Jewish Journal

What would Spielberg do?

by Dikla Kadosh

July 20, 2007 | 3:28 pm

Every aspiring Jewish filmmaker could learn a lesson or two from Steven, but how many of them will actually feel the warmth of his wing around their shoulder? Adam Stein hopes he’ll be the one chosen for that golden opportunity.

The 29-year-old USC film school graduate is one of the ten remaining finalists (and the last Jew standing) on the Fox reality show “On The Lot” where up-and-coming filmmakers compete for a $1 million development deal with DreamWorks. Every week, the directors are given a budget, scripts, actors, and all the toys Hollywood has to offer in order to make a 2-4 minute movie that fits a pre-determined genre.

As is customary in reality tv land, the participants are cut off from the outside world until after the grand finale. I got to speak with Adam Stein on the phone (they wouldn’t allow an in-person interview). Here’s a personal look at what he had to say about the experience:

“I never thought I would be on a reality show.” Does anyone ever expect to be on one? If you have applied to be on numerous shows but have never been selected, please email me - it would make a GREAT story!

“I was a literature major at Harvard. I felt pressured to do something more responsible, so I applied to law school.” Adam quickly figured out law was not his calling. Mama Stein must have been livid at the time, but I bet she’s thrilled to see her little boy on TV every Monday and Tuesday night.

“I haven’t met Spielberg yet.” Though Spielberg is co-creater and co-executive producer of “On The Lot,” he’s been busy filming “Indiana Jones 4” and hasn’t had the time to throw even a feather at anyone on the Fox lot in Studio City.

“We all live together and we’re pretty close. The girls cook for us all the time.” Last week the only two women left were booted off the lot. Poor skinny Adam, who will feed him now?

“The hardest part about all this is being away from friends and family and my girlfriend.” The contestants have no internet, no phones, no television, and no interaction with people other than the production staff.

“There’s so many Jews in LA! What a strong community!” Adam is from Miami, where apparently the Jews are strong, but not in number.

“We aren’t supposed to know ratings or anything like that, but I don’t think the show is doing that well.” No, it definitely is not. “But I think the industry is watching and that’s what’s important.” Way to stay positive Adam!

“Later in my career, I would definitely want to do more serious socially-conscious films like Steven Spielberg’s ‘Munich’ and ‘Schindler’s List’.” For now, Adam is focusing on being entertaining. See for yourself…

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Written by Danielle Berrin and Dikla Kadosh

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