To kiss or not to kiss, that is the question.
Kissing scenes are often the most pivotal moment in a rom-com or any film with a romantic plot. These moments can be effective in film and TV shows because they can create a powerful emotional connection between the characters, reveal important information about their relationships, and add tension and significance to the story. Plus, don’t we enjoy the boost of serotonin we get from watching two people in love finally lock lips?
Unfortunately, those pivotal kissing scenes don’t always work. The Netflix movie, You People, ends with a romantic moment between Jonah Hill and Lauren London, but it falls flat in delivering romantic chemistry. Maybe the reason for this is because that scene was reportedly never actually filmed.
Was the Kiss in You People Real or Fake?
You People, directed by Kenya Barris, centers around an interracial and interfaith couple dealing with their families' reactions to their relationship. It also stars Eddie Murphy, Nia Long, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and David Duchovny and was released last month.
At the end of the film, Ezra (Hill) and Amira (London) meet and share their final kiss. But according to Andrew Schulz of the podcast The Brilliant Idiots, the smooch between Hill and London wasn't real.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Schulz claimed that the kiss, which is shown in multiple shots, was never actually filmed and that Hill’s and London’s faces were brought together, then digitally altered to create the kiss. Schulz's statement was met with skepticism by his co-host, Charlamagne Tha God.
Neither Netflix nor the cast and crew behind You People have made a statement about whether or not the kiss was real, but it wouldn’t be surprising to discover that this was a CGI kiss.
Let me explain.
Why Does Hollywood Create CGI Kissing Scenes?
It is common for films and television to use CGI to enhance or create certain special effects, but it's less common to use CGI to create fake kisses. Sometimes, CGI is required to sell the realness of a kiss.
Sure, it is easy to film a real kiss on set and use that shot in the film, but there are several reasons why CGI is used to enhance the performance of that pivotal moment.
Hollywood may use CGI to fake kissing scenes for a variety of reasons, including:
- Logistics: Sometimes, the logistics of filming a kiss scene can be challenging, such as if the actors have to be positioned at a certain angle, or if the kiss has to occur in a specific location that's difficult to reach.
- Safety: In some cases, actors may not want to kiss for safety reasons, such as if one of them is ill or if there are concerns about spreading germs.
- Dramatic Effect: In some cases, filmmakers may use CGI to enhance or change the way a kiss looks to create a specific effect. For example, they may use CGI to make the kiss more dramatic, to make it seem as if the characters are floating in the air, or to make the kiss appear to be happening in slow motion.
- Time constraints: In some cases, the actors may not have the time to film the kiss, or they may be too tired to perform the scene. In such cases, filmmakers may use CGI to create the kiss instead.
It's worth noting that using CGI to create fake kisses is relatively rare in Hollywood and is only done in certain circumstances. In most cases, filmmakers prefer to film actors kissing for real, as this often results in a more authentic and believable performance.
What Films Used CGI Kisses?
While we don’t know for certain if the kiss in You People was real or not, we do know a few films that have created CGI kissing scenes for specific reasons. Sometimes, the CGI work is done so well that we were fooled into thinking it was real.
Here are a few examples of productions that have used CGI to create or enhance kisses:
- The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - The film features a kiss between the main characters, Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson), but the actors' faces were later replaced with CGI versions to make the kiss more dramatic.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 - A kiss between Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and Ginny (Bonnie Wright) was created using CGI. While Radcliffe was no longer a minor during the shoot, Wright was still a minor. Using CGI allowed the filmmakers to still include a kiss between the characters, but in an age-appropriate way.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - In one of the scenes, a kiss between Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley) and Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) was enhanced with CGI.
These are just a few examples of the use of CGI in creating fake kisses in film. It's worth noting that this technique is not used often. CGI kiss usually only employed when the filmmakers want to create a specific effect that can't be achieved through practical means.
What TV Shows Have Used CGI Kisses?
It's difficult to say which specific TV shows have used CGI to create kissing scenes, as this information is often not publicly disclosed.
However, some TV shows may have used CGI to create kissing scenes for similar reasons as in film, such as technical requirements, age restrictions, or safety considerations. Additionally, some TV shows may have used CGI to create more complex or elaborate kissing scenes or to incorporate special effects such as fire, water, or other elements that would be difficult or dangerous to achieve through live-action filming.
With tighter budgets and stricter deadlines, TV shows will often find a way to capture a kiss on film rather than spend the money and little allotted time to fake a kiss.
I wouldn’t recommend that you use CGI kisses often unless you are doing so to enhance the romantic chemistry between two actors or you run into one of the few reasons Hollywood uses CGI kisses.
Do you know of any other CGI kisses in film and TV? Let us know in the comments below.
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February 10, 2023 at 6:44AM
Struggling for content eh?
February 12, 2023 at 9:32AM