Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Blogging On The Lot

My brother-in-law told me about ON THE LOT, the new Fox reality show about aspiring filmmakers. I watched the debut last night and did enjoy it, despite the reality show trappings of false reality we are all learning to sniff out.

First the fifty filmmakers had to pitch a script from a logline chosen at random, work on it overnight and pitch it the next day. Eh, not so bad. I was cheering for my boy from Dyer, Indiana, but during the pitch he froze like a Hoosier winter.

First actual lesson learned from the show: Have your game face on.

Second lesson learned during the pitch section: Sleep a little bit once in a while. My rule of thumb is that if I don’t have it down by one in the morning I go to bed.

The next task, after the axe fell on some people we never got to know, including my Hoosier bud, was to make a two and a half minute short in 24 hours, in groups of three. Not great, but again not the worst thing. They already had actors and locations ready. I know guys that have shot whole features in three days with nothing but some karo syrup mixed with red food coloring, some leftover Halloween costumes, and a stripper.

That makes me think, I ought to start my own show called IN THE BACKYARD, and make that the first challenge. I guarantee I can find fifty great filmmakers from the people I have met at Microcinema Fest and on the Microcinema Scene boards and other places over the years. The winner gets a spot on the next Brentwood DVD Ten-Pack.

Anyway, I think making teams of three and having them produce the short together is actually the worst part. Next lesson learned: there are some steps between dreaming about making movies and becoming Steven Spielberg’s right-hand man. For instance, you might have to carry a camera once in a while.

And the next lesson learned: Even if you’re a genius, you should always remember not to be an a-hole.

Next week they screen the movies, and I am predicting a number of disasters. But I will be watching.

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