SNEAKING “ON THE LOT”: WEEK FIVE Image

Six directors enter, one director leaves. The show switches up form AGAIN by putting the filmmakers into a theme night, Comedy, and seeing what they come up with. Luckily, Zach is in tonight’s group…

The Elimination…
Like a mob hit, Garry and Adriana delivered the elimination news to the filmmakers at their filmmaker house (who even knew they were all living together?), adding a bit of narrative and personality to the show. And, as expected, after having a horror film from a tree’s perspective put Jessica on America’s hot seat, accordingly, America showed her the door. I’ll admit that the first few weeks shook my faith in the American public, but the last two have been a slow return to trust for me. Maybe it’s the optimist in me, but at the end of the day perhaps humanity and quality AREN’T doomed.

The Judges…
We got Princess Leia and Grandpa Marshall in their normal slots, jibbering and jabbering about alongside this week’s guest Mark “Mean Girls” Waters.

The Shorts…
It’s comedy night! Yay! Six shorts this week so no delay:

“Dr. In-Law” Directed by Shalini Kantayya
Save a few of the dolley-in camera moves, the short was pretty funny. Of course, who doesn’t like anal intrusion humor?

“Discovering the Wheels” Directed by Adam Stein
Could quite easily be a prequel to those Geico car commercials, delivering a Mustang convertible to a group of cave-folks in a park and then bringing them to the present. But funny? Not at all…

“Nerve Endings” Directed by Will Bigham
Surgery room humor… I’m convinced this is precisely what happens whenever we go in to the hospital. And was that Reginald “Sgt. Al Powell” VelJohnson as the head doctor? Maybe, eventually, Will will (will will) tackle something with dialogue, because I can’t imagine he’ll have a career making feature-length silent comedies. Still, best of the night thus far.

“Under the Gun” Directed by Hilary Graham
The idea of a sperm bank robbery is hilarious, but the execution less-so. Still, making a guy beat-off under gunplay duress is fun. And, hello, Lyn Shaye kicks a*s, period.

“How to Have a Girl” Directed by David May
Sex positions as the decisive element in determining a child’s sex as backdrop for a battle of the sexes is funny, but they took forever to get to the f*****g, which played out more like a fully-clothed wrestling match (not that they had much of a choice, not like you can get too sexy on regular TV). Great idea, just not one that could be properly executed under these conditions.

“Die Hardly Working” Directed by Zach Lipovsky
Once again, Zach steps up and delivers the powerhouse short of the evening, all while challenging himself to go with practical FX over his normal special FX fun. A mix of both “Office Space” and one of the funniest bits from the second season of “Spaced,” Zach’s short raises the bar AGAIN. Even Jenny McCarthy couldn’t screw it up. Watch this short, period.

Final Thoughts…
The comedy theme was fine, but we’ve seen it before. Zach, again, destroys the competition and, overall, the other filmmakers should be hoping for a huge mis-step on his part in the future. Then again, he’d have to do something truly atrocious to not pull out total victory. On sheer quality per short, he’s heads and tails above EVERYONE.

Adam and David are head-to-head for the worst film of this week. We’ll have to see if folks like cavemen or confusing sex wrestling more. Personally, I’d like to see David go, despite having the better idea it was simply the worst short.

Next week’s horror theme should be fun, if only because I want to see what trainwreck Kenny Luby delivers to the audience. For once his frantic, gibberish filmmaking might work out. We shall see.

– Mark Bell, Editor-in-Slow Motion Cubicle Battle

Got your own opinion about this week’s screening episode? Are you one of the filmmakers? Join in the conversation at the Official “On the Lot” Discussion Thread.

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