Students and Berkeley Story Collective film 20 students kissing each other for the first time

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If you saw Tatia Pilieva’s viral YouTube video featuring strangers kissing for the first time (which actually turned out to be a clothing advertisement), you’re familiar with this concept. But did you know that on Tuesday, April 22, UC Berkeley students and Berkeley Story Collective teamed up to create make their own version of the video?

The video displays the awkward first encounters of 10 pairs of UC Berkeley students, their friendly introductions, the passionate, sometimes uncomfortable kisses and — of course — the fascinating reactions that followed.

According the video’s description, the creators’ goal was “to properly exemplify both the awkwardness of a first kiss and the diversity of Berkeley’s campus (be it sexuality, body type, race, etc.).” Summer Mason, an aspiring filmmaker, sophomore and director of the video, added, “I think when I watched the original video, I just didn’t see myself doing that. Not that actual act itself but the fact that no one really looked like me. Then I thought that other people probably felt the same way.”

So the Berkeley Story Collective (a Facebook page that posts photos and quotes from UC Berkeley students) approached Mason to do a collaboration. Mason directed, and freshmen Mikaela Raphael and Alex Wu set up an application process — receiving about 120 applications from interested students.

“There was no convincing needed,” Mason said. “It seemed that everyone had a different reason for wanting to be a part of it, and that’s what really convinced me to do the project. They all thought they represented something.”

Contact Gabrielle Nguyen at [email protected]

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