Sunday, May 27, 2007

On the Lot: Dun dun DUUUUNNN!

...Okay. I just caught the second episode of On the Lot, and this show is something I can work with. I think the half-hour episode left less room for squabbling, or something, because I found the show substantially more tolerable this week. As you may recall, the groups are still working feverishly on their 24-hour short films, and the Marty vs. Jeff: Battle of the Whiny Egomaniacs continues (with the third team member, who is apparently mute, standing by). But, thank god, we do get to see some other teams this week.

We've got Zach, who has promised his team a lot in terms of special effects, and absolutely has to deliver. We have Kenny, who is becoming more and more obnoxious with every passing second, and his two hapless teammates, Hannah and Jessica, who try to do the best they can with his footage, while getting in the occasional dig about his lack of a film school education. Okay, so we don't get to see that many other teams. The show's editors try and pump up the boring "sitting at the computer editing" scenes with completely overwrought film soundtrack music, which is hi-LARIOUS ("dun dun dun DUN DUN DUN!"), and then we move on to the judging.

This week, Gary Marshall is out, and producer/director Jon Avnet is in. We finally get to see a few films (you can see the rest here), and two of them are GREAT. The first, Random Acts of Kindness is an offbeat piece about a woman trying to do something nice for a homeless man. If you ask me, almost anything with an overly serious British narrator is bound to be a winner. The second, Time Out, is about a couple whose fighting stops time. Zach's special effects blow the roof off of this one. None of these films' directors are eliminated.

The other two films we see are those by the two fighting groups. And they're...not quite as good. Although to be fair, I think much of the trouble here isn't due to fighting, or lack of talent, but rather genre choice. The two great shorts were quirky little gems, which seem to work much better in this format than actual dramatic stories. Whatever the reason, neither really seemed to make that much sense or hold together very well for me. Jessica's and Marty's directing stood out above the rest, and the judges recognize Kenny's cinematography as excellent as well (I beg to differ). Hannah gets booted from the Kenny/Jessica/Hannah group, and Jeff gets booted from the Jeff vs. Marty + Mute Guy group. Whatev. In tomorrow's episode, the contestants will be shooting a one-page script in one hour, without having slept in 48 hours. (Soundtrack: "Dun dun DUUUUNNN!!!")