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By Mark Bell | July 10, 2007

Finally, an episode of “On the Lot” where the shorts are actually shot on the Universal Studios’ backlot. Five directors get to show their stuff, only three will move on (a double elimination, nice move). The rules are different too, as the filmmakers had to make short, shot on the backlot, based on the phrase “When Two World’s Collide.” But first, who took the bullet from last week’s episode?

The Elimination…
Last week didn’t really have a stand-out crapfest, so it could’ve gone a number of different ways. This writer was hoping Kenny Luby’s derivative zombie-reality thang would get the boot, but unfortunately it was my second choice, Shiri-Lee’s, time to go.

The Judges…
Princess Leia and everyone’s favorite perverted Grandfather got their normal seats, joined by filmmaker Luke Greenfield, known for such stand-out hits as “The Animal”… wait, that was a stand-out hit? That was a piece of s**t. He did give us Elisha Cuthbert in “The Girl Next Door,” so he has somewhat redeemed his “career” but… the f*****g “Animal” director is a judge? LAME.

The Shorts…
To quote the band Morphine, “When Two Worlds Collide, No One Survives.” How did the filmmakers do with their phrase basis?

“Time Upon a Once” Directed by Zach Lipovsky
Had one of the most random car accidents I’ve seen in a long time, but what I loved the most was the idea of Reginald VelJohnson being married to Lin Shaye. That being said, not Zach’s best, a glitch in his system, but… he keeps challenging himself and is still, overall, the kid to beat.

“The Legend of Donkey-Tail Willie” Directed by Hilary Graham
Narrated by the Crazy Old Prospector! Not really anything to this legend. He’s got a donkey tail, he’s sad, he meets a girl with donkey ears. Where’s the drama? Where’s the story? Felt more like the set-up to a short rather than an actual short. Not sure why the judges were raving about this one other than it is the best one Hilary has shown us thus far.

“Spaghetti” Directed by Will Bigham
City slickers drive into a spaghetti western… great idea, not very funny. Lots of potential, just not very funny. Mediocre.

“First Sight” Directed by Shalini Kantayya
Magic sunglasses show the inner beauty of people, sure, but it took the majority of the short for that to make any sense. FX were neat, but overall pretty weak. Whereas I didn’t like it, kudos to Shalini’s short for causing some conflict among the judges. Fisher vs. Marshall, Round One. I’d put my money on Carrie in that street fight. She’d go for the eyes…

“Worldly Possession” Directed by Adam Stein
It’s always a fat man in a lab coat causing trouble, isn’t it? Really enjoyed the way this ended, because I hated the protagonists of the short and… they got what was coming to them, genius. This was my favorite short of the evening, first time I’ve seen Zach trumped.

Final Thoughts…
Two filmmakers get the boot next week, and I think three shorts were worthy of dismissal, but I’m going to go with Shalini and Hilary for the top two filmmakers to get the boot next week. Shalini’s took too long to make its point, and when it made its point it was like getting a moral shoved up your a*s sideways. Hilary’s short just didn’t do anything for me. It lacked drama, was more like a voiceover tell-me instead of a show-me short film. And lest I forget, Will’s “Spaghetti” wasn’t so hot either, so any of these three getting the boot would not surprise me in the least. Zach and Adam should be safe, however.

Next week we get to see what the other five filmmakers can do with an Action Short theme, and in two weeks we’ll be down to only six filmmakers. Getting down to it, shorts are starting to equal out more. This show might actually pull out something compelling by the time it ends…

– Lipovsky-of-Fan-Editor, Bell Mark

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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