Saturday, May 26, 2007

Auditions Round 2

So we are witness to the continued clash of egos and styles in two particular groups, which invariably ends in the elimination of one director from each group: Jeff Siebenick (the big guy who kept on getting in the face of the smaller guy, Marty Martin), and Hannah Sink (who, along with fellow director Jessica Brillhart, bumped heads with Kenny “I’m so proud I never went to film school” Luby).

With guest judge Jon Avnet in tow, Carrie Fisher and Brett Ratner run through the 12 short films, heaping praise on “Wilted” (by Jarrett Conaway, Jason Epperson, and Tamela D’Amico; watch it on the website) and “Time Out” (by fx wiz Zach Lipovsky, Sam Friedlander, and Adam Stein; though we get to see portions of it on the episode, you really should see the entire film too).
And though I love “Wilted,” “Time Out” really does rachet up the stakes, as these guys had the balls to go with an idea that pretty much relied on special effects, and actually pulled it off in the insanely constrictive time limit.
So right now, in my books, these are 6 directors I’m keeping my eye on.

Now, as for the show itself, I’m enjoying it, but my chief complaint is that there’s too much going on, so much so that we really don’t get to see a lot, and you’re forced to go on-line just to see what the judges sometimes refer to.
The thing is, when I watch a television show, I don’t want to have to be forced to go elsewhere for everything to make sense to me. I feel that the TV show itself should be able to stand alone and give me all I need to enjoy the On The Lot viewing experience.
I mean, it’s not like these were particularly long short films. They were 2 and a half minutes each, so that comes to 30 minutes total. Would it have hurt Fox to have had a second 1-hour long episode, just so the audience could see all 12 films, instead of the snippets we saw in this episode?
Hopefully, when the field gets whittled down further, then On The Lot can settle down to actually showing us both the directors, as well as their work, in greater detail.

So we left the 24 remaining directors with a new challenge: with 30 minutes of prep time, they’re tasked to direct and shoot a 1-page script in 1 hour. The shorts resulting from this challenge will determine which 18 will go on to next week’s first “Film Premiere” episode. Running 2 hours, it’ll showcase the short films the remaining 18 directors initially submitted, that got them into that field of 50 we saw in the first episode.
(Now, how we get from the 24 of episode 2 to the 18 of episode 3, I’m not entirely sure, but I can only assume we’ll see the 6 eliminations in the initial part of next week’s 2-hour show.)
That’s followed by a “Box Office” results show the following day, where we learn the results of the voting, and who gets sent home.

The remaining 24 directors, as of the end of episode 2:

Adam Stein, 29, freelance film editor, born in Miami, FL, currently living in Los Angeles
Andrew Hunt, 31, promo producer from Minneapolis, MN, raised in Pittsburgh, PA
Brent M., 34, freelancer producer, born and raised in Dallas, TX
Carolina Z., 36, commercial director, originally from Santander, Spain, currently living in Los Angeles, CA
Claudia L., 28, painter and graphic artist, born in Bagheria, Sicily, Italy, currently lives in Miami, FL
David M., 23, admissions counselor living in Santa Ana, CA, but grew up in Aurora, CO
Dean L., 36, writer/director, living in Los Angeles , CA , originally from New York City
Hilari S., 40, independent filmmaker living in Los Angeles, CA, raised in Chicago, Atlanta and NYC
Hilary G., 37, stay-at-home wife and mom who lives in Francestown, NH, and raised in Chelmsford, MA
Jarrett Conaway, 24, graduate student living in Los Angeles, originally from Virginia Beach, VA
Jason Epperson, 30, owner of film production company, born and raised in Winchester, KY
Jessica Brillhart, 22, computer specialist, grew up in York, PA, currently living in Brooklyn, NY
Justin L., 24, digital post-production engineer, born and raised in Orange County, CA
Kenny Luby, 28, freelance director and painter, born and raised in Owego, NY
Marty Martin, 26, creative director of a multimedia company, born and raised in Seattle , WA
Mateen K., 41, teacher, currently living in Los Angeles, CA, raised in the Bronx, NY
Phil H., 22, born and raised in Manchester, England, works as a freelance director
Sam Friedlander, 28, web producer, living in Santa Monica, CA, raised in Westchester, NY
Shalini K., 30, freelance director, raised in Hartford, CT, currently living in Brooklyn, NY
Shira-Lee S., 38, acting teacher, born in Johannesburg, South Africa, now living in New York
Tamela D’Amico, 27, singer, actress and filmmaker living in Los Angeles, raised in Deer Park, NY
Trever J. 24, film editor, currently living in Los Angeles, CA, and raised in Great Falls, MT
Will Bigham, 31, film editor, originally from Canyon, TX, currently living in Glendale, CA
Zach Lipovsky, 23, special effects editor from Vancouver, BC, Canada

The list is from the On The Lot website, and for some reason, the contestants’ last names appear only as initials. I supplied the last names of the directors I’m aware of at the moment.

(Images courtesy of [Spielberg] and [Burnett].)

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