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“I Drove Out to Texas Alone and Slept in My Car on the Way”: Director Manuel Crosby | First Date

First Date

How did events of 2020—any of them—change your film, either in the way you approached it, produced it, post-produced it, or are now thinking about it?

We dodged the COVID bullet during production, as we had shot everything before 2020. However, we were halfway through post when everything hit. The majority of our post team lives in Texas, but I live up in Northern California. I needed to get down there to oversee finishing, and flying in a metal tube recirculating airborne viruses for several hours wasn’t going to work. In order to keep things safe and comfortable for the team I’d be working with, I drove out to Texas alone and slept in my car on the way, having no contact with anyone until I arrived. It wound up being a decent road trip, and one brain-probing COVID test later we were able to put the finishing touches on the film in person—which was a huge benefit to our sound mix in particular. We feel incredibly fortunate that we were able to complete this film in a relatively smooth manner. It was a tough year for everyone, and we’re glad to bring a film to the masses this year that’s a fun, entertaining adventure.

(Check back daily during the festival — new answers are uploaded on the day of each film’s premiere. Read all the responses here.)

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