'On The Lot' Finale Part One - The Bottom Three
'On The Lot' Finale Part One - The Bottom Three
The finale for On The Lot begins with the elimination of one contestant, bringing us down to three potential auteurs.   The selection is Jason Epperson, Adam Stein, Will Bigham, and Sam Friedlander.  Did America make the right choice?   Unless that choice was to change the channel to IFC to see real up and coming film makers, the answer is no.  Seriously though, Sam makes the walk of shame, waxing about how the experience taught him more about being a director.  Funny, I actually feel like I know less about film making since starting to watch this show, its like it is sucking the knowledge from my skull.

With the chopping out of the way we get down to business.  Each Director gets a moment in the spotlight to talk about their philosophy on filmmaking beginning with Jason.  Honestly, I like Jason.  He has a naïve quality to his personality and films that will be sadly corrupted after he wins the competition.  Yes, I just made my prediction.  He talks about his love of filmmaking and just how happy he is to have made it this far.  Strangely, he starts choking up. 

Will talks about his journey from silent films to Dialogue heavy works.  Still refuses to acknowledge he is cloning Bruce Robinson (“How to Get Ahead in Advertising”) and Peter Greenway (“Drowning by Numbers”) with his ‘just ignore the logic' pastiche of British Humor.  I'm still a little suspicious of the slickness of his films.

When asked if he is feeling the momentum from wowing the judges with “Army Guy” last week, Adam says nah.   He's a bundle of nerves, and it shows.  I would too knowing that Sam should have my spot.

Jason is the first to encore, and his first choice is a surprising one.  I was looking for “Getta Room” with its devilish irreverence for anything decent – I call it ‘clean' Kevin Smith – instead Jason goes with “Eternal Waters.”  As far as five minute chillers go, its okay.  Subject matter on the other hand is very pedestrian, and choosing a genre with limited appeal is a risqué move.  He makes up for that mistake with his second choice, “Sweet,” which was a fantastic procession of cleverly edited site gags.  The biggest contrast between the two films is the pretentious camera work of “Eternal Waters,” versus the quick witted story tellers eye of  “Sweet.”  In the world of horror films, even five minute ones, tricks of smoke, shadow, and things jumping out of water are old fare. Hopefully “Sweet” can balance it out.

Will's picks are completely predictable.  The first is the dialogue free “Glass Eye.”  Again, Will's shtick is a combination of lesser known surrealists and Logic-avoiding British humor.  “The Yes Men,” Will's second pick, smells and looks like Bruce Robinson's early films, or any of the many copycats that continued his legacy after he darted into the mainstream.  The films are enjoyable, I'd rather see someone win it with originality that makes sense.  The judges don't help by feigning dismay at Will's imagination.  

Adam is up next.  He shows “Dough the Musical,” great choice for him because he had very little else worth showing.  Despite stating that he didn't feel the momentum from “Army Guy,” he tried to grab it anyways by bring the predictable vignette in as his second offering.  The best place to offer this film would be on a sacrificial altar, to the god of bad film.  Adam says what he likes most about the film is the twist ending.  Not only is the plot extremely close to an actual Twilight Zone episode, but if it weren't you'd still be able to see it from a mile off.

In the end, when it comes time for the judges to pick their favorites to win the contest, Carrie Fisher predictably picks Will for his offbeat humor, resulting in me drawing a moustache on my vintage Princess Leia doll – or, action figure if you prefer.  Garry, thank god for Garry, chooses Jason.  It's no surprise Adam gets no love from the judges. 

The contest now comes down to how sly the audience is when it comes to detecting Will's ‘style' importing over Jason's honest attempts to make good, fun, albeit a little dark, films.   For the record, Jason, if you lose, it's because you didn't submit “Getta Room.”

- Jon Lachonis, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of FOX)