ACTRESS LAUREN SWICKARD MAKES HER PRODUCTION AND SCREENWRITING DEBUT IN ESX ENTERTAINMENT’S
“A CALIFORNIA CHRISTMAS”
FILM BEGINS PRODUCTION IN PANDEMIC-MODE, MAKING IT ONE OF THE FIRST TO SHOOT ON SET IN NORTH AMERICA
Lauren to Co-Star in Film Opposite Husband and
“General Hospital” Star, Josh Swickard
NEWS SOURCE: Rogers & Cowan PR
LOS ANGELES (July 31, 2020) – 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 co-writing the project with 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.”
ABOUT LAUREN SWICKARD
A Cincinnati native, Lauren Swickard (formerly Lorynn York) excelled in the arts at a young age. She trained as a dancer at the prestigious School of American Ballet in NYC and at the Chautauqua Institute in New York. Lauren started her professional acting career in high school with a small role on the TV Movie, “Shelter,” working with JJ Abrams. Now represented by Powerline Entertainment, she can be seen in Netflix’s “Dear White People,” the film “Airplane Mode” opposite Logan Paul, Netflix’s “Roped”, Lifetime’s “Twisted Twin” and countless projects currently airing on the Lifetime Movie Network, the Syfy channel, and Amazon Prime.
ABOUT ESX ENTERTAINMENT
ESX began as an automotive performance and racing team founded by Actor, Racer and Producer Ali Afshar. Under the ESX banner, Afshar raced for Subaru of America. During this span, ESX became a 2-time NHRA National & World Champion Team, 18 time NHRA event champion and world record holder. After years of racing and also acting (Afshar’s film credits include “Three Kings,” “He’s Just Not That Into You”, “Godzilla”, American Wrestler: The Wizard” and “The Siege” while TV credits include “King of Queens” “JAG” and “NCIS”), Afshar turned to producing movies and tapped into his rich auto racing history. “Born To Race” and its sequel “Born To Race: Fast Track,” as well as “The Dog Lover” (starring James Remar and Lea Thompson), were the first films produced by ESX. The slate continued with “Running Wild” (starring Sharon Stone and Tommy Flanagan), “American Wrestler: The Wizard” (starring John Voight and William Fichtner), “Pray For Rain” (starring Jane Seymour and Nicolas Gonzales), “Dirt” (starring Kevin Dillon and DeRon Horton), and most recently “Roped” (starring Josh and Lauren Swickard). ESX Entertainment has grown into a multifaceted company that develops, packages, finances and produces high-end, star-driven commercial projects that tell inspiring and purpose driven stories. For more information, visit http://www.esxproductions.com/.