Phil Peel

Film, video, photography, sound and story

Filming “Love” for 50 Kisses

Posted by Phil On October - 22 - 2012

LATEST UPDATE   Update: August 2013  LOVE has been selected for the Edinburgh Short Film Festival and the New York Bootleg Film Festival. 

It was all Deanna’s fault.  I had seen all the 50 Kisses promotional stuff and had wondered vaguely about getting involved, but it wasn’t till  she rang me up to ask if I could could DP her “second” 50 Kisses film, that I was inspired into making one myself.

I always say there are two types of  filmmaker. Those that talk about it and those that “do” it.   ..and recently I’d become a talker rather than a doer.    ..though to be fair I’ve shot a lot of music videos, corporates etc.

But this was getting to be the first year in the last six that I wasn’t shooting a drama.  So I decided to get off my butt …and check out the 50 scripts.

Working tactically, I looked at the scripts that no one else was shooting …  and I could see why!    It wasn’t the storylines was the difficulties of actually filming them. Matching actors through generations and across changing ages. ..or really complicated locations to achieve on small budgets. Then I focused down on  Rob Burke’s short “Love” set on a moving bus, with a mysterious sinister stranger and his interaction with a  young girl and her mum. (The required “kiss” is between the mum and child. )

Filming on a bus would be not easy. Matching the external scenery and light conditions would likely be difficult. It seemed the only solution would be to hire a bus and get extras for all the other passengers.

Unless I could move it to another form of transport. What about the Tube?  I checked with the writer, who was happy with the idea. I was surprised to find he was from Washington on the West coast of the USA, when he explained that he couldn’t come along for the filming.

For the young child I chose Holly Jacobson, who I’d met at one of Chris Jones’ BBQs. She’s a pretty seasoned actress now. Check out her dad’s film Candy Crime.  Melody Reynolds matched her perfectly as the mum and Lula Suassuna was great as the sinister stranger.

actros for "love" film 50 kisses

So we met up for a good meal at Pizza Express.

Here’s Holly checking out the recce shots.

checking recces shots for filming Phil Peel and Holly

So trailing our posse of extras (otherwise known as the crew) Deanna, Terry, Ben and Kaley we travelled around London.

crew for 50 kisses

No need for lighting, tracking, jibs, tripods etc. Just me and a camera. I shot on a hacked Panasonic GH2 stowed with four lenses in a little Slingshot shoulder bag.

..and a black jacket with a hood , which I’ve learnt is very useful to avoid embarrassing reflections of the camera person in windows.

Sound was recorded on a Zoom H4N.

recording with Zoom H4N

Wonderfully liberating working like that, though it’s hard work. Engaging with the actor’s performance is difficult, when you’re also juggling ISO levels, F stops, depth of field etc.  (By the way the fluffy bit on top of the camera is a very effective windshield for the in camera stereo mike.)

Using GH2 on 50 Kisses


Update: August 2013  LOVE has been selected for the Edinburgh Short Film Festival and the New York Bootleg Film Festival. 



2 Responses to “Filming “Love” for 50 Kisses”

  1. Deanna says:

    Pleased to have given you the motivation – it was a good day. Deanna

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