'Practice Makes Perfect' by LadyBug Films

(Los Angeles, USA) Second Edit

Hi, we're the filmmakers of "Practice Makes Perfect" by LadyBug Films. Our names are Nikki Debbaudt (age 21) and Samantha Skelton ( age 18) from Los Angeles, CA, USA. Nikki Debbaudt graduated from the program Inner City Filmmakers and Samantha Skelton is a film intern at Warner Brothers Studios in burbank, CA. The main characters were played by Shane Skelton (boy) and Kelsey Hrach (girl). We are passionate filmmakers and I don't think you'll meet more dedicated, creative, and driven filmmakers than us. We have such a strong vision for "Practice Makes Perfect" and can't wait to receive constructive criticism to make it even better.

Read 'Practice Makes Perfect' HERE

Second Cut Comments... have YOUR say!

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Comments: 1
  • #1

    David (Thursday, 29 May 2014 19:57)

    VERY cute film! Especially since another version was produced at the same time, but with much-younger kids - different flavor. Thanks for making it, and making it available!

'Practice Makes Perfect' by LadyBug Films

(Los Angeles, USA) First Edit

First cut: Producers notes for the filmmakers

  • Great feedback form people below – we can’t improve on that.
  • Keep it tight – les is always more

Write a comment

Comments: 13
  • #1

    Evan (Tuesday, 06 November 2012 16:02)

    Very cute retelling of this story. I think you could cut it in half and still be as effective. I get the point of the flashbacks within a few seconds, and dwelling on them longer than that isn't necessary. For example, the bit with the balloon popping worked the best because you got right to the point. The dolly shots were well done but didn't add a whole lot to the humor. Consider tightening those up, maybe with jump cuts. I'd also like to see a cutaway of the bowtie hitting the ground at the beginning, because then it would make a lot more sense at the end when she retrieves it. If you can shoot that and insert it I think things will make more sense and have bigger impact. Great work.

  • #2

    Mark P (Tuesday, 06 November 2012 17:18)

    Hey guys, Great to see this. Super cute! You're right that you had some good people to cast. Both of them are great. Here are my thoughts.

    1) You set up a really nice pace with your editing at the front, but that sort of fades away and the shots get longer and longer. I would think about whether you can use some of that rapid fire stuff later on as well. Say when he's going for the mirror, you could cut much harder into that, and splice some of his smooches together to make a jagged pap pap pap effect.

    2) Really think about whether you need to see everything that there's right now. The car pulling up is an example. Do we need to see that? We get it when she gets out of the car. I'm also not that sure about the shot of her shoes - I feel like i've seen that a million times before and I would just get in there with the key point - she pulls up, he's excited, they meet. Also in the cinema, I think you could lose most of that and just get into it with the shot that has their faces.

    3) I love the bit with the pumpkin seeds! You could cut away from the first shot of the pumpkin sooner and cut to the back of the pumpkin a bit later. It's nice when he's spewing it out, and it keeps on coming!

    4) I agree with Evan that you might need to set up the bow tie a bit more.

    5) I dig the indie tune at the end. It made me feel like the other music was a bit on the cheesy side. I know it's meant to be a bit like that, but as well as the comedy, there's some truth to it, I hope. I wonder what it's like with a bit less music? Or using that indi track a bit more. It might not work, but it might be something to consider. It might give a bit more realism. But then if you want to go all out for the comedy, keep it!

    I rekon a cool thing to try, as an exercise, would be to make a 60 or 90 second version. I know you'll be able to do it and it might help you really focus on what is most important. Once you've done that, I think it will be much easier to get this down to two or two and a half mins.

    But really well done guys. This made me smile!!

  • #3

    Rowena Woolford (Tuesday, 06 November 2012 19:01)

    Good job, get to the point a little more with the practising and it will be much tighter. Looking forward to a 2nd edit.

  • #4

    Stephen Cooper (Tuesday, 06 November 2012 22:46)

    Really nice film, very cute, warm, liked it a lot. Think you need to work on cutting some of the shots down and as Mark suggested take a look at some of them and decide whether it really needs to be there in order to tell the relatioship story.

    With some sharper editing you can have a better film here, and its already really good. Nice job.

  • #5

    Mark (Tuesday, 06 November 2012 23:25)

    The boy was quite entertaining in a chaplinesque sort of way. The editing was fine. Cinematography great and the locations added. Also the music nice and upbeat. I didn't like the fireworks going off though a bit old hat. Always watchable but I think the film was a lot of ado about not a lot in the end. Although it kept my attention the story wasn't there for such a long piece. I would like to see a rewrite to accomadate the length and include gags that drive the story forward rather than repeating practising hs kiss technique. However I fear you need to edit it down and thats not because it isn't good but if you want it to be a good narrative. I think a good start on editing would be to get rid of some of the practice kisses.

  • #6

    Richard Silver (Tuesday, 06 November 2012 23:52)

    All in all I'm very impressed. But agree with others that it needs to be a bit tighter. It's about 5 min. now. Take out 15 sec. then another 15 sec. then another till you get to 4min or so. You'll be suprised how easy it is to do and how much better the flow is. And the cuts don't need to be in a block 4-5 sec here and 3-4 sec. there all add up.

    Your natual intutiveness will tell you when and were to make the cuts. After all your film makers now! and based on this, your first film, I have no doubt you become great filmakers.

    And, best of all, someday, I'll be able to say I knew you before you were famous! :-)

  • #7

    Nikki Debbaudt (Wednesday, 07 November 2012 17:29)

    Thanks so much guys!!

  • #8

    Nikki Debbaudt (Wednesday, 07 November 2012 17:30)

    Thanks so much guys!!

  • #9

    Mark P (Thursday, 08 November 2012 10:33)

    Hey guys - one thing that struck me... you've got to get some foley in there of the smooch on the cheek! "MMMWAHH" At the moment, we lose it a bit, but I think adding that in could really make the moment pop!

  • #10

    Samantha Skelton (Thursday, 08 November 2012 22:57)

    Thank you so much for everyone that gave comments. We are really taking every piece of advice and running with it. These comments were so constructive and sent us in the right direction!

    Mark P- Thanks so much for taking the time to give us comments. we know how important the script is to you and it's great that you get to weigh in on this vision! You had some great critiques that made lots of sense- can't wait for the second edit

  • #11

    Mark P (Friday, 09 November 2012 11:44)

    No worries guys - don't take everyone's advice though! It's your film and it has to represent your vision. Best of luck!

  • #12

    Jake Bann (Friday, 09 November 2012 21:25)

    Overall, the film had a nice, funny irony at the end where the kid comes away happy with a kiss on the cheek. That was a great touch. The movie theatre shots were well-lit and well-directed, too. That scene really stood out. That said, here are my criticisms:

    1) The flashback stuff can be really short because the quirkier, the better. It's best when the audience re-enters the scene asking, "Wait, did I just see that?" It doesn't have to be a 1-second flash across the screen, but a montage in quick succession or a single 3- or 4-second shot would work.

    2) The girl's entrance can be more dramatic. Start the score as soon as the car pulls up, and gradually drop the ambient noise so that it's gone by the time we see her heel enter the frame. The effect would be like an out-of-body experience for both the guy and the audience.

    3) Experiment with the music during the flashbacks because by the time we're on the third one, we're so used to the music that we're conditioned to know what will happen. It's not surprising anymore. That audio cue dulls us. Try a new score or variation of the one you have.

    4) The only cut that's super awkward comes at 4:41 when we go into the great low-angle spinning shot. You can either a) disguise it by L-cutting the fireworks and acoustic score to lead us into that shot, b) insert another shot of her walking away towards the car (if you have that coverage), or c) trying a dissolve (which I think is the cheapest, but could work, especially if you use the dissolve over and over during the spinning shot).

    That's my advice. Overall, a great damn job. Gonna be a good flick once it's down to 2 or 3 minutes. When re-editing, think fast. You'll intuitively know when a point/statement has been made for the scene, and that's where the next cut comes.

  • #13

    Michael Bierman (Monday, 12 November 2012 09:21)

    High quality. Really nice camera work and the lighting was superb. Actors were just fine. The number of flashbacks was excessive, and they were too slow. I also agree there needs to be some different scoring during the flashbacks to distinguish them time-wise. Most shots can be cut down carefully without loosing the effect. The spin shot went round too many times. Quality-wise, one of the best I have seen.