Jon Gann wants to be on TV. Specifically, the upcoming reality show On the Lot, created by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett (Survivor, etc.). To that end, the filmmaker created a Web site, Put Jon on TV, excoriating exhorting people to vote for him.
The show pits filmmakers against each other for a supposed $1 million production deal, each potential Scorcese creating instant movies based on assigned criteria (genre, prop, character, etc.), the same premise as D.C.’s 48 Hour Film Project. Gann, a director, graphic designer, and creator of the DC Shorts festival (which City Paper is a sponsor of), notes that the program is “basically 48 Hours ripped off, and it’s something I’ve excelled at in the past. And I thought, Wow, why wouldn’t I do this?“
The 40-year-old Gann applied “under the premise that I’m older, but I’m a community builder, I believe in short film, I run a festival, blah blah blah, I see hundreds of films, so therefore I’d be an ideal candidate as someone who understands the craft of filmmaking. I may not be the world’s best director, but I understand what audiences want.”
The show’s hopefuls are asked to submit an under-five-minute example of their work. Gann submitted his 2004 48 Hour award-winning flick Signs four months ago. For reasons unclear, it didn’t show up on the site until earlier this week, putting Gann way behind the “vote-for-me” curve.
“My plan was to e-mail everyone I knew and get a lot of press out of it and have everyone vote for me so I could walk into the interview and say, ‘Hey, look—-I have 1,000 views!'” I was going to have postcards made. I was going to hand them out in the subway going, ‘Vote for me! Vote for me!’ I put that on the back burner, ’cause I didn’t know what was going on, or if it was every going on.”
But Gann is not giving up yet.
“I have a B plan that I can’t really talk about yet,” he says, explaining only, “My B plan would actually keep me in Washington and have me sort of working on the show at the same time. We shall see.”