On The Lot – Dust is Settling Down

(Day 38 in Kabul)

(Picture source: http://www.thelot.com)

After a “wild wild ride” last few weeks, we are finally settling down to the normal routine of a “reality show”.

This time, the series fared better – proper introduction of the contestants, judges and the films itself. It is interesting to see the contestants’ films under “Comedy Short” theme (must be an one minute film). Some of them was not that funny (like the film titled “Blind Date“) and the judges disliked it too. I guess there is more to film making than just having a great story line. There is this thing called angle of camera, lighting, actors expression and more (ya, I am learning new things here). 18 contestants – 18 short films, each running for one minute.

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Tough call on the judges and also the voters. Unlike American Idol judges, the judges for the series was more “forgiving” with remarks like “I did not get the story but good effort”. Not much helpful from the “pros” here. Out of 18 short films that was screened, 4 are my favorite ones:-

1.Adam Stein’s film titled “Dance Man” – that was superb and was indeed a good start for the episode opener. The story is about a guy who communicates through dance alone. I liked the dance after he involved in an accident – very angry dance. It had a sad opening and a happy ending, all in one minute.

2. The special effect guy, Zach continues to hold his fort with another superb entry titled “Danger Zone“. The 360 degree camera shot was impressive although he had to do it 45 times before getting it right. It was like watching dominos falling at the right time and pace.

3. Martin Marty’s film titled “The Big Bad Heist ” had this big time blockbuster premise – I really like the way he showed the story in a “trailer style”. Fast paced and good combination of many shots packed into the one minute film. If that “trailer” was made into a full length movie, I have no doubt that it will be a big hit comedy. 4 guys, 3 million, 1 crime boss and 27 angry ninjas…that is a good formula for a great story.

4.Sam Friedlander’s excellent “Replication Theory” – wow, I learned something there. He had a story about a guy in a plane who others thought he farted and he tried to “find” his way out by giving some excuses – the replication of the sound. It’s funny to see that the theory started from the stone ages (the caveman who was farted but was unable to replicate the sound, was banged on the head)

Andrew Hunt who made great first impression with his excellent pitch presentation, somehow did not make the right entry this time around. Although his film titled “Spaced Out” had the elements of the a good comedy in making, I guess he blew it with the alien puking scene. It was NOT funny at all. The judges loved the aliens but not the puking part.

And being a reality show with having contestants up and running based on the audiences’ votes can lead to strange things. One for instance, Kenny Luby is still on the run for the next round despite his film titled “Wack Alley Cab” was a big crap. But that is reality show for you – the bad ones live another day if they have the right votes.

15 left for the next round….

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