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Sarah D. Bunting

S01.E01: The Experiment

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Reality series documents the attempts of two first-time feature-film directors as they separately attempt to craft a movie from the same original script. In the opener, they try to put their individual stamps on the screenplay.

 

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I'm kinda torn on this one. The entire first episode was waaaay too plodding. Like we'd see something, then five different people would explain what we'd seen. I also don't care for either of the directors -- Shane especially; Ahhhh-na seems okay, but her musings and naval gazing were zzzz.

 

But... because of these things, I'm kind of looking forward to watching to watching the whole thing crash and burn. So count me in for episode two.

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Looks like 5 episodes are available to watch On Demand already? SDB, you and I were the only two people on earth who watched "On The Lot", so I knew your take would be the litmus test for me. I'm gonna give it a shot.

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Ok I watched On The Lot.  I also watched Margin Call and preferred it to All Is Lost.  So obviously take everything I say with a grain of salt.  

 

I'm in on this one.  I am debating watching all the episodes at once.  I real like I need some time in between.  I want to place my bets on first to lose it, first to fuck with the money, etc.

 

So where is Utube's producer getting her information on what Ahhna is doing?  She isn't supposed to know what is going on on the other team.  Are we going to have to guess on the real housewives producer nonsense?  Cuz that's going to get old.  I'm now routing for production people to be breaking all kinds of rules and for Chris to come and talk to them.  That could be pay tv.

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Count me in for "On The Lot". I was the fourth viewer ! :p

 

On the other hand, this show... I already struggle with 30 seconds of Shane Dawson on youtube, so I don't think I'll be able to cope with him as a contestant here, esp. since his opponent isn't that captivating either (and also a tad annoying, with her non-stop talking, introspecting, overthinking, crying, and so on), and the entire episode is soooo plodding & chatty. Also, I chuckled at all the shoehorned "this great city of Pittsburgh" stuff.

 

I'll give it another try next week, but still... not too optimistic.

Edited by Kaoteek

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I'm glad I'm not the only one who disliked both wanna-be directors.  Ahhhh-na repeatedly talked about how under-represented women in the directors chair are, and how she wanted to be a strong role model for girls, so I immediately predicted that she'd be tearing up before the first hour was over.  Sure enough.....  

 

Meanwhile, Shane was so pleased with his oh-so-cutting-edge gross-out humor, that I thought he would break his arm by patting himself on the back so much.  Did you know that he's wanted to direct a movie for his whole life?!?!?  I think he mentioned that one time (or 100).  His little filmed skits with the lady who refused to remove her wool hat (even indoors) in the grocery store and other locations looked awkward and irritating, especially for the regular customers caught up in the middle of it.

 

I can't wait to see what happens next, as long as it involves (big) Chris Moore laying the smackdown on these two.

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In the beginning of the first episode I found myself finding both the directors insufferable in two completely different ways. While I still haven't warmed up to Anna completely, I rate her above Shane because I some of her reserve seems to stem from the fact that all of this is going to be on camera (still annoying because at the end of the day she signed up for his) whereas I imagine Shane wants someone to film him every moment of his entire life (not just for his YouTube videos).

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I also watched The Lot, but I'd forgotten about it until some of you reminded me.

 

I can't like either Shane or Anna.  I wanted to like Anna, but she ruined it for me by being so insecure and co-dependent.  Shane seems to have a stronger point of view, but I don't think I'm at all interested in hearing or seeing it because I don't like "broad" humor.

 

I'll keep watching to enjoy watching them flail and flounder.  I think it's kind of unfair that Shane already has a following, which seems to guarantee him the win, but I'm a little sad to say that I already don't care which one wins.

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I also don't care who wins.  For me, the idea behind the show is fantastic.  I've always wondered what would happen if different directors made movies with the same material, so this show is perfect for me as a viewer.  (A Michael Bay version of "Gone With the Wind" would be (unintentional) comedy gold!)

 

I question the decision to go with yet another "coming-of-age" story, though.  2 of the 3 seasons of PG had these stories, and now The Chair.  Why not a crime movie, which seems like it would be more of a universal story and hence, "easier" to make (in appealing to more people). 

 

Do most of these young directors make coming-of-age stories because they're basically filming their own lives, and think that this should be infinitely interesting to rest of America?  Because, it's usually not.

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So, several of the people producing the show (and whom will presumably have a role in deciding the winner) have a relationship with one of the competitors?

 

That's not good.

 

As a Pittsburgh native, the city looks great! (Even in the middle of winter.)

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I question the decision to go with yet another "coming-of-age" story, though.  2 of the 3 seasons of PG had these stories, and now The Chair.  Why not a crime movie

 

There are probably budgetary reasons for this. You want your crime boss to have henchmen, you gotta cast and pay 'em. Crime stories have cops, which means your main cop, the partner who's getting to old for this shit, their LT, and finding/renting/dressing a squadroom, background actors, blood squibs...

 

I think a roman-a-doof also maximizes the opportunities for certain things to go wrong that the audience can tell are wrong. Like, it's not as dramatic if your foot-chase location permit falls through as if your kid actor can't swim.

 

I would way rather watch them shoot a crime movie (or hell, Feast 4: Cranksgiving) than a script that looks like a seventh-gen photocopy of Garden State, which I hated in the first place, but I suspect this genre is universally agreed-upon as the cheapest, most interesting to watch being made, and hardest to strangle in the pre-production crib because of logistical concerns. 

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Shane Dawson sounds like a Dawson...Leery, to be specific

This is the most perfect description of this guy that I've seen yet. He's even got a poor Joey Potter producing partner, who most of the time, looks completely over his shit.

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I've watched the 5 episodes through On Demand.

 

I really wanted to like the directors. Shane would drive me to drink.

 

I want to root for Anna because she's a female director and those are harder find, but she's so co-dependent on her husband and his brother. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, I know that working with relatives has its pluses and minuses. The minuses can be extremely bad and Anna's relationship with her husband and his brother . . . I don't know. It seems like a bad longterm idea. Anna and her husband seem headstrong. Him more so than her. I kept thinking "Is he the director? Or is she supposed to be?" Their relationship really bugged me.

 

I'll listen to anything Zachary Quinto and Chris Moore have to say, which are the two reasons I'll keep watching.

Edited by Surrealist

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Funnily enough, after watching the first five eps, the show is less annoying than I first feared. Also, for a strange reason, I'm finding Shane more and more tolerable as time passes... his movie & his youtube still aren't my cup of tea, I still feel he's that hyperactive child that needs to be noticed and thus makes noise until you can't stand it anymore, and so on... but still : I dislike him less and less.

 

Or maybe it's just that I'm struggling more and more with Anna. Insecure, emotional, codependant talks-a-big-game-but-doesn't-follow-through, relies-on-his-husband-&-his-family-to-do-most-of-the-dirty-work, I'm-an-artist-and-I-need-to-connect-everything-to-me-to-my-life-and-to-the-deep-thoughts-I-have-on-the-world, this-script-was-too-mainstream-it-sucked-so-i'm-rewriting-it-entirely Anna.

 

I'm sure she's perfectly likeable IRL, but here, I really struggle with her, with her movie, with her way of directing, and so on. Directing really doesn't seem to be her calling, imo. And given the choice between her deep, realistic, indie style coming-of-age movie w/bland actors, and Shane's idiotic, gross, nonsensical comedy w/ likeable supporting cast, I'd rather watch Shane, even though I'm sure I won't particularly enjoy it. But at least I won't fall asleep.

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Directing really doesn't seem to be her calling, imo.

Maybe this is what actually bothers me. She totally strikes me as the writer type, so I'm surprised she wants to direct. It seems like a job way outside her comfort zone.

I don't even mind that she collaborates with her husband and brother-in-law. I find the latter less annoying, but I feel like they do everything because they've decided she can't handle it. That also bothers me.

If you're a director, then you have to know how to make decisions for yourself. Film is the director's medium, no?

Edited by Surrealist

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Anyone else feel like the plot is basically this Guster song? No? Just me? I seriously can't stop hearing it in my head every time someone discusses the plot. 

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I found Shane more unlikeable than Anna.  She seems more like an adult and he just seems like a petulant child.

 

Plus, Shane just seems like a bottom of the barrel movie maker, going for the gross laughs.

 

I was turned off by both of their potty mouths.

 

I did like the procedure of trying to make a movie. 

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