'Crossroads' Director Britney Spears Discusses the Difficulties of Shooting a Moving Car: 'They Never Would Listen to Me!'
Crossroads by Britney Spears is like all great road trips: funny, challenging, and a little bit messy.
There's a good reason for that.
Director Tamra Davis once stated that shooting scenes of a moving car from the perspective of another moving vehicle is difficult.
If making a movie wasn't difficult enough, Davis says tracking down the young Crossroads stars was even more difficult.
She directed the majority of the film using two vehicles and walkie-talkies.
Britney Spears is the only female lead in the film.
Lucy Wagner is a valedictorian who, after graduation, organizes an impromptu road trip to Los Angeles.
Mimi (Taryn Manning) and Kit (Zoe Saldana), two of her childhood friends, join her.
Furthermore, Ben (Anson Mount), an ex-con and Lucy's love interest, provides the vehicle for the road trip, a yellow 1972 Buick Skylark Custom Convertible.
According to Davis, this is where some of the problems started.
On the MTV docu-series Making the Movie: Crossroads, Davis said, "When we were doing all those car things, I was in a truck with all the equipment, following them with all the cameras and the lights."
"And they're alone in the car, talking on walkie-talkies, and they never listen to me!"
Mount also claimed that the operation was complicated by the media attention Britney Spears received while filming Crossroads.
Mount stated that the increased interest exacerbated the already tumultuous car-based shoot.
Mount told MTV in 2002, "The camera was on a moving truck in front of the car, and I was driving through this tiny little town in Louisiana."
"And we hadn't really informed anyone about it, so people were slowly catching on that Britney Spears is in a movie that's being shot in our town."
Manning said in a separate, more recent interview that the film's road trip setting helped the young actors bond.
"I haven't spoken to Britney in ten years," she told Us Weekly in September 2021, "but we had an amazing time on Crossroads."
"We spent months in the car we took 'cross country,' sharing stories, joking, laughing, and having a friendship for years, especially while filming; I wish her the best and am so happy with the progress of this week; nothing but love for Brit!"
Davis revealed in a 2014 interview with HuffPost Live that she enjoyed researching previous road trip movies while preparing for Britney Spears' Crossroads.
Films like Little Miss Sunshine and Thelma and Louise, for example, are classic road movies.
"What's so fun about shooting in a car is that you get to research all of the other road movies that have ever been made and try to figure out where the cameras go and how many shots you can get with your people in the car," Davis told HuffPost.
"It's so much fun just doing the research for the movies."
Davis, on the other hand, believes that poor walkie-talkie communication isn't the only difficult aspect of shooting moving vehicles.
"Sometimes it's about getting it before the road runs out or before the next traffic light," she explained.
"It's almost like you're looking for that background, shooting in this direction, so you have to worry about all these technical things."
In any case, for teen girls who adored the film, Crossroads became an important part of their lives.
And its message of friendship and change continues to resonate with them.
Davis told Broadly in 2016 that "people still come up to me all the time and say what an incredible movie it was, how much it meant to them at the time, and how much of an impact it had on them."