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Lauren Swickard Makes Production And Screenwriting Debut In A CALIFORNIA CHRISTMAS

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Lauren Swickard Makes Production And Screenwriting Debut In A CALIFORNIA CHRISTMAS

Actress Lauren Swickard ("Dear White People," "Twisted Twin," and "Roped") makes her production and screenwriting debut in ESX Entertainment's upcoming film, "A California Christmas."

The movie, slated for a Q4 2020 release, began its three-and-a-half week shoot on July 5, 2020 as one of the first live-action productions to commence filming in NORTH AMERICA since the COVID-19 pandemic brought film and television production to a sudden halt earlier this year. In addition to co-producing and writing the project for ESX's Ali Afshar ("Three Kings," "Godzilla," "The Siege," "King of Queens," "JAG" and "NCIS") and Daniel Aspromonte ("Roped"), Lauren will also co-star in this seasonal romance alongside her husband Josh Swickard ("General Hospital," "Liv," "Maddie" and "Roped").

Producers are taking all government precautions seriously as they navigate film production in the midst of a pandemic. Needing a safe location to shoot, Afshar transformed his childhood home in Petaluma, Calif. (Sonoma County) into the chief filming location for the project. To meet the strict COVID requirements, cast and crew all tested negative before they were allowed to begin. The production received clearances from state, county, city officials and the Screen Actors Guild. On set, everyone is required to wear a mask, frequent temperature checks are in place, and social distancing is practiced.

"Everyone's asking about how production is going with COVID," says Lauren. "I have a handful of producers reaching out to ask me questions like what are the rules? What's happening when you get to set?"

In terms of filming scenes where COVID rules mostly prohibit intimacy on set, Lauren and Josh are able to shoot together without any restrictions because they are married. The couple met on the set of "Roped," a film released earlier this year on Netflix. Also produced by Afshar, Lauren and Josh played love interests in the movie and became real-life sweethearts in July 2019 when they officially said "I Do."

Lauren continues, "I've written quite a few scripts. I never thought my first one to go into production would happen during a global pandemic. I feel so incredibly blessed that our team is working together through all of the challenges that come with COVID-19. We lose two hours each day due to our precautionary guidelines and we still make our days without losing a setup - our team is full of some of the hardest workers I've ever met. This is an interesting, uncharted territory and we're fortunate to be one of the first productions up and running. Everyone on set knows what they're doing is new, and we are careful to follow all the guidelines and rules to the best of our ability. We also know the rest of Hollywood is watching us to see how it goes.

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