“Unitards” may not be a word that you usually hear, but then again, neither is a movie about an all-man dance crew that was inspired by true events.
Scott Featherstone, a BYU alumnus and director, writer and producer of the new film “Unitards,” first decided to write the script after observing his son, Sam, run for Men’s Association President at his high school. The story centers around a group of young men who try to unite their school through an all-male dancing group.
It isn’t all fun and games for the boys. The dance group, called the Unitards, is seen as an abomination by the school’s award-winning drill team coach, who will stop at nothing to make sure the Unitards are disbanded.
The movie was shot at Skyline High School in Salt Lake County, using real students from the area to make up the entire cast. A portion of the movie’s proceeds will go back to the school.
Featherstone’s son, Sam, plays the lead role in the movie and is currently a junior at BYU. Taking after his father, Sam is studying filmmaking and is also a film editor for BYUtv . As Featherstone observed Sam and his friends hang out together, he was able to put little details of their lives into the film.
“He [Scott] would see how myself and two of my friends would interact,” Sam Featherstone said. “There were little stories that we had of the three of us that were put in the movie. Little ‘Samisms’ as he would put it. He just saw us and saw how we acted and then made each part tailored for us.”
After seeing countless movies revolving around teenagers smoking, drinking and acting immorally, Scott Featherstone wanted to write a movie that portrayed what he saw through his experiences as a parent.
“We wanted to film accurately,” he said. “They’re still kids just having a good time. They’re smart, they’re bright, they’re funny.”
Megan Knell, a BYU graduate who plays the role of Mattie, agrees.
“It’s just a really fun-loving, party movie,” Knell said. “It’s just fun, it’s light-hearted and I laughed so hard filming it.”
The movie has been well received by audiences and has received awards in every festival it has been entered in, competing against movies like “How to Train Your Dragon.”
“Unitards” will show in select theaters in Utah, Nevada and Arizona starting Jan. 27.