Make It Happen (2008)

Make It Happen 2008tt0822868.jpg poster

  • IMDb page: Make It Happen (2008)
  • Rate: 5.1/10 total 2,587 votes 
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Date: 8 August 2008 (Ireland)
  • Runtime: 90 min
  • Filming Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • Gross: £1,147,470(UK)(17 August 2008)
  • Director: Darren Grant
  • Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Tessa Thompson and Riley Smith
  • Original Music By: Paul Haslinger   
  • Soundtrack: Teach Me How To Dance
  • Plot Keyword: Burlesque | Legs | Beautiful Woman

Writing Credits By:

  • Duane Adler (screenplay) and
  • Nicole Avril (screenplay)
  • Duane Adler (story)

Known Trivia

  • The umbrella dance was originally planned with water dropping down like rain, with the girls dancing in water, splashing it around with their dance moves. However, the idea was scraped due to the fact that it would be too easy for the girls to fall while shooting the scene.
  • Ashley Roberts who plays Brooke is a member of The Pussycat Dolls.
  • The facade of the Dance school Lauryn walks into is the “Centennial Concert Hall” in Winnipeg, Canada.

Goofs: Continuity: In the scene were Lauren dances onstage at Ruby's for the first time, as she goes into her starting pose, she realizes that she is too fair to the left (viewer's left, her right) of the stage and adjusts herself so her silhouette (outline) is right in the middle of the sliding stage door (at the line where the doors meet). However, in the very next shot her silhouette is now to the right (viewer's right) of the middle/door split.

Plot: Embarking on a journey to fulfill her dreams as a dancer, a young girl discovers a new style of dance that will prove to be the source of both conflict and self-discovery.  »

Story: Embarking on a journey to fulfill her dreams as a dancer, a young girl discovers a new style of dance that will prove to be the source of both conflict and self-discovery.


Synopsis: Lauryn is a young woman from a small town in Indiana who moves to Chicago with dreams of entering the Chicago School of Music and Dance. But after rejection and a series of misfortunes she finds herself working in a burlesque club. The club proves to be a place of conflict and self-discovery, helping Lauryn to realize that even though plans may change, dreams never do. -LieslJade

The movie opens in Indiana, where Lauryn Kirk (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) says goodbye to her brother, Joel (John Reardon) before departing for Chicago to audition for a famous dance school, the fictional Chicago School of Music and Dance. Although Joel – who works as a mechanic in the family garage – is wary of Lauryn’s decision to enroll, he eventually gives her his blessing. When Lauryn enters the stage, however, her dance (mostly a hip hop routine) was halted by the judge, who hostilely rejects her, saying that they need to see something more "sensual and feminine". Dejected, Lauryn goes to a diner to down her sorrows, but soon finds her car towed off. Upon seeing her misfortunes, Dana (Tessa Thompson), a friendly waitress from the diner invites Lauryn to her apartment and out of the pouring rain. Dana subsequently offers Lauryn a place to stay, considering Lauryn could not go back home and face her brother. The next day, Dana brings Lauryn to a club called Ruby’s (whose dances are rooted in burlesque), where she meets with Russ (Riley Smith), the slick-talking disc jockey, and Brenda (Karen LeBlanc), the club owner. Brenda hires Lauryn as a bookkeeper, in light of her skills with numbers. Lauryn watches as a dancer, Carmen (Julissa Bermudez) performs impressively on the stage. Lauryn and the group bond over drinks later that night. Before locking up late one night, Lauryn goes on the stage and silently and elegantly dances, while unknowingly to her, Russ watches from a distance. The next night, Brenda finds herself short of dancers. Russ asks Lauryn to dance, after having seen her graceful performance the previous night. Lauryn reluctantly agrees, and finds herself to be Ruby’s new star. As Lauryn and Russ’ relationship progresses, Lauryn continues performing stunningly on stage, much to Carmen’s chagrin. However, Joel catches Lauryn at the club during a dance; after a bicker, in which Lauryn realizes that Joel is losing the family garage due to stacking mortgages and bills, she decides to ditch the stage and return to Indiana to save the garage. However, soon after, Joel catches a peek of Lauryn joyfully dancing in the garage one day, and asks Lauryn to give the audition another shot. Uplifted, Lauryn returns to Chicago for a second audition. She nails it, and happily embraces Russ (who has come to encourage her). Lauryn goes back to Ruby’s to apologize to Brenda, but finds a surprise congratulatory party awaiting for her. The movie concludes as the party breaks into a dance. [D-Man2010]

{tab=FullCast & Crew}

Produced By:

  • Duane Adler known as co-producer
  • Erix Arocha known as associate producer
  • Robert Benjamin known as executive producer
  • Darren Grant known as executive producer
  • Brad Luff known as producer
  • Anthony Mosawi known as producer
  • Andreas Rialas known as executive producer
  • Jennifer Rogers known as co-producer

FullCast & Crew:

  • Mary Elizabeth Winstead known as Lauryn
  • Tessa Thompson known as Dana
  • Riley Smith known as Russ
  • John Reardon known as Joel
  • Julissa Bermudez known as Carmen
  • Ashley Roberts known as Brooke
  • Karen LeBlanc known as Brenda
  • Matt Kippen known as Wayne
  • Erik Fjeldsted known as Marty – Mechanic
  • Aaron Merke known as Clay – Mechanic
  • Leigh Enns known as Flirtatious Customer
  • Christina Grace known as Female Dancer – Auditions (as Christina Grace SY)
  • Debbie Patterson known as Audition Receptionist
  • Sofia Costantini known as Choreographer's Assistant
  • Jeremy Koz known as Cool Looking Guy
  • Gordon Tanner known as David Lancer – Choreographer
  • Kyle Nobess known as Doorman Charlie – Ruby's
  • Terry Ray known as Birthday Party Guy
  • Alexandra Herzog known as Snotty Girl
  • Michael Xavier known as Marcus
  • Sara Thompson known as Young Lauryn
  • Tara Birtwhistle known as Lauryn's Mom
  • Ernie Pitts known as Bouncer at Malcolm's
  • Dan Skene known as Ruby Stage Bartender
  • Nigel Holt known as Street Dancer
  • Duncan Tran known as Street Dancer (as Duncan Tran)
  • Tyrell Witherspoon known as Audition Dancer
  • Rylan Mayberry known as Boy in Suit (uncredited)

..{tab=Supporting Department}Makeup Department:

  • Sylvain Cournoyer known as makeup department head
  • Nina Kvaternik known as makeup artist
  • Jennifer Machnee known as assistant makeup department head

Art Department:

  • Ricardo Alms known as set designer
  • Gary Barringer known as graphic artist
  • Lloyd Brandson known as key scenic artist
  • Nick Burns known as storyboard artist
  • Olaf Dux known as construction coordinator
  • Donna Jenkyns known as draper
  • Holly Moore known as clearances
  • Jamie Lou Morneau known as art department assistant
  • Remi Verfaillie known as set dresser


Production Companies:

  • Mayhem Project, The

Other Companies:

  • iO Films  digital intermediate
  • Business Affairs  legal council
  • Business Affairs  legal counsel
  • Business Affairs  production counsel
  • Film Finances  completion guarantor
  • Newbridge Film Capital  funding
  • NovaStar Digital  sound post-production
  • Sony Pictures Stock Footage  stock footage
  • Soundelux  post-production sound services
  • Technicolor  release printing
  • iO Film  digital intermediate


  • Benelux Film Distributors (2009) (Netherlands) (theatrical) (Benelux)
  • CatchPlay (2009) (Taiwan) (all media)
  • Dutch FilmWorks (DFW) (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD)
  • Dutch FilmWorks (DFW) (2009) (Netherlands) (DVD) (Blu-ray)
  • Film1 (2009) (Netherlands) (TV) (limited)
  • Golden Village Entertainment (2008) (Singapore) (all media)
  • Kinowelt Home Entertainment (2009) (Germany) (DVD)
  • Motion Picture Distribution (2009) (Canada) (all media)
  • Odeon (2008) (Greece) (all media)
  • Palace Pictures (2008) (Czech Republic) (all media)
  • SND (2009) (France) (all media)
  • Sundream Motion Pictures (2009) (Hong Kong) (all media)
  • Weinstein Company, The (2008) (USA) (all media)

..{tab=Other Stuff}

Special Effects:

  • LOOK! Effects (visual effects)
  • Michael Kaelin & Associates (visual effects)

Visual Effects by:

  • Christopher Dusendschon known as digital imaging supervisor: iO FILM
  • Michael Kaelin known as digital compositor
  • Migs Rustia known as visual effects editor
  • Paul Stemmer known as visual effects editor

Release Date:

  • Ireland 8 August 2008
  • UK 8 August 2008
  • Iceland 27 August 2008
  • Australia 4 September 2008
  • Singapore 4 September 2008
  • Philippines 1 October 2008
  • Hong Kong 13 November 2008
  • USA 9 December 2008 (DVD premiere)
  • Czech Republic 11 December 2008
  • Poland 19 December 2008
  • Slovakia 22 January 2009
  • Netherlands 5 February 2009
  • Hungary 5 March 2009
  • Thailand 19 March 2009
  • Taiwan 20 March 2009
  • Italy 3 April 2009
  • Belgium 8 April 2009
  • Russia 16 April 2009
  • Malaysia 24 April 2009
  • United Arab Emirates 30 April 2009
  • Kazakhstan 7 May 2009
  • Netherlands 9 June 2009 (DVD premiere)
  • France 10 June 2009
  • Germany 9 September 2009 (DVD premiere)

MPAA: Rated PG-13 for sequences of sensuality


Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database

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