My 5 most memorable moments from being on the set of The Kissing Booth

June 11, 2018
The Kissing Booth has been out a month now, and to celebrate, I've shared some of my most memorable moments from set!

If you've been living under a rock lately, you might not know about The Kissing Booth - not just one of the most popular movies on Netflix right now, but one of the most popular movies in the world. (Seriously. Even Ted Sarandos of Netflix said so.)

And, the coolest part is, it's based on the book I started writing when I was 15 years old and posted on Wattpad, and had published back in 2012 when I was 17 - but you can read more about that here

It's now officially a month since the movie came out on Netflix, and so to celebrate, I wanted to share some more behind the scenes content here on my blog! (You guys have been telling me that's what you want to see, and I am listening, I promise.)

In this post, I'll be sharing a few of my most memorable moments from being on the set of The Kissing Booth - and, bonus, I'll share some corresponding images over on my instagram, so be sure to follow me at authorbethreekles on there so you don't miss out.

A quick bit of background before I kick off...

The Kissing Booth started filming in February of last year (2017), and filmed primarily in Cape Town, with a few scenes at key locations in LA (Santa Monica Pier, I'm looking at you). I wasn't able to get much time off work in my old job at the time, so could only go out to set for a week. I loved every moment. 

My dad came out with me for the week, as he's been a huge part of this journey with me from the start - he helped me out with the contracts in my original deal, came with me when I did a panel at the first YALC at London Comic Con, and always listens when I've got cool stats from my blog or Twitter to share... even if teen rom-com really isn't his bag.

And now, let's kick things off!

1. The first scene I saw being filmed

My very first day on set saw a few scenes being filmed, but they had just set up and started to film the school council scene when I arrived that first day. You know the one - where Ella and Lee have to propose their idea for a carnival booth to the school council and suggest their kissing booth idea. (Sorry, did I say theirs? I meant mine. Totally taking credit, sorry Lee & Elle.)

I'd not met the cast by this point, even if I knew who were playing my main characters, so this was the very first I saw not just of Lee and Elle, but of Joey and Joel, too. 

And I was blown away.

Their chemistry was brilliant, and everything I saw was flawless. The scene itself was a lot of fun to see come to life, of course, but the focus was on Elle and Lee. Even when the cameras stopped rolling, the chemistry kept going. Joey and Joel were joking with each other, chatting away with everyone, pulling faces or making jokes. I knew straight away that I'd be thrilled with the casting of the movie. 

They brought Elle and Lee to life so beautifully, I could have cried. 

The whole thing was made better by the fact that I had a chair with my name on it, and popcorn. (Seriously, that free popcorn. Loved it.) I got a headset and sat in my chair in front of the screens watching this scene play out time and time again, the cameras reset for new angles, the scene played again. I couldn't take my eyes off any of it.

I was particularly excited when British Beauty had her line 'I'm British, you wanker', since the swearword was one I'd contributed. I'm still way too excited about that (especially since it's quoted a LOT when I've asked for funny lines in the movie) and my mum is still disappointed in me for that, haha!

2. The Noah Smirk (TM?)

Noah's trademark smirk was a huge part of the book. Everyone used to comment on that smirk. I loved that smirk. I'd built that smirk up in my head for seven years. (Six, actually, at the time of filming.)

I met Jacob on the first day I was there, though he didn't film any scenes. We had a great chat over lunch and I was so thrilled to meet my Noah. But on the second day, we filmed at a beach, with the Flynn and Evans family dinner scene you see near the start of the movie. 

I had total faith in the casting and in Jacob, but this was when Noah really came to life for me. I got to see Noah's famous smirk - and I freaked out. I remember smacking my dad's arm, hissing, 'That's him! That's Noah! That's the smirk, he's doing the smirk!' 

There was a scene between Elle and Noah that took place on a staircase around the corner of the family meal. While they were setting up cameras, Jacob was stood around on the stairs and caught my eye. He pulled a goofy face - eyes crossed, tongue out, you know the kind. Next second, the cameras were rolling and he was smirking again. I know he's literally paid to act like that, but it was still so bizarre to see him become Noah like that, I'm still not over it more than a year later.

3. The Flynn mansion and the first party

The first party of the movie is Lee and Noah's house party, where Elle gets horrifically drunk. You remember. 

I got to see half of the party scene being filmed. It was my third day of shooting and the first night shoot I got to see. We arrived quite early in the evening/late afternoon, which meant I was wandering around the massive Flynn mansion (with its four or five swimming pools) in awe, watching the crew set up for the party.

And I mean, the amount of work that goes into setting this sort of scene up... it's nuts. I never would have known. People dressed the set, and it's not like it was a small set. I watched a woman readjust a tipped-over red solo cup several times on a step, weighing it down, before deciding that was perfect. I watched dozens and dozens of extras arrive and be positioned meticulously before given directions.

There was even a crane that cost thousands of dollars to get a sweeping shot of the whole party - and to be fair, it's a cracking shot. It looked glorious.

Night fell, the lighting went on... and the lighting went out.

One of the main lights being used to light up the outdoors went bust almost as soon as that scene started to film. There was instant controlled chaos as crew jumped to fix it and other crew started constructing some kind of alternative just in case.

This whole thing might not sound like much, but my dad did a great job of putting it in perspective while we were there.

Between the extras, the crew, the cast, the catering team, the makeup and costume department... Everyone there - there must have been a couple hundred people.

All there because of something I'd written when I was 15/16 years old, just for fun.

4. I got a cameo!!!!

So, you probably are well aware of this if you read my recent post on things you might've missed in the movie, or if you caught my posts about it on my instagram. 

I've never been so happy to have written a costume party scene as when Vince (the scriptwriter and director) told me that was where my cameo would be, because I'm such a sucker for fancy dress. And yes, it's phenomenally cool that I got to have a cheeky little appearance in my movie, but that's not even the coolest part.

I mean, I had a trailer. They put my name on it. The costume department and I had talked the day before and we'd discussed a few costume options, which they sourced for me. I had an absolute blast trying them all on and taking dozens of selfies before I picked my favourite - a yellow 1920s flapper dress - and headed over to the makeup trailer.

I was there ages. They put a wig on me, and admittedly, I did panic a little. How would people recognise me without my fringe?! I barely ever see myself without my fringe. And half my family didn't even recognise me in the selfie I sent them once I was all made up and had the wig on!

But they did such a phenomenal job. Kudos to them, because my hair is so thick and long, it took ages to pin it up to get the wig on, and my makeup looked amazing - I regretted having to take it off at the end of the night!

Another reason my cameo was so memorable was because I had to dance. They stuck me in front of a camera to dance. There's no music playing while they film. My heels got stuck in the decking. I cannot dance, even when I've had a few drinks. I was terrified for months that I'd end up on screen dancing - and I am, slightly, but it's blink-and-you'll-miss-it! I cringe every time I think about the quality of my dancing at that moment, though.

And (because I'm not sure where else to put it in this post!) this night was the last time I was on set, and it was one of the most emotional scenes of the movie. We ended the night filming Elle telling Lee how much she loves Noah, and Lee saying she should take the Mustang and go after Noah (before he pulls the ol' switcheroo).

Joey and Joel were so incredible in that scene I sobbed every single take. I sobbed saying goodbye to them at the end of the night. I sobbed saying goodbye to Vince in the lift when I got to my floor in the hotel. I sobbed taking off my makeup to go to bed for a couple of hours before we had to go to the airport. It was such an emotional and amazing night, I know I'll never forget it.

5. And, finally: hanging out with the cast

Sadly, because I was on set so little, and not around on the weekend, I didn't get to hang out with the cast too much while I was there. They were filming a lot. Joel was needed on camera almost every scene I was there for - or, to be fair, absolutely knackered when we filmed that party, so went for a nap when his scenes were done.

On the second day of filming, Joel left after lunch, as he wasn't needed to film in the afternoon - and he literally skipped away from set. I wasn't sure if I was watching Lee or Joel. He was such a friendly and bright person to be around.

That said, I did get to hang out with the cast, and it was completely glorious. They were all so sweet, and seemed so genuinely excited to meet me and have me around - which was a huge comfort to me, because they seemed like one big family and I felt like such an intruder at first!

Jacob spent a while on set waiting for his scene to start (kissing Cheetos girl) so we got to hang out for a while and have some cool conversations about Noah's character. And he was so. Damn. Funny. 

I wouldn't have blamed Joey for being super tired and trying to conserve energy between takes, since she was filming the whole night, but she was so bright and bubbly and came over to chat several times while they were resetting cameras. Whenever I had a few minutes chatting to Joey, I was just blown away by how incredible and mature she was, and it always felt like I was talking to someone I'd known for years - she was so cool and down to earth!

I took bathroom selfies with two of the OMG girls - because what party is complete without a pouty selfie in the bathroom mirror?! And, in case you couldn't tell, they're not quite so savage off camera. They're honestly some of the nicest girls I've ever met!

I remember during the party scene, Josh (aka Tuppen, who wears a skirt better than literally anybody I know) and I got told off for laughing too loudly because they were trying to film - and I'm pretty sure it was our favourite Friends references we were laughing about at the time.

I honestly can't get over how incredible the cast were, and I'm so grateful to have had them all involved in the movie and have had the chance to meet them! 



And there you have it, folks! Five of my most memorable moments from being on the set of The Kissing Booth!


Would you like me to talk any more in depth about any of things, or anything else you'd like to hear about from behind the scenes of the movie? Anything you want to know about the book and the story? (And no, I'm not counting any 'will there be a sequel' questions!)

Let me know what you'd like to see more of - either in the comments, or on Twitter, where you can Tweet me @Reekles.

But hopefully you enjoyed this post, and the movie - and remember to follow me on instagram at authorbethreekles so you don't miss out on more bonus content!

3 comments:

  1. That was fun to read! Thanks for sharing. It's also good to know that behind these super awesome characters, there are super awesome people as well!

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  2. I liked the music
    Some scenes are from LA, so it reminds me of S1 The OC Ryan and Seth.
    Elle's and Lee's friendship reminds my friendahip with Chris my bff. I think back and some craziness we did.
    I loved that their Mom is Molly Ringwald from the 80's movie Breakfast Club and Pretty in Pink. She is my fav.
    I liked the scene of the prom when they are playing the song Don't you forget about me... it's from the end of the Breakfast Club.
    I liked Noah and Elle's relationship, sometimes it reminds me of Nathan and Hailey OTH.
    I liked the scene where Lee forgives Elle with just one look they know each other well.

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  3. I loved the movie it was awesome! I hope that you can still stay in touch with cast and I hope that you can start getting more time off work! I do have some questions though! For instance, who is your favorite character in the movie, who was the best at acting, who was your favorite person in real life! Was there anyone in the crew who seemed kind of rude? Were you ever tired on set? Do you like to collect anything? Like snow globes and stuff like that? Did you buy anything while you were in all of those places filming? What was your favorite part of the movie? Mine was when Lee and Elle were trying to think of an idea as Lee was trying the worst outfits on! Haha Who was your most supportive family member through the whole process? I also hope you do another livestream next weekend that would be amazing if you could!

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