Nine months ago I had an idea for a competition to get screenwriters writing, filmmakers connecting with writers and making films. We had no budget and no sponsors, but it seemed like a good idea. So we did it.
The result was 50 Kisses, which we have taken further and more openly than any script or film competition that I have ever heard about – culminating into making a feature film from the films submitted.
As you know, we have made many modifications as we went along with the process. Each time correcting something that ‘we didn’t know that we didn’t know’, and in my view, improving the process and experience.
For instance, when we closed the script competition, we offered notes (along with community feedback) to the winners in order that they could improve their scripts. Most writers responded to this and worked with the community to make their scripts even better.
When the films came in, much like the scripts, we could see that almost all of them needed more work Some considerably more than others. Most filmmakers engaged with the process and those filmmakers films are better for it.
And so… We stand at a crossroads.
Some tough choices lie ahead.
I thought I should share where I am at, this simply for transparency.
What it really comes down to now is this.
Is 50 Kisses an interesting community film project that will run for three hours, or, is it a film showcasing talent that people will actually sit and watch (outside of our friends and family)?
So let’s review the original proposition.
50 scripts get made by the filmmaking community and we choose the best one from each script – making ‘50 Kisses’ the feature film.
So, right off the bat, six scripts remained unproduced. Right now, it’s 44 Kisses.
And our longest submission was 12 minutes. Most films are around four minutes long. We did hope more would be around the two minute mark. At an average of 4 minutes each, 44 films will make 176 minutes without titles.
And it’s time for me to say the one thing that no-one wants to say. Some of the films are not up to pro standards – camera, acting, editing and sound are quite poor. I applaud those filmmakers for having a go, but those films are first attempts and experiments. Should they really be included in their entirety in 50 Kisses? What do we honestly think a critic from a newspaper or member of the public would say? Sorry, but this one just has to be tackled head on.
Door Number One
OK, so let’s consider what would happen if we take Door Number One and we make 50 Kisses a grand ‘community’ project, including all the films that are the best for each script. Here’s what I think will happen in that case.
- The film will be three hours long.
- We will include a film from every one of the 44 scripts, even ones that are very poor in some way.
- Everyone involved in the process will love the film, at least for the duration of ‘their’ film.
- Some of the better films will pull out of the process opting to go it alone (this has been said to me directly by one filmmaker who has made one of the best films).
- No broadcaster or distributor will take the film.
- We will loose our post production team as we are just editing films together, one after another, there is no reason to get excited.
- We will all have a great time at the premiere I am sure.
- But that will be the end of it.
Door Number Two
We create a new film out of everything we have. Remember films are made in three stages – the script, the shoot and the edit. A great editor would now look at the films as raw footage and make the best possible movie from that material.
Here’s what I think will happen if we take Door number two.
- We will include in some small way, ALL films entered (via funky editing, animation and other visuals)
- There will be some ‘mash-up’ editing
- Within this, we will also feature fully around 25 to 30 of the films
- We will end up with a film that is around 95 minutes long
- Distributors and broadcasters will consider this film (I have spoken at length about this with them)
- We make a film that has potential to reach a much larger audience than just friends and family.
- Everyone will get a credit in the film.
- Now before anyone has a go at me and says ‘this isn’t what I signed up for…!’ understand that I know this. And I agree with you. It’s not what we set out to do either.
But it is where we find ourselves right now.
And believe me, looking at workload of editing a bunch of shorts together back to back and calling it a movie is a LOT less work than what myself and the whole team face if we take Door Number 2.
Nonetheless, I remain committed to making 50 Kisses a world class movie out of the material we have (and there is a ton of great stuff in there), a movie we can all be proud of and get excited about, and I remain a humble servant of the audience, my boss.
I welcome your thoughts.
Shaun Bond (Tuesday, 04 December 2012 22:45)
I appreciate you asking for everyone’s thoughts on this Chris, it was clear this situation was going to pop up and I did wonder how everyone involved in the 50Kisses competition would deal with it – I don’t envy you. My opinion, for what it’s worth, is that you should definitely go with ‘Door Number Two’. I wouldn’t even begrudge you making a movie out of the thirty-odd best films and leaving it at that. Personally, my team and I have put a lot of hard work into our film (as I’m sure everyone else has) and would love nothing more than to be chosen for the final piece, but at the same time if our film was only included because you wanted to make everyone happy the competition as a whole would lose it’s value. But that’s just me speaking for me.
Mark Williams (Tuesday, 04 December 2012 23:13)
Fully agree with Shaun’s comments, door 1 is indulgent and a smile when “our” film is on. Two is, the viable and for me at least the aim – to produce a final product that we can all be proud of, even if it not in the final cut in any significant way, being part of the process to get there. Having typed that I still hope my Colton gets in. Or I’ll never hear the end of it. Ever.
Roger B Stillz (Tuesday, 04 December 2012 23:50)
I would go with Door Number Two
Rob Burke (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 02:03)
Door #2. I’m sure it would be a hard pill for anyone (screenwriter and/or filmmaker) to not see their work be “featured” in the final product. But, I’m all for making the best product possible.
It would be great if you let people know where their projects stand – i.e., is their film going to be “featured” or not.
It seems that you’ve already contacted some filmmakers to let them know their film will be in the trailer? If this is a transparent process and a community project – why not let everyone know?
In any event – have really appreciated being part of this project and, how ever it ends up, looking forward to seeing the final product.
Samantha Skelton (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 04:37)
By far, door number two. And I’m saying this without knowing if my own full version film will make it in, but it’s the right choice. I think if you go with door number one, you are lowering your standards. Not just yours, but the whole competition. If what you’re saying is in door number one, my filmmaking partner and I probably wouldn’t have entered this competition. We did’n’t enter it because it’s a community project. This is a WORLDWIDE competition. Where there’s potential for distributors and publicity following the one’s who’s film makes it in. Where you get to be among other artists who were chosen for a similar reason. And that’s worth taking your savings to fly to London (atleast for us since we are 19 and 21 years old). Not door number one. And just like any other filmmaking competition, you have to make tough choices that won’t make everyone happy or that won’t include everyone, but for the people that you don’t select, you will make them better for it. It forces them to take a step back and ask why they didn’t get selected. What can they improve on. The competition loses its’s value if you go with door number one. Now, all that being said. I have to take my own medicine in case we are not chosen- knock on wood, yet I still hope for the best. I can ony imagine what a tough decision this may be and I congratulate you for having the courage to go through all of this. Goodluck!
James N (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 09:20)
It’s a no brainer. Your question answered itself. Option 2. Mash it up.
Simon McCay (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 09:38)
Make the best film you can Chris – door number two!
Kevin Glynn (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 11:00)
I think Shaun (comment no.1) hit the mark.
I never entered this competition expecting to be included if I did not make the grade. In fact, it would have been unexpected to find a brilliant film made for every one of the 50 scripts.
Choose a standard Chris, set the bar and discard any film that does not make that grade. If my film does not make that grade I’ll be very disappointed indeed, but I will fully support your decision.
What I would add however is to let the filmmakers know asap as like many others, I will fly to London to attend if I’m included and for Valentines day, flights will get expensive shortly.
Mel Smith (Wednesday, 05 December 2012)
As it was a competition I think we all already felt that there was a chance that our film wouldn’t make the final cut. The fact that some scripts may not have a good enough contribution from filmakers is unfortunate but it seems to be an advantage that you may be able to make the most of what you have and include some films in a different way. The question is how/if you are going to include us in the process. Communication is always difficult (for instance. I believe the ‘we’re in the trailer’ comments may be a mis-interpretation of the email sent to us all). I am keen to be involved in the process (or at the very least kept informed) and will continue to point out issues/make suggestions if it helps.
Rachel McAdam (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 11:14)
Totally agree with Samantha Skelton above. Don’t envy you the task, but door number 2 – definitely, whether my own script makes it through or not. Besides there are other platforms to show the films not shown – or not shown in full.
Make the best film you can with the best of luck.
Gail Hackston (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 11:26)
@Rob Burke Just to let you know, all filmmakers who submitted a film have been asked to send certain files in so we can cut a trailer for 50 Kisses.
Mark P (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 11:27)
Thanks for the transparent approach. I’m speaking as a writer. I’ve always seen this as an evolving process.
I can see that some writers may have done great scripts, but because the films made from their scripts are not great, they might not make the final cut. As you say, this has already happened for those who had no film made at all. For me, the choice that we the writers need to ask is “How much do I want my work to be in the final film?” For me, I’ve always had a concern which was – what if the films made of my script are not very good?
I guess I’m in a fortunate position to have had – in my opinion – some really good ones made. But if I wasn’t, I think I might prefer to say simply that “I was a 50kisses finalist” and then not have the work in the final film.
I think we could always have a ‘near kisses’ type thing, where we keep this website up, and people can come online and see all the films.
So I’m going for option 2. My suggestion is that the editing has to be really slick on the ‘mash up’ parts. I would keep them as punchy and snappy as possible.
Has there been a film called “KISSES”. If not, I think that’s a nice title!
James Burrell (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 11:28)
Door Number 2 is the only real option, make the best film that can be made.
Rod Willott (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 11:37)
I think as a competition you should judge and let the results be known and I applaud you for taking the door 2 approach.
I have wondered how you would glue all the films together right from the start as most shorts need a pause at the end for the audience to appreciate the content. How often do you find yourself thinking about the film as the credits roll? Butting one film onto the next doesn’t allow this enjoyment.
Nick Grills (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 11:37)
It sounds like you’ve already decided on Option 2, but I agree it’s the best way to go.
Plus with the right kind of editing, music and introduction you could make the whole thing feel like a celebration of everybody’s work, rather than a compendium of films.
What I mean is, rather than being sad that we can’t include every film, emphasis is place on 50 Kisses as an event that got people all over the world getting creative. Of course as many films are shown in their entirety as possible, but in-between them you see the funniest or most dramatic moments of the films that didn’t make it in their entirety.
As long as there is some little moment from all 44 films that got made then everyone can feel part of the celebration, and still feel encouraged to go out there and get creative again.
Phil Peel (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 11:46)
I must admit that I chose the film script tactically. (Love by Rob Burke) Leaving it late and filming a script no-one else was shooting, so that I was guaranteed to get into the feature.
But having been a judge on film competitions and watched 20+ short films back to back,. …mind -numbing experience! I could never see how you were going to make a feature that was actually watch able. But Chris usually seems to conjure up some magic so maybe he had a cunning plan..
But I’m really happy that I choose the script I did. It’s been a great ride. The feedback re-edit process being the most useful and brilliant part of the process. I’ve learnt so much.
…and even if my film doesn’t get into the final at all, that’s OK. I’d rather it got in on merit rather than by default
…So I think you should go for Door/option 2. Then when I watch the feature film it will be an engaging enjoyable experience. whether or not my film makes it.
Tina Lowe (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 11:56)
Door 2. Agree with many of the above comments.
Mark Morris (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:05)
BE RUTHLESS Chris 🙂
We signed on knowing that you can cut edit throw out and do whatever needs to be done to be a commercial success.
People fail. You have to learn to fail to succeed. Failure is humiliating soul destroying and yet totally necessary to be a film maker. This is not life or death. It’s about potentially hurting some of your followers out of kindness.
Bash this film into something watchable. Stuff the consequences. You may have to throw out better films because they dont fit.
If you dont pick films because of their commercial viability you will shoot yourself and your team in the foot.A film maker is only as good as his last film. No matter if you step back from it. You will be judged by critics. who will see how and where you went wrong. You should treat us professionally (Ruthless) As you will be treated by your peers.
Honestly -I think you have enough material to make a GREAT film But 70% of it might have to go. Maybe you might scrape by to 80 mins run time or even less.You may not have enough for a feature. You may have to run a smaller competition or make a few kisses yourself or task some to do it.
Rename the film if you need to. Think about being creative and something NEW from the material you have. Just make it a winner!
Personally I don’t care what you do with my film now.All I ask is it is judged fairly for its commercial viability and used accordingly.
Simon Foster (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:06)
I say door 2 – always make the best film possible. I understand the predicament so thanks for being so open. Some of us will be hurt if we don’t make it into the feature but we’ll live and learn – it’s been a great experience for me personally, and I hope my film ‘Other People’s Kisses’ makes the grade. If not, I still want ’50 Kisses’ to get noticed in a crowded and fiercely competitive marketplace and to also be an inspiration for similar styled filmmaking projects in the future – it has to result in something good AND sellable.
Andrew Turvil (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:15)
It has to be door 2: produce the best film possible with what you’ve got. I certainly feel I signed up to an ever-evolving process.
Tracey Flynn (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:18)
Hopefully, we all want the same thing: for 50 Kisses Film to have an impact on audiences, to be impressive and memorable (for the right reasons), to be a celebration of collective creativity, but above all…entertaining. Door number two.
Staré Yildirim (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:23)
It’s unbelievable to see the spirit of all filmmakers here. It almost feels like I’m watching a scene in a movie where a group of people are trying to survive, and some are wounded so they can’t continue and they say “you go and save yourself, let everybody know about your story”..gives me the chills.. obviously I’m talking about the attitude of filmmakers saying “go with #2, make a good film regardless I’m in or not!”…I’m proud to be a part of this project. As for my decision, I joined because I would want this to be a feature film, so my choice would be #2 as well and i really worked on the production value to make it compatible with a feature film..
Loved the idea of Mark P. as keeping other films that are not included (of course if they want) on a community page similar to near kisses. As for the title, i realized my folder on my desktop for this project was always saved as “KISSES” which most of the time shows me the first catchy word in a project. Good luck to everyone and Chris, I think you came up with an amazing idea, thank you for this opportunity.
Anil Rao (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:26)
a good shepherd always looks after his flock and this is what I feel is the sentiment of your reasoning above. At all of your courses, talks and lectures, you have been always first to note and point out to everyone that the industry can only be us., that there isn’t anything out there, outside of that, truly for us.
Don’t wait for a change, become the change you wish to see – Gandhi
If we are to challenge the clubby, insular and counter-productive elements that everyday are preventing us from really delivering on an industrial worth, a film industry, as a real and viable place for us to be in, in the UK. Then we must make sure no matter what, that our worth in contribution here is worthy of being industrial and above to start with. We must be better than the best or we become a laughing stock, sitting ducks. I don’t want to see this project become that, it is too important, its aims must be revolutionary as an evolution to where we want and need to be!
Our goals must be higher than anyone else’s and the word impossible should not be in our dictionaries, only I’m possible! What you and your non-stop giving has elevated and endeared in all of us is a chance to do something worthy of our collective imaginations and for that and that alone, we are always inspired and grateful to you.
You have brought us together here, and we must ‘overcome to become’ right?
So that only leaves us with one-way forward and that is that no matter what… THE FILM COMES FIRST! I’ll say it again, THE FILM COMES FIRST! And not anything else! We are all in this boat together; we are all here to learn, and to become better as a result of the outcome.
However, there can only be one captain, and this is you Chris. Tough choices indeed need to be made, here but leadership is knowing what you want first, setting your goals and then heading in that direction to score them, and to not be perturbed by anything else.
So make the best film first please. We have only accomplished everything here thus far because of your commitment to us as an idea, and our commitment in return to you, in the realisation of that idea, must be to trust, honour and obey what you end up with.
Try not, do or do not, there is no try – Yoda.
Faith and kind regards
Jonny Evers (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 12:45)
I think the second option is a really interesting proposition, to create something ‘new’ from the submitted films. The thought that the 50 Kisses concept is still evolving makes it even more intriguing.
Speaking from a personal perspective, I’m not precious about what you decide to do with my film(s). I have already benefited from entering the competition. It got me making films, something I had always planned to do (“when I get around to it”). The competition gave me the incentive, the structure and the support to realize an ambition.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s been great fun taking part, and worth remembering how far everything has come. Nine months ago none of this existed…
Mylène Tissi (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 13:20)
Definitely Option #2. As many have said the film has to be the best possible so some of us can benefit from it. I think, by now, most of us are happy with our end result so the work we put in is not lost and we can still use the film we produced in many different ways. So raise the bar and, on our side, we are going to hope for the best! Good luck for the editing.
Nathan Gower (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 13:24)
Door # 2. For me, it is a no brainier, even if no version of my script was chosen. Nobody wants their script/film cut together as part of an unwatchable film, and I’ve got to believe that door #1 would be just that.
I could be off base here, but I think anyone who got involved with this project did so because they believed in what Chris could do with it. It has been an amazing ride, and so even if a version of my script doesn’t make the cut, I am a better writer for the competition. Thanks, Chris (and Gail, Ste,
and all the other 50 Kisses crew) for being so transparent.
Judson Vaughan – Team Dragon Egg (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 14:08)
Absolutely option 2. No question or reasoning otherwise. We are, or rather Chris and the team are entering us and our short films in the professional arena.. for us now and 50 Kisses in the future.. we have to be taken seriously. The 50 Kisses competition/festival is by it’s very definition.. competitive. As is the industry as we all know. It’s a difficult call to make to, to have to decide this.. but a necessary one. We (our team) never expected to win, but rather give ourselves the best opportunity of winning at that time. If we come anywhere near making the final cut, made the judges judging a little more difficult, then we are proud. Huge respect to all the other teams and films involved and the 50 Kisses organisers. Just think.. we’re all part of the process that is helping defining the very basis of all future 50 Kisses and we feel we’re truly part of an open community here. Thanks for being upfront Chris and in addition giving us the chance to voice our opinions directly in respect of this, now that is refreshing! Massive good luck to everyone, there’s a lot of good films in the submissions. For those of us that don’t make the final grade, what a ride.. what a learning curve. ‘Failure does not exist, the chance is merely an opportunity to learn and prepare for success’.
Rhys Howell (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 14:19)
I’d much rather be a minute part of something great, than a major part of a substandard indulgence.
So cut, hack and edit away to make the greatest film possible. If we’re not aiming for that then we’re not filmmakers, we’re hobbyists. Option 2 for me.
(But maybe the uncut films can live on as DVD extras,along with the Scripts, so everyone can see where the film began)
Emma Stickland (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 14:43)
I completely agree with Shaun #1 and Rhys #28. Door no 2 is the only option. An ‘everyone’s a winner’ approach would be like getting an A* just for turning up and putting your name on the exam paper – not an achievement at all and certainly not one you could be proud of or whole heartedly promote to others. Good luck chosing and with the editing process. This new direction will certainly offer the opportunity to be creative!
Jim Howard (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 15:14)
As others have suggested, this was inevitable. I’m firmly in the Door 2 camp.
I think the idea of using the sub-par films in some way (footage playing on TV or smart phone, outtakes under credits, extras on DVD, etc.) is a good solution, if you can make it work. The bigger trick will be what it has been from the beginning: finding a coherent structure that can hold all these films together.
I appreciate that the project’s collaborative, transparent process continues. Best of luck, Chris et al.
Rocko Paolo (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 15:36)
I can sense the frustration from both sides of the spectrum. I would not want to be in your shoes that is for sure. I have found this process to be tense and a good exercise in patience.
Many of us have worked hard to produce what we believe to be what was asked. I was upset to see many did not follow the guidelines of 50 2 minute movies and submitted 4+ minutes. If the original criteria stood, all movies over 2 minutes should have been eliminated at the end of Oct.
That being said, there are only 44 movies produced and the guidelines of 2 minutes movies (which I struggled hard and long to edit it down to exactly 2 minutes as stipulated) went out the window, well I believe like all other comments above, door no. 2 is the only option left.
Having a competition and then no judging makes it a community vanity project that our friends and family will be proud of only because they fast forwarded to our part of the project and press stop after it is over.
Mark P (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 16:12)
I feel like saying “Option 1” just to shake it up! : )
Liam (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 16:39)
DEFINITELY Door Number 2. Make the best film possible.
But I’d like to ask one clarifying question… (This might be a stupid question, but it isn’t altogether clear to me.)
Would you still only use one film from each script? I get that you won’t be using all the scripts because some only have films that aren’t up to scratch. But let’s take The Moment, or Neil, or Colton’s that all have numerous high quality entries in terms of professional standards. Could two The Moment’s make it into the mash-up, or would only one still be used?
Regardless of the answer to that question, I still think Door Number Two.
If the answer is yes, only one film of each script will be used… Do you have any idea when that will be decided and announced?
This has been such a fantastic competition. It’s been a learning experience for every filmmaker, every writer, and you guys as the producers. I’m sure the next Create 50 project will be even better because of what you guys have learned. And our submissions next time will be even better because of what we have learned!
But I do have to say, I’m really not okay with that filmmaker who threatened to remove their film if you take Door Number One. With a project like this you’re either in or you’re not in. So they might have made one of the best films, but I think giving that ultimatum was really unprofessional.
Can’t wait to see how it turns out!!
Rod Willott (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 16:58)
Take the very best films and use each as an individual trailer for the film. That way they get shown as the director wanted, the ultimate short with brilliant coverage, it will get the audience hooked on seeing the rest!
Dan Czerwonka (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 17:00)
Door #2 for sure! I agree with many of the comments above – its the only way to go, no question. And regardless of whether our film makes it to the final product or not, our team had a blast, made some great new friends, and learned a TON. Successfully bringing people together from USA and New Zealand to make Nick Grills’ “Last Chance” has been a highlight of my year! (I wish we could’ve found editing help to shorten and sweeten down to 2min/color correct/etc., but working within real world constraints is part of the fun and challenge…) Thanks for such a fun, interesting event, for being flexible with the process in order to stay on target with your goals, and for being so transparent and inclusive of all us filmmakers along the way!
50kisses (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 17:03)
Hey Rocko, to clarify we never said films needed to be two minutes long – it was at best an implication. We will look ling and hard at this for next time of course.
Ross Aitken (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 17:04)
Is there a door no 3 option?
Whether you choose 1 or 2 the ’50’ factor is out, so the name’s gotta change anyway.
So is there an option of choosing say the best 25?
There are definitely 25 pro-standard films there. And I offer this up as both a writer and a filmmaker risking losing both script and film in the process.
Something to consider if the mash-up option proves disorienting.
Question – if you’re recutting our films and they don’t make it in complete, can we take them in their ‘original’ format out on their own?
50kisses (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 17:05)
WOW thanks everyone for your ideas and encouragement. We have an enormous but also exciting task ahead of us.
Kez Finlayson (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 17:29)
I would definately go with Door Number 2. As we are all professionals (even those student entries you entered a professional competition) and we strive to showcase our work as best we can. Even if it is mearly moments from our film we made it is great to get this far to share a moment (a kiss) with the audience and still get recognised for our work. Working in LA you get to see how ruthless the critics are and bad reviews do not do well for distribution or for the public reading them deciding what to watch.
For all the filmmakers, the fact that you made a film and did it within the specifics given to you and on time and on budget means you are miles ahead of the rest of the filmmaking world who procrasinate about what to make or how.
Be proud of your work, support your community and lets watch one blimin great mash up along with some fab shorts and make everyone aware of the new movie ’50 Kisses’ starring everyone’s work!
Kingsley (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 17:48)
Wow. Difficult choice to make and its a shame that it has to come to this but understandable with an experiment like 50 Kisses, especially when most people are working with limited budgets etc.
I personally am not sure how/if door number 2 would work in terms of mixing story lines and such varying interpretations of each of the scripts, but it has potential. I agree that its a lot less self indulgent than door number 1, and people not associated with 50 Kisses would probably be more interested in watching it. However, there is some danger that filmmakers might not be happy with how their films are used, so perhaps Ross Aitken’s suggestion of the 50K team choosing the pick of the bunch and making it 25/30/40 Kisses could work as an alternative – Door Number 3?
If I’m right in saying that filmmakers still maintain the copyrights and ownership of their films (could you confirm that Chris?), they still have the option to take them elsewhere, as well as staying in the competition, so should hopefully be satisfied. Whatever happens its been great fun!
Baz Hodson (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 17:57)
The stringing together of a feature was a question banded around by our team. Regardless of variation in genre, narrative and style even if there were 50 shorts, all at around 2 minutes duration that’s over a 100 minute film.
It’s been quite clear the project has been an organic process, offering a global film making community to entertain using available sourced budgets. If every script had been produced twice over there were always going to be winners and losers on final judgement. Jus a shame about certain reactions to option 1, especially as it will inevitably be option 2.
I can only imagine there is still very much work to do in terms of option 2 and it will be very intriguing to see what comes out of this “mash up” edit and the promotional distribution plans.
Evan (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 18:00)
I’m just proud to have been a part of this crazy experiment. I’ll be supportive whatever you decide. Thanks for putting so much thought and hard work into this and I’m sure we all appreciate the transparency. Now go kick some arse!
ATW (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 18:46)
Chris, in a previous email/posting you said, “We are now entering the professional arena and will be sharing the same screens as multi million dollar feature films….So we need to be world class.”
You, as Director of 50 Kisses and other members of the team who are Executive Producers, should now start making those Directorial and Executive Producer’s decisions. This is a brutal industry at the best of times, so there is no reason, given that we are now in that “professional arena” competing with the multi-million dollar productions, that we should be any different.
The first point to mention is that everyone involved in this process should first and foremost serve the project – not themselves or their egos – but the project.
The second point is that if a film submission, for whatever reason is not up to cinematic and/or broadcast quality, as Director/Exec Producer you also have to serve the project, the other filmmakers who do make the grade, the distributors and most of all the paying audience. And that means cut the crap out and make a great and in this case unique, movie – plain and simple.
The filmmakers who don’t make it this time, should find out why, learn from it and make a better next film. If they can’t take criticism then this is the wrong industry for them.
The filmmakers that do make the cut, shouldn’t sit on their laurels either but should be learning from this experience and looking to make something even better for their next film.
As a suggestions, perhaps a one para feedback to the filmmakers who, for whatever reason, miss(ed) the cut this time might be very well received?
Whatever you do is not going to please everyone – it never does. And as the song goes, “…you can’t please everybody, so you might as well please yourself”.
Out of the two options mentioned, obviously I’m in favour of Door #2.
Darren Garcia (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 19:10)
I agree Door Number 2. It’s more credible, will make for a better film and will help marketing future competitions and so on too. It’s a shame it didn’t work out how it was originally hoped and I’m sure a lot has been learnt from that but a good final outcome that makes a good film and can showcase the talent and the competition its self will make for a much better positive result to the competition.
All be it I hope so much that our film is included otherwise I better plan my escape route now but in all seriousness, we also take away a great learning curve from the production and competition process.
I’m sure you’ll find a way of getting 50 Kisses in the film but if not the title may need considering.
I do feel though some thought needs to go into how the judging/prizes of the competition will now happen, best categories etc. Will that need to change?
Barnabe Freixo (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 19:53)
Door number 2 is a much better option !!!
Anne (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 20:47)
Andy Robinson (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 21:25)
I will be a totally lone voice in this conversation – so be it. Neither door appeals to me at the moment, to be honest. I know some of the films are not up to the standard that Chris often calls ‘World Class”, although many will have strong moments in them. My initial feeling about mine (or anyone else’s) film being ‘mashed up’ is that it totally changes the original intention of both what the writer and the filmmaker set out to do – as all re-editing does – but not in a good way. Am I being totally selfish in believing that a filmmaker should have the chance to tell their story from start to finish, as that is how they approached the making of the film? This new direction is purely a response to the films that have been delivered, which vary greatly in quality – which (with the greatest respect) was always going to be the case. At this moment in time, the door I would choose would be number 3 – the one where you show the films you believe to be working at their best in all departments, in their entirety. I’m quite prepared for my own effort not to be considered good enough – as I have at every stage of the process – and be dropped. This seems to be closer in intent to what we all signed up to. I know from the responses already that this is not a view held by anybody else, but the one truly great thing about this project has been that we have all had the chance to express our opinions at each stage. Time for me to go off and have a long think about what I do next.
Shaun Bond (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 21:45)
Andy, in my first post I touched upon the suggestion that the mash-up idea could be dropped. It would be a poor way to end up in this competition in my books, it’s a halfway house between the true winners who get their entire film shown and the rest who don’t. But at the same time, Chris Jones himself suggested time and time again that people should be tactical with their choice of script to stand a better chance, and many people have done exactly that. To turn around now and say that some scripts won’t have their films shown because there won’t be room would be a massive kick in the face to those who rejected the popular scripts. At least one film from each script needs to be involved in some way, otherwise whether a great feature film is made in the end or not, entrants to future competitions from the 50Kisses team won’t trust the structure.
Whether it’s a ‘door 3’ or a tweaked version of ‘door 2’… it’s clear that the majority want a competition and say no to the little vanity project that ‘door 1’ presents.
Devon (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 21:48)
I agree with pretty much everything that has already been said, especially with ATW.
I think you should seek out the best final film whether it is 50 kisses or 20 kisses. I don’t think you should include any scenes from any of the low grade films unless they help the overall film.
The trick will be to make this final film watchable and enjoyable with a basic three act structure.
I don’t want my film to be included just to be included I want it only to be included if it merits inclusion in something that is an amazing and a worthwhile artistic vision.
I would also like us all to be informed, which films your team have decided are good enough to be included in their entirety. Some of us may not like the idea of our work being chopped up. This information will also help us plan attending the premiere in February, which for many of us, will require an expensive flight.
Overall this has been an amazing project to be part of, and I’m extremely grateful for everybody’s hard work in making this project possible.
Nicola (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 22:27)
Ok, I don’t know whether No-50-Kissers can comment, but I was wondering whether we could re-invent the, well, frame, if you will.
First off, door 1 should never be an option – the competition was meant to get film making credits to people to start careers (at least that bit stayed in my mind). Option 2 sounds like a great film if it works, am just wondering whether that wouldn’t mean an insane amount of work.
Now, my suggestions: forget Valentine’s Day. I know the whole release on Valentine’s Day and a Kisses film is close to perfect, but if the film is the main point here why not modify things?
Postpone the release, re-open the film making competition, set time limit for all films of 2 mins +/- 5%. For scripts that turned out to be not as filmable as expected, allow a rewrite/cutting.
Or: pick the films you really want in the film (leave the rest on a near kisses site or make them into one or more films for DVD release), find out what topics/emotions you want in between, re-open the competition with very strict guidelines to 1 page scripts (or even scripts longer than 2 mins) and repeat the film making competition as well.
Yes, I know this is more than bedning the origional rules. And I can see there are budget and time issues and maybe even motivation issues and more. But I believe everyone involved wants this project to work. It was a competition, it still is. Some things didn’t work out as expected. The point now is to do the best for the film. Why make a film below its true potential just to keep promises, to not shatter hopes or keep a self-set deadline? We all learned from this, the great intention behind it stays and will be even stronger come the next competition.
Anyway, I just wanted to say it and see what people think.
Rocko Paolo (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 23:21)
In all due respect, this was sold as Fifty 2 minute movies not “perhaps 10 minute movies”. Even if average was 2:30m that would give you a movie that is over 2hrs long so yeah, a threshold with a maximum would have been a plus.
Anyone who made a movie that was 2m 01s left the other with 1:59s in order to get a total of 100 minutes before credits.
Those that could not figure out that a 2 minute movie is not a 3 minute – 15 minute movie should have been eliminated.
If I am filming for a t.v. sitcom it is 22 minutes of film time, not 23, not 48, not 12. It would be rejected on the spot or sent to the chopping block.
I do think perhaps an extension is in order and that guidelines are set at a maximum duration for each film submitted. If you stray and say “hand me whatever” well then you find yourself in the situation we are currently in. I respected the guidelines of 50 2 minute movies and did not “steal” from anyone else’s movie time even though my initial edit was over 3 minutes long, i knew that was unfair to the other filmmakers.
So saying it was an implication turned a 2 minute script into 10+ minutes??
2 pages of script = 2 minutes of film not 4 not 10.
That would be like taking a 90 page script and making a 10 minute movie out of it.
Yeah I think I’m vying for option 3.
Anne Misselbrook (Wednesday, 05 December 2012 23:51)
I agree with Andy Robinson
Lucy (Thursday, 06 December 2012 00:05)
I have followed this competition from day 1 and from quite early on starting wondering how 50 Kisses could make a cohesive film when you were getting people ( from all over the world it would appear) to put in the creative work. Correct me if I’m wrong but you are not putting together a film score to bind the piece together so it will all be down to some seriously clever editing.
I’m surprised frankly that the issues that are now arising were not considered from the get go. Did you seriously think you would get 50 high quality short films exactly 2 minutes in duration that you could just slide together? Surely you should have considered this scenario – I certainly did.
What you do is your call at the end of day, but I will end with this thought : who is getting what out of this project if you go down the route of the mash up? Do you seriously think the filmakers’ efforts will be rewarded or will the 50 kisses team take the glory for an ambitious and innovative project if you pull this off? A lot of people have unquestionably put their heart and soul into their projects – for what exactly? It doesn’t feel terribly fair to me and by the sounds of things some people will do better out of it than others 🙁
Evan (Thursday, 06 December 2012 00:58)
The two minute rule is an urban legend unless you can show where that was stated.
Richard Green – Ugly Films (Thursday, 06 December 2012 00:59)
As both a writer and film maker in this project here is my feedback:
1. You can still call it 50 Kisses if there are 25 films. Some of the films have 2 or 3 kisses in them. Moreover, the INTENT is in the title – it doesn’t have to be a literal representation. It is a TITLE. Great marketing story as well.
2. I would not like my film in a ‘community’ project for the sake of pleasing everyone. I entered as I was keen on measuring my worth against world class writers / film makers and seeing how I stacked up. I would hate that to be watered down and in my view would actually destroy the intent of the competition.
3. It is a competition.
4. Mash up? No way. Sorry but I wouldn’t want my film mashed up into the overall feature. I would prefer that you released the best films as 50 Kisses and leave it at that. Again, it is a competition.
5. Deadlines loom for those of us who want to perhaps enter our films into short film festivals etc. If we don’t make the grade, and several of us won’t, please consider announcing your winners sooner rather than later so we can look at a life for our films outside of this competition. There are a lot of amazing shorts out there and they deserve a go at getting into other festivals / competitions. Please make a decision soon.
6. I disagree with others who have said put the non-successful ones on a DvD or the like. Refer point 5.
7. You have created an amazing beast which has the potential to take the world of cinema by storm, not only because of the (potential) content, but also because of HOW this came about. Be an EP and make a call for the benefit of the project. But do it quickly please.
Respect to all film makers, writers and crews/casts who have put energy in. I am humbled to be in your company.
Kia Kaha (Be Strong)
Devon (Thursday, 06 December 2012 01:09)
Well said Richard Green. Totally agree with everything you said. As for the two minute argument. I tried really hard to cut my down to two minutes and managed 2 minutes and 20 seconds which I thought was reasonable for a two page script (including 3 second header). I was shocked to see so many longer entries, all of which would have benefited from tighter editing, maybe not down to two minutes exactly, but none of them needed to be longer than 2 1/2 minutes.
Staré (Thursday, 06 December 2012 02:08)
It’s impossible to expect all the screenplays to end up being 2 minutes films. maybe 3 but not 2. As you might all know 1 page is one minute of screen time they say, however sometimes timing may change. If it’s descriptive, then it might look like a small paragraph in the script however it might need more screen time. For instance ours is long and i knew it from the beginning that it would be this long. Before starting to shoot i checked the guidelines and it didnt say the films have to be 2 minutes as long as they are good.I also confirmed this with 50 kisses team. I’m not talking about 10 minutes long but it’s not hard to see that some screenplays are just impossible to be 2 minutes long and i think it’s a talent to see this before shooting instead of assuming you can shoot the script in 2 mins but end up being longer. So this didnt happen bec i couldnt manage it (maybe it’s the same for other above 2 mins filmmakers) but i knew it from the beginning and i definately would not shoot this one if i knew i have to deliver a 2 min film. If there is someone who couldnt guess before the shoot about screentiming and suffered to lower it to 2 minutes, then instead of asking the above 2 minutes films to be left out of 50 kisses, they should have read the guidelines carefully or at least check with the managers. Of course if they didnt know they would end up with a longer film before they got on the set, then this is unfortunate but i wouldnt want my film suffer as a result. The screenplay i picked was a hard one to shoot, so should i say “i couldnt shoot a better film because i had more to deal with compared to other filmmakers?” no because i knew this before i started shooting. it’s a bit unfair to ask above 2 mints films to be left out.
Anil Rao (Thursday, 06 December 2012 03:19)
Hi everyone, there is no debate to be had here regarding the 2 mins.
This is from the 10th rule as per the mass email of guidelines sent to filmmakers on the 15/08/2012. Clearly a lot of people don’t like to read things properly!
10. You are not limited to two minutes, though we STRONGLY urge you to edit your film very tightly. Less is more.
Translation = however long you want it to be as long as it actually works, if it doesn’t get rid off.
I have always strongly disagreed with the notion of the 1 page is 1 min gospel or for that matter the notion that the script is the most important thing, it’s actually the idea that is the most important thing. That is what drives everything you do, however the 1 page rule, that’s for those starting out, so they don’t get lost, it acts more as a safety net. Now, when you can and know how to cut out 10 pages of dialogue with just one image, that’s the sign of a fully developed and fully understood cinematic expertise, and in an industry that proclaims everyday that ‘nobody knows anything’, there are some that choose to know, and cinema is fundamentally about what you see before what you hear.
With regards to the ever-increasing variations of door options being made here, maybe the next one could be called ’50 Doors’. I for one never entered this as a comp, it was again first and foremost a challenge to rise out of the playground of our minds, where most of us creatives live, and get out of our heads and do something in the real.
I for one would like to see the best work and only the best work shown as originally planned and with a proper coming together post this project, to skillfully and with manners and professional etiquette talk about this and how we can all learn to be better for the next one.
No man is an island as the saying goes, and this is especially true when it comes to making films, we need each other and a community is all about that. This could be really something else in the future, the start of a continual journey, year in year out, that may give us a 4 times a year comp.
This has been a development exercise at best for all of us, something we need to accomplish here in order to become what we all aspire to be, which is the best filmmakers we can be. For this to evolve and be delivered, we must be harsh and sincere to the goal. You see how critics out there rile into the biggest films made, so we cannot afford to be anything less, we have one shot at this, so let it, hit its mark properly so we can keep shooting again and again.
A good 80% of entries were not up to scratch on a basic level and we have to acknowledge that, not pat each other on the back so as to not hurt anyone’s feelings. It’s about being professional here not personal. Enthusiasm and passion is one thing, and yes everyone who entered has that in spades, but delivered with skill, know how, and vision, that is not present unfortunately and in order for those people to become better, they must be professional to accept that, and know to become better than that for the next time. This is called growth and we can all learn from those who do know what they are doing and that has been the best part of this, although there are some truly amazing talents here, I believe a lot didn’t want to be part of that expression or give to it.
We all recognize when we see something of worth, because it stands out, it earns that from us. So the best work please, for the best film we can be, and this is what we should all be proud of regardless of who is in or out.
Susie (Thursday, 06 December 2012 04:12)
Well said Anil!
Rod Willott (Thursday, 06 December 2012 10:58)
I think you should make a film that will entertain a cinema audience. Is that possible? I do know that back to back shorts just don’t work!
The next project needs a framework that will hold all the short films together, making a complete experience that will be enjoyed in the cinema. An interesting task for a group of screen writers! Any suggestions?
PS. If your short goes off to other competitions it should carry the flag for 50 Kisses and not just fragment away. Let’s keep the team spirit.
50kisses (Thursday, 06 December 2012 11:09)
A few points to clarify.
Filmmakers do retain the right to anything they want with their film post the launch of 50 Kisses – this includes ALL films, whether they get in or not. Please contact the screenwriters to let them know your plans as a courtesy at the very least.
We would ask that you credit www.50KissesFilm.com on the front and end credits if you do release it in any way beyond the feature film.
We do suggest you co-ordinate with us regarding festivals. We plan to approach some festivals with a program of 50 Kisses shorts, and others with the 50 Kisses feature.
Ross Aitken (Thursday, 06 December 2012 12:22)
The next one could be a collaborative narrative feature, like http://www.starwarsuncut.com/ Not sure how you’d write the script, maybe a bit like the game you used to do as kids where you’d draw a bit more after the last one had finished to create the mutant monster thing.
Would probably need to be a series of commissions from writers submitting ideas so each one could lead on from the next rather than the mass of little ideas. Probably take ages. Crazy idea. As you were.
Phil Berard (Thursday, 06 December 2012 14:50)
I’m happy someone made a great 12 minute film, but I think it works against the spirit of the project.
That said, do whatever you feel is right to make this the most profitable and provide the greatest exposure for all involved.
Sure, it would be semi-heartbreaking to not be included in the final, but this business isn’t for the thin skinned.
Just one man’s opinion, but if a film I was associated with doesn’t make the cut, I’d just assume not be included in the credits. I don’t see where I would draw pride for taking credit for something I did not earn.
Eric Mansfield (Thursday, 06 December 2012 15:24)
As on outsider looking in, anyone arguing the 2min rule (+ or – 5%) should be elimated needs a math lesson. If the intention of this competition was to keep all 50 films as one feature then a cap of 2 minutes is necessary. Otherwise you end up with a failed project like you currently have where 44 films = 176+ minutes and you are short 6.
Anyone going over the 2 (+ or – 5%) should have gone elsewhere or did some major editing.
Those filmakers would probably hand Sony a 5min advert for a 30s spot because there is no way to have a car chase, helicopter ride and shootout in 30s??? Oh it can be done.
in fairness to Devon, Rocko and Nicola…
the ad on a FB page read as:
“Are you a filmmaker seeking your first film credit? 50 kisses, the world’s first crowdsourced narrative feature film, wants you to make a two minute film and net yourself an IMDb credit as a feature film director….”
so if my math skills are correct, 50×2=100. A perfect length for a feature.
Otherwise the guidelines should have been:
we will take the best films to make a feature,
it could be 12kisses (12 scripts of avg 10m each)
all the way to 50 kisses (50 scripts of avg 2m each)
or anywhere inbetween.
Cause anyone thinking “it doesn’t have to be 2 minutes” means 4+ minutes, needs a serious math lesson cuz
cuz50 x4 =longer than most people can handle sitting around watching short films.
Natalia Andreadis – JuSt Films (Thursday, 06 December 2012 15:49)
I completely and utterly agree with Richard Green of Ugly Films.
The way to go is just editing together the 25 to 30 best films instead of creating a mash-up.
I would much rather not get a credit at all than just get one for “having participated”.
The whole point of entering was that this is a competition. If “everyone’s a winner” and gets credit, it completely takes away from those deserving of it.
If I don’t make the cut because my film isn’t good enough, it’s a lesson for next time and I will strive to improve, learn and grow as a filmmaker, and then try again next year. That’s the whole point of a challenge.
On the other hand, if everyone wins then the competition loses all credibility.
PLEASE don’t make everyone a winner. It’s a cop out!
Evan (Thursday, 06 December 2012 15:58)
In defense of team 50 Kisses the original intent may have been to include 50 2-minute shorts but this project has evolved considerably since its conception. When nearly all submissions exceed 2 minutes, it’s time to reevaluate the original intent if it will make for a better end product. Cutting all the shorts down to two minutes at the expense of emotional impact or solid story telling makes no sense.
Staré (Thursday, 06 December 2012 16:02)
I think the developers of this project knew it very well that some screenplays will need more screen time while some will need less and they set the rules accordingly. The rules were out there (Anil mentioned them above in his post by directly copying and pasting them from the guideline) we made films according to that. We didnt make films by rules that we set all by ourselves.
I prefer to watch a feature film that combines a certain of good quality films rather than watching a film made from 2 minute films that are either low quality (but they are there because there has to be 50 films) plus good quality films that lost their spirit because they are shortened to create more speace for low quality films. This doesnt make any sense to me. I have watched some great films above 2 minutes and some can be cut down to 2 and some cant because they will lose their essence.. If there were too many good films then yes maybe there would be a need for this cut, but this is not the case here and thats why Chris is writing this blog. on the contrary i would even give more screen time to the good ones instead of increasing the number of films. The discussion about 2 minute films is irrevelant since the main problem here is not having enough number of good quality films, why are we even trying to create more space while we already have enough. And yes i can easily cut my film shorter but i watched some films that need more screen time than 2 minutes and they arent meant to be 2 mins.. As an audience i wouldnt want them cut shorther to create space for films that are not good enough for a feature film.
Eric Mansfield (Thursday, 06 December 2012 16:33)
A competition that changes is a sure sign that amateurs are running the ship. In this case it looks like a mix of that and the applicants making the decisions.
This has become a free for all community project due to “No clear guidelines” being set.
Now 50kisses has become 25kisses only because filmmakers could not abide to a 2 minute movie format mostly because the organisers were too open to everything.
Those that made 2m movies will now be penalized cause their movies lack pauses and tension due to time restraints?
The ship is sinking and so let’s credit everyone on board….
This should have been “here are some scripts, make a movie and we will pick a few from the pile to make a feature but fear not, a few seconds of your entry will appear somewhere in there…”
hence: you may not have been able to edit your 4 minute movie down to 2 minutes but we will edit it down to 10 sec and mash it in there somewhere and credit you!
Honor Flaherty (Thursday, 06 December 2012 17:09)
‘Tis with a heavy heart, that I say choose “Door 2”
Yes, I’m disappointed with the process, but like many of you have already said, we want you to produce the best film possible. In this business, rejection comes with the territory and you have to roll with the blows. But being a part of this project was and is a good thing. I’m pretty sure my story is for the cut and so I’m left to lick my wounds but I’ll get over it. Personally what hurts me most is that I withdrew from another short film project so I could be completely available to work on this, so it’s a bit of a double whammy for me. Plus, it only two days ago I announced to a room of 100+ people that I was part of 50 Kisses the film and now I feel like a damn fool. It’s a good job embarrassment isn’t fatal!
Do what you think is right. Make the best film possible. And Good Luck!
Erica Vogel (Thursday, 06 December 2012 17:26)
In regard to the last 50 Kisses message posted, I think this should work both ways. As a filmmaker who is also interested in entering our short in festivals, I’d like to know when/if our short is already submitted to festivals by the 50 Kisses team and where it will be shown. Will that information be made public or sent to the film teams?
As for the feature, mashing up the films doesn’t really hold to the winning scripts or the filmmakers’ efforts in making them. You end up with something that no one intended. But maybe there is a brilliant editor that can make it work. Our team is in, either way. Going for distribution seems like the best way, at this point. It might hurt the competition in the future to have writers and filmmakers see that their work will not be presented as created, or may not be presented at all, even if they win or choose tactically.
Peter Carruthers (Thursday, 06 December 2012 17:31)
When I first read the brief for 50 Kisses, I thought it was a brilliant idea and was really excited to pitch my writing against people from all over the world. I was over the moon just to get both my entries on the longlist, never mind the euphoria I got from getting ‘Never Forget’ into the final 50!
I knew I was going to make a version of my script as an actor/producer, with my filmmaking friends fully behind the project, and again I was excited to be pitting our talents against teams from all over the planet. The possibility of being a winner at both stages of the competition certainly got my blood pumping.
However, my first worry came when not many of the scripts were getting filmmaking teams signed up to them, and even towards the end there were a lot with just 1 or 2 teams signed up. Knowing that inevitably some of these teams would flake away, I was concerned about what would happen when some scripts only had a poor submission or no submission at all.
As the entries started to appear, my concerns increased. Yes there were some superb little shorts there, but so many of the submissions were poor, and I mean really poor. Poor acting, poor sound, poor editing, grading, shot choice, and nearly all of them way WAY too long (kill your babies people!). Many of them I struggled to watch from start to finish without cringing. I think it’s fair to say that at this point, I started to lose a little faith in what the end product would be.
How on earth could we get a commercially viable and engaging film when so much of it was student quality at best?!
Obviously, I was still pleased that our version of ‘Never Forget’ was getting a lot of love (including an overwhelmingly kind comment from Anil Rao) and we pressed on with the necessary pickups and re-editing we felt was needed to satisfy our producers notes. I kept a blind faith that Chris and the team seemed optimistic and it was still great to be involved in a project alongside some truly talented professionals. I hoped I’d at least get to make some good contacts at the premiere and there was always the promise of the feature film credit as a writer ‘no matter what’.
And then we get this message from Chris with the 2 options. I have to say that when I read it I breathed a huge sigh of relief! ‘Great,’ I thought, ‘there’s still a chance that this could be something brilliant after all.’
I know it’s tough on the writers that didn’t get their script picked up by a decent filmmaking team, but like people are saying, that’s the industry we live in. As writers, we can have the best script in the world, but if we don’t find someone who’s willing to take it and run with it, it’s just a script, I’m afraid talent alone doesn’t give us a right to success.
As for the filmmaking teams who think that they’re entitled to be in the feature just because they picked a script that no-one else made to the desired standard, where’s your pride and integrity? Would you really want to have your work up there sticking out like a sore thumb as the runt of the litter, damaging the chances of the film being picked up by distributers? How will that help your career?
For teams who aren’t happy for their film to be involved as part of the ‘mash-up’ by all means pull out graciously, but just remember that bitterness won’t help your relationships with all the top professionals this competition has helped to put you in touch with (remember the backlash from some of the unsuccessful entrants to the scriptwriting stage? Dear oh dear!).
With this in mind, I feel it’s essential to make people aware ASAP whether their films are going to be in as whole films or as mash-up ingredients. Otherwise, there could be massive problems down the line if there’s already been substantial editing work done and teams then decide to pull their film because they don’t want it used as part of the mash-up.
For any filmmakers who find out that their film will not be used in it’s entirety, they’ll face a decision: Do you want an impressive looking credit on IMDB or not?
Obviously, I really hope that our version of Never Forget is up to the standard to be used as a full short (at a measly 1 min 45s!) but as a writer I’ll be delighted if either of the other versions made are selected instead, both of them look great and it’s been really exciting to see what other filmmakers do with my writing!
Whatever happens, I’ve learnt so much and it’s been a fascinating experience, but I think anyone with pride and integrity should take a step back and allow this project to realise its maximum potential. You’ll always be part of the story behind 50 Kisses, so as we enter the 3rd act of this epic, let’s make sure it gets the best possible ending it can have.
Door 2, all the way!
Anil Rao (Thursday, 06 December 2012 18:21)
Eric Mansfield, with no due respect, and as an insider looking out, your misconstrued efforts to derail an objective course of action, is only testament to your limited capabilities in understanding a very simple point.
So just for the cheap seats once more… fact: THERE WAS NO 2 MIN RULE!
For those that limited their creative output to accommodate that, you made that choice alone, and you had a choice not to!
Perhaps now you can smartly try to respond again using whatever means of negative values at your disposal, but still fall flat on your face with accusations without foundation or merit.
I am about inspiring not retiring, enlightening not frightening, and along with others who seem only content if they are attacking the process here and the organisers, whist pretending to give a damn could all just clear off, maybe a holistic and professional path to overcome a clearly defined, from the outset, evolving idea of a goal realised, can be allowed to materialise and happen.
Solutions not problems guys, and all Eric and the like who want to bemoan things are, are problems added, not solutions delivered.
This has been only a giving project thus far, and Chris and his team offered a vast illumination to those who want to be part of something rather than having to negotiate a closed door industry at all times. I am just so grateful for that, not just one person but 50!!!
Who else, will truly ever put out in front of you, in your desire to be a filmmaker or writer, an industrial opportunity to write and make a film to be screened at the cinema? Seriously, you people owe it to Chris, for giving you this platform, and this is how you choose to help him out! This is what for me has been lacking in quite of lot of what I have seen here. You are given a shot at the title and you just all take it all for granted, you all think it is all so easy.
The mental, psychological and physical energies alone in making a film are quite a lot to give, something critics don’t ever wish to understand, so imagine just for one moment, the logistics to shepherd 50 filmmakers to shape and refine their expressions to be of a coherent and industrial value, it really hits home now right?
One of the hugest disappointments to acknowledge here and one of the hugest reasons why we have this change in a course of action is that even the filmmakers have not thought about what they are actually doing. They haven’t applied themselves with due diligence to see the bigger picture, simple things such as sound!
Really? Don’t people here ever watch films? Because if you do and unfortunately I have to ask this, is your own output up to scratch on a basic level in comparison? If it’s not on par, why would you then put out something and expect that to be accepted as gospel? So many filmmakers have good ideas, passion, enthusiasm, but have let themselves down and the rest of us by not applying themselves in the right way. This is your failure 1st and not Chris’s for being diplomatic to say to us all, this is our problem guys, now how do we sort it out, which is all he has put forward here.
I don’t have to be diplomatic, however that doesn’t mean we allow abusive outlooks to be accepted either. We are all hear to learn, even those who are professional, and to raise our game and assertive reasoning has to be delivered if we are to grow and become.
The world does not owe you an audience; you earn it, by having first, respect for who you are and 2nd how you apply that to what you do, and nothing else.
United we stand, divided… well there seems to be a lot of that here.
A very good evening to you all.
Brian (Thursday, 06 December 2012 18:31)
He only said, “That piece of halibut was good enough for Jehovah!”
Eric Mansfield (Thursday, 06 December 2012 18:40)
what you all fail to see is that not having the 2m rule is what killed the original project.
it is due to that guideline not being set in stone that you find yourselves in this predicament, not because only 44 films were made.
because had everyone subitted a 2 min film, there would be only a title change to
44 kisses (88 min movie)
instead of a complete shift in direction due to 44 kisses being 3hours long.
All of your arguments fail to see that as the reason the competition changed gears so keep harping on the 2m rule being an invalid argument in the situation you all find yourselves currently in.
yup it is wrong of me to thing “time” is what killed the 50kisses / 100 m concept and feel free to distribute it as:
50 kisses: the trilogy (5+ hours of shorts in 3 volumes)
i am out, enjoy!
ATW (Thursday, 06 December 2012 20:12)
Nothing is dead or has been killed. There are big obstacles and/or challenges at this juncture which ultimately have to be addressed by the EP’s & Chris. Granted the initial criteria/guidelines have been stretched somewhat to facilitate the evolving nature from what was envisioned to what has become the reality. But I think this is so because of the intent to try and please everyone all of the time. I think there has to be a clear response from 50K HQ to address the question of “Is this a competition or a community project” though because as so many people have pointed out, that difference brings into question the credibility of “Winning” or being “Included” and each carries with it the further question of “Merit” or being PC.
Which in turn raises other questions such as: Are the judges still judging and what is it they are now judging exactly?
I don’t fully understand the declaration that the 50K team will enter some shorts as a separate entity in some short films festivals AND enter them as part of the feature into festivals too. In the event of a short being entered into festivals as a stand-alone short by the 50K team and it wins, who picks up the award, the filmmaker or the submitter (50K)? Doesn’t that prevent filmmakers submitting their own film to festivals in their own right?
I think there are more cans of worms waiting to opened here and a lot of serious hard thinking to move this project forward in a positive way to obtain a satisfactory conclusion that, to a greater part, sticks with the initial objectives of the “Competition” and also delivers a film that has merit and can stand up, shoulder to shoulder with other cinematic releases. If it doesn’t do that, then it won’t get distribution in the first place.
50kisses (Thursday, 06 December 2012 20:35)
Eric, just to be clear, the project has not been killed. It’s very much alive and kicking. Kind of approaching the act 2 turning point, so yes, we seem to be up against all odds.
Everyone involved, that’s around 3,000 people, have learned something. Some people have learned loads. We have learned loads too. The intent of the project was always to get writers writing, to get filmmakers making films that were written by other writers, and to showcase the work.
And without our framework no-one would have entered.
I am reminded at how easy it it to criticise and destroy and how terribly hard it is to create – the whole team here will tell you how hard it is to create. The the thousands involved in 50 Kisses will also tell you how hard it is to create.
And remember, no-one has been paid – no writers, nor filmmakers, none of our team, not me. We do this because we can, because we want to, because we want to learn through experience, because we want to take charge of our own destiny through action.
So here it is, instead of simply commenting, why not get involved and contribute? What skills can you offer us? Go on, you will probably find you have fun, learn something, and become a part of something that we will all be proud of.
50kisses (Thursday, 06 December 2012 20:38)
Hi ATW, we simply mean we want to assist filmmakers getting into festivals. If your film wins, of course you collect the award. Remember, we are filmmakers too, we only want success for everyone involved.
Starè (Thursday, 06 December 2012 21:16)
Well thanks for saving me from adding anything else Anil, the only thing i can say is “agree with you.” Whatever we are saying is very clear and anyone who is not willing to understand and see the logic of it is trying to create an unneccesary argument. why? i have no idea 🙂 Instead of creating artificial problems we need to focus on the solutions. The issues we are talking about here were not hard to guess even at the beginning so i dont understand the drama here. it’s so naive to believe that all films would be perfect. having the option to have longer or shorter films than 2 mins is an insurance to cover the problems that might occur as a result of no film submissions or poor quality films. I think this project will continue and this first one is a good practice. Actually i want to develop the same project in Turkey and i think these experiences are great for the next project. Plus regardless our film is selected or not im willing to help for distribution in several countries. However, like how Chris says it’s tough and only some of the films here have this quality. I know this bec i was a slave in the corporate world before both in Disney acquisitions in usa and also as the president of production of a major studio in turkey. When we were acquiring films, we had no mercy. I think this project has a lot of potential especially because of its unique structure and as a distributor i dont care if it’s 50 or less films, i care if it’s feature lenght, if it’s collobaration of filmmakers and it’s about valentines day. No need to mention GOOD QUALITY. Quality is more important than quantity for us. I was harsh to myself too, i almost didnt submit but the crew insisted. I agree with the need to announce the selected films soon so that filmmakers make plans for other festivals as soon as possible. I have full support for the 50kisses team and i think including the filmmakers in the decision process is the real spirit of filmmakers. This is an amazing opportunity for everyone and it would be great if 50kisses team could help the films that are not selected to enter other festivals.
Shaun Bond (Thursday, 06 December 2012 21:28)
Eric M – Although I see what you are getting at, you must understand that a 2-page script does not always mean a 2min film. Some stories can’t be rushed and so you get submissions of varying length. Granted, they can almost always be edited into something sleeker but to try and stuff something into a 2min time frame when it doesn’t work is good for no one. That scipt writing stage is unique and brings creatives together like no other competition, and how could you possibly tell someone to write a 2min script…
Speaking of uniqueness; I came to this competition because there wasn’t a cash prize – it wasn’t a company wanting a cheap video for promoting their product or having others come up with ideas they can sell. I saw that this competition was set up by people that love film and wanted to set a stage for creatives. And it has been exactly that each step of the way. It was an ambitious project and there have been developments and changes throughout the process, but I for one commend the 50Kisses team for having that ambition and showing creativity as it’s core. Rather than bemoaning how the team SHOULD have set strict rules, we should see it that they gave us a platform to create the films we wanted and with the freedom to be creative.
Rob Burke (Thursday, 06 December 2012 22:06)
Just a thought – why not take submissions on thoughts on how to make what you have (multitude of short films) into a feature? Many of us have read most, if not all, the scripts and have seen most, if not all of the films. Perhaps, in keeping in line with the sense of community this competition/contest/project has fostered, it might be worth soliciting ideas on how to make the best possible film out of the best of the best that have been submitted?
Anyway, I see all sorts of possibilities for pulling together a cohesive narrative – or at least routes to explore.
Like what? Well, I’m procrastinating today, so let me take a quick stab.
What if the story is about the end of the world as we know it – told through 50 Kisses (or however many).
The beginning starts with the world in an OK state – plenty of love and happiness. You include films that could portray this theme (e.g., Colton’s Big Night, Advice, Nothing Ventured, Dream Date).
But things change. The world starts losing love. So you shift to films that can get this idea across (e.g., Unbearable, Don’t, Jealous Making).
In response, what happens? The world creates ‘Neil’. The inciting incident, break into Act II, whatever you want to call it. Basically, it takes us from the normal world into a new world where AI is being used to replace traditional human love.
After that, you might think about featuring films that could portray what might happen in the world if love were lost. (e.g., Red Light, Jealous Making, The Last Supper, Boxes).
At some point, someone’s not going to be happy with the world that ‘Neil’ ends up creating, so you have reactionary events. Films that could be used to show a “revolt” against the world of Neil. (e.g., The Moment, Countdown).
At some point it all comes to a head and a change is needed. In this case you might go with something that is jarring – that makes the world even worse. Have a terrorist blow up a bomb with some sort of virus. (Love).
You then could go with post-apocalyptic type films and dark films, or films that could be edited to seem dark(First/Last, Enough, Lonely Heart, Ghetto Punk Romance, Lonely Heart, Never Forget, Romantic Hideaway).
At some point you need things to get better, and actually I’m not sure what film you could use to do that – to repair the world created by the bomber in “Love”. But, eventually you’d get to a place where there is hope again, where there is real love and look at films that could act as bookends to end the film (That Good Night, Practice Makes Perfect, Smasheroo, SWALK, Tied Up).
I’m not at all saying THIS is the way to do it – only showing that it can be done. And with the collective creative souls out there – no reason it can’t be done.
Oh – by omitting to mention certain films, I don’t mean to suggest at all that they couldn’t fit into the paradigm I was suggesting. Nor by including any of the films do I mean that they HAVE to be in there.
Rob (Thursday, 06 December 2012 22:18)
To add to the above – if the idea is to create a linear narrative – then you could think about adding voiceover to link it all together. Not during the entire film obviously – but use the VO as a narrator’s voice – telling us bits and pieces of the overall story as the various grouping of films plays out.
Mac McSharry (Thursday, 06 December 2012 23:13)
I think everyone knows you want to deliver the best possible film, Chris. It would seem door two is the logical choice.
Mark Morris (Thursday, 06 December 2012 23:55)
A film made to tie all the films together could go like this.
FILM IDEA 1#
A bad guy arguing love is just as valid in his evil world view. A good guy argues love can only be good. They both use film examples to emphasise their point.Each film counts down as point scoring.
The bad guy shows good guys doing bad to prove his case. The films go on and soon so fast we have a mashup of some of them.
The bad and good guy get so angry they come to blows. The good guy is almost beaten when his valentine turns up. A beautiful angel who kisses the bad guy. A trap door is released and he falls down to hell. As he burns the bad guy says. Give us a kiss and I’ll be back and the screen flashes FIFTY KISSES. Fanfare starts
Nathan Gower (Friday, 07 December 2012 00:24)
At this point, I’m not nervous about Chris’ vision or the potential of what this film COULD be; I’m just nervous about the fact that this film is scheduled to release in mid February. As Chris said, we are indeed at the Act 2 “all is lost” turning point. That deadline is crazy close.
Mark Morris (Friday, 07 December 2012 00:37)
Just put my post up for a bit of fun for those who say they don’t know how it could work.
Rowena Woolford (Friday, 07 December 2012 01:48)
Perhaps the ‘frame’ for the movie could be Valentine’s through time, many of the films are set in specific time periods or use a style/ genre famous in specific times. Films such as 60 year Valentine could be used to link the different shorts rather than needing more footage to be shot to link them together
Richard Green – Ugly Films (Friday, 07 December 2012 01:51)
What this blog proves to me – and a reason I LOVE this industry – the level of passion that exists. And let us not forget – this is how we come up with a great project! I wish that I had the level of input in all my projects displayed here. But also we need to remember that at the end of the day SOMEONE has to make a decision otherwise the project will languish.
Go Chris and the team – we are in your hands….
Rocko Paolo (Friday, 07 December 2012 02:00)
So I think we all agree that Option 1 is OUT.
I also think most agree that they prefer a “portion” of Option 2.
Up until the mash it up, portions of all films and all credited part that is.
I think there may be a solution that inadvertently sort of was inspired by Eric M’s comment.
Think of the following.
Movie Feb 14th as planned. How?
You can still have 50 kisses but in 2 parts.
1) 50 Kisses Part 1 (consists of 25 short films *no mash ups please*) to be premiered on Feb 14th as planned.
2) Reopen the competition for the remaining 6 scripts
(possible scenario: limit each one to 4 teams so if a 5th wants to do same script, he has to choose from the remaining 5 and so on until all 6 scripts have 4 teams each, once that is done and all 6 scripts have teams, then it is open for all to choose any of the scripts because you are assured the 6 get made by enough teams to hopefully have a good competition)
3) Those 6 along with the remaining 19 that did not make it into the Part 1 series get released as 50 Kisses Part 2 (Date to be determined)
This way it is:
1) Still a competition, best 50 but in two parts
2) Any who get cut will not be credited
I still think the winners of Part 2 would have to know at same time as Part 1 that their version was chosen and not have to wait until later in 2013 to find out.
This will leave just the 6 remaining scripts to be worked on in the new year.
I am proposing this even though this practically guarantees that my film will not be chosen due it’s short duration.
My two cents!
Mark P (Friday, 07 December 2012 10:44)
I think it depends on what we mean by mash-up. In my head, I see it as a one, maybe two minute trailer of all the best bits of all the films. So it’s less of a mash-up and more of a ‘highlights’ / ‘best of’. I do think this will be a challenge to integrate into the film as a whole, unless we have a text / vo intro (Star Wars style or simple text) introducing the idea. We flash through the mash up and then we get down and watch the best 25 – or whatever it will be. I don’t think there’s any harm in giving it a slight ‘documentary’ edge. After all, I think the story of the 50 kisses project is also as exciting as the films too.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying turn it into a documentary.
Mel Smith (Friday, 07 December 2012 10:51)
Glad to see encouraging ideas appearing here. As an incentive to keep the audience engaged and also link the ‘potential 30′ shorts to the 50Kisses’ website and the distributer’s website you could have the audience vote for their top 3 shorts via smart phones and show the results for each screening on the cinema’s site with a link to 50 kisses to see the ‘near kisses’.
Chris Jones (Friday, 07 December 2012 16:09)
OK closing this discussion off now – will add a new blog over next few days with findings and decisions. Exciting! Thank you everyone for your contributions.