Hazel Witch Productions Presents The Kiss Script


Jake Lubin

A group of SHS students and alum wrote, produced, and edited a short film, which just released a few days ago.

Daniel Rublin

The Kiss Script has finally arrived. The movie, released by Hazel Witch Productions, has been in the works for years. But what is Hazel Witch Productions? Hazel Witch Productions is a student film production company founded by Sam Friedman ’20, Jake Lubin ’22, Jeremy Suzman ’22, and Jordan Cascade ’22.  

The group that later became the company formed in February 2020 when a former movie director/writer from a teaching and writing company taught a small film class to Friedman and a few other SHS students who were interested in filmmaking. The group then decided to create a film in June 2020, as Lubin had created a script that they thought would work well as a movie. “We [Friedman and Lubin] asked Jordan if he wanted to work on it, and then Jeremy also signed on to work on it. The four of us kind of took on the producing roles, which is like doing the logistics… getting everything done,” explained Friedman. The group created the production company as a medium to release the film, and released it in early August 2020, titling it Boy on the Moon. They since have released In Spades, and both of their movies have amassed thousands of views on YouTube. But The Kiss Script is reportedly the best of the three. “I liked the other two a lot, but this one is just different in the best way possible,” said Mason Ruzumna ’23.

The idea for The Kiss Script was synthesized in 2019. Stephen Greenberg, one of the actors in the movie, and Friedman had the idea while we’re at a summer program together. Many months later, he wrote the script of the movie. “When I was a senior in high school, I first drafted the film and then didn’t touch it for a while… and then in June of this past summer, me and Jake [Lubin ’22] really started honing the script down and developing it, and then we decided to make it,” stated Friedman. Friedman explained that right away, Hazel Witch Productions got to work. “We started pre-production in June. We shot in late July, early August… it was a three-day shoot, some other little shoots on the side,”  said Friedman. But production was no easy task, and cost him, as well as others, significant amounts of sleep. “I’d wake up at seven, I’d meet with the producers at noon. We’d do some prep for the day until like 6:00 PM, and then our actors would get there. We’d practice until like seven or eight [PM], maybe until the sunset. And then we’d shoot from eight [PM] to two or three [AM], and then I’d go home and go to sleep at  at three or four [AM]. Wake up again at seven to shoot the next day,” explained Friedman. Friedman described the shooting process as a “total grind.” “You’ve gotta run on adrenaline, coffee, and tears,” he stated.

The movie is a comedy with an intriguing storyline. The Kiss Script is about a group of kids in a film class in high school, and one of them has a crush on a girl. The group of kids are assigned the task of writing a rom-com. “They have the idea of, ‘Let’s write this kid and his crush into the rom-com, and let’s cast the two of them so they can kiss,’” stated Friedman. The story is interesting in part because it is a film about making fims, which is atypical. “It’s a very meta story about our experiences making films and figuring out, ‘How do we express what we care about?’ And this film was about kids… struggling to make films and the crazy extremes they’ll go to to get their stuff made, which is kind of what we experienced all the time,” explained Friedman. The movie differs from the other two movies that Hazel Witch Productions has made in a few ways, including the fact that this movie is a comedy.  “There’s a lot of improv in this, which was my exact plan going in.. [to] just let the actors riff on each other and create some good chemistry, and that creates for better comedy,” he added. Another unique aspect to this movie was that this movie is genre-bending in that it starts as a comedy, but turns into more of a drama in the second half, like a rom-com. There’s even a horror element toward the end.

What does Hazel Witch Productions hope viewers will do with the movie? “I want people to feel free to send it around to everyone they know. Obviously, our end goal is to have as many people that can see it as possible. And hopefully, someone knows someone in the industry who really likes it and will want to talk to us,” said Friedman.

 “I think filmmaking is one of the only arts that’s very team-driven and very collaborative. We had a whole massive, amazing team that worked [long hours], either in pre-production, production, or post-production, doing a ton of work [for free] to make it happen… so they all deserve a shout out, they did a great job and [the movie] couldn’t [have been] made without them,” concluded Friedman.

Watch The Kiss here: