Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Austin, Part 2: Will Bigham

Welcome to post #300, loyal dozens.

As you well know, one of the few reality shows I heavily promoted was Fox's "On The Lot." I thought it was a neat idea, in which young filmmakers had a shot at a deal with Dreamworks. A lot of talented filmmakers went through the process, but ultimately, the grand prize was won by Will Bigham.

As you may remember, Will was one of three filmmakers I pulled for, especially because this series was Bigham's last shot at Hollywood. Had he lost, Will would have had to find a day job to support his family.

I was lucky enough to hang out with Will at the Austin Film Festival, and the Florida State graduate exactly like he was on TV - polite, quiet and passionate about filmmaking.

TVGuy: What project are you working on now?
Will Bigham: We've tossed ideas back and forth. It's going to be really tricky. I have to be careful with what I pick. ... A lot of people want to see me fail, because often when you win something, people resent you. I'm just going to do the best job I can. But if I pick the wrong kind of story, it could hurt my career.

TVG: You said on the show that if you didn't win, that would be it for filmmaking for you.
WB: (The show) was it. Financially, I had no choice. (If he didn't win) I was going to have to pack up and try to build my savings.

TVG: What would you have done career-wise?
WB: I'm glad I don't have to know. My skills from film school was editing. It might have paid the rent, but it wouldn't build our savings.

TVG: Do you keep up with the other contestants?
WB: I had lunch with Jason (the contest's runner-up) last week. I had dinner with Adam recently, lunch with Sam.

TVG: How difficult was the final episode? Did you think you were going to win?
WB: It was pretty nerve-wracking. I was assuming Jason was going to win, because he had such a big fan base. We were on different tracks, but when they finally mixed (the various contestants together), he was the box office champion that week and I thought, 'Oh, crap!' I didn't want to make second place. I like Jason a lot, but I didn't want him to win.

TVG: One of the things about the show was that filmmakers were often put into categories that they didn't have a lot of experience in. In real life, a director with no horror experience would do a horror movie. Did you think that was unfair?
WB: I actually liked that. It could show that you could do any genre they stuck me in. My track was in comedy, and I envied the guys who got to do action, horror. Mateen had no experience in action, but that was his best work. He proved to himself he could do it.

TVG: Besides yourself, who did you think was the best filmmaker? Was there anyone who really intimidated you with their work?
WB: Zack definitely did with his earlier stuff. It was unfortunate that he chose a bad story and then did a sequel to it. He'd be the first one to tell you that. But as a director, he's going to do great. Adam, as well.

TVG: What kind of movies are you looking to make?
WB: I'd like to make something like "Raising Arizona" or "Amelie." They are great stories, and they are great examples of what I would want to do as a director.

TVG: Are you disappointed the show didn't succeed? Do you get recognized a lot?
WB: I'm definitely disappointed for (the producers). Everybody worked extremely hard. I thought they did a great job. On the other hand, if we had "American Idol" ratings, I wouldn't be able to walk around. Look at Clay Aiken; that guy can't go to the bathroom (without being mobbed). I'm just extremely thankful that people watched and voted for me.

REMINDER: "Randy and the Mob" will be showing Wednesday night in Macon. The movie, which was written by and stars Ray McKinnon ("Deadwood"), Lisa Blount and Walton Goggins ("The Shield") is a very funny, Southern-styled comedy about a small-town Georgian who borrows money from a loan shark. It's premiering at the Cox Capitol Theatre at 7:30 p.m., followed by a Q&A with McKinnon. I highly recommend going.

NBC ON THE WEB: The NBC viral people are working overtime, especially with their comedies. "Scrubs" fans can see a video message from creator Bill Lawrence at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2D_Ni-xd_bs and weigh in with questions and suggestions at http://boards.nbc.com/nbc/index.php?showtopic=770096.

Meanwhile, Scranton, Pa. will be hosting an "Office" convention/party during the last weekend of October. For details, check out http://www.theofficeconvention.com

And "My Name Is Earl" has had a lot of fun with music videos lately. For the latest, check out http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=19824163.

TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: Baseball is starting to have an impact on the TV schedule, as "Bones" and "House" are both pre-empted this week while Fox airs Game 4 of the ALCS between the Indians and Red Sox.

But there are still plenty of viewing options. Hopefully, none of them will include the awful "Cavemen" and "Carpoolers," (ABC, 8 p.m.) which leave the "com" out of sitcom. They are followed by "Dancing With The Stars" and "Boston Legal." It's funny how ABC can produce some of the best new stuff this season and still have a lineup like this.

"NCIS" (CBS, 8 p.m.) rebounded nicely last week from an early season lull. It's followed by "The Unit" and the ratings-challenged "Cane."

Normally, I don't promote reality/news programs, but with the level of schadenfreude the American public often displays, you may be interested in "Dateline" (NBC, 8 p.m.), which interviews Larry Craig. It's followed by "The Biggest Loser" and "Law & Order: SVU."

Finally, The CW is all-new with "Beauty and the Geek" and "Reaper" beginning at 8 p.m.


Phillip Ramati said...

Update: Joe Carnahan is reporting on his blog that Chris Pine has opted out of his film White Noise to take the role of James T. Kirk in the next Star Trek movie.

Phillip Ramati said...

Correction: I meant to say White Jazz as Carnahan's movie. Mea Culpa.

zodin2008 said...

Good career move for Pine to say the least.