April 25, 2007 07:37 AM by Joe Blackmon
Lights! Camera! Action! The cameras are about to start rolling on the
new moviemaking competition series ON THE LOT, executive-produced by
Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg. Actress, author and screenwriter
Carrie Fisher (“Star Wars,” “Postcards From The Edge”), as well as
directors/producers Brett Ratner (“Rush Hour 3,” “X-Men 3: The Last
Stand”), Garry Marshall (“Georgia Rule,” “Princess Diaries,” “Pretty
Woman”) and Jon Avnet (“The Starter Wife,” “Fried Green Tomatoes,”
“Risky Business”), will serve as judges for the series’ two “audition”
episodes airing Tuesday, May 22 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) and Thursday, May
24 (9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. Judges for additional rounds will be
announced at a later date.
After receiving a record-setting 12,000 video submissions on thelot.com from aspiring filmmakers around the globe, FOX has officially entered the summer movie blockbuster race with the new filmmaking competition series ON THE LOT from Mark Burnett, Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Television. In the audition episodes, the top 50 applicants will discover the magic of moviemaking when they are brought to Los Angeles to visit a real-life film set for the first time. The 50 semifinalists must endure a rigorous “Hollywood Boot Camp,” where they will face the judges for the first time with their personal submission film as well as their attempts at a Hollywood-style “pitch” meeting; a “24-Hour Film Shoot,” where each must shoot and edit a short film in a 24-hour period; as well as a “one-page, one-hour” film shoot, where they will have an hour to film a one-page scene with the help of professional directors of photography, camera and sound operators and actors. The judges will give their ultimate feedback and select the Top 18 Finalists, who will move on to compete in the first “Film Premiere” episode.
A special two-hour “Film Premiere” episode, featuring the first films produced by the 18 finalists, will air Monday, May 28 (8:00-10:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. It will be up to the American public to determine the first finalist to be eliminated from the competition; voting results will be announced the following night on the expanded first “Box Office” results show Tuesday, May 29 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT). ON THE LOT’s weekly “Film Premiere” episodes air in their regular time period beginning Monday, June 4 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT), and the weekly “Box Office” results shows will air on Tuesdays (8:00-8:30 PM ET/PT) starting Tuesday, June 5.
Since her feature debut opposite Warren Beatty in “Shampoo” in 1975, Carrie Fisher has been a compelling force in the film industry. She attained international recognition as “Princess Leia,” a role that made her a cultural icon, in the box office phenomenon “Star Wars” and the smash hit sequels “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi.” On the literary front, Fisher wrote The New York Times best-seller “Postcards From the Edge,” for which she won the Los Angeles Pen Award for Best First Novel. Three additional best-selling novels, “Surrender the Pink,” “Delusions of Grandma” and “The Best Awful,” followed. In addition to writing the telefilm “These Old Broads,” Fisher also wrote the screenplay for the film based on her best-seller “Postcards From the Edge,” which starred Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine.
In a very short time, Brett Ratner has established himself as one of Hollywood’s most successful directors. Ratner’s seven feature films have grossed over $1 billion worldwide. Ratner shattered several box office records with his latest release, “X-Men 3: The Last Stand.” The film opened with a staggering $123 million in just four days. Ratner is currently finishing post-production on “Rush Hour 3,” the third installment of the blockbuster “Rush Hour” franchise, in which Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan reprise their roles as LAPD Detective James Carter and Royal Hong Kong Police Chief Inspector Lee. The film is scheduled to be released on Aug. 10.
Garry Marshall’s long and illustrious career has encompassed directing, producing, writing and acting. Marshall started his career in television as a writer/producer on such comedy classics as “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” “The Odd Couple,” “Happy Days” and “Laverne & Shirley.” He is best known as one of the leading directors of romantic comedies, including “Pretty Woman,” “Beaches,” “Runaway Bride,” “Overboard” “The Princess Diaries” and its sequel, “The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement.” His most recent directorial effort, “Georgia Rule,” starring Jane Fonda, Felicity Huffman and Lindsay Lohan, opens in theaters May 11.
Jon Avnet has directed and produced more than 50 motion pictures and television movies over the last 25 years, from box office hits like "Risky Business" and "Fried Green Tomatoes" to the critically acclaimed "Uprising," "The Burning Bed" and "Heatwave" for television. His work has won or been nominated for multiple Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes and Directors Guild of America awards, as well as Writers Guild of America awards, the Peabody, the Humanitas and CableACE awards. On Broadway, he produced the Tony Award-winning "Spamalot"; "The Pillowman”; "The History Boys," which received six Tony Awards, including Best Play; as well as this year’s revival of “Inherit the Wind,” starring Christopher Plummer and Brian Dennehy. In features, Avnet recently directed and produced "88 Minutes," a thriller starring Al Pacino and serves as director and executive producer for the upcoming cable miniseries "The Starter Wife," based on the best-selling novel by Gigi Levangie Grazer.
ON THE LOT affords aspiring filmmakers the opportunity of a lifetime: the chance to win a $1-million DreamWorks development deal. Each week, the hopeful filmmaker finalists will produce short films from a chosen genre, running the gamut from comedies to thrillers, personal dramas to romance, sci-fi to horror. They’ll have access to the best resources the industry has to offer – professional writers, actors and crew – to help create their films.
After the teams have battled time frames, budgets and all the usual chaos that goes along with filmmaking, their films will debut and be critiqued in front of a live audience during the “Film Premiere” episodes.
But the filmmakers ultimately will be judged by the harshest critics of all , the public. It will be America whose votes determine which films should be left on the cutting-room floor. On each “Box Office” results show, the director whose feature garners the fewest votes will be sent home.
ON THE LOT is produced by Mark Burnett Productions, DreamWorks Television and Amblin Television. Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg are creators and executive producers. David Goffin serves as executive producer with Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey and Conrad Riggs co-executive producers.