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“There was a place near an airport, Kowloon, when Hong Kong wasn’t China, but there had been a mistake, a long time ago, and that place, very small, many people, it still belonged to China. So there was no law there. An outlaw place. And more and more people crowded in; they built it up, higher. No rules, just building, just people living. Police wouldn’t go there. Drugs and whores and gambling. But people living, too. Factories, restaurants. A city. No laws.

William Gibson, Idoru

It was the most densely populated place on Earth for most of the 20th century, where a room cost the equivalent of US$6 per month in high rise buildings that belonged to no country. In this urban enclave, “a historical accident”, law had no place. Drug dealers, pimps and prostitutes lived and worked alongside kindergartens, and residents walked the narrow alleys with umbrellas to shield themselves from the endless, constant dripping of makeshift water pipes above….

Kowloon ‘Walled’ City lost its wall during the Second World War when Japan invaded and razed the walls for materials to expand the nearby airport. When Japan surrendered, claims of sovereignty over Kowloon finally came to a head between the Chinese and the British. Perhaps to avoid triggering yet another conflict in the wake of a world war, both countries wiped their hands of the burgeoning territory.

And then came the refugees, the squatters, the outlaws. The uncontrolled building of 300 interconnected towers crammed into a seven-acre plot of land had begun and by 1990, Kowloon was home to more than 50,000 inhabitants….

Despite earning its Cantonese nickname, “City of Darkness”, amazingly, many of Kowloon’s residents liked living there. And even with its lack of basic amenities such as sanitation, safety and even sunlight, it’s reported that many have fond memories of the friendly tight-knit community that was “poor but happy”.

“People who lived there were always loyal to each other. In the Walled City, the sunshine always followed the rain,” a former resident told the South China Morning Post….

Today all that remains of Kowloon is a bronze small-scale model of the labyrinth in the middle a public park where it once stood.

This isn’t to say places like Kowloon Walled City no longer exist in Hong Kong….

— from Anywhere But Here: Kowloon “Anarchy” City



Join marykatewilesseanpersaud, & yulinkuang this Sunday, 4/20 at 9pm for a livestream event of the first six episodes of Kissing in the Rain. Details will be posted here and on Twitter closer to the date. We hope you’ll be able to join us as we review the season leading up to the the finale of Lily & James on Monday, 4/21!

We also have plans to shoot another Tea Time Q&A video with Sean, MK, and Yulin, so stay tuned for that in the weeks following the finale of chapter I of Kissing in the Rainand we hope you’ll stick around for chapter II with Audrey & Henry!

Much love,





On the production of episode 5 of Kissing in the Rain

Sequentially, this was the first episode we shot of Kissing in the Rain, which means 1) I was intensely nervous during its production and 2) hahaha, I have Sean and Mary Kate’s first kiss on camera. Most lol-worthy is the fact that Zack, our DP, accidentally continued to roll camera after we called cut and didn’t realize this until we were about to call action on the second take, so I also have Sean and MK’s very first between-takes interactions documented on camera as well. Given the meta-tasticness of this series in which they play two actors who keep having to kiss each other on camera, I figured the production stills from this take might be of interest.

I’m looking forward to cutting together a massive blooper reel over our series end credits once both seasons of Kissing in the Rain have been released. There will likely be an entire montage of Sean and Sairus struggling to get out their lines over the rain relentlessly hitting them in the mouth/eyeballs.

For reasons unknown to this lady director, I chose the scene with the most difficult blocking for us to kick off production. It was also our first run with the rain rigs (we’d done some camera tests before, but with enough margin for error that I was prepared for everything to go topsy turvy on this project if they didn’t work properly on the day), so I’m honestly still kind of taken aback by how well this episode turned out given all the variables in play. Sean and Mary Kate were both seated on vintage suitcases that were completely ruined over the course of shooting this scene, I’m still pretty sad about their loss. Another fun fact, the coat that Mary Kate is wearing in this episode is mine from third grade. My parents liked to buy me clothes I could “grow into” throughout my childhood. It saved me some wardrobe budget in the end, so I won’t complain.

This episode was my homage to studio films of the 1930’s - specifically Bringing Up Baby and It Happened One Night. There was a period in my life where I had only just discovered online streaming, and for some reason the streaming site that I found only hosted films from the 1940s and earlier, so these two movies hold a special place in my heart. I was also riffing on the 2008 film, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, starring Amy Adams, Lee Pace, Ciaran Hinds, and Frances McDormand. It’s a wonderful little period comedy, I highly recommend it.

That’s honestly all I can think of for production on this episode, it’s a short commentary week! In case you missed it, I also wrote up a couple behind-the-scenes commentary/essay posts earlier last week. There’s one here about the creative process from idea conception to production to episode release, and another one here with my thoughts on the world of literary adaptations for YouTube. Check those out if you are so inclined!

As ever, feel free to reach out if you have any other questions regarding production, I also answer quick questions on twitter. Hope you guys will enjoy tomorrow’s episode, it’s probably one of my favorites, along with every other episode.

Much love,

Yulin Kuang

Read up on the behind-the-scenes of episode 5 and rewatch the episode before tomorrow’s new episode release!

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