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“The Pandemic Only Brought Us Together” | Krystin Ver Linden, Alice

Keke Palmer in Alice by Krystin Ver Linden. (photo: Kyle Kaplan)Keke Palmer in Alice by Krystin Ver Linden. (photo: Kyle Kaplan)

The last two years have prompted much contemplation and reconsideration of the reasons why we make our films as well as the ways in which we make them. What aspect of your filmmaking—whether in your creative process, the way you finance your films, your production methodology or the way you relate to your audience—did you have to reinvent in order to make and complete the film you are bringing to the festival this year?

COVID changed the landscape of filmmaking. It reminded me of the samurai motto: “expect nothing, prepare for everything.” The easiest part of making my first film was the creative part. The hardest part and the only stressful part was COVID. Every day, there was an underlying worry of, “Is today the day we’re going to get shut down? Has someone tested positive?” It really had a weight of relentless worry that is/was incomparable to anything else. Oddly, the set had the best energy and the pandemic only brought us (the cast and crew) together, creating a tight bond with a mutual intention: finish the film! Knowing I could direct a film during COVID and pull it off only solidified my knowing that filmmaking was what I was born to do. If I can make a movie under pandemic duress, just wait to see what I can do when there is no pandemic!

See all responses to our annual Sundance Question here.

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