Tick, Tick...Boom! Featurette: Lin-Manuel Miranda Opens Up About Directing His First Film

It might be tempting to think that someone who's constantly working as much as Lin-Manuel Miranda does couldn't possibly maintain a deep, personal connection with all of those projects ... but that wouldn't exactly be true. The busy actor, singer, songwriter, and filmmaker most recently lent his talents to "In the Heights" through acting, producing, and music before moving on to Disney's "Encanto," for which he received a "Story by" credit along with his contributions to the original songs. Both projects, needless to say, come from rich cultural backgrounds and very specific point of views, which clearly appealed to Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican descent. The release of the very well-received "Tick, Tick... BOOM!" marked his directing debut, with Hoai-Tran Bui's review for /Film describing it as "...a rapturous celebration of art, of theater, and of that all-too universal feeling of chasing that impossible dream. And of course, an ode to every theater kid who spent hours practicing 'La Vie Bohème' in the mirror."

With "Tick, Tick... BOOM!", Miranda had the unique opportunity to pay homage to his hero Jonathan Larson, best known as the creator of the game-changing Broadway classic "Rent." It should be no surprise that this helped make this project as intimate and personal as anything he's ever worked on to this point.

"It's Important to go Personal"

"Tick, Tick... BOOM!" marks the latest collaboration between Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bill Sherman, and Alex Lacamoire (the latter two of whom recently spoke to /Film about their connection to this project). To Miranda, his very first directing effort demanded a certain kind of material that spoke to him personally. The director spoke to the Netflix Film Club about the process of taking this story from the stage to the big screen, where he opened up about what drew him to the production in the first place and all sorts of insight into his creative process. You can check out the interview clip in its entirety below, with the relevant answer starting around the minute and a half mark.

According to Miranda:

"I think that for your first film, I think it's important to go personal, because you're going to have to make more decisions than you're prepared to make at any given time. And so if it's coming from an authentic place, you'll know the answers. Even if you don't know why they're the answers, you'll know the answers because you know the world and you know the story you're trying to tell."

Anyone who's watched the film can speak to the passion that is readily apparent on-screen, from the characters to the music to everything in-between. Miranda goes into further detail about his personal attachment to the story, saying that, "I saw the off Broadway production of 'Tick, Tick... BOOM!' and I go, 'See this musical by the guy who got me started writing musicals because 'Rent' changed my life. And it was somehow even more concentrated and personal an attack than 'Rent' was."

There's much more to dig into in the interview, but clearly "Tick, Tick... BOOM!" spoke to Lin-Manuel Miranda in a thoroughly distinctive way. The film is currently streaming on Netflix.