Tuesday, May 29, 2007

On The Lot

Yes, I am watching Fox's On The Lot, although I do TIVO it first so I can fast forward past the fodder to get to the best stuff. The show has great potential. First, it synergizes short form video on TV with the web, and offers great potential for video uploading, social commenting, and revenue potential.

My concern lies mainly with the show on TV. The latest 2 hour show on Monday had more time devoted to clapping and a meaningless host, than on the filmmakers, the judges, and the films. There is no reason to have a host or audience; other than turn a half hour show into 2 hours. And folks like me will fast forward to get to the meat of the show. Perhaps when the show reached the final 6 people could an audience care, but for now, the live element actually works against the show.

Carrie Fisher could act as both host and judge and Gary Marshall needs to stop with the sexist remarks. What makes the show work for me are the videos. Watching them and getting the judges comments. I would like that the show had continued to cut the group to 8 or 10 people with only the judges deciding, then bring in the viewer vote for the final group. I also would like to get the judges to talk more about what they liked and didn't like.

The TV show could push the website more, especially in providing more complete analyses from each judge. Also an opportunity to present better definitions of some of the technical language that the judges use - i.e. insert shot, long lens, etc. I would have modified voting in the later rounds where viewers ranked the top 10 directors and their work. A more interesting perspective which would also differentiate it from the voting procedure on American Idol. There are some amazing films coming out of these young directors; I'd love to use the excess time from clapping and inane host remarks and replace it with more footage of each director in pre and post production getting their film to final cut.

The show has great potential and does a great job synergizing the linear element of TV with the on demand and interactive element of the web. Keep tweaking it and let folks share these videos across other websites, the audience will come to On The Lot.

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