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'On the Lot' cuts first three aspiring filmmakers, reveals Top 15


By Christopher Rocchio, 05/30/2007 

The 18 aspiring filmmakers competing as finalists on Fox's On the Lot tried to win the viewing audience over with laughter during Monday night's first Film Premiere episode.  However the humor was lost on the audience for three of the finalists, who were eliminated during Tuesday night's first live Box Office results show.

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Claudia La Bianca, a 28-year-old painter and graphic artist born in Sicily, Italy who currently lives in Miami, FL; Carolina Zorilla de San Martin, a 36-year-old commercial director originally from Santander, Spain who currently lives in Los Angeles, CA; and Phil Hawkins, a 22-year-old freelance director born and raised in Manchester, England, were sent packing during Tuesday night's Box Office results show based on viewers votes from Monday night's Film Premiere episode when the finalists each aired a one-minute comedy short they created.

Zorilla de san Martin was the first finalist revealed to be eliminated.  Her short "Deliver Me" was the story of a modern-day child birth that followed an expecting mother in the delivery room who could not stop answering her cell phone.  Judge Carrie Fisher thought it was "really well-made;" guest judge D.J. Caruso said it was "topical;" and third judge Gary Marshall called it "hip."  However viewers apparently disagreed with judges and Zorilla de san Martin was eliminated.

Next it was revealed that La Bianca would not be back for next week's round of competition.  Her short "Blind Date" was about a blind date where nothing went right but, much the judge's chagrin, also included flatulence.  Fisher told La Bianca "maybe comedy isn't your thing;" Caruso told her she "went for a cheap joke and didn't need to do that;" while Marshall said "comedy is tricky, you should do something a little bit more serious."  Viewers agreed with the judges, and La Bianca was cut.

"I'm kind of nervous right now because I wasn't expecting this," she said upon learning she was eliminated.  "I loved the experience.  I'm kind of sad that I'm leaving of course because this was the big shot.  Whoa... I'm getting emotional here.  But I got really close to Carolina and we talked about when the show was done, we're going to get together and shoot a movie together.  So that's what I'm going to do."

The third finalist eliminated was Hawkins, whose short "Please Hold" featured a woman being robbed, calling 911, and being placed on hold with a recording.  Fisher said it wasn't a success, but also not a failure; Caruso said it felt "like an old joke I've seen before;" and Marshall thought Hawkins could do better and wasn't a fan of the ending.

In addition to revealing which three aspiring filmmakers received the lowest amount of viewer votes, the Top 3 Box Office draws -- or those finalists whose shorts received the most viewer votes -- were also revealed.  They were Jason Epperson, a 30-year-old film production company owner from Winchester, KY whose short "Getta Rhoom" was panned by the judges but apparently well-received by viewers; Will Bigham, a 31-year-old film editor originally from Canyon, TX who currently lives in Glendale, CA whose short "Lucky Penny" followed a man who finds a penny that isn't lucky at all; and Zach Lipovsky, a 23-year-old special effects editor from Vancouver, BC, Canada whose short "Danger Zone" consisted of only one shot that revolved around a laboratory showing how one mistake leads to another.

The remaining 15 finalists on Fox's On the Lot are:  Sam Friedlander, a 27-year-old web producer living in Santa Monica, CA,  who was raised in Westchester, NY; Andrew Hunt, a 31-year-old promo producer from Minneapolis, MN, who was raised in Pittsburgh, PA; Adam Stein, a 29-year-old freelance film editor born in Miami, FL who currently lives in Los Angeles, CA;  David May, a 23-year-old admissions counselor living in Santa Ana, CA, who grew-up in Aurora, CO; Hilary Graham, a 37-year-old stay-at-home wife and mom who lives in Francestown, NH, and was raised in Chelmsford, MA; Jessica Brillhart, a 22-year-old computer specialist who grew-up in York, PA and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY; Kenny Luby, a 28-year-old freelance director and painter from Owego, NY; Mateen Kemet, a 41-year-old teacher who currently lives in California and raised in the Bronx, NY; Marty Martin, a 26-year-old creative director of a multimedia company from Seattle, WA; Shira-Lee Shalit, a 38-year-old acting teacher from Johannesburg, South Africa who now lives in New York; Shalini Kantayya, a 30-year-old freelance director raised in Hartford, CT who currently lives in Brooklyn, NY; Trever James, a 24-yea-old film editor currently living in Los Angeles, CA, who is from Great Falls, MT; Epperson; Bigham; and Lipovsky.

(Photo credit Fox)


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