Jerkin' dance craze headed to film

Producers developing pic centered on the trend

NEW YORK -- The producers behind "Next Day Air" will groove to a new dance move.

Melee Entertainment and indie film producer Shariff Hasan are developing a movie that will center on jerkin,' the hip-hop dance trend that has been attracting a host of mainstream coverage.

Melee's Bryan Turner, Scott Aronson and Mike Regen are producing the project along with Hasan, Todd Moscowitz and Mike Mavrolas. Moscowitz runs Asylum Records, which has released a number of jerkin'-themed music, and Mavrolas manages jerkin' act the New Boyz, which is enjoying a hit with the jerkin'-themed "You're a Jerk."

Jerkin,' which has landed coverage in L.A. Weekly and the Los Angeles Times, is a form of dancing that, like breakdancing and other performance art, originated in the streets. But unlike some other forms of street art, it's underlied by a specific political ideology of providing a positive, anti-gang message in the inner city. The movement is marked by dancers wearing brightly colored, nonbaggy jeans and shirts, in marked contrast to conventional hip-hop wear.

The first jerkin' crews originated in Southern California, but the movement has spread to other parts of the country and world. Turner described the jerkin' movement as "hip-hop reinventing itself before our eyes." Hasan said that, because it is anti-gang, the phenomenon marks "the first time in human history where youth culture is rebelling against itself."

Producers are in talks with writers to get their take.

Melee is the banner behind the Mos Def action comedy "Next Day Air," which earned $10 million when Summit released it in May, and Screen Gems' $40 million breakout "You Got Served." It is prepping the thriller "Day One."
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