Random Reality – Josh Clinton Interviews Shira-Lee Shalit of On the Lot

Josh Clinton: Hey Shira-Lee.

Shira-Lee Shalit: Hey. How are you doing Josh?

JC: I’m good. How are you?

SLS: I’m good.

JC: Good. So I heard you talked to Murtz the other day?

SLS: I did. I had a very nice conversation with him.

JC: Good. He said he invited you to his big birthday bash in August.

SLS: Yes, I got his invitation. It’s up in Canada, so I will look into it. Tell him thank you very much.

JC: Alright, I will pass that along to him. How did you hear about the show exactly?

SLS: There were ads all over the place for it, but I think it was actually my brother who told me about the show first. They were publicizing the show all over the place, though. But yeah my brother told me about it through a site called “Out of Box”. That’s where they publicized the show online. That’s where he found out about it. But I also know that they did a huge ad campaign for the show.

JC: Oh, okay. So how much time did you have to make the movies each week?

SLS: Well it got less and less each week. The first movie, Check Out, I had five days. Then, the last one, Open House, I had two and half days. We had Friday and Saturday all day. I had a rough picture by 4 a.m. Sunday morning. So we basically had 10 hours to make the film. Sunday during the day, we had two-hour increments of sound, music, and mixing. Basically by Sunday night all the films had to be done.

JC: WOW!

SLS: So basically we had to do everything for that film on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It was an unbelievable amount of work in a very short amount of time.

JC: Yeah, it sounds like it. Did you have interaction at all with the directors that came on the show to guest judge?

SLS: No, we couldn’t speak to any of the judges, except for what they said to us on the show. We didn’t meet them, they weren’t near us, we couldn’t speak to them, we didn’t party afterwards, none of that. They were very separate from us.

JC: Right. So you got eliminated based on your horror movie this week.

SLS: Yeah.

JC: That’s not really your genre of film. Do you think it was fair that you were eliminated based on your weakest genre of film?

SLS: No, that’s not my genre at all. I had never done a horror film before. But you know, the public votes. I was very proud of the film. It wasn’t my genre at all, but what can I say really.

JC: Yeah, that’s just how the show is set up. Why do you think so many females are getting eliminated so early on this show?

SLS: Yeah, I know. That’s awful. Wow. I really wish I could answer that in a clever way. Just look at the ratio of male directors to female directors. I don’t know why that is. I wonder what the population of voters is. I don’t know who exactly is watching the show and voting. I don’t know if the audience is more male, because that may be it. I don’t know. What do you think?

JC: I really don’t know either. The only thing I can think of is that most people consider all the top directors to be men instead of women.

SLS: Yeah, it’s a very male-dominated industry. But the women are rising. We’re not going anywhere. We’re here to stay. You can’t get rid of me, and you can quote me on that.

JC: Okay, cool. Did you think you had to worker harder to prove yourself as a director because you were a woman?

SLS: I just worked hard, not because I was a woman. To be a director, you have to work hard. To direct a film is a lot of work. I worked hard, because I work hard. I didn’t work hard because I was a woman. That never crossed my mind. I never thought I had to work harder because I was a female. I just wanted to work hard, because I wanted to make a great film.

JC: Right. Many people thought that it could have been Mateen who could have been eliminated this past week, since his film wasn’t a traditional horror film. Why do you think he wasn’t eliminated over you?

SLS: I don’t know, I guess he got more votes than me. Maybe more of the male population voted for his film.

JC: What did you think of his film?

SLS: Well it wasn’t really a horror film. That’s what they said. Who knows how the population votes. I didn’t expect to be eliminated this past week. I think it was a big surprise to everyone really that I was eliminated.

JC: Yeah. So on the show so far Will seems to be getting more air time than everyone else. Why do you think that is?

SLS: What’s interesting is that I haven’t actually seen the show yet. So I don’t how much air time he is getting, but maybe because he is a dad with two kids. Maybe that’s a real story for America. Maybe it’s not enough of a story to be a mom with a kid. I’m a mom with a kid. Maybe that doesn’t have enough weight. I haven’t seen the show, so I don’t know. When I see the show I will know better. But I guess also the editors have a plan and the producers want to show a certain thing. Will is talented, though.

JC: Yeah. Everyone I have talked to so far has said that Zach is one of the top directors on the show.

SLS: Yeah, they are definitely pushing for Zach. Murtz would be very happy about that, being a fellow Canadian.

JC: Yeah, he would. Do you think Zach has the best chance of winning?

SLS: Yeah, so far he seems to be a frontrunner.

JC: Do you think anyone else has a chance to beat Zach in the end?

SLS: I think the guy from Kentucky, Jason, has a good following. I don’t know how much is being said about him, but the South has a big voting population. He’s a very talented filmmaker. I think the South, if you look at all of the winners of American Idol, a lot of them have been from the South. He says it all the time “the South don’t mess around.” So I think he might be in the finals. He’s really talented and I think he is a really good filmmaker too. So it might be an interesting showdown with him and Zach and maybe Will.

JC: Yeah, that would be interesting. What do you plan to do now?

SLS: Well I plan to keep directing. I want to move on to bigger venues, TV shows and film. I just recently directed a feature film called A List. It won the “Audience Award” at the Milan Film Festival. That’s something I am very proud of. Yeah, I think this show is going to open up some doors for me and I’m just going to keep moving forward.

JC: Alright, that sounds good. Well good luck with everything and thanks for your time.

SLS: Thank you. It was nice talking to you.


On the Lot airs on FOX on Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT time all summer long.

On the Lot airs on the CTV network in Canada on Tuesday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT time all summer long.

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