Time to meet the judges: Carrie Fisher, Garry Marshall, and Brett Ratner. Read: three people who decided to work an hour a week this summer for beer money. Let me help you to dismiss Jeff Seibenick (formerly Recent Grad) of Perrysburg, OH out of hand: Brett Ratner makes the kinds of films Jeff wants to make. That's his epitaph in a nutshell, for me. The judges enter (Ratner kisses Chelsea, and maybe I'm reading into her expression but it looks like she might want to go take a Silkwood shower with extra Purell) and take their seats, smiling self-importantly. Marshall, for his part, is responsible for everything Will watched throughout his (sad, sad) childhood. Mark McLain (formerly Cheese Suit) of Dyer, IN popped a boner when he saw that Princess Leia was ten feet away. Actually, Fisher looks better here than she has in years; I love her bob. She gets up to kiss the contestants' asses about having gotten into the semifinals. Ratner does not get up to say that he's excited for them because he's seen all their submissions. At this, we get an interview with Phil Hawkins of Manchester, UK (so far the only non-American we've seen make it here despite submissions from an alleged thirty-three countries), in which he pees his pants that Ratner watched his film. Fisher says the first step to becoming a director is the pitch -- selling the story of the movie, and selling oneself. Marshall speaks for the first time to say that directors have to be actors, so that studio executives (or whoever) can tell from their eyes if they're telling a story they believe. He namedrops Steven Spielberg (anecdote not worth repeating). The contestants will each be randomly given a logline (a story idea: "Cop Gives Waitress $1 Million Tip"), interpret the story idea, and show up the next morning to pitch the judges their film. Jason was hoping they wouldn't have to do this; he's never done it before.
So the five loglines are:
1. A slacker applies ot the CIA as a joke and is accepted.
2. A man sees his face on the news described as missing or wanted. (Which is it, show?)
3. A mouse is captured by a pharmaceutical company as a lab rat and must plan his escape.
4. A priest meets the woman of his dreams just as he is about to be ordained.
5. A crate bound for a secret military base is delivered to a suburban family.
The contestants reach under their seats to find out which loglines they got. Opie Cooper of Jackson, MS wasn't worried about the pitch until he heard the loglines and realized he didn't want the one about the priest -- so of course that's what he ended up with. He says that you're supposed to write what you know, so he'll have to fake it. They can work in groups to develop their ideas, but it's an individual task, and they'll each be pitching alone. Ratner dismisses them dickishly.