Thursday, July 12, 2007

TV On and Off the Lot

I've been watching the Steven Spielberg/Mark Burnett reality show On the Lot, though it's been harder and harder to get myself to watched the taped episodes that I have on my TiVo. What started out as a really fascinating show (marred by too many contestants in its early stages) has become a boring show that does on television what the Internet does better: show short films and have audiences vote on them.

I wrote about the show at


Emmet said...

I think they should have made the show much more like the Apprentice than American Idol. Show them making the films, rather than show us the end product. Then let Spielberg decide who gets the can. I guess it's tough to get Spielberg every week seeing as he is a super busy guy.

Andy Spletzer said...

Yes. The Apprentice, Top Chef, Project Runway... anything but American Idol. They need a jury instead of a popular vote. Leave that for the final episode. And I agree that they should get back to showing them make the movies.

Spielberg would be an interesting judge, but I'd be even more curious to see real Hollywood agents and producers on the jury. The filmmakers should be judged by the very people who are able to give them work. That's what I think.

Adam said...

The 60-second time limit is pretty crippling as well. I've never been able to sit through an entire episode, but I watched the first batch of films online. Most were bad, but even the good ones seemed like nothing so much as clever commercials.

Although it might make for less network-ready television, a reality show-competition of this sort could make for fascinating viewing if each episode was devoted to one or two contestants making a movie from start to finish. I'd watch that. Plus, it would play up the best thing about this show, which at this point is totally theoretical: independent filmmakers are getting tens of thousands of dollars to make short films. Isn't the mere fact of a tv studio financing a short film of yours really kind of a huge ass prize in and of itself?