On the Lot Applications

The search for the next great filmmaker is coming to Canada. CTV announced today it has signed on as the exclusive Canadian broadcast partner for On The Lot, the new unscripted television series from two of the biggest names in film and television, Mark Burnett and Steven Spielberg.

CTV also announced today that Burnett and Spielberg are actively searching for Canadian competitors for the series: aspiring homegrown filmmakers interested in winning a one million dollar development deal with DreamWorks Studios. As of today, short films can be submitted as entry into the first part of the competition. To enter, applicants 13 years of age and older must submit a self-directed short film, up to five minutes in length, before Friday, Feb. 16, 2007 (see “How to Apply,” below). Producers will then visit Toronto in March for an invite-only casting call for Canadian competitors (see “Canadian Casting Call,” below).

On the Lot is a groundbreaking new television series by reality show mastermind, Mark Burnett, and legendary producer and director, Steven Spielberg. Executive produced by Burnett and Spielberg for FOX in the United States and now CTV in Canada, the series will debut this spring. Each week over the course of the summer, 16 filmmakers selected from applicants from around the world will produce short films in every genre. Viewers will vote on the productions and one filmmaker will be eliminated each week. The last filmmaker standing will take home a seven-figure development deal with DreamWorks – and the keys to a brand new office On The Lot (see “About the Show,” below).

“Canadians have a great track record of competing with the best from around the world, both on reality TV and otherwise,” said Burnett. “We look forward to seeing what Canada has to offer.”

“From Louis B. Mayer and Jack Warner to Norman Jewison and David Cronenberg, Canada has produced some great movie-makers over the years,” said Spielberg. “On The Lot could be the big break that the next great Canadian filmmaker is looking for.”

“On The Lot delivers an innovative concept backed by an exceptional pedigree and as a result, CTV is thrilled to bring this project to Canadians,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV President of Programming and Chair of the CTV Media Group. “Burnett and Spielberg together for the first time – who could ask for anything more?”


Submissions from filmmakers around the world, including Canadians, will be accepted until Feb. 16. Then, producers will visit several North American cities for invite-only casting calls, including Toronto in March. Western Canadian filmmakers selected for interviews will travel to Seattle around the same time to meet producers. Afterwards, applicants will be winnowed to a group of 16 talented filmmakers. These finalists will be brought to Hollywood, where they will be divided into teams and will begin the journey toward their “big break.”


Premiering in late spring on CTV and set to air in more than 40 countries, On The Lot will feature a cast of 16 undiscovered filmmakers competing to win the support of the show’s viewers, who will decide their fate in a weekly audience vote. The competition will air over two nights weekly, with a one-hour “Film Premiere” episode followed the next night by a half-hour “Box Office” results show.

Every week, each team will produce short films from a chosen genre, running the gamut from comedies to thrillers, personal dramas to romance, sci-fi to horror. They will have access to the best resources the industry has to offer –professional writers, cast and crew – and possibly even Hollywood celebrities.

After the teams have battled time frames, budgets and all the usual chaos that goes along with filmmaking, their films will debut and be critiqued in front of a live audience during the “Film Premiere” episode. Judges will include a high-ranking motion picture executive, a prominent film critic and a succession of well-respected guests, such as directors who are experts in the week’s featured genre.

But the filmmakers ultimately will be judged by the harshest critics of all … the public. It will be viewers whose votes determine which films should be left on the cutting-room floor. On each “Box Office” results show, the director whose feature garners the fewest votes will be sent home.

As the competition continues and more directors are eliminated, the remaining filmmakers will have to work individually, creating a new short film every week until only the most talented filmmaker is left. Anointed the winner, the last director will head to DreamWorks, meet Steven Spielberg and will be shown their new office … On The Lot.

Hundreds of video submissions are now up and ready to view and critique on the series’ companion website at www.thelot.com. In addition to series info and application forms, the website also offers movie news and box office results, as well as message boards, personal blogs and photo galleries.


1. Applicants should submit both a 30-45 second “Intro Video” and a short film no more than five minutes in length.
2. Download application forms, including Application Rules and Requirements, Applicant Information Sheet and Submitted Materials Release, from the series website at www.thelot.com.
3. Upload the video submission onto the series website, www.thelot.com.
4. Mail a copy of the video submission on DVD or VHS, along with signed application forms, postmarked no later than February 16, 2007, to: On The Lot Submissions, P.O. Box 149, 9663 Santa Monica Boulevard, Beverly Hills, CA, 90210, USA.
5. Applicants under the age of 18 are required to send a signed parental consent form.
6. For full application details, visit www.thelot.com.

Additional details about On The Lot, including a host and judging panel, will be announced later this year by CTV.

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