There’s a new reality TV show on the horizon for filmmakers. It’s called “ON THE LOT”. It’s from the producers of SURVIVOR and THE APPRENTICE teamed with Steven Spielberg. Project Greenlight meets American Idol…. making short films each week and people getting voted off the show by the public. I’m very cynical about the whole thing, but submitted because I would rather take the chance than not at all. I’ve known about this for close to a year, and never intended to submit until one of the producers emailed me & asked me to last week. It’s a little weird. After Project Greenlight 3 disqualified me for being a “professional”, meaning I had been paid for directing and also had distribution for short films, I assumed I would never be able to get in on this show, but their rules are mighty different.

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Then the email came… I was asked by one of the producers to submit. I would have thought they have plenty of submissions, probably in excess of a hundred thousand. I know of at least 25 (literal number) of submissions from people in Ohio. Why me? What am I doing that’s so special? I was perfectly happy NOT submitting and not even watching the show. Why get my hopes up at all? This is why it fills me with cynicism towards the show. When I filled out my application, I was completely ridiculous in my answers because I have nothing to lose and have no inhibitions about saying whatever. Venom spewed onto the page and I hope at least it makes someone laugh while reading pleadings from wannabes with the “what I did last summer” tone in their ABOUT ME section.

I picked BITTER OLD MAN to represent my skill set, even though it’s one of my oldest short films. Then there was a 5 minute limit, so then I had to pick something else. I stopped making short films 2 years ago, so everything I’ve learned (and learned NOT to do) will not be represented. It’s all pretty futile anyway.

I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of getting on this show. I feel this weird pressure now that I uploaded a movie. I have had movies on short film sites for 7 years now. This shouldn’t feel like this, but I guess Project Greenlight left me sour. I assumed since I make a living ([i]by my own meager definition[/i]) at this filmmaking business, I just figured I wouldn’t qualify at all.

Apparently it’s not against the rules here. Regardless, just looking at the odds, I’d say my snowball is already melting. This is a one in about three million chance. Even less likely now that I’m about to turn 35 years old in a little over a week. Combine that with reality televisions penchant for good looking folks, and I’ll be about as likely to be on TV as Jack Bauer is going to have a normal 24 hour day. Now there’s something I’d like to see. The redneck equivalent to “24”. Keifer Sutherland as a beer guzzling, wife beating cowboy watching Hee Haw until 4 in the morning. Now THAT’s my idea of reality television. But I digress… I imagine no one wants to see my fat ugly face on national television, nor was this ever a dream of mine. I want MY MOVIES to be on TV, but not me. I have no interest in being a personality or anything. I’d rather be a Kubrick; making movies and living in seclusion where Internet stalkers can’t find me.

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I can assure you, it’s not “nervousness”. It’s more a feeling of futility. I’m usually very UP, but not when it comes to contests. Maybe it’s the fact that this is a competition. I don’t feel like art & competition belong together. I get along with my fellow artists. That’s why my site (www.sonnyboo.com) is all about giving what few secrets I have away for free. Art is SUBJECTIVE, so to have the public determine success for me rubs me wrong too.

I’ll be eagerly awaiting my rejection email that I can print out and continue to wall paper my bedroom with rejections. Regardless, keep at it though. No great success story started with “I quit and then everything worked out great for my dreams!”

In Other News…

I have several edit jobs I’m doing. I’ve got some BEHIND THE SCENES documentaries for a feature I did not work on, an edit job for an entire DV feature I was not involved in, and then a 2nd feature film I did not participate with (16mm feature), plus additional episodes of my 30 minute education show called MAKING MOVIES IN OHIO. Let’s just say that there are a LOT of projects on my plate and somehow I’m still squeaking in time to watch every single episode of FX’s NIP/TUCK show. I had never seen it, but I went from 0 to season 3 in about 6 weeks thanks to NetFlix.com

The TV show has started airing in Dayton already, Cleveland, and Cincinnati are next, and finally Columbus. This starts me on a rant I don’t think I’ve written about, but had stated numerous times in person. There is no Public Access/Cable Access television in Columbus Ohio. It’s quite criminal, but because of 2-3 people who pushed the limits of censorship by doing cable access shows with cursing, nudity, and somewhat vulgar acts (eating a girl’s bloody dildo, etc.) the entire channel was banished as more trouble than it was worth in the eyes of the city. Now, because of cheese-dick morons like these, EVERYONE ELSE has to lose out on the opportunity and have since December 3rd, 2002.

It’s not fair, but when there’s no being paid to give a hoot, and no one complaining that the city rakes in over $7 million a YEAR from the cable franchise fees, but no one gets the education or opportunity to put a show on the air – then nothing changes. It doesn’t help that Columbus is so conservative they think George W. Bush is a liberal pinko hippie. The vast majority of the populace of this pretend metropolitan area would prefer to sacrifice freedom of speech as long as our lord Jesus is dictated to us weekly… even if you’re Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or Agnostic or even Atheist.

My only option in my own hometown is to work with the Education Channel to try to get my work seen. Since a majority of my interest lies in educational and informative material these days, it’s a mutually beneficial outlet for the work and has made a show bent on demystifying the moviemaking process. Isn’t it sad that I can get a show on TV in 3 other cities before my own?

I successfully shot & edited in HDV with the JVD HD110 and like the results. I’m sure that this camera has more to it than I experience too, but it was good. I’m looking forward to doing more in HD, especially with the Panasonic Varicam ™ with all its bells & whistles. Perhaps a feature or two will be shot this year in HD… perhaps.

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I’m in the midst of a revision on the dark comedy script, and this other feature idea will not leave me alone either. Once I get this draft done of the dark comedy, I’ll have to visit this other feature idea too and see if anything comes of it. I find writing these days is like seducing a bitchy girlfriend. I have to see if we’re both in the mood to poke. My muse sometimes comes & goes like a cheap tramp when the Navy comes to port.

Hence the NIP/TUCK festival. I’m just filling my mind with gunk and enjoying every minute of it. The show does not suck at all, but just like my fascination with ENTOURAGE, it’s about people, lives, and interests that have little to no relatability to who I am today. In some ways, I was a better artist when I was alone & miserable because I understood what everyone else felt like. I’m happy doing what I’m doing now, so it’s harder to relate to that insatiable desire to find out what fulfills me. Luckily, it’s not impossible, and there are things I still strive for and I go for it.

ROSSDONIA REPORT

Recently, the parliament of Rossdonia reconvened after our most recent elections this past November. I proposed a new plan to get more troops to quell the insurgency of roaches, but the kitties feel that we need to just let them be. They don’t understand that I don’t just want more troops to do the same things, but I want to try all new techniques. I want to live in 20 or so base-huts with the cockroaches and try to police them from the streets themselves. I fired my whole staff, and so that should show them I’m serious, but all they want is milk and string to play with. My parliament is easily amused…

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I got in Season 3, disc 3 of NIP/TUCK, so I want to spend my Friday night watching beautiful thin people with lots of money have sex and surgery, so I’m going to get back at that. Then as soon as all 3 episodes are devoured I can return to the many edit jobs awaiting my attention.

Stay pretty on the outside my sweet acolytes,
XXooXXoo
PJR

Categories: blog

Peter John Ross

A filmmaker, a dreamer, and the world's only Dan Akroyd Cosplayer

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