mimics life in this category. We were all up on stage, and reminiscing about these past three years. This was the same stage where we shot 'Breaking Free.' This was the same stage where we experienced so many creative breakthroughs with each other and friendships. I mean it was a very emotional time."
Costar Zac Efron called Bleu out on welling up with tears, though Bleu saved a little face "To maintain our manhood, we didn't cry in front of everybody on the stage. We waited until we got back to the makeup trailer and let loose. Just the six of us that were there, and of course we just broke down. Girls' makeup was running."
High School Musical 3: Senior Year opens to theaters on October 24th.