I heard about the 50 kisses competition through a friend and decided to read a couple of scripts out of curiosity. When I read Lloyd Morgan’s “Ghetto Punk Romance” I instantly felt inspired. It was one of those moments that you can’t quite descibe. To put it simply, I couldn’t let myself step away from such a strong piece of writing. I wasn’t looking to make a short film due to the usual reasons of lack of time and money but this was a spontaneous decision that I knew would be worth it.
I contacted Lloyd soon after and had a little brainstorming session to find out more about the characters and what inspired him. This definitely helped in the initial steps of production and motivated me even further to get the right crew and actors together. We adapted the script in order to avoid the location restrictions that would’ve been involved had we filmed in front of a bank. In the end, we agreed on using a jewellery shop, which worked out perfectly as my producers found the perfect location right near our office in Notting Hill! Of course, our first challenge, like most independent, self-financed productions, was creating a budget that was both realistic and wouldn’t result in any of us having a panic attack half way through production.
We pulled in favours wherever we could, thankfully the script didn’t call for multiple locations and we were able to film over the course of one day, on one street, with four amazing actors and eleven talented crew members. The presence of a firearm was another story. Having a police officer on sight would’ve inflated our budget to a number we just couldn’t afford. Convincing the jewellery shop to lets us film a robbery scene inside a luxurious store was another complication.
Thanks to a few camera angles and a very understanding shop owner, we were able to pull off the most important moment, the twist, at the end of “Ghetto Punk Romance.” And we all breathed a sigh of relief. We were also lucky enough to get our hands on a Red Epic and are now going into post with the help of our fantastic editor, Pawel Stec and post-production house Onsight. Our technical challenge now is to convert what we shot in slow motion into 25 frames per second in order to cut between the two. We are extremely excited, with a hint of nerves, to see the first cut!
It’s a little crazy to think that this all started only a few weeks ago. I count myself very lucky to have found such talented actors so quickly as most you probably know, is not always the case. However, I would definitely allow myself more time for prep and rehearsals next time as this would’ve helped they’re interactions on the day, especially for our “kissing couple.” It’s not every day that you are asked to kiss a complete stranger over and over again with a camera in your face! It worked out quite well in the end, rumor has it they warmed to each other during a bit of downtime as they sat by the restaurant fireplace. Happy actors makes for a happy director!