Watch aspiring filmmakers pitch their dreams

Friday, September 29th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

At least here, in a column dedicated to Web entertainment, we can drop any old-world pretenses. So let's just say it loud and proud: Most commercials are better than most programs on television in the same way most trailers are more entertaining than most movies.

The site takes that curve around the next bend with an online contest seeking, not the best film, but the best pitch. Under the heading, "We have seen the future of cinema...," the narrative and documentary finalists are listed in a procession of what amount to homemade commercials of unmade movies.

The hand-held, naturally lighted results, as in the case of American Falls, are the other side of the reality-entertainment coin. Instead of unknown contestants who are desperate to become celebrities, we have unknown filmmakers who are desperate to become known filmmakers. For voyeurism in its most brutally entertaining form, just watch narrator Paul De Nigris as he gestures and exclaims over the exciting bursting-to-be-made work of film noir, American Falls. (Natives of Buffalo, N.Y., may be interested to note that under the auteur's pen, their hometown has been rendered a "blighted urban wasteland.")

With few exceptions, watching these pitches is like listening to someone sing who doesn't know anyone can hear them singing – it's funny, but it also provides glimpses of human desire and denial that are both deeply moving and ghastly, often at the same time.

So watch future filmmaker Jennifer Lane sit against a tree (who knows why) and deliver her pitch like a poem or a sermon she has spent weeks memorizing. Watch two guys who think they have a way of turning a weekend hobby into their ticket to riches-and-fame in the pitch for Heavy Metal Parking Lot – The Movie.

After seeing so much human ambition spilled, you'll be ready for the visceral thrills of Oliver Wolfson's animated short Bowlin' Fer Souls – in which a hot-rod devil tears down Hell's highway, knocking down lost souls like bowling pins. Still, it's hard to imagine what the feature-length version of this cartoon would "We have seen the future of cinema..." Content concerns: sexual themes, language