Spielberg Invites Budding Filmmakers to Join Him 'On The Lot'

By Calvin Hwang, posted 20 December 2006

Aspiring filmmakers can take the first step toward fulfilling their dreams of becoming a Hollywood director by applying to participate in FOX's new reality competition series ON THE LOT. To enter, applicants over 13 years of age must submit a self-directed short film, up to five minutes in length, to thelot.com.

Hundreds of video submissions are now up and ready to view and critique on the newly expanded website. In addition to series info and application forms, the website also offers movie news and box office results, as well as message boards, personal blogs and photo galleries.

ON THE LOT, executive-produced by Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg, will give aspiring filmmakers from around the world the chance to earn a $1-million development deal at DreamWorks.

Premiering next spring on FOX, this unscripted series will feature a cast of 16 undiscovered filmmakers competing to win the support of the show’s viewers, who will decide their fate in a weekly audience vote.

The competition will air over two nights weekly, with a one-hour "Film Premiere" episode followed the next night by a half-hour "Box Office" results show.

The global search is already under way, but it's not too late. Once the submission period ends February 16, 2007, applicants will be winnowed to a group of 16 talented filmmakers. These finalists will be brought to Hollywood, where they will be divided into teams and will begin the journey toward their “big break.”

Every week, the hopeful filmmakers 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, cast and crew, and possibly even Hollywood celebrities.

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" episode. Judges will include a high-ranking motion picture executive, a prominent film critic and a succession of well-respected guests, such as directors who are experts in the week’s featured genre.

But the filmmakers ultimately will be judged by the harshest critics of all the public. It will be FOX viewers 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.

The competition continues and directors are eliminated until only the most talented filmmaker is anointed the winner and heads to DreamWorks, to be met by Steven Spielberg and shown to his or her new office ... ON THE LOT.

ON THE LOT is produced by Mark Burnett Productions, DreamWorks Television and Amblin Television. Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg are creators and executive producers. Darryl Frank, Justin Falvey and Conrad Riggs are co-executive producers.

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