— On the Lot has returned, and we're down to 15 filmmakers. Tonight, 5 directors will go head to head. At the end of the episode, viewers get to vote, and the one with lowest vote total will go home next week. You have to assume that this will be how it works at least for the next month or so. The show is live, again, and that means we get Adrianna Costa, which is always a good thing.
The judges are Carrie Fischer, Gary Marshall, and the joining them tonight is guest Michael Bay, director of Armageddon, The Rock, and the upcoming Transformers. Some people call him the anti-Christ, some people love him, and I'm somewhere in the middle. Every film tonight is 3 minutes or under, and were all made in the span of five days.
Director #1: Sam Friedlander
Sam directed a video called Lazy Monday about a year ago and, yes, the film was a response to the SNL digital short Lazy Sunday. He claims that it got a lot of play on YouTube. Well, let's see if that;s true.....
...and, Hey!, he isn't lying. Lazy Monday has over 300,000 views. Anyway, Sam's film tonight is called "Broken Pipe Dreams". It's about a guy who drops an engagement ring down a toilet. That's the premise. The toilet plays the enemy, and it plays it well. There is a red wire/blue wire spoof in there. It was really well done, filmed well, but a bit disjointed. Michael Bay would've liked to see some tighter editing and thought it was repetitive. It's nice to see Bay unafraid to dole out criticism.
Director #2: Trever James
Trever comes from Montana. Small town guy. Great.
The film is called "Teri"/ It's about a guy who is getting ready for a blind date. We've seen this a million times before, and usually better. Remember the scene from 40 Year-Old Virgin where they go to speed dating? This short is like that, but way slower and not very funny.
Director #3: Hilary Graham
Hilary, who should have been eliminated last week for her horrific bus film, comes back this week with another comedy. It's called, "The First Time I Met the Finklesteins", and it's about a woman meeting the in-laws for the first time. Another retread. The patriarch is an Archie Bunker-type who spouts un-PC things. He gets a few laughs with some one-liners, but there are just as many eye-rollers. It's such an unoriginal idea, though.
Michael Bay rips her for everything. Gary and Carrie bash her filmmaking. Hilary is probably going home.
Director #4: Adam Stein
Adam is the guy who scorned Harvard Law and went to LA to pursue film. He also made the very funny "Dance Man" that aired last week. His film this week is entitled "Dough: The Musical". And it is a musical. I'm impressed, mostly because he wrote and recorded this song in five days, along with filming. There are a number of good couplets in the song. The film's about a man and woman destined to find love in a bakery. It's a harmless, enjoyable little film. Well sung, too.
Even Michael Bay liked it.
Director #5: Shalini Kantayya
Shalini's film is called "Laughing Out Loud". She describes it as a comic journey of a gay, Southeast Asian comedian. Interesting topic, no? Shalini is a documentary filmmaker, and she flopped with a comedy last week, so I was upset that she chose to do another comedy. There is a lot of attempted "edgy" humor, but none of it is very funny. Here's the thing, though: the film is incredibly well-shot. Shalini is undoubtedly talented, but she needs to stay the hell away from comedy. I hope she stays. Michael Bay loves her style.
We'll find out next Tuesday who gets sent home. If it isn't Hilary who is eliminated, something is seriously wrong. Trever's film was mediocre, but still far superior to Hilary's.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)