Back in spring of 2012, I took part in a competition called 50 Kisses; to reiterate, the idea behind it was for screenwriters to write a two-minute screenplay involving Valentine’s Day and a kiss. Successful scripts would then be made available to filmmakers, who would then decide from amongst the options and shoot the vignettes. Sadly, I was unsuccessful with my own entry, but I learnt valuable lessons from it. For example:
- If you’re writing a film, no matter how short or long, that you want to be made rather than read, keep the budget in mind
- Nobody needs a two-minute short with six actors, half of which children, most with largely pointless dialogue.
This is all aside from the fact that, with hindsight, it wasn’t very good or original. As I said, I learnt a lot from the exercise. If you’re going to fail, make sure it’s not wasted.
However, the 50 Kisses juggernaut rolled on; scripts were chosen, filmmakers made films, and Chris Jones and his team picked and assembled and polished and promoted and worked hard. And the result?
It actually got finished. As the official poster above (almost) says: 50 writers, 50 filmmakers, one movie. It’s got everything! Posters, awards, a website, an IMDB page… And, last night, it also had its premiere, replete with red carpet, bar and a room full of very excited writers, filmmakers, actors and friends.
While my entry didn’t make it anywhere near even the outer reaches of the final film, I wanted to be there at the end, to support the project and also to see the finished film.
And the finished film was wonderful, a great collection of vignettes, short films tied together with a common theme. Some romantic, some funny, some heart-breaking; many of them by first time filmmakers and/or screenwriters.
Some of my favourites were Nigel Karikari’s Neil, Unbearable by Nick Luddington, The Moment by Stephen Cooper, and That Good Night by Kenneth Lemm. All the scripts are available at those links, and they’re definitely worth a read.
All in all, 50 Kisses was an ambitious project, not yet completed. While the premiere is now a memory, next there’ll be the distribution, a possible Guinness record, perhaps film festival entries and eventually DVD distribution. Ambitious, and successful in its ambition. All who were involved deserve to be heartily congratulated.
And if Chris and his team decide to embark on this madness again next year? Well, I’m looking forward to seeing my own name in amongst those IMDB credits.