The viral YouTube video depicting 20 strangers kissing for the first time was merely a marketing campaign for the women's clothing store Wren Studio.
Amateur filmmaker Tatia Pilieva made the black-and-white film, and it has drawn more than 25.2 million views on YouTube since it was posted on Monday.
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The premise was simple: All the subjects stood and faced each other awkwardly before being instructed to kiss for the first time. One woman asked if the lights could be turned off. Another forgot her partner's name moments after meeting him.
Pilieva told ABC News about her strategy in making the video.
"The key trick I used was not to say 'action,'" she said. "I've done lovemaking scenes before, but there was something so tender about this that we all kind of melted behind the five cameras we were using."
The filmmaker created the video for Wren Studio, a Los Angeles-based women's wear brand.
"Still, just seconds in, you'll be screaming at your computer, 'Just kiss already!' as these makeshift couples of varying ages and sexual orientations prepare to lock lips mere moments after learning each other's names, if even," People magazine reported.
It turns out all of the participants were friends of either Pilieva or Wren CEO Melissa Coker, according to ABC News.
"We kind of grouped them together just by instinct," Pilieva said. "I was really nervous at first, but you can see how some of the people responded."
Singer and songwriter Soko said she felt her kiss with her female partner was "the longest kiss of my life, but I wanted to just kiss more. It was so pure. Afterwards we went to get breakfast and then we ended up just hanging out the next four days. We didn’t really take anything further romantically but we made a real connection and I feel like that’s one of the most beautiful things people can take away from this video."
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