By Alan Pergament, The Buffalo News, N.Y.
Apr. 20--City Honors graduate Andy Kelemen is living a dream. He hopes to discover in about a month that his favorite TV show, ABC's "Lost," hasn't been doing the same for six seasons.
Kelemen was named one of five finalists in the national "Ultimate 'Lost' Fan Promo" contest on Monday. Fans were asked to film promos for the series as the finale nears; Kelemen's was one of 10,000 entries.
Called "The Lost Life," the 35- second promo has no dialogue. It features symbols that will be recognizable to fans of the series about plane crash survivors on a remote island.
The video clip on ABC's Web site was originally labeled Fernwald, which is the name of the street where Kelemen lives in Pittsburgh. He had to enter a user name on ABC's Web site when posting the promo. "Andy Kelemen was already taken," Kelemen explained.
Weird, in a "Lost" way.
Kelemen's promo opens with a camera shot of an airplane overhead, shows some food items from the Dharma project and an Egyptian symbol in a guitar case before ending with a woman looking down into her washer to see The Hatch.
"It's been your life for six seasons," a graphic notes. "The End is Near."
"My ideal commercial is one that is all imagery-driven and kind of has a nice payoff at the end," said Kelemen.
Voting began Monday and only lasts five days before the winner is announced. You can vote once a day. The winner gets to have his promo run nationally on ABC on the second-to-last episode of "Lost" before the series finale on May 23. The winner also is a guest at the series finale party with the cast in Hawaii and gets to put the triumph on his or her resume.
"The fact that you would be able to say that I had a commercial air nationally during probably one of the bigger shows of our lifetime is certainly something great," said Kelemen.
Kelemen, 24, a 2006 University of Pittsburgh graduate in film studies, started a new job in commercial production last week after working at two TV stations in Pittsburgh. He said the promo was one of five he shot in one day with actors that included a co-worker, his fiance, Sheena Narehood, and a guy from Amherst (Ben Ostroff) that he met in Pittsburgh.
Ostroff is the guy looking at Apollo food in a vending machine and Narehood is the woman at the washer. "I make her do laundry," cracked Kelemen, who was voted class clown at City Honors in 2003. "I'm going to seem like misogynistic."
He got the film studies bug in his senior year at City Honors, when he and his friends did a weekly public access show that he said had the ridiculous title of "The Random Acts of Stupidityness Show." In the show, Andy and his "co-stars" pulled pranks on friends in Buffalo.
Kelemen, whose initial dream was to design rollercoasters, became a "Lost" fan in his senior year in college because of an assignment for one of his last classes in television studies. The final assignment was to pick a serialized drama that he never watched.
"I think this is a great excuse to watch 'Lost,' " said Kelemen. "I watched the first season and became totally hooked. It was in its third season at the time, so I watched episode after episode. I've always been someone who is always into shows with an environment that have a lot of layers. The show has so many layers to it and so many angles that you can read into . . . This plays into the promos. I love shows with really minute aspects that play a pivotal role. I feel that sums up 'Lost.' "
His favorite season is the first one, when he discovered the characters and the situation they were in. He thinks this confusing season has been "pretty good."
"I think 'Lost' is one of those shows that, no matter what happens, you're going to have questions that are left unanswered, and people need to just accept that," said Kelemen.
"I like shows that are posing questions," said Kelemen. "This 'Lost' season is all about wrapping things up."
He has found the sideways world -- where Jack (Matthew Fox), Sawyer (Josh Holloway), Kate (Evangeline Lilly), Hugo (Jorge Reyes), Locke (Terry O'Quinn), Jin (Daniel Dae Kim), Sun (Yunjin Kim), Sayid (Naveen Andrews) and several others -- are involved in a world that addresses what might have been -- "pretty interesting."
"To me, the best thing about 'Lost' is its characters, so the fact we're seeing all of these great characters coming back is really gratifying," he said.
How does he want it to end? "I'll tell you how I don't want it to end," he said. "As long as it is not a dream, I'll be happy. I think that would be the biggest cop-out in any series."
"I almost kind of want it to end that these people accept the fact that what happened to them by crashing on the island is the best possible scenario for them and that they are not living their lives wishing that it hadn't happened."