First Kiss Video A Hoax?

First Kiss Video A Hoax?

First Kiss - a short video directed by Tatia Pilieva and uploaded to Youtube has gone viral overnight. In just one day the black and white video spotlighting the first moments of physical intimacy between two people, has received over 11 million views and is still going strong. Tatia Pilieva got 20 strangers together, paired them up, and asked them to kiss for the first time in front of her camera. When the strangers have finished embracing, we all just want to stand up and slow clap. But wait... one thing the video doesn't publicize is that it's an advertisement for a clothing line. First Kiss was posted on WREN Studios twitter page today with the accompanying caption "To celebrate the debut of our Fall 14 collection, we asked 20 strangers to kiss for the first time."


Knowing it's an ad is initially forgivable until you realize that the majority of the people kissing are actors and models. Then the veil of whimsy is gone and all that's left is another well planned, viral advertisement and our suspension of disbelief.

The cast includes models Natalia Bonifacci, Ingrid Schram, and Langley Fox (daughter of actress Mariel Hemingway and sister of model Dree); musicians Z Berg of The Like, Damian Kulash of OK Go, Justin Kennedy of Army Navy, singer Nicole Simone, and singer-actress Soko (who also performed the melancholy indie music that accompanies the short); and actors Karim Saleh,  Matthew Carey,  Jill LarsonCorby Griesenbeck,  Elisabetta Tedla,  Luke Cook, and Marianna Palka.

Slate writer Amanda Hess provides great insight about the advertisement "Is it really unexpectedly touching that when gorgeous and charismatic Italian models, French actors, indie band leaders, and Hollywood royalty get together to kiss one another—under a soundtrack that prompts, "If you're not ready for love, how can you be ready for life?”— the results are "beautiful"?"

[Via Slate]

Log in or register to post comments


Edward Porter's picture

A lesson we all know too well in photography. If it's too perfect, it's probably shopped.

Akin to how I call Conceptual photography, Computer Art.

Yep, gay propaganda video just as I said it was.. I hope enjoyed being punked, sheeple! Ha!


go back to NAMBLA you professional creeper.

Matt Dutile's picture

I feel sorry for the cloud of hate that surrounds your life. It must be terribly disparaging to wake up each day in a noxious plague of ignorance and bigotry.

Read the second amendment. Please. It takes less than 90 seconds to google it and read it.

I don't like all the crap slinging because of the article by the slate writer. Fake? How exactly is this video fake?

Let's evaluate what the creator told us... 20 strangers kissing for the first time. Is that what we we were given? Yes. Is there any reason to believe that this was more staged than originally presented (multiple takes, coaching, etc)? No, there is not. Instead what some enterprising writer did was look up the people listed in the credits. Smh!

Let me ask this. Does ones profession take away from ones humanity? Does a first kiss become less awkward because a person is an actor or a model? Is it possible for even a whore to maintain enough of their humanity for a first kiss to still be spontaneous and authentic?

Sure we can be cynical and say that some of these people (and I stress some because not all of their fame implies in any way an ability to reduce to insane amount of awkwardness of a first kiss) were trained to have skills that could possibly make this video less than authentic (here's looking at you actors). But lets be mindful that even these actors practice things like kissing and lovemaking scenes repeatedly until they become natural looking. Why? Because at first occurrence they are hella awkward!

Geez, I'm sorry. That slate article was a huge piece of crap that tries to undermine someones genuinely creative piece of art. It was beautiful because of and despite who the people involved were. Our natural human awkwardness at first brush with intimacy is not something that very many careers can overcome.

ugh. lighten up, it's fake after all.

This article is not bashing what they did or the creative people behind it. It's all a marketing ploy. They first come out with the viral video and then a bunch of sites call it a hoax to get us to click on it. It worked. We're talking about it even more now. The fact that they used the word HOAX in big red letters (when it's clear it's not a hoax) should've been the first clue this was all a big marketing scheme.

Guys, they were ACTING since they are ACTORS ! IT WAS AN ACT. That's all. Nothing genuine.

Only a few of them were actors. Others are models and band members.....they do not get paid to "act" and a first kiss is awkward and becomes more natural and more beautiful in time.

Yes, because only thin beautiful strangers can kiss..

greg tennyson's picture

So your beef is that the video doesn't include any fat ugly people? That's typically the criteria when you're trying to create something that's pleasing to watch.

I think you meant healthy beautiful stranger can kiss...

Besides the point, still 20 strangers kissing.

I totally agree. The only difference between this one and the vice version, which uses 20 random people off the street, is that in this one everyone is good looking and dressed well.

This is all "Art" has ever been.....Why are people so morose that they feel like they "caught the snake by the tail" every time they can point out something has been faked or photoshopped? I watched this video and I thought it was sweet, and more importantly I thought it was very human. I didn't see any advertisements. (Unlike the big "Watch The Promo" play button behind this comment screeen). Hypocritical much, Fstoppers? This video has gone viral because it makes people feel something. This video made the guy sitting in his cubicle feel a brief moment of excitement or brought him back to a time when he was younger.

I didn't know this was an advertisement until I read this post by Fstoppers. (Who only made this post about a viral video to garner page views and increase their own advertising revenue). As far as I'm concerned, this video has nothing to do with photography or videography.....Or helping people become better at either, so why host this article, Fstoppers?

Dylan Patrick's picture

Here is the thing...I studied acting for film, most of my friends are actors, I'm now a full time photog working with actors all the time...I wouldn't call this a Hoax at all....good advertising now I guess...I wish it wasn't created to sell clothes...but this is real...just because they are actors, musicians etc means nothing. Actors are often doing things like this with complete strangers, I've done it multiple times
Myself, and the first time it's always a quite awkward the first time you kiss anyone you don't know, hell, I've had it be awkward with someone I did know but it was the first time we kissed on screen. Anyone who studies emotion, reactions and searches for true expression in their portrait of film work can see these reactions and expressions are very real. As someone who has been in auditions and had to do this or performances and had to do this and had MANY friends that have also experienced this I can assure you it's real, regardless of the the motivation for making it. I will however grant you that I would have preferred it just been an indie short free of selling something but in the end I could care less. To those that say it looses all validity probably missed the whole point of it to begin with.

That's the point though. Actors are paid to at times kiss. They are used to it. Even if it is a person you just met seconds ago. I do think it is more fake than pulling to people off the street and asking if they would kiss each other.

Dylan Patrick's picture

Are you a performer? Have you ever been in this situation? Sometimes I think too many people comment about things they know nothing about but attempt to know. They actually aren't used to it... that's the point. It doesn't matter if they get paid to kiss people and the average person isn't about the setup it's about the is still awkward for actors who have never met prior to that day to kiss...plain and simple...I only speak from experience in the matter....I've practiced kissing with fellow actors (some of whom were even friends) for film and sometimes it's still awkward even after getting to know the person. Either way you are arguing specifics....what this ad was really about is genuine awkwardness and emotion, and if you study people at all you would know the reactions and moments were very real and genuine. Even A-List stars get nervous with sex scenes and kissing eachother...hence why most sets are closed during filming of such things, or with minimal crews. Acting is not about getting paid to pretend it's about allowing yourself to be free enough to go out of your comfort zone and feel things most people choose to avoid, and it's through feeling those things that character development happens. But taking two actors, sticking them in what is probably just an audition room (which the audition room itself is a nerve racking place for an actor) and telling them to kiss, isn't telling them to pretend....I promise there really isn't much difference. Now IF it came out that this was rehearsed many times over and they cut it a bunch in the editing room then I would submit that it has more elements of stage to it....

I can see a large liability in not using professional people for this piece. Not something a photographer would be willing to instigate.

I'm happy for the ads we all have to watch to be lovely pieces of art, kwirky videos of something new etc. Better that some of the stupid, forehead/palm stuff we might be watching instead. Actors have to eat too.

barry donaldson's picture

unless these folks are all good friends and make out on a regular basis, then i don't see how this is a hoax. the kissers not being strangers off the street doesn't mean it's fake. i still love it.

also, immature homophobes, please go play in traffic.

if that's an advert it can't be very good considering i still have no idea what it's for.

How the hell is this fake? They list credits at the end. Nobody was being "fooled." No deception intended here as far as I can tell. If it turns out it was scripted, rehearsed, or the actors/models knew each other ahead of time, then yeah, I'd say it's a fake, but short of that, if anything is deceptive its the headline of this article that is flat out libelous.

Stephen Kampff's picture

We all knew they were actors, they were public about this.

Wait... The only way a video of 20 strangers kissing can be a hoax is if the 20 people are in fact not strangers. What is the point of this little write up?

Exactly. The word "hoax" doesn't apply here.

More comments