From London to New York with 50 Kisses

I little expected, when filming Rob Burke’s  LOVE script in the London Underground, that nine months later, I would be on the New York Subway on route to see our film screened at the Tribeca Film centre.

Also our little film, shot guerrilla style in a day and a half, helped in my selection by Creative England for the Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab.

LOVE was also chosen for the Edinburgh Short Film Festival and won Best Film at Southampton Film Week.  It also gave me the confidence to write and shoot my next 15min film “John Lennon’s Turd”

On the surface LOVE is just a film about someone getting on a train ..looking at another passenger and then getting off again. But as the Bootleg Film Festival said “This is a devastatingly brilliant piece of storytelling, masterfully handled,  – audiences need to see this film. ” So it really shows what a great script and brilliant actors can do …and how a script with only 4 words of dialogue can still resonate and move an audience.

I shot on the little Panasonic GH2 mostly with forty year old Pentax lenses, and as I had no control over the location or who was getting in or out of the carriage, where they stood or what they did, I had to work fast and instinctively.

But to give some continuity we had a little group of fellow filmmakers Deanna, Terry, Holly’s mum and dad and Lula’s friend Ze Sandell, who were grouped round the main actors. They valiantly acted as commuters  over several hours ..motivation was to look bored and disinterested ( which they did very well )…as we trundled up and down the District Line. Ben had to stand reading the same page of newspaper throughout.  Bet he know it by heart in the end.

New York was amazing. I can see why people move there. I loved it, the sights, the people, the food, but I glad I didn’t make our film on the New York Subway as the London trains are far smoother than the New York ones.  (I did some filming using the same camera  kit that I used to film LOVE, as I planned to shoot a little doco.)

But perhaps the best thing about the 50 Kisses process was the 1500+ views on Vimeo and the detailed feedback. Film making  should be about communication and it was a rare privilege to have so many people see our film and have a chance to hear what they thought. A real education..

Thank you Chris and the 50kisses team

Phil Peel

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