Kisses from Jessica by Jess Smith Draft 2

Kisses From Jessica BRITISH.pdf
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Draft Two Comments... have YOUR say!

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Comments: 6
  • #1

    Jeff (Friday, 17 August 2012 18:57)

    I liked the first draft much better, I knew what I could do with it. I like voice overs in Alexander Payne fashion so I can't say that I mind the voice overs. Some of the lines in the script sound a bit pretentious though and I mind that. I was thinking about making this one but I lost interest when I read the second draft because I was more interested in the character of Darius, a naive man who thinks the hooker is actually in love with him.

  • #2

    Jess (Tuesday, 28 August 2012 18:00)

    Hi Jeff, thanks for the feedback. You can make either draft if you prefer the first and give that a go.

  • #3

    John Harper (Saturday, 01 September 2012 14:33)

    This is a talented writer. As a screenwriter myself I think this has great potential. Worth a read. JH

  • #4

    Dawid Gumula (Monday, 03 September 2012 00:46)

    Jess, I do like your script and I think it has a great dramatic potential. I am interested in filming your 2nd draft, however I would like to apply some little changes. The major one is the last scene. I don't like the romantic ending and kiss on the end. Therefore, I'm thinking about a slight development of the character of Jessica's girlfriend. What I want to change is Sophia's reaction. I think it will be more meaningful, if her reaction would be the opposite to what Jessica expects. Specifically saying, when Jessica wants to kiss her - Sophia turns her head, or suggests/says to her that she should at least wash her face first... Please let me know if you are ok with me interpretation. Also if you have an idea what the terms and regulations say about such changes when it comes to filming - leave a comment. Cheers!

  • #5

    Jess (Monday, 03 September 2012 20:52)

    Hi Dawid, thanks for the comment. This change seems absolutely fine, its more of an addition than a change and I think it could be suitable.

  • #6

    Stef (Tuesday, 21 January 2014 00:03)

    Hi Jess,

    I completely disagree with the changes to the end about the girlfriend turning away. Personally that was my favourite and to me it completely makes it and really clarifies that Jess has absolutely no interest in the men...backed up by her girlfriend who is so unfazed as she knows they mean nothing.

Kisses from Jessica by Jess Smith Draft 1

A hooker saves Valentines Night for her favourite client…at least he thinks he is.
Kisses From Jessica DRAFT 1.pdf
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Draft One Producers Development Notes for the author

1. Dialogue is very Americanised – consider how can this be set in a more authentic British setting, with a British Voice? Perhaps an upper class escort with select amount of clients? Although it may well get made as is, you might want to broaden the appeal to filmmakers from around the world by not making it so location specific. Also think through props like gramophone and ford pick ups - would a lo-to-no filmmaker be able to get these easily?

2. We feel you reveal that your character is gay too early – should this be the surprise at the end? How else can you mislead and misdirect the audience?

3. Consider just having one voiceover – decide who the protagonist is of this piece and tell the story from their point of view.The two sets of voiceover might be difficult to do, and especially with the sex scene, it does just explain what is happening visually. Could you use the space that taking this out of the script would give for something else?

4. Would the girlfriend really be in the bathroom as she is doing a job?Think about the logistics.

Have your say, what do you think?

Comments: 16 (Discussion closed)
  • #1

    David (Friday, 03 August 2012 18:29)

    What happened to show-not-tell...? Everything that is wrong with V.O. - a one page scene masquerading as a two-page story with the addition of superfluous dialogue.

  • #2

    Jon Mills (Saturday, 04 August 2012 00:51)

    I wouldn't put it as harshly as David but I was a bit underwhelmed by this. There're a few prostitute-themed entries, none of which seem to offer much that hasn't been seen before.

    I agree that the VO is a bit of a mistake - telling the audience you're gay and then revealing your gay lover a page later seems a bit redundant. And whilst not all scripts need a likeable character, I'm not sure who to care about in this. The client is sad and deluded, the prostitute is cold... Who am I rooting for? Why do I care what happens to these people? And I personally find the idea of a prostitute being a lesbian because of horrible men a bit morally dubious.

    Obviously there'll be other notes so let's see, but for my money I think you need to think about what you're trying to say, who the story's about - the VO suggests we should identify with the prostitute, but she's a bit of a cow. What was the initial idea of the short, what made you want to explore this subject, these characters? Establish that and it might give you a pointer as to where you need to concentrate your efforts on a redraft.

    Having said that the next commenter will probably love it! ;o)


  • #3

    Daniel Rice (Saturday, 04 August 2012 09:09)

    I have problems with this script on so many levels. First, the VO. I agree, what about show not tell? The VO dialogue is a bit sloppy as well as in :"Darius, bless him. Think’s I’m in
    love with him because I keep Valentines Day for him. He just pays the most buck."

    No self respecting Texan whore would ever utter "Bless him". That is typically an English term. And pay the most Buck? Typo, or is the central character Chinese, as they have no plural?

    Why does the character admit she is gay at the beginning? She just gave away the plot.

    Don't silhouettes appear in black and white? How does one know the colour of hair in silhouette?
    The character is so angry, and the John, so average, yes, just who do we root for? A one off, ( no pun intended) by an angry lesbian hooker. So what? What's special about this script that it would make it into the final 50?, ...except for the descriptive sex.

    This script needs major rewriting. I'm surprised it made the final cut.

  • #4

    Andy Robinson (Saturday, 04 August 2012 18:47)

    I have to agree with the last person - I'm surprised (to say the least) that this was selected - who will the completed film ultimately be aimed at - masturbation next to a film of a boy getting an extra kiss from his schoolteacher? And what will be seen on screen - if the VO is describing what we see on screen, then the VO is redundant. And how explicit are you prepared to be?

  • #5

    helene jackson (Saturday, 04 August 2012 20:46)

    what the ****? this is so badly written, it is almost comical. surely the judges must collectively be able to think of a better way of telling this story - if indeed it needs telling at all? Not original, not witty, just grimy and nasty. there are already other prostitute stories in the final 50 and handled with much more finesse. i am so sorry to be so harsh but this feels like the judges let us down.

  • #6

    David (Sunday, 05 August 2012 00:13)

    I was concerned my earlier comments might have been too harsh, but the fact is, others see the same or similar issues with this script. A real shame.

  • #7

    Damian Mallon (Sunday, 05 August 2012 02:45)

    I have to agree with many of the above points reagrding the VO and characters but I do see a glimmer of something here.

    1) We need to care about Jessica. She needs to be doing this for her lover, not because she 'f***ing hates men'.
    2) The reveal that she is a lesbian should be left to Sophia's entrance
    3) Most of the dialogue is redundant, but think about how the piece would come across without it; It starts as a romantic meeting in a hotel, the relationship changes when we see Jessica take the money from Darius' pocket then changes again when Sophia enters. Maybe keep the last VO to sell the idea Jessica is doing it for love.

    There is something here that can work but there is a lot of work to be done.

  • #8

    James (Sunday, 05 August 2012 03:22)

    Criticising scripts and judges, and offering no suggestion of how it could be improved achieves nothing.

    I agree with above comments about the VO giving away too much. I think you should use it more to contrast what the two think of each other, and what the two think the other thinks of them. Think Peep Show and how what they say out loud and in their head differs.

    For instance: Jessica thinks Darius is in love with her. Jessica thinks she's in the driving seat. Jessica thinks she gets the best end of the deal. Maybe Darius thinks he has her wrapped round his little finger? Thinks he's paying least, not most, etc.

  • #9

    Craig (Sunday, 05 August 2012 14:24)

    I half agree with James. Criticising scripts and judges, and offering no suggestion of how it could be improved achieves nothing.

    But this is a script writing competition that this has won.

    Is this one of the top 50 written scripts in this competition. NO.

    How can we give comments on how to emprove the story. First we have to say how to write.

    All the screen time some thing is happening. We see soming (Scene description) some one says someing (Dialogue) When you use V.O. you need Scene Description aslo. Or what are we looking at?

    You start a scene with V.O. What is Jessica doing? Still looking out of the window? But then see gets up, was she sat down?

    If we look at Jessica's first V.O, the scene in the parking lot. Darius gets out of the car and waits. We hear Jessica's V.O. (Darius is still waiting??? Then Jessica opens the door.

    You have to write it so it is all happening at the same time. darius gets out of the car. Jessica opens the door. Darius walks foward. V.O. Starts.

    Her next V.O. is 12 lines long. Darius is just walking???

    Later you use dialogue as scene description. See says what see does to him. Then all of a sudden they're topless???

    I'm with the others, this needs too much work.

  • #10

    Marc Lockier (Sunday, 05 August 2012 18:13)

    If you read the blogs, they said they went back and re-read the scripts to see if others fit better with the others that were selected, simlar themes/tones and maybe this one fitted better than some of the others.

    It's a nice simple story that just needs a few more redrafts and its there. More action to go with the dialouge yes and don't mention she's a dyke until the end, just have that she hates men.

    My suggestion is to make it seem like Darius is in love with her more than he lets on and always tries to get more and at the end we find out why he'll never get anywhere with Jessica, the lesbian partner who's waiting in the bathroom. But there are other ways to go about it, lets see how the filmmakers interpret this and let them get incontact with Jess on how they want to help improve it.

  • #11

    Samantha (Monday, 06 August 2012 13:16)

    I have to agree with Helene, this is just nasty. I would not want to watch this on screen and what's more pretty much the whole story is told through dialogue. I've always been told to 'show not tell' and that rule would definitely benefit this script, voice over is just lazy. I don't care for either of the characters and think they are both wrong in what they are doing. Even more wrong by describing it - improve it through action please! Some very good points made by Craig which will help the re-write.

  • #12

    David Bryant (Monday, 06 August 2012 13:31)

    It has issues, it needs work... my suggestions:
    We should hear one voice over, see the story from one angle, personally I'd rather see Darius' side as he is made to feel special... Then we see (not hear) that he's just another customer and that she likes women.

    I believe the film makers are free to reinterpret the scripts aren't they?

  • #13

    Glyn Carter (Tuesday, 07 August 2012 01:08)

    Disagreeing with the judges is part of the fun, but I can't see why this even got to the longlist. I feel sorry for whoever came 51st.

  • #14

    David (Tuesday, 07 August 2012 10:41)

    At the time of writing this, and after a period of monitoring the voting since these 50 scripts were posted, around 20% of the scripts - this particular one included - are only rated at average or less. As subjective as the whole process is, and given the clear ambition and scale of the project as a whole, I find it a little disconcerting that "quality" of screenwriting in general seems to have been low in the judges' brief. Given the short timescales I would have thought there was no room for the excessive script development suggested by some of the winning scripts. Just my pennyworth. I do wish the project and those that have got this far every success. I just believe some carefull management is required going forward.

  • #15

    Phil Charles (Wednesday, 08 August 2012 20:49)

    I’m pretty sure scripts have been selected for their concepts not just on the strength of the actual writing. The writing can be strengthened in redrafts, concepts can’t.

    Jess, to me there is a very simple way of telling this story in a more powerful and intriguing manner - just take out every single word of dialogue/VO. Write exactly what they’re saying as action. At the moment the dialogue is mostly just telling us what we are seeing anyway. And wouldn’t it be more rewarding if we think this is a ‘normal’ Valentine’s meeting (although hints of things not being quite right). But then during the sex sequence we start to realise he’s in heaven and, when he’s not looking, she really isn’t for some reason. We could think unhappy relationship. Then once the deed is done and money changes hands it’s a huge surprise. Perhaps we could then see her put that money with another stash she’s clearly been saving (her goal) and head out. Then we get the reveal she has a girlfriend, seeing her bowling up with some type of extravagant Valentine’s gift. Then perhaps we get a brief end shot of them ‘making love’, contrasting it with the earlier ‘having sex’. However you choose to develop it, I certainly recommend you removing Jessica kissing Sophia literally seconds after she’s finished with her client. Wasn’t exactly romantic. And as actual titles of individual films may end up on the credits (fingers crossed the film gets put together), I suggest trying to come up with a stronger, more fitting title. Seems a little twee for the subject matter you’re exploring. Hope that helps.

  • #16

    Craig (Thursday, 09 August 2012 10:36)

    Phil, isn't this ment to be a writing competition? Not a concept competition?