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Adam Shankman

  • American director
  • Born November 27, 1964

Adam Michael Shankman (born November 27, 1964) is an American film director, producer, dancer, author, actor, and choreographer. He was a judge on seasons 3-10 of the television program So You Think You Can Dance He began his professional career in musical theater, and was a dancer in music videos for Paula Abdul and Janet Jackson. Shankman has choreographed dozens of films and directed several feature-length films, including A Walk to Remember, Bringing Down the House, The Pacifier and the 2007 remake of Hairspray.


I grew up in Brentwood, but I live now in Los Feliz. I grew up on the beach, now I live under the Hollywood sign.




I really loved making 'A Walk to Remember', so I'm not afraid of making smaller films. But for me, I just need to connect to the characters.




The discovery of dance has changed my life in unimaginable ways.




I feel like a lot of my past career was going to film school, making a lot of different kinds of movies. I made a bunch of comedies, I made one drama and I made a couple musicals.




When I put something into motion, the creativity starts to make other people want to jump in, and then a lot of people get employed. I'm just like a shark, in that way. If I stop swimming, I'll die. But, it really is about that shared experience with people. I'm from theater, and that's really what theater feels like.




For me, there was never an end game for becoming a director.




A little secret - I'm the child of a shrink. I am; my mom's a shrink, and my father's a lawyer. So believe me, I analyze and negotiate. That is a huge amount of the director's work, especially when you're working with people who - such a variety.




When the opportunity to choreograph came up, it was nothing more in my head but an opportunity. Then it suddenly became a career very quickly.




Dancing and music were my first love. I was happiest at being a chorus boy.



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