Practice Makes Perfect by Mark Pallis Draft 2

practice makes perfect second draft.pdf
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Draft Two Comments... have YOUR say!

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Comments: 2
  • #1

    Rachel Paterson (Thursday, 20 September 2012 12:00)

    Loved this - touching and innocent. I enjoyed the flashbacks - and their climax of the balloon floating away, and then popping. I didn't think the pumpkin face was outrageous - I could see it working - perhaps if just before you see him try to snog it, he puts down the implement he's been using to carve it, and extend seeds in his mouth to seeds all over his hands etc. Anyway, pumpkin or no pumpkin, this is definitely a favourite.

  • #2

    anne-marie caluwaert (Thursday, 13 June 2013 21:11)

    Well writen - enjoyed reading it! Thanks for sharing.
    From Belgium

Practice Makes Perfect by Mark Pallis Draft 1

Clint anxiously practices kissing only to find a soft peck on the cheek does just fine.
practice makes perfect DRAFT 1.pdf
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Draft One Producers Development Notes for the author

1. Consider changing the pumpkin to something else - 1) It is unlikely to be in season in Feb 2) We can see that this is the progression of kiss, to something with a face, but can you think of something else that would work equally as well?

2. Consider changing the cinema location to something else - think about what a lo-to-no budget filmmaker will be able to source.

Have your say, what do you think?

Comments: 25 (Discussion closed)
  • #1

    Tom Gaisford (Friday, 03 August 2012 14:08)

    Love the flashback sequencing, building suspense and - como no? - the pumpkin moment. Brilliant exposure of the tenderness behind that thing we do with our lips (& not always our tongues).

    Looking fwd to seeing this!

  • #2

    Mac (Friday, 03 August 2012 18:18)

    Fantastic. One of the best. Good job.

  • #3

    Ryan La Via (Friday, 03 August 2012 19:52)

    Hi Mark,

    I truly enjoyed reading this. Extremely well written, with a very satisfying ending! Good stuff!!!

  • #4

    Craig Young (Friday, 03 August 2012 22:25)

    This is awesome - Very well crafted and descriptive - I'm gonna do this in america

  • #5

    Ann Murgatroyd (Friday, 03 August 2012 22:39)

    A well rounded story - flashbacks perfect, ending very satisfactory. Young and lovely.

  • #6

    James Howard (Friday, 03 August 2012 23:02)

    I like the innocence of this a lot—straight out of my own early adolescence—and the simple exuberance of the ending rings true.

    The one thing I don't buy is the pumpkin. His hand, for sure, and even the balloon. A pillow, maybe. His sister's doll. A pin-up girl in a magazine or a model in an ad on the wall of a deserted tube station. But nobody makes out with a jack-o-lantern, certainly not to the point of sucking seeds out of it. It's for comic effect, obviously, but I don't think that pumpkin will play. It takes us out of the sweet realism of the rest of the piece. You need something else that's funny, but true.

  • #7

    Phil (Saturday, 04 August 2012 07:11)

    Hey Mark, thank you for your comments on my screenplay. Every comment and criticism helps in fostering development.

    I very much enjoyed your screenplay. I really like what you were able to do in short, well written action blocks and extremely limited dialogue.

    My only note is along the lines of what other comments seem to be saying, and that is in reference to the pumpkin. I think the pumpkin could still work, but the "surprised look" ruins the feel of the entire piece. Unless other parts of the script were fantastical, I believe the audience will struggle to suspend their disbelief to accept that an inanimate object was surprised by Clint's wayfaring tongue.

    That being said, humor is very regional, and being that you used the term "snog" with such relentless fervor...I think I can make the assumption that you are from somewhere in the UK. So, my Yankee brain may not be totally in step with the concept. I feel like if you wanted to do something goofy and not necessarily plausible with the pumpkin you could have him give it a hickey, or maybe just a drool soaked or discolored spot. Along those lines, I also like the idea of Clint picking a single pumpkin seed from his teeth as opposed to spitting a flurry of them onto the ground.

    My feeling is that the story is best served in realism. It is a cute and charming, but more importantly nostalgic piece. I am sure most of us can relate, and are reminded of the first household objects that we (stealing your term) snogged.

    Keep up the good work and congratulations!

  • #8

    Mark (Saturday, 04 August 2012 10:16)

    Thanks for your comments and suggestions everyone.

    As far as the pumpkin goes, the idea was always for it to be real. I hadn't intended the face to be surprised in an 'animated character' kind of way, I was thinking that the kid had carved the face himself, and the way he'd carved it was with a surprised look, rather than a classic two eyes and a smile.

    But I'll think about this - got to be practical so maybe you can't even get pumpkins in August!



  • #9

    Mark (Saturday, 04 August 2012 13:42)

    PS I am happy for the genders of the characters to be reversed, and to leave it open to the film makers to choose whether to make the main character a boy or girl. Enjoy! Feel free to get in touch with me. @markpallis or

  • #10

    Stephen Cooper (Sunday, 05 August 2012 00:25)

    Is a nice gentle script that will play well when shot. Like it.

  • #11

    Phil (Sunday, 05 August 2012 01:13)

    Ah, got it. I don't know why but it read to me like the expression on the pumpkin was as a result of Clint's actions.

    That makes much more sense. Either way, again, great work!

  • #12

    Damian Mallon (Sunday, 05 August 2012 07:46)

    Good work, Mark. It really captured the feel of the anticipation and pressure of that perfect first kiss and then the elation afterwards.

  • #13

    Alison Langley (Sunday, 05 August 2012 10:12)

    Lovely! A simple idea perfectly executed. Good work!

  • #14

    Nathan Gower (Monday, 06 August 2012 16:23)

    Mark, thanks for your feedback on my own script, and I was thrilled to give yours a read. I really enjoyed this one, and it is clear that a lot of care and craft has gone into it. In tone, this one was close to my own script, which I found interesting and fun.

    I love the protag here, and I'm rooting for him from "FADE IN". To counter some of the anti-pumpkin sentiment :) , I quite enjoyed that scene. I liked the burst of humor there, though I think maybe you could lose the seeds, as it made me sour a bit.

    The only real development consideration I had was I thought that (maybe) there was one too many flashbacks. By the fourth, it seemed we had a predictable pattern, and so I just wanted to hurry to the climax. A personal preference would be to see the protag switched to the girl, as it would provide a bit of a different, unexpected shift in perspective.

    All in all, very nice work, and I look forward to seeing this one on screen.

  • #15

    Craig (Monday, 06 August 2012 17:33)

    I'm the opposite to Nathan, I didn't like the flashback to start but the more that came the better. His attempts getting more outrageous.

    As for wanting to get to the climax in a hurry, Its a 2 minute film so it will alway take 2 minutes to get to the climax.

    Maybe he should start of a bad kiss and get better. His best kiss is his first attempt was he best.

    One little gripe, please call you flashback, flashback.

  • #16

    Craig (Monday, 06 August 2012 17:36)

    Sorry last line should read, please call your flashbacks, flashbacks.

  • #17

    Mark (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 11:37)

    Thanks everyone. The one thing I was considering was whether to include the very very rapid series of flashbacks at the end. I think it's worth it as it really helps build the pace, but I don't want to get repetitive. Any thoughts welcomed!

  • #18

    Shonali (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 17:15)

    Well done! Really funny. Reminds me of adolescent innocence- brings over waves of nostalgia. I think the flashbacks work.

  • #19

    Rob Burke (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 20:17)

    Mark - First, thanks for the comments on my script "Love" - much appreciated.

    I enjoyed this story and should be a fun one to film.

    Like others have mentioned - the pumkin. It didn't work for me. Don't know why . . . I guess I don't buy that anyone would make out with a pumkin. If you want to go the food route - find something more sexual and that can make a lot of sound . . . a peach maybe?

    Also, this bit about the horror movie playing on their faces - maybe there's a better visual clue you could use to set this up. Maybe a poster they walk by? Not a big deal.

    Good job and good luck.


  • #20

    Phil Charles (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 20:41)

    Slowly making my way through ‘em! Enjoyed your script. Some thoughts. Clint kissing her on the cheek is sweet, but after all that wonderful practice I wanted to know why he’d suddenly changed his mind and sensed that was the right thing to do. I presume it was ‘the moment’ and that a full on Frenchie wouldn’t have felt right, in which case I feel this needs to be a bigger beat. Could we possibly see his POV, staring at her lips, contemplating what to do. Music may help signify he now realises the moment is romantic rather than sexual. He LOVES her. A random thought. Would it be more surprising if he’s about to go in for the nervous, messy snog that could ruin his chances and she suddenly pecks him on the lips/cheek. She’s beaten him to it, shown him how it’s done. A proper modern young woman taking control of the situation. So he’d then be sort of relieved but also made up as he still got the kiss he really wanted. Maybe totally not right, but thought I’d throw it at you. Minor points. Could he be holding something on the bus in the first scene that signifies it’s Valentine’s so we know the pressure is really on. Could the film they’re watching be a romance, the scene involving kissing by a man who obviously knows what he’s doing. Clint’s now even more on edge. Felt odd that they were watching a horror on Valentine’s. But whatever floats their boat!

  • #21

    Mark (Thursday, 09 August 2012 10:01)

    Thanks for those additional comments guys.

    I think the Directors will put the right shots in - I see the point, but I'm not sure I need to write it in there.

    On the Pumpkin, as I mentioned before, I've realised that you can't find them in August, so I'm going to do something else, like a melon - watermelon or cantaloupe! For me the key point is that it's big - I agree Rob that the sounds of the peach could be fun - but I just want him to face off against something pretty huge.

    Thanks again.

  • #22

    Chris (Friday, 10 August 2012 18:29)

    Loved this. Refreshingly simple!!

  • #23

    K Satchwell (Friday, 10 August 2012 19:27)


    Thanks so much for your comments on my script! They've been the most useful so far and have set my mind thinking in a completely different way about the characters!

    Loved your script! Was hoping I could say something really helpful too, but the story's so touching and the build up works wonderfully, have been finding it hard to think what to add!

    I liked that Sally had bought tickets too, and that they're missing each others' gazes in the cinema, the idea that she cares equally. You mentioned about a gender reversal but I was thinking what if it's told from both perspectives and she's been practicing too...

    Maybe Clint could use the mirror and balloon, and Sally could use the hand and melon (or whichever pumpkin substitute) and, as she has braces, maybe she gets the seeds/food stuck in them or maybe full on tangles her brace in it so she's stuck.

    Then at the end, maybe instead of the rapid flashbacks, Clint sees a little girl walk by with a balloon and Sally sees a melon on the top of someone's shopping bag at the bus stop and they're both feeling the pressure. They manage a little peck on the lips, he has his 'yeah!' moment and she pulls away on the bus mouthing a quiet, smiling 'yes' to herself.

    I hope that's not way off piste. Also, I'm not sure if the build up works better with the focus being on one character.

    Anyway, the humour and the tenderness make it exactly the kind of film I'd want to watch on Valentine's. Congrats on writing such a wonderful script!


  • #24

    Mark W. (Sunday, 12 August 2012 15:49)

    Hey Mark-too! Great script. Very funny. Very sweet.

    Definitely keep the rapid FLASHBACKS - they add extra fizz and energy to the climax.

    Ditto - kissing the PUMPKIN (or similar big fruit). It's a key/funny moment. Love the fact that Clint's carved a face in it...!

  • #25

    Stephen O'Brien (Thursday, 16 August 2012 23:47)

    Terrific, warm piece, which everyone - regardless of age and sex - can relate to. Great structure and build up, and especially love the half bow!

    The only thing that jarred was the pumpkin, but everyone else has covered that! :-)